The Manager of Individual Giving is responsible for creating and managing a comprehensive program to identify, cultivate and solicit individual donors who will deeply engage with and invest in Victory Gardens’ artistic initiatives. This staff position is a key member of the development team and reports directly to the Managing Director and additionally works closely with the artistic director and the board of trustees. Additionally, this person will engage with members of the artistic staff to interpret new works in ways that will resonate strongly with audiences and donors. This position oversees the Individual Sponsorship program, Playwrights Society donor group, and the annual fund, and works with the Development associate to execute related work.
The responsibilities of the Manager of Individual Giving:
• Develop and execute a strategic plan for major gifts from current and prospective donors that achieves the contributed income goals for unrestricted, special project and new initiative gifts.
• Oversee, and with the Development Associate, execute the Individual Sponsorship, Playwrights Society premiere giving, and annual fund programs.
• Collaborate with the board of trustees, artistic director, managing director and create development strategies that will support long-term plans to realize special, strategic initiatives.
• Manage the cultivation and solicitation of individual and major gift prospects to be undertaken by trustees and staff leadership.
• Personally carry a portfolio of individual and major gift prospects, coordinating the involvement of trustees and senior staff leadership in the cultivation and solicitation process, and actively soliciting them as appropriate.
• Identify and research prospects, develop strategies for solicitation and prepare briefing profiles on targeted prospects.
• Develop relationships and maintain ongoing contact with individual donors and prospects; and work collaboratively with artists, staff and volunteers to build and enhance these relationships.
• Develop and execute cultivation and stewardship events for major donors.
• Playwrights Society members, and annual donors, including organizing the logistics with the artistic department and events area.
• Oversee donor recognition and benefit fulfillment throughout the season.
• Manage the database program for tracking major donor and prospect activity.
• Work with staff to generate and utilize effective reports in order to identify, segment and solicit current and prospective major gifts donors, in addition to monitoring ongoing progress against established goals. Develop strategies to grow Individual Donors into Playwrights Society members ($1,000+) and Major Gift Donors ($5,000+).
• Maintain progress reports and oversee expense budgets for major gift campaigns.
• Produce solicitation materials and prepare needed correspondence and proposals. With the Development Associate, ensure accurate recording of all gifts, acknowledgement letters, etc.
• Serve as a key leader in the development department, offering strategic advice and counsel to the theater’s leadership on strategic plans and fundraising initiatives designed to support them.
• Be a vocal, articulate and professional advocate for the theater at special events, external functions and on boards and committees as needed. Work with Development Associate to lead an integrated, multi-channeled Annual Fund Campaign that solicits and renews gifts (<1,000) and grows base of Individual supporters. (Mail, Digital, Add-on Gifts, Audience Outreach/Tele-fund).
• Provide on-going analysis of all related campaigns, and develop strategy adjustments accordingly.
• Provide support to the annual Gala benefit and other related activities, as needed.
Donor Services and General Department Operations:
• Supervise Development Associate in processing and acknowledging of all gifts to Victory Gardens.
• Manage department’s reporting needs.
• Serve as supervisor and mentor to the Development Department intern.
• Two years fundraising experience and familiarity with a multi-tiered individual giving program.
• Ability to think strategically and develop annual and multi-year giving strategies.
• A high degree of initiative, confidence and energy to achieve or exceed goals, meet deadlines and manage multiple projects.
• Experience with donor/ticketing databases.
• Effective communication with supervisors on the status and priority of assignments.
• A passion for the arts and experience.
• Demonstrated knowledge of Chicago community a plus.
Compensation will be commensurate with qualification and experience, and is competitive with prevailing compensation for similar positions within the non-profit performing arts industry. Excellent benefits package offered, including medical and dental insurance, vacation pay, and paid sick leave.
Victory Gardens Theater is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through quality productions of challenging new plays and musicals.
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