Hiring: Development Director

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Applicants for Live Arts Development Director should email a cover letter and resume to Executive Director Anne Hunter at anne@livearts.org by Friday, February 19, 2021. Review of applications will begin immediately. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom. The position becomes available March 15, 2021 and will remain open until filled.

Live Arts is an equal opportunity employer. BIPOC candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.


Powered by more than 1,200 volunteers, Live Arts has become a national model for engaged community theater. For three decades, we have dedicated ourselves to the mission of “forging theater and community.” Our engagement in the communities runs deep, and the caliber of our volunteer-staged productions rivals that of professional theaters. We are known for fearless, wide-ranging programming of high aesthetic value that attracts participants and audiences from across Central Virginia. 

We are the anchor tenant in a four-story performance space in the heart of downtown Charlottesville. While the building has been closed to the public during the pandemic, we continued to produce online theater and workshops.  As we prepare to launch a hybrid season in fall 2021 under a new artistic director, we are seeking a development director to build our fundraising capacity in an era that will be more reliant on contributed income.


With support from the executive director, artistic director, staff, and the Board of Directors, the development director is responsible for planning and executing Live Arts’ year-round fundraising program, including major gifts, individual giving, sponsorships, and planned giving.

The development director reports to the executive director and manages a contract grant writer and volunteer event chairs. Marketing support is provided by the marketing coordinator. Administrative, donor recognition, and data entry support is shared among several staff members.

Development Planning & Infrastructure

  • Create a strategic, data-driven development plan that leverages Live Arts existing donor base, expands its base of charitable support, and builds a culture of philanthropy within the organization.
  • Build the scaffolding for an expanded, sustainable, organization-wide development program.

Major Gifts

  • Working closely with the executive director, create a major donor plan that addresses prospect qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Strategically match donor interests with institutional priorities, develop funding proposals, and structure major gifts.
  • Prepare briefings, stewardship plans, and other correspondence for prospects, collaborating as necessary with the executive director. Solicit an annual gift from each prospect, while appropriately advising major/planned gift discussions.
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of Live Arts’ fundraising priorities, including mainstage productions, education programs, DEI initiatives, and the development of new works.

Annual Giving

  • Create an annual fund plan based on donor giving patterns and capacity. Include annual goals for personal outreach and giving outcomes.
  • Implement annual giving campaigns to reach and exceed annual targets while strengthening donor relations.
  • Enlist staff, Board and volunteers to make donor thank you calls within days of every gift.


  • Revamp the sponsorship program to be less transactional and more relationship-based. Develop strong relationships with sponsors to engage with the Live Arts programs.
  • Identify the unique sponsorship opportunities in each season—including plays, education programs, financial aid, spaces, pay-what-you-can programs, and DEI initiatives.
  • With support from the marketing coordinator, develop a clear, compelling sponsorship proposal that can be customized to each prospective sponsor.
  • Meet the sponsorship goal by identifying sponsor prospects, presenting a custom proposal, securing the sponsorship, and stewarding the relationship throughout the year.
  • Work with marketing coordinator to ensure proper sponsor recognition and ad placement in traditional and electronic marketing materials.

Event and Volunteer Management

  • Work with the artistic director to design and produce fundraising events that reflect Live Arts’ wildly inventive brand, engage volunteers in fun and meaningful ways, and contribute substantially to the bottom line.
  • Recruit volunteer chairs and committees for each event.
  • Work closely with each event committee to plan and execute the event and meet the fundraising target.

Prospect Reporting & Monitoring

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward prospects in the pool.
  • Work with staff to ensure the timely recording and recognition of donor gifts.
  • Monitor prospect involvement at Live Arts via Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
  • Follow best practices set by the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) and informed by DEI values in donor relations policies and practices.

Grant Management

  • Manage the work of the contract grant writer charged with researching grant opportunities, writing applications, securing grants, cultivating relationships with granting organizations, and writing final reports.


Attributes & Skills

  • A team player with a strong track record of securing significant gifts and philanthropic commitments at increasing levels.
  • High emotional intelligence and an ability to build trusting relationships. Adept at managing complex relationships, preferably in an arts setting.
  • A demonstrated ability to work well under pressure, successfully manage multiple projects, meet deadlines, and adapt to changing priorities and needs.
  • A goal-oriented, strategic thinker with strong organization skills.
  • An appreciation for Live Arts’ mission, eclectic programming, and legacy as a volunteer-powered community theater.
  • An abiding commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Live Arts and in the community.
  • Experience with capital campaigns.
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce CRM preferred
  • Volunteer management experience helpful

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • At least five years of professional fundraising experience
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Budget and/or financial management experience
  • Computer competency, including Microsoft Office and Google Docs
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends, as needed


This is a three-quarter time, exempt position. The salary range is $40,000-50,000, based on experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, complimentary tickets, and subsidized parking.


To be considered for this position, please attach a current resume and a cover letter of no more than two pages outlining your experience and desire to be considered for this position.

Materials and inquiries should be directed to ​anne@livearts.org by February 19, 2021. 

Review of applications will begin immediately. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom. The position becomes available March 15, 2021 and will remain open until filled.

Live Arts is an equal opportunity employer. BIPOC candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.