FirstWorks is a non-profit arts organization based in Providence, Rhode Island that enhances the vitality of our community through world-class performing arts and education programs. Celebrating our 15th anniversary season, FirstWorks is the only First Night festival in the country to become a year-round arts organization. FirstWorks’ annual season includes performances with artistic icons and ground-breaking innovators. We are the proud Founding Partner of PVDFest, the City of Providence’s signature cultural celebration that attracts 130,000 people. We also provide art education to over 4,000 K-12 students each year.
FirstWorks seeks a Director of Development (DoD) with an agile skillset and a commitment to FirstWorks’ mission. The DoD is a member of the senior management team with primary responsibility for corporate and individual giving. They connect donors, funders, sponsors and ticket-buyers to the organization through a variety of development strategies. The DoD must be an excellent writer, analytical thinker, and communicator capable of distilling information into a compelling case for the support of FirstWorks and working in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
Reporting to the Executive Artistic Director (EAD), the DoD will spearhead development efforts to achieve annual fundraising goals through the solicitation of gifts, grants and sponsorships. The DoD manages a portfolio of relationships with existing supporters and helps forge new relationships to build FirstWorks’ visibility, impact, and funding pipeline. They will contribute to all aspects of the organization's fundraising strategy including sponsorship, the Annual Fund campaign, and the Curator’s Circle, FirstWorks’ premium donor membership program. The position oversees the Development Team and liaises with the Board of Directors on fundraising initiatives.
This is a full-time position. Start Date: Fall, 2019
FirstWorks is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to a diverse workplace.
Responsible for meeting targets in annual fundraising, the DoD will actively work with the EAD and staff to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy:
Oversee development and execution of all proposals and reports, working closely with the Grant Manager and occasionally writing proposals
Conduct solicitations to secure gifts and sponsorships
Coordinate/create written communications and donor communications to consistently message FirstWorks’ value
Develop and steward ongoing relationships with major donors; coordinate a program for recognition, involvement and stewardship
Research, qualify, and cultivate potential funding sources, in collaboration with the team
Develop reports and reconcile with the FirstWorks Bookkeeper
Manage PVDFest sponsorship acquisition and fulfillment
Plan and manage the execution of cultivation events
Oversee development communications including direct mail, newsletters, web-site updates, PowerPoints, and collateral
Design and implement annual development plan
Execute FirstWorks’ annual fund campaigns, executing a strategy for expanding a sustained base of annual individual donors
Create and maintain the annual fundraising pyramid
Oversee research of funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position FirstWorks ahead of major funding changes or trends
Supervise maintenance of donor tracking data, utilizing FirstWorks CRM system
Manage Board Development Committee
Work with Development Team to ensure smooth day-to-day fundraising operations, data entry and gift processing
Ensure integration with financial system tracking system; oversee the creation and operations of effective program evaluation tools, dashboards and reports
Coordinate and manage Development Team and committees as assigned
Monitor budget targets and provide reports
Bachelor's degree required (Master’s degree preferred) with minimum 5 years of experience working with cultural nonprofits, including development and grant writing experience
Excellent writer, creative and strategic thinker with ability to clearly articulate organizational mission, programs, and present FirstWorks in a compelling and effective manner
Ability to represent the organization in donor conversations, and to identify and cultivate new donors
Entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, and a sense of humor
Ability to work independently and as part of a team; outstanding organizational skills, attention to detail, and initiative
Welcoming spokesperson: ability to generate enthusiasm for the organization, elicit cooperation, and get information over the phone, via email, and in person
Facile knowledge/user of software applications (i.e., word processing, spreadsheets, email, search engines, prospect research tools; databases), familiarity with SalesForce/Patron Manager a plus
Familiarity with issues related to arts and education trends; understanding of and belief in FirstWorks’ mission
To apply, please send a current resume, cover letter, writing sample, and sample project management document to email@example.com.
FirstWorks brings exceptional world-class performing arts experiences to Rhode Island, impacting the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of the community. Launched in 2004, as a turn-around of First Night Providence, FirstWorks has since produced 23 groundbreaking arts festivals and programs that attracted more than 175,000 participants, and presented over 60 premiere performances.
FirstWorks has offered Rhode Islanders unprecedented access to some of the most exciting artists of this time, including Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Wynton Marsalis, Joffrey Ballet, and international masters from the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
The FirstWorks Arts Learning Program works with over 30 public and charter schools across Rhode Island to provide students, particularly those from underserved communities, direct connection with world-class performing artists and creative thinkers.
The “festival’ concept is built into every FirstWorks performance, from pre-show student showcases, artist-up-close conversations, and other ways to engage the audience and build a sense of community.