Assistant Director of Chairman’s Circle and Friends

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:



1400 K Street NW
Suite 500
United States


About Washington Performing Arts:

One of the most established and honored performing arts institutions in America, Washington

Performing Arts celebrated its 50th Anniversary in the 2016/17 season, building upon a distinguished

history of serving artists, audiences, students, and civic life. The city is truly our stage: in venues ranging

from concert halls and clubs to public parks, we present a tremendous range of artists and art forms,

from the most distinguished symphony orchestras to both renowned and emerging artists in classical

music, jazz, international genres, and dance.


Washington Performing Arts nourishes communities throughout the region by partnering with local

organizations and other arts institutions, staging concerts and arts activities in the neighborhoods,

involving internationally known main-stage performers in community programs, and presenting locally based artists to a wider audience. We place a premium on establishing artists as a continuing presence in the lives of both young people and adults through sustained residencies and educational programs.

Our achievements have been recognized with a National Medal of Arts and with two Mayor’s Arts Awards from the D.C. government. We embark upon our next half-century with the goals of expanding our commitment to excellence and rededicating ourselves to the motto of our founder, Patrick Hayes: “Everybody in, nobody out.”Washington Performing Arts’ employment decisions are made based on the business needs of the organization and qualifications of the applicants and employees.


Diversity Statement:

Washington Performing Arts prizes the diversity of the organization, at every level; from programmatic content to composition of its board and staff, and is continually striving to better diversify its staff. As such, Washington Performing Arts subscribes to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. In addition, the District of Columbia adds protection for marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, or political affiliation. Minorities, Women, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.




Position Summary/Purpose:

Washington Performing Arts is seeking a colleague to join a mature fundraising team in the newly- created role of Assistant Director of Chairman’s Circle and Friends in the Development Department. The ideal candidate will have creative mindset, be excited about the genres we present (all kinds of music from classical to gospel to world to jazz plus dance and interdisciplinary art forms), and have passion for the performing arts, in general. S/he will be highly fluent in advocating for the impact of performing arts on the mainstage and in the classrooms, and be able to use this knowledge and enthusiasm to build strong relationships and develop meaningful connections with donors and prospects.


The Assistant Director of Chairman’s Circle and Friends carries primary responsibility for managing the strategic growth and maintenance of Washington Performing Arts’ Annual Fund/Membership pipeline, consisted of devoted performing arts patrons, arts education advocates, and community outreach volunteers, through participation of the Chairman’s Circle (donors of $2,500 or more) and Friends (donors of $75 - $2,499) programs.


A self-motivated, externally-facing frontline fundraiser, this position will establish effective, strong working relationships with the Director of Individual Giving, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Washington Performing Arts President & CEO, senior staff, and development colleagues to identify, cultivate, and steward the above portfolio. The ideal candidate will possess an entrepreneurial spirit and carry great enthusiasm for sustaining and growing a robust annual fund program, with potential for growth, and be a creative, sophisticated and enthusiastic leader in crafting the programs and appeals to engage them fully in the life of the organization, supporting an overall annual departmental fundraising goal of $5 million.



Percentage: __65_%


The primary goal of Assistant Director of Chairman’s Circle and Friends is to expand the individual donor support base of Washington Performing Arts in active support of the organization’s mission and programs. This role complements and amplifies the strength of our fundraising team by effectively promoting our artistic, educational, and community initiatives and matching them with donor’s and prospect’s interest. S/he will:


·        In consultation with the Director of Individual Giving and Chief Philanthropy Officer, build cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of approximately 100 Chairman’s Circle donors and prospects

·        In consultation with the Director of Individual Giving and Development Manager and Analyst, carries primary responsibility for the cultivation, solicitation/renewal, and stewardship of all Friends-program donors

·        Develop strategies and robust communications plan to cultivate and solicit donors and prospects, using the Tessitura database to track, document, and report on all activities

·        Provide support in managing the portfolios and solicitation activities of others that cultivate and solicit Chairman’s Circle and Friends donors including the President & CEO, Chairman, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Director of Individual Giving, and select Board members through guiding strategy and furnishing/stimulating appeals

·        Collaborate with the Development Manager and Analyst to use the data and develop data-driven goals and tactics for strategic growth of both the Chairman’s Circle and Friends portfolios, with a targeted focus on acquisition, retention, upgrades, and recapture of lapsed donors

·        Plan, coordinate, and implement effective and timely direct mail and e-campaigns in collaboration with External Relations team

·        As primary liaison to the Women’s Committee, a group of active volunteers, for membership and giving initiatives, collaborate with Director of Individual Giving, Chief Philanthropy Officer, and the President & CEO to engage the Women’s Committee in meaningful ways




Percentage: _35_%


The Assistant Director of Chairman’s Circle and Friends creates and deepens relationships with individual donors and prospects though unique, dynamic, high-touch engagement opportunities such as private rehearsals and embassy visits that continue to add value to patrons’ experience and demonstrate the impact of our programs.


·        Develop, administer, and track a rich suite of donor benefits and incentives for Chairman’s Circle and Friends, in partnership with Programming/Production and Education departments, including artists engagements, complimentary tickets, and special events

·        With the Director of Special Events, strategically plan, coordinate, and execute Chairman’s Circle- and Friends-only special events to leverage performance activities, residencies, and education programs

·        Project manage the Friends donor e-newsletter and similar vehicles, in collaboration with Development and External Relations colleagues

·        Assist Development team efforts for signature events that engage the entire Washington Performing Arts donor community, like the Gala and special production

Minimum Qualifications:    

·        Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and preferred 3-5 years’ experience in fundraising

·        Experience cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding entry to mid-level gifts

·        Direct marketing and e-marketing skills

·        Ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines independently, especially under pressure

·        Available and willing to work outside of regular business hours, including early morning, evening, and weekend hours, as necessary

·        Experience with Tessitura or other fundraising software/CRM database


Essential Capabilities & Preferences:

·        Deep knowledge of and passion for the performing arts

·        Strategic, creative, curious, and organized thinker who is enthusiastic about and committed to developing new and deepening existing relationships and opportunities for donor engagement

·        Genuine interest in a wide range of people and a diverse array of programmatic content, preferably in the arts world

·        Sophisticated awareness of all channels of donor engagement and the confidence and good judgment to direct donors to the ideal path and relationship manager (i.e., planned giving, annual giving, major gifts)

·        Analytical mindset to grow pipeline strategically

·        Collaborative, positive team player with high degree of personal initiative and accountability

·        Superlative written and verbal communication skills


Specific Conditions of Work:

·        The Assistant Director of Chairman’s Circle and Friends is a full-time position with office hours from 9:30 – 5:30 and additional duties at performances, events, and activities above and beyond regular office hours.


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Please send cover letter and resume to Applications received by March 22 will carry priority. No phone calls, please.