New York

Director of Development, National Black Theatre

The Organization

Core Values Statement: Since its founding in 1968, National Black Theatre (NBT) has continuously served as a hub for the next generation of Black theatre artists by providing training, creative development and opportunities to showcase their work. Over its history, NBT has maintained its strong commitment to helping to bring new underrepresented voices to the forefront that provide fresh, diverse perspectives on critical issues of equity and social justice. NBT produces transformational and dialogue-generating theatre that successfully shifts inaccuracies around African Americans’ cultural identity by telling authentic, intersectional stories of Black life. In 2020, NBT began a major building redevelopment project that will enable it to sustain and grow its mission exponentially.

Position Overview

Job Summary: The Development Director will join NBT’s team at a critical moment in its history, and will be responsible for conceptualizing and executing a comprehensive fundraising plan for contributed income that supports its growth, which is estimated to take NBT from a $1.7M annual operating budget to $3.4M over the next four years. Three top priorities will be: creating a strategy to cultivate and steward a pipeline of individual donors, reinvigorating NBT’s board of directors, and rounding out the funding for the capital campaign leading up to the opening of NBT’s new home in 2025 (approximately three-quarters of the ~$40M capital budget has been raised). This is a new position, with the opportunity to shape NBT’s development approach and to extend its artistic reach for years to come. It will require equal parts creativity – particularly while NBT is in an itinerant phase – ingenuity and persistence.

This is a full time role exempt from overtime, reporting to the CEO. The salary range is $90,000-$100,000. Benefits include medical and dental insurance and generous PTO. This position is currently remote, but is expected to return to in-person by fall of 2021. NBT is open to candidates who are not based in New York City, provided they can be on site for donor meetings, events and performances as needed.

The responsibilities of the Development Director include but are not limited to:

Planning & Strategy: Work with the CEO, COO and Executive Artistic Director to create a holistic, multi-year strategic fundraising plan that maps the goals for sustaining and growing the organization’s portfolio of contributed income streams through government, foundation, and corporate and individual funding and/or sponsorships; and to ensure that these strategies dovetail with approaches to and goals for earned income.

  • Create and execute fundraising plans that help grow NBT’s individual donor base through identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Develop plan for major gift programs, donor-advised gifts, annual fundraising events and campaigns, and special funding via direct mail and digital giving
  • Work with NBT’s external fundraising consultants to grow and manage pipeline of institutional (foundation and corporate) funders
  • Work with COO to support relationships with and grow base of government/public funders
  • Develop strategies with NBT’s PR consultants to expand institutional/brand awareness through donation programs and opportunities, community relations, speaking engagements, awards applications, etc.
  • Work with the Finance team to manage the annual development budget and strategize  which projects and line items to target for fundraising appeals

Capital Campaign

  • Create and execute a 2-3 year capital campaign plan that fills the gap to cover the soft and hard costs of NBT’s new home on its historic location at Fifth Avenue and 125th Street
  • Work with the COO to identify sponsorships and other dedicated funding opportunities to support the redevelopment of NBT’s new building


  • Plan both recurring and one-time events  – in-person and digital – that intersect with NBT’s programming, to engage existing and potential donors
  • Coordinate with NBT’s artistic/production team to connect and engage current and potential donors with NBT’s work such as reading series and other partnerships

Board Development

  • Work with NBT’s CEO and Board Chair to create a plan for growing and leveraging NBT’s Board of Directors
  • Serve as a key liaison to the Board, keeping them informed and engaged on a number of fronts including the cultivation of new donors and Board members; act as key point of contact for the Development Committee

Systems & Cross-collaboration

  • Work with the COO and Operations Manager to select, design and adopt a new CRM tool to track contributions and communications with donors of all types as well as integrate with systems that capture ticket purchases, event rentals, volunteers and more
  • Maximize the CRM to create monthly, quarterly and annual reports tracking the financial results of fundraising activities for review by the Finance and Senior Leadership Teams
  • Work with finance staff to generate timely, accurate reports on fundraising goals and progress toward them
  • Oversee the gathering of information and materials for grant proposals, reports and updates, and ensure grant compliance and delivery of expected grant outcomes
  • Create office systems to support all development projects and operations, including routine reporting to funders as required
  • Work with NBT’s external fundraising and PR consultants and in-house marketing staff  to tailor collateral and communications campaigns to current and prospective donors, utilizing tools like NBT’s e-blasts/newsletters, website, and social media

Team Management

  • Supervise NBT’s Development Coordinator as a coach and mentor, creating opportunities for professional growth
  • Manage NBT’s external development consultant, Latz & Co.
  • Build out the development team as appropriate
  • Oversee routine development team processes such as:
    • Prospect research
    • Smooth transactions
    • Timely acknowledgement letters
    • Development calendar of donor events and touchpoints

Ideal Qualifications: In this inaugural position, NBT is looking for someone who can seamlessly toggle between the forest and the trees; setting a vision and long-term approach to fundraising while also setting and reaching tactical, practical benchmarks. Competitive candidates will bring seven-plus years of progressive experience in development including significant time maintaining productive working relationships with board members, donors, and community members directly as well as concrete examples of successful work on capital campaigns in the $10M+ range. Other preferred background and skills include:

  • Deep appreciation for the mission of National Black Theatre
  • Knowledge of and experience in the national performing and urban arts landscape
  • Demonstrated ability to build, cultivate and sustain relationships over time, and ideally to have transitioned key relationship management
  • Experience adopting a CRM, creating dashboards and running reports to fully leverage donor databases
  • Demonstrated experience conceptualizing, executing and adapting lessons learned from fundraising events
  • Solid understanding of budgeting principles
  • Adeptness for project and people management and demonstrated investment in the professional development of team members
  • Strong planning and organizational abilities
  • Excellent persuasive writing and editing skills, as well as a keen attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and interpersonal skills
  • Comfort and confidence talking about and asking for money
  • Excellent computer skills including proficiencies in Microsoft Office Suite and  Google Suite

How To Apply

Please submit a resume, references and cover letter to listing “Development Director” in the subject line

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