The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Director of Development

Job Description

Overview of The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

The mission of the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (the Shakespeare Center) is to enrich personal growth, professional development, and inspire social change through excellent theatrical productions and model arts programs that are accessible to all, with a special emphasis on engaging chronically unemployed veterans and poverty threshold youth.  We bring a history of offering exemplary year-round programming including high quality Shakespeare productions with leading actors, directors, and theater arts professionals as well as innovative educational programs for children and youth.  Whether intended to reach inner-city youth, theatergoers, artists, or the general public, all of our programs support the concept of the life-changing potential of participation in live theater.  Our vision is to build community, play by play, across Los Angeles. 


Position Overview


The Shakespeare Center is seeking its first Director of Development who will report directly to the Founder and Artistic Director. This position is critical to the Shakespeare Center’s growth, as s/he will oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive development program that includes, annual giving composed of foundations, corporations, government grants, broad based individuals and major donors as well as a multi-year capital campaign that establishes a diverse income base and secondary location to ensure the Shakespeare Center’s long-term vitality and sustainability. With the support of the Artistic Director, the Director of Development will have primary responsibility for funding relationships and external communication efforts. S/he will be responsible for execution and evaluation of strategic fund development planning; donor research, cultivation, solicitation, and relations generally; grantsmanship; special events; and oversight of communications and public relations efforts. The ideal candidate has an entrepreneurial spirit and the enthusiasm to help build the capacity of the Shakespeare Center.


Specific Responsibilities


Ø  Fund Development Planning, Strategy, and Implementation

  • Planning and Strategy:  Work closely with the Artistic Director to establish and execute a multi-year fund development plan in alignment with the organizational strategic plan to support general operations, programs, and the capital campaign. The diversified fundraising plan will include goals and strategies for: major donors, individuals, planned giving, local and regional foundations, corporations, government grants and contracts, and earned income opportunities. 
  • Campaign Directorship: Design, implement, and continually track the progress of the multi-year capital campaign, in collaboration with the Artistic Director. Manage the day-to-day activities of the campaign. Collaborate with the Artistic Director, Board, and Campaign Leadership Committee to identify, cultivate, and solicit major campaign gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government grants.
  • Innovative and Effective Solicitation Methods: Including but not limited to annual fund, direct mail campaigns, membership levels, corporate sponsorship programs, in-kind and matching gifts opportunities and other revenue opportunities.  Develop and manage diverse and innovative ways of giving to encourage high-level gifts, including planned giving strategies, e-philanthropy and social networking methods, joint ventures and other public recognition methods.   Develop and manage strategies to garner sales of individual and corporate play memberships, individual and corporate play sponsors, and ticket subscriptions.
  • Donor Relations and Stewardship:  Conduct prospect research and implement cultivation strategies for all funding sources.  Establish and build relationships with individual donors, organizational funders, and potential community partners.   Manage donor acknowledgment and enhance donor relationships that deepen over time.
  • Grants Management: Supervise the Grants Consultant/Coordinator in the solicitation and research of foundation grants and government funding applications, funding reports, solicitation letters, and annual appeals. Produce financial reports and assessments.  Assist Artistic Director and the Board in developing new funding projects. Remain abreast of the Shakespeare Center programming developments, assessments, and administrative developments to ensure fulfillment of all funder conditions and requirements.
  • Events:  Design and implement cultivation and fundraising events; most notably the annual Simply Shakespeare benefit.


Ø Communications

  • Spokesperson:  In partnership with the Artistic Director, serve as a public representative and spokesperson for the Shakespeare Center with current and prospective major donors, foundations, corporations, and governmental representatives, as well as with community partners and other stakeholders.
  • National Exposure: Working with the Artistic Director, capitalize on the success of Simply Shakespeare and the organization’s programs to elicit national notoriety for the Shakespeare Center.
  • Materials:  Manage creation of collateral materials, organizational branding, and messaging. Create organizational newsletter for regular distribution.
  • Website:  Oversee management of the Shakespeare Center’s website to drive development and communications functions.
  • Public Relations:  Oversee ongoing and special project public relations efforts.


Ø Board of Directors and Volunteer Leadership

·         Coordination and Support:  Work in close partnership with the Board leadership and support for ongoing fundraising cultivation and solicitation efforts. Collaborate with the Artistic Director to develop and communicate with the Free Shakespeare Forever Campaign Leadership Committee and the Development Committee of the Board of Directors.

·         Accountability:  Work closely with the Director of Finance to track the status of each Board Member’s involvement with individual giving and fundraising.  Provide regular and comprehensive reports to Board on overall fundraising progress, challenges, and opportunities.

·         Board Training:  In close cooperation with the Artistic Director, guide further development of the Shakespeare Center’s active and engaged Board of Directors by planning fundraising and nonprofit education, mission activities, and an annual Board retreat.

·         Board Development:  Identify and assist in cultivating new Board members and orienting them to their fundraising and volunteer leadership roles.

·         Volunteer Development:  In conjunction with Board Members, Marketing and Program staff, develop and manage Volunteer Programs including young professionals committee, events committees, student/adult leadership committees.


Ø  Management

·         Budgeting:  Project and manage fund development budget.

·         Policy Development:  Develop fund development policies and procedures.

  • Donor Information:  Develop and manage a donor database and ensure it is current, accurate, and comprehensive. 
  • Professional Development:  Stay abreast of developments in the fields of fundraising and nonprofit administration.

·         Supervise staff including Marketing Manager and Grants Consultant/Coordinator


Qualifications & Requirements



  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of seven years of nonprofit and fundraising experience required, preferably as a fundraiser for organizations dedicated to the arts.
  • Capital campaign planning/prospecting/execution or significant major gifts experience required.
  • Leadership qualities are a primary requisite – must be able to conceive, plan, and lead the execution of the development strategy.
  • Thorough knowledge of theories and effective practices in donor acquisition and stewardship, personal solicitation, major donor programs, direct mail, social networking, online giving, planned giving, event management, grantsmanship, and public relations practices and techniques.
  • Ability to analyze and summarize complex financial documents required. Experience developing and managing budgets required.
  • Marketing and communications experience required.

Skills Required

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, and ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, to motivate, and to interact effectively with Board members, volunteers, the Shakespeare Center staff, and a wide variety of donors.
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work on multiple, simultaneous projects and meet critical deadlines.
  • Superior computer skills and proficiency in donor management systems. 
  • Strong investigatory skills and wide knowledge of prospect research resources.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to adapt to change quickly.
  • Sensitivity to cultural diversity, enthusiasm for the arts, and sincere belief in the life-changing opportunities of theater participation.


Job Details

  • Full-time
  • Senior staff position.
  • Salary range:  Commensurate with experience.
  • Medical benefits.
  • Must be able to work occasional evening and weekends.
  • Must have a reliable automobile for use on the job (mileage to be reimbursed), valid California Driver License, and State required insurance coverage.


Application Information

  • Please submit resume, cover letter, and salary history to Ben Donenberg, Artistic Director,