For the past 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and model for theatre companies in the United States and around the world. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, the Steppenwolf ensemble has grown to 48 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of award-winning actors, directors and playwrights. With a reputation for acting brilliance and a commitment to producing the best new American playwrights, Steppenwolf has inspired generations of theatre audiences and has long been a benchmark for theatre excellence.
Recognizing that the ensemble is Steppenwolf’s most singular asset, Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director David Schmitz, have established institutional priorities that are rooted in increasing ensemble participation and working with younger artists with a diversity of voice. They are leading a bold vision to transform the traditional theatre experience, enhancing the role that Steppenwolf plays in the lives of its artists, its audience and our Chicago community.
In support of this vision, Steppenwolf is undertaking a $75 million multi-phase facilities expansion and renovation that will be funded through a $65 million capital campaign, of which $27 million has already been committed, and the sale of an asset that is expected to produce $10 million in capital. The first phase of the expansion opened in June 2016 with the multi-genre performance series, LookOut, in the 1700 Theatre, Steppenwolf’s new 80-seat cabaret style theater, and its new café & bar, Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, a creative space to meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night.
The next phases will create a new Center for Theatre Arts and Education, a signature architectural destination for the city with a 400-seat in-the-round theatre and an education and rehearsal floor providing dedicated space for Steppenwolf’s extensive education and artistic development programs, and renovations to its current 500-seat theater that addresses artist and audience upgrades after 25-years of usage. This facilities expansion, driven by programmatic need, will allow Steppenwolf to advance its artistic vision into the future.
Steppenwolf reaches 200,000 audience members annually and produces a seven-play main stage series devoted to the work of its ensemble that is in the majority comprised of new plays. In addition, Steppenwolf is the only major Chicago theatre creating professional plays specifically for high school youth attended by 15,000 students and families from schools and communities across the Chicagoland area. Steppenwolf is governed by a 60-member Board of Trustees and annually employs 158 staff (96 full-time, 62 part-time) and more than 500 actors, designers, and technicians. The annual operating budget for 2016/17 is $17 million with a strong and growing foundation of $7.5 million coming from contributed income.
Position and Responsibilities
The Director of Development oversees all aspects of fundraising activity for Steppenwolf and plays an active role in donor cultivation and solicitation. Reporting to the Executive Director, serving as a member of Steppenwolf’s senior management team and working closely with the Board of Trustees, the Director of Development leads a sophisticated team of twelve full-time staff, including four senior development professionals, which creates and executes programs to meet the institutions goals for contributed income.
Working with a committed, prestigious Board of Trustees and the professional staff, the Director of Development oversees philanthropic support from all sectors of the giving public with an emphasis on individuals capable of making major gifts.
The Director of Development assesses how best to optimize the involvement, participation and financial support of current and prospective donors through strategically conceived fundraising efforts. He or she provides guidance and leadership to ensure that those efforts achieve the best-practice standards.
· Maintain ultimate responsibility for the achievement of contributed income goals for annual operations and capital campaigns.
· Actively participate in the cultivation and solicitation of major donors for both annual and capital campaign gifts and manage a portfolio of major donors and prospects.
· Coordinate strategies for major gift solicitations to be undertaken by Steppenwolf’s executive leadership, Board of Trustees, volunteers or development staff.
· Effectively articulate Steppenwolf’s current and future plans and needs to volunteer leaders and major prospects.
· Publicly represent Steppenwolf in the philanthropic community.
· Direct and evaluate the effectiveness of all fundraising programs.
· Develop an integrated strategic and operational plan for the growth of Steppenwolf’s fundraising effort with the development team, to be shared and reviewed with executive leadership.
· Work with executive leadership to motivate and strengthen the Board of Trustees’ involvement with Steppenwolf.
· Coordinate the strategies developed with executive leadership and the Board Development Committee for the recruitment of key candidates to the Board of Trustees.
· Represent a contextual understanding of the role of fundraising in the overall Steppenwolf operations with senior management.
· Foster collegial relations among the development department and other departments to integrate and maximize fundraising opportunities and procedures across Steppenwolf.
· Direct the preparation of all budgets for development functions and ensure the optimal return on investment for all fundraising activities.
· Work with executive leadership, the Board of Trustees and senior development staff on the recruitment of key volunteers for fundraising activities.
· Work with executive leadership to manage the governance activities of the Board of Trustees and to coordinate Board meetings, committees and communications to keep the Board informed and involved.
· Oversee a process of donor prospect clearing and creating strategic approaches to prospects within the development department.
· Establish effective procedures for goal setting and evaluation that encourages development staff to stretch their talents, meet fundraising goals and be recognized for their accomplishments.
The successful candidate will be an innovative and forward-thinking development professional with exceptional interpersonal skills and a high degree of professionalism and integrity. They will be a compelling, persuasive leader with the ability to move a team forward—direct reports, executive leadership and volunteers—by inspiring and motivating people with creativity and energy.
They will be a person with a track record of successful major gift fundraising combined with both a comprehensive knowledge of Chicago philanthropy and experience managing a development function.
The ideal candidate will be a resourceful, results-oriented leader with the ability to think strategically, generate new ideas and set priorities. They will have a passion for getting things done, for not only creating but for executing and evaluating a plan of action while not losing sight of the big picture, with the flexibility to welcome and embrace change, and the ability to balance many challenges inherent in an active and lively theatre environment. They also will be a skilled manager and an effective delegator who can build on group dynamics and set high expectations with the development team.
The following qualifications are required:
· A comprehensive understanding of Chicago philanthropy.
· At least ten years of increasingly responsible and successful experience in development with a proven track record in major gift fundraising.
· At least five years of progressively responsible and successful experience in managing, mentoring and motivating staff, and the ability to inspire staff toward accomplishing common objectives.
· Experience in one or more capital campaigns at a level beyond front-line fundraising, such as campaign planning or management, or leadership of a featured component of a campaign.
· Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills – characterized by the ability to listen, to speak, and to write well – with a strong commitment to donor-centered service.
· Ability to articulate the role of the arts in the community and has a knowledge of theatre in Chicago.
· Experience with Tessitura a plus.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company, recognized as a Top Small Workplace by The Wall Street Journal, is where great acting meets big ideas. The theatre’s passion is to tell stories about how we live now; its mission is to engage audiences in an exchange of ideas that makes people think harder, laugh longer, feel more. The theatre celebrates and honors the core values of ensemble, innovation and citizenship. Steppenwolf has a commitment to diversity and equity, and the organization has a focus on diversifying the artists, audiences, staff and board who make Steppenwolf great.
As a not for profit, ensemble-based theatre company operating in the city of Chicago, the company’s activities include a wide range of artistic programs including a mainstage series, new play development, national and international tours, Steppenwolf for Young Adults play series, multi-genre performance series and visiting companies, professional leadership programs, educational programs, and new play commissions and workshops. Steppenwolf seeks to engage its community in a spirited dialogue around today’s issues in a welcoming environment. The company owns five different facilities housing its three theaters, production facilities, offices and other support facilities.
Compensation is competitive with prevailing compensation for similar positions within the non-profit performing arts industry. Excellent benefit package offered, including medical and dental insurance, vision, short-term and long-term disability insurance, vacation pay, paid sick leave, and 401(k) matching retirement program.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We are interested in receiving candidates from a broad spectrum of people, including women and people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
How to apply: Interested and qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume by August 4, 2017 to:David SchmitzExecutive DirectorEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Please list Director of Development and your last name in the subject line of your e-mail. Please note in your email where you found out about this job.NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE
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