About Us

Job title

Director of Development

Reports to

Executive Director  

Job type

Salaried, Exempt

Job purpose

Reporting to the Executive Director and collaborating with Board leaders, the Director of Development heads the Development Department and leads all capital, endowment, cash reserve and annual campaign fundraising for The Pasadena Playhouse, State Theater of California. As The Playhouse reaches its centennial celebration in 2017, fundraising for an associated capital campaign will become a key focus area for the institution and the Director of Development.

Duties and responsibilities

Counted among the responsibilities of the Director of Development are to:

  • In collaboration with the Executive Director and other staff in the development department, define and continually upgrade a systematic fundraising plan that addresses the needs and concerns of each prospective donor, segmented by type (individual, business, foundation, nonprofit), level (subscription levels, various major gift levels, planned giving), and fund (capital, annual operating, and restricted for specific purposes, including education initiatives, programming, cash reserve and endowment);
  • Engage in direct donor solicitations.  As appropriate, engage in solicitations with the support of other Playhouse staff, the Executive Director, the Artistic Director, and members of the Board.   This includes regularly identifying top prospects, identifying the best people to help pursue the prospects, and giving those people guidance and strategy they need to ensure the best possible outcome of a solicitation and the ongoing relationship with those prospects.  Aggressively implement a structured program for fostering strong relationships with targeted individual and institutional donor constituencies, involving where appropriate the Executive Director, Artistic Director, Board members, Playhouse personnel, artists and performers;
  • Work with the Executive Director to grow, recruit, retain and manage staff (and consultants when appropriate) with appropriate donor cultivation, sponsorship, individual giving and institutional giving skills and experiences; establish work plans, performance objectives, and goals for development staff members and regularly review performance, professional development and training to achieve goals; oversee the involvement, identification, training and support of key volunteers, Board members, community advisors and committees in the solicitation process;
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, Artistic Director and Long Range Planning Committee, define plans for the Centennial Campaign and other campaigns as appropriate; with the Executive Director establish work plans, performance objectives, and goals for campaigns. Participate in long-range strategic planning for the Playhouse as part of the senior management team - the department must be creative and responsive in crafting focused fundraising plans to raise adequate support for an increasingly ambitious artistic agenda;
  • Evaluate current processes and systems that support fundraising initiatives, donor recognition, and campaign management; ensure that information systems are scaled to need and are properly maintained and used, including a continued high-level use of the Patron Manager data management system.  Working with other senior staff to coordinate data across departments will be critical;
  • Provide primary support to Board Development Committee and Board Governance Committee; working with Executive Director, help to set governance policies and practices, and help attract and train new board members.
  • Assist in the development of materials that tell the Playhouse story to donors and individual prospects, ensuring that these materials are segmented and distributed in a targeted, regular, timely and consistent fashion;
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director, the financial staff of the Playhouse and key staff members of the development group in the preparation of annual operating plans and budgets, incorporating fundraising projections into the budget of the organization;
  • Advance a unified view of donors and potential donors that incorporates information on ticket-buying and giving habits for all Playhouse constituents, and share this view with other members of the management team. Strengthen the stewardship and donor recognition program for individual donors, with the objective of establishing life-long, planned giving and even intergenerational relationships between donors, their families and the Playhouse; establish long range institutional giving programs for national sponsorships, corporate gifts and regional sponsorships; develop annual special events that boost institutional and individual fundraising efforts;
  • Work with Director of Marketing and Communications to develop and implement basic guidelines for sponsorship that will preserve the integrity of the Playhouse brand and enhance its institutional identity as one of the leading performing arts venues in the country;
  • In conjunction with development staff, and the programming, production, education and marketing teams as appropriate, develop a comprehensive, strategic plan for all annual special events.
  • Thoroughly understand the Pasadena Playhouse – its history, culture, traditions, programs, performances, personalities, constituencies and governance structure; understand its base of financial support and the short and long-term funding requirements of all segments of the organization; master knowledge of the nature, scope and impact on the community of Playhouse performances and programs, as well as their funding requirements;
  • Learn about staff and board leaders that are (or can become) actively involved in fundraising and refine the roles of each; develop a strong relationship with the Executive Director, Artistic Director, various members of the Board, members of the senior staff, and with the staff in the development department.  Come to know each person’s strengths, as well as areas where their strengths may be complemented by the strengths of others; support others within the development group as they build on strengths that are already embedded within the organization;
  • Manages development department that ensures the organization can respond quickly, effectively, creatively and contextually to long term financial requirements, short term operating needs and to donor interests and opportunities. Long term cultivation of individual and institutional donors, ensuring that investment in fundraising infrastructure and events has a high return on investment, and capture and reuse of donor information, are important to the overall success of the fundraising effort.
  • Mentor and develop The Playhouse fundraising team. Delegating tasks, assign deadlines and workflows, and establishing open communication between team members for increased productivity.


The Director of Development is/has:

  • A mission-driven individual with a belief in and commitment to the mission of the Playhouse;
  • A strong interest in, and passion for, the performing arts and the diverse communities of Pasadena, Los Angeles, and the greater San Gabriel Valley, with a strong desire to enhance the reputation of the Playhouse on the national, even international arena while also passionate about the work the Playhouse does in our immediate communities;
  • A good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into a sound, well-organized plan;
  • A determined person who is also respectful of other’s concerns; someone with the flexibility and creativity needed to find alternative ways to reach funding objectives when barriers arise;
  • A charismatic communicator, able to build enthusiasm for the Playhouse, its performances and programs, and for innovative approaches that advance the reputation of the Playhouse as a performing arts leader in Southern California and on the national scene; exceptional verbal and written communication skills;
  • A hard worker with a high energy level; a “doer” with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of development and advancement activities;
  • A globally-minded, conscious citizen who desires to work in an environment dedicated to serving a diverse constituency through the arts;
  • Emotionally mature with a very good sense of humor and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.

Additional Considerations

Particular emphasis is placed on the Director’s experience in raising Capital, Endowment, Cash Reserve and Annual funds from individuals in the local region, including experience in leveraging the efforts of a strong leadership team and success in working with boards. This is a highly collaborative environment that focuses on results achieved through innovative thinking, focused action and open communication. Graceful communication, an ability to understand the needs and motives of donor-investors, and experience in structuring agreements that simultaneously fulfill the requirements of Playhouse and donors, are key elements of this position.

Working conditions

The work conditions for this job vary from office to special event and other public atmospheres.  

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical requirements


Direct reports

Major Gifts Officer

Events & Corporate Giving Manager

Development Associate

Grant Administrator / Grant Writer

Application Process

Compensation is commensurate with experience and ability. Start date is flexible.

The Pasadena Playhouse is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please email cover letter and resume to jobs@pasadenaplayhouse.org referencing “Director of Development” in the subject line.