North Carolina Theatre (NCT) seeks a Director of Development. This is a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in one of the largest producing theatre companies in the southeast, located in North Carolina’s Triangle Region. Our diverse, beautiful, and thriving region makes multiple “Top Ten” published lists each year, including Best Places to Live, Best Cities for Young Professionals, Hottest Real Estate Markets, Best Cities for Black Families to Live, and Best Quality of Life. This position is envisioned to be compensated in the $80-$90k annual salary range with excellent benefits.
NCT affirms its principles of equity and inclusion, zero-tolerance towards racism, and the position that it is the responsibility of an arts organization to inspire a better world. NCT stands in solidarity with its community and pledges to fight injustice, inequity, and inhumanity. NCT asserts that hiring practices can especially hurt and reduce the opportunity for people of color, people from working-class backgrounds, women, and LGBTQ+ people. As it stands with these communities, who are a part of NCT and are strong contributors to its work, NCT encourages people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities to apply.
Of special note: NCT acknowledges that it is engaging in a search to fill a key position in a time of great struggle. We send strength to artists, artisans, arts administrators, and arts/community educators and organizers who identify as members of marginalized American communities who are living not just with the actions of our time but also with their inherent implications and revelations – which are intertwined with fear, identity, emergence, heritage, and access to justice, personal safety and wellness. North Carolina Theatre board and staff recognize the added suffering that exists for so many who are barred access from unearned assets that are enjoyed/wielded by others. We intend as an arts organization to join with others to dissolve this injustice and these inequities.
Organization and Opportunity: Located in Raleigh, NC in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, NCT is a 37-year-old professional nonprofit producing theatre company. Within a clear organizational vision of diversity, equity & inclusion established in 2017, programs include mainstage musicals and plays featuring a blend of Broadway and local talent; and engagement and education programs including theatre training, in-school programs, audience enrichment programs, and community partnerships.
Producing large-scale musicals and intimate plays for a single ticket and subscriber audience that had been reaching 60,000 annually, NCT is evolving as it faces Covid-19 and social change. We are interrogating our history, decisions, and future business model. This is hard, uncomfortable, necessary work. Activated by crisis, the company will emerge post-Covid focused, efficient, and effective.
In the face of a total shutdown of professional theatre, NCT has begun to express an evolved identity through its actions. Examples include:
- We are increasing accessibility by producing content that examines the core purpose of theatre and broadens who experiences it, as well as how it is created;
- We are deepening community service by opening up our shop to costumers making face masks with the hopes of providing safety to the vulnerable.
- We are focusing on increasing relevance by tackling how we can create art that acknowledges a changing world and imagining processes that drives partnership, inclusivity, and sustainability.
- Where we feel the pressure of fear about an evolving arts/entertainment sphere where digital could subsume live performance, or where “out of sight out of mind” interaction with patrons may slow their return to live events, at NCT we are not focusing on returning audiences at all cost. We are focusing on evolving our audiences and meeting them where they are. We are improving our community engagement work (not simply improving audience enrichment programs) such that our organization moves along the path toward transformational engagement and our invested stakeholders better reflect the cultural and demographic mix of North Carolina.
- Our first return to in-person live performance is planned for a small audience in July – with the exquisite music of Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World. This show will also be our first hybrid: it will be live but also streamed digitally. This piece especially acknowledges the humanity of facing change and taking steps forward into uncertainty with courage.
In these and other ways, we are planning a compassionate ascent – a response we feel is appropriate given the terrible losses and sweeping changes of this dynamic time. This approach, however, is not without risk. The person who takes this position will be aligned with this point-of-view and will understand how to use it as a foundation from which to build success for our community…excitement, anticipation, and ultimately an investment in NCT. As the leader of NCT’s fundraising efforts, there is a great opportunity for the person who takes on this role to become a critical connector between those who seek to invest in the healing and uplifting of our post-Covid world and a nonprofit theatre company engaged directly in this complex and deeply rewarding work.
Job duties: The Director of Development will have the primary responsibility of growing annual contributed income to at least $2M annually in support of NCT and its youth Conservatory’s artistic mission, vision, and growth through creating, articulating, and executing strategic fundraising plans that involve direct solicitation of major gifts,
sponsorships, grants, and annual fund. The Director will have short-term goals that activate donors virtually while NCT weathers the Covid crisis and presents limited live mainstage programming. The Director will match donor intent to NCT’s emergence as a professional producing theatre company that celebrates diversity and education. Long-term, the position will grow contributed revenue through increasing donor acquisition, converting ticket buyers to donors, and retaining and increasing gift levels using all possible strategies to drive this growth. This includes envisioning and executing best-in-class donor stewardship for individual, government, corporate, special events and foundation giving, managing staff, growing authentic and rich relationships with patrons and donors, and acting as staff liaison to the Development Committee of the Board.
Reporting to the President & CEO, and with artistic/mission oversight by the Producing Artistic Director, this position leads a team in the achievement of goals in an environment with a 37-year history but some Covid-era “startup” feel to it. The person who takes this position will roll up their sleeves and dive in, making sure tactics are executed. This person must be comfortable as a strategist, coordinator, collaborator, and implementer. The position requires weekend and evening hours, as donor cultivation occurs frequently at events in the community that the Director is expected to attend and at NCT events, including shows. The successful candidate will have a strong interest in building up and maintaining a recognizable presence in the philanthropic community, and in communities where NCT is establishing partnerships. With care toward balanced work hours and schedules, during production weeks for mainstage and Conservatory shows, the Director of Development attends shows and cultivates donors, community partners, artists, families, and patrons, with hours occasionally going late into the evening. This
intense work is matched by a family-friendly work environment, the rewards of working closely with artistry, and flexibility in workspace and hours to allow our hard-working team to be productive and happy.
DE&I strategy: Our vision, called All In (established in 2017), has been to serve a stakeholder base that mirrors the diverse demographic mix of the region where professional theatre brings people together. We plan to accomplish this through specific tactics and practices and achieve it by 2030. NCT’s engagement with the demands, celebrations, and truths surfaced by the Black Lives Matter movement has helped us further evolve this goal. Community benefits have surfaced for us, which now frame the decisions we make across our organization. Learn more about this DE&I vision by visiting our website under About Us.
NCT sees high-quality theatrical arts and entertainment as a unique tool to build empathy and unity in society. We do not shy away from commercially viable musical titles and training (these have defined NCT for many years) however we firmly assert that inclusivity is critical in driving success.
Qualifications and Instructions to Apply:
The preferred candidate will have the following qualifications:
- A deep passion for and understanding of professional theatre, regionally produced performing arts and arts education.
- Ten or more years of experience raising money for nonprofit organizations with $3M+ organizational budgets, with clear examples of successful solicitation of major gifts.
- A record of principled action regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a clearly articulated vision of a world where there is abundance and adequate care for all people.
- Strong understanding of and engagement with industry peers in acknowledging and undoing systematic and implicit biases in the nonprofit sector, especially in the fundraising arena.
- An evangelist for transparency in fundraising and how funds are distributed in the organization.
- A track record of success in raising funds to support initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- As a positive person focused on the betterment of society, the successful candidate will have strong communications and diplomatic skills, an ability to hold to NCT values while also working effectively with a wide range of people – both internally and externally – naturally seeing points of positivity, compassion, and unity even when working with differing points-of-view.
- A strong desire to help people realize a positive lifelong impact through giving of their resources through philanthropy.
- An excellent writer – able to communicate meaningfully about the value propositions of NCT in writing on various platforms, from clear grant writing and foundation cover letters, to digital outreach to donors, to personalized outreach to donors and NCT community partners. This especially pertains to being able to discern what stakeholders are yearning to comprehend about NCT and answer specifically – and knowing when to go further to provide enrichment and “ah-ha!” experiences for the reader (a “yes, and…!” mentality that is inherent in the lexicon and culture of the art).
- An excellent listener– especially good at understanding the complex layers of values, lived experiences, hopes, and fears that are inherent in any person or organization – layers that are especially at play when people are considering a donation of funds.
- A commitment to cultivating donor and patron loyalty and a strong, analytical ability to segment lists and create thoughtful strategies at each level of giving.
- An ability to uplift, activate, and become embedded in the relationships-oriented culture of Southern arts audiences where welcoming, hospitality, one-on-one personalized interaction, and a sense of family and inclusion are highly valued.
- Desire to develop professionally, with a special interest in training that deals with accessibility, equity, tolerance, and anti-racism in the arts.
- NCT has invested in Blackbaud’s Razor’s Edge software. The successful candidate will lead staff to dig into the many opportunities this software presents, especially in activating wealth screening.
- A qualitative orientation with a track record of using data and analytics to help establish development tactics.
- An ability to work independently and also as a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside NC Theatre.
- Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s preferred.
NC Theatre embraces diversity and is committed to building a diverse staff to ensure the highest quality workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, nationality, or sex.
More information including a detailed job description is available at www.nctheatre.com. This is a full-time position with benefits, salary is competitive and contingent on experience and demonstrated skills. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, May 2, 2021.
No calls or other emails, please.
Note regarding the impact of Covid-19: NCT has experienced a reduction in staff due to Covid-19. This position is envisioned for a Spring 2021 start, immediately supporting carefully planned but also adaptable 2021 programs. As we emerge from this crisis, there will be an entrepreneurial feel to the work, and we cannot at this time predict what that will be like. In considering applying for this position, applicants must take into consideration the dynamic nature of the industry and NCT at this time. In facing this pandemic, there simply are no guarantees. Those of us working under this
pressure have adapted to maintaining “productive disequilibrium” where our work remains thoughtful and innovative, is delivered in a timely fashion, and can pivot when needed. We maintain a balanced response as best we can to levels of tension that have continued since March 2020 when this crisis began. We are passionate, we care deeply, and we love what we do together. We also see multiple opportunities ahead and have already taken great strides forward.