Imagination Stage seeks a dynamic leader and results-driven
development professional to serve as our next Senior Director of
Development. The Senior Director of Development will be a key
member of Imagination Stage’s senior management team, working
closely with the Managing Director, Founding Artistic Director,
Director of Marketing and Communications, and Board of Trustees, to
gain greater community awareness and financial support for
Imagination Stage as we capitalize on the lead up to our 50th
anniversary celebration in 2030. The Senior Director of Development
will function as the primary solicitor for major individual funders
in collaboration with the Managing Director. The position will
serve as an integral co-leader in developing, implementing and
monitoring the institution’s long-range resourcing strategies, as
well as its annual contributed revenue, philanthropic activities
and special events. This includes personal responsibility for major
donor prospecting, cultivation, and solicitation of individuals and
businesses (currently $600K), and overseeing special events,
development operations, and institutional giving (currently $1.5
million), all towards capturing opportunities to increase current
donor participation and diversify funding sources. This role will
lead and work collaboratively with a dedicated team (currently 2
and growing), in partnership with executive leadership, to grow our
annual fundraising yield from $2 to $4 million over 5 years.
Essential Roles and Responsibilities
The Senior Director of Development will work collaboratively
with the Imagination Stage team to advance its mission and goals
while embodying its core values. Time will be split about 75/25
between major gift officer (driving and executing major and
corporate gifts and planned giving) and departmental leader
(guiding the annual fund, institutional giving, development
operations, and special events) responsibilities. Other essential
duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the
Major Gift Officer (75%)
- Personally lead the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
of a portfolio of major gifts and planned gifts from individuals
and institutional partners.
- Develop significant fundraising opportunities and contacts
throughout the region.
- Work closely with the Managing Director to steward the
organization's board members and most generous donors.
- Ensure the development and maintenance of a giving pipeline,
moving donors from the membership program to major and planned
- Manage and improve our program for the identification,
qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of
existing as well as prospective major donors, including
individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Departmental Leader (25%)
- In partnership with the Managing Director, serve as a principal
fundraising strategist and development officer for Imagination
- Advise, prepare, and support the Managing Director, Artistic
Director, and Board Members to maximize the effectiveness of
Imagination Stage’s fundraising and community outreach
- Prepare the Development department's strategic plan with short-
and long-range goals to meet Imagination Stage’s funding and
- Hire, manage, develop, and evaluate development staff and
consultants, including currently a, Development Manager and
Development Apprentice, and grant writing firm.
- Establish development policies, systems, and procedures, with a
special emphasis on ethical standards for soliciting and reporting
gifts and for exceeding the expectations of individual, corporate,
foundation and government donors.
- Prepare and administer department budget, projecting and
monitoring goals for both revenue and expense.
- Represent Imagination Stage at development-related community
- Coordinate with Marketing Department staff to ensure integrated
marketing and development activities and to produce website and
print materials that enhance Imagination Stage’s image and promote
its fundraising activities and mission-based impact.
- With Development Manager and Managing Director, supervise the
planning and execution of benefit events such as banquets, balls,
or auctions and provide direction and oversight to ensure maximum
net financial and institutional results from such efforts.
- Ensure the appropriate use of donor software, securing donor
privacy, data accuracy and timeliness of reporting.
- Support the Community Engagement Committee of the Board of
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Demonstrated success in soliciting and securing major gifts
from individual and institutional funders.
- Creative, energetic, and entrepreneurial
- Able to provide strategic philanthropic leadership at a time
when Imagination Stage is expanding its mission reach and
- Highly skilled and effective communicator with a demonstrated
history of success working with a wide range of people
- Superior organizational and planning skills
- Ability to lead and inspire corporate and individual donors,
volunteers, colleagues and staff to advance Imagination Stage
- Savvy and smart with a sense of humor and a commitment to
team-based management and the engagement and involvement of
- Desire to work in a fast-paced, open-office environment with
regular interaction with many stakeholders
- Must have a sophisticated understanding of the tools of
fundraising and community partnerships
- Demonstrated commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and
access and an appetite for imbuing these values into development
Education and Experience
- Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience, and a minimum of
5-8 years of front-line development and/or community relations
experience in a nonprofit arts organization
- Successful track record of cultivating, soliciting and
stewarding five and six-figure gifts.
- Supervisory experience is preferred.
- Experience working directly with members of a governing board
- Background in the arts, youth development, education or as an
arts consumer is preferable.
- Experience with the greater Washington DC philanthropic
community a plus
- Knowledge of contact management systems, databases, research or
other donor relations tools, preferably Tessitura, is
Compensation and Benefits
- Annual Salary starting at $90,000, with significant opportunity
for advancement as portfolio grows
- Health Insurance
- Paid Time Off
- Transit/Parking benefit
- Free and reduced priced tickets, classes, and summer camps
Imagination Stage celebrates diversity, is committed to
creating an inclusive workplace that values members of our whole
community and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do
not tolerate discrimination against applicants or employees on the
basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age,
sexual orientation, disability, citizenship, or any other
characteristic protected by law. Imagination Stage is dedicated to
considering a broad array of candidates, including those with
diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. We encourage
applicants of all backgrounds and identities to apply for roles
that align with their interests and career trajectory. If you meet
a majority of the qualifications and see yourself in this role, we
would love to see your application. Candidates from all backgrounds
are strongly encouraged to apply.