Here is a job description for a PART TIME development position with a Chicago theater with a $240,000 budget and a very strong critical reputation.

 Job Summary
The Manager of Individual and Major Giving works closely with the Managing Director and Artistic Vision Committee (AVC) supporting REDACTED Theater through fundraising efforts and increasing the contributed income capacity of the company. This position reports to the Managing Director, but collaborates closely with the AVC, the Board of Directors, and Special Events task force
Responsibilities and Objectives
– Develop a comprehensive development strategy to include individual and corporate giving, special campaigns, donor/prospect events, and other philanthropic revenue. Lead the Board of Directors and Administrative team in the implementation of those plans.
– Managing development calendar for all individual and corporate fundraising and campaign mailings throughout the season.
– Participate in strategic planning. Work with staff and board to translate the vision and strategic plan into achievable steps. Actively promote the mission, vision, and values of REDACTED Theater.
– Communicate regularly to Board and staff on the status of fundraising projects.
– Ensure that REDACTED’s messaging to donors, funders, and prospects is consistent across all channels, and ensure that the case for support is updated.
– Serve as an articulate, passionate, and visible spokesperson for REDACTED Theater, and as a prominent fundraising face throughout the organization, among stakeholders and in the Chicago Arts and Philanthropy community.
Individual and Major Gifts
– Coordinate the process of identification, solicitation, acknowledgment, stewardship and benefits fulfillment, reporting, and follow up for individual donors.
– Coordinating two direct mail campaigns a year.
– Coordinating with Social Media Associate on any social media fundraising campaigns.
– Ensure appropriate recognition of donors at all giving levels.
– Manage a portfolio of individual and corporate major donors and prospects. Build relationships with major donors through meetings, post-meeting follow-up, stewardship of interests, solicitation of donors, and writing letters, reports, and proposals to major donors.
– Research current donors and prospects, analyze their giving potential, and develop plans for strengthening relationships and increasing their engagement and support.
– Ensure accurate record‐keeping of contributions and timeliness of donor acknowledgments.
– Maintain donor lists on website and program
– Assure department’s compliance with regulations, statutes, and ethical and professional standards.


Hold on, there, Sparky, not done yet–there’s more!

Corporate Sponsorship and Special Events
– Cultivate relationships with corporate sponsors on an ongoing basis.
– Work with Director of Institutional Giving to update corporate sponsorship materials for 2016/17 production season including sponsorship benefit levels and solicitation letters, track sponsor contracts, and ensure AFT honors its obligations with respect to these contracts.
– Assist in the planning and execution of fundraising events in close coordination with the Board of Directors and Administration.
– Foster corporate and small business relationships for sponsorship and in-kind donations towards special events.
– Manage the Board of Directors and Administration in implementing tasks designated to these positions
 Qualities for Successful Fulfillment of Job Description:
REDACTED Theater seeks an innovative, entrepreneurial and passionate leader. The candidate will be self-motivated and work well in both individual and group settings. The candidate should also manage the responsibilities and expectations of the Board of Directors and Administrative staff.
– Detailed knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Publisher, Outlook)
– Outstanding verbal and written communication skills are required.
– Experience in a not-for-profit organization, particularly an arts organization, strongly preferred.
– Along with a commitment to work nights and weekends when required by REDACTED’s programming and meeting schedule, the ability to work independently and as part of a team, anticipating challenges and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
– High level of professional demeanor and utmost sensitivity with confidential information.
– Knowledge of WealthEngine, DonorPerfect, or other development CRM tools helpful.


I don’t know what the salary is, except given that they’re calling it part time I’m guessing it’s somewhere between $Not.enough and $AreYouFucking.KiddingMe.

That job description is not a “part time” position. It is a Special Events Director, Social Media Manager, Individual Giving Director, and Corporate Sponsorship Director. In a just world, these four people would share an admin and would each have an intern. There is no scenario in which this is a single full time position, let alone something that a person could do successfully part time.

At best, it’s dishonest. At worst it’s an invitation to failure, and a set up for someone to blame.

One theater friend commented “Welcome to the broken model of not for profit theater. It sucks.”

But this isn’t a broken model. This is contempt for people who choose to make their living in the arts. This is dis-inviting People of Color, people with high student debt, and others with societal burdens to take a pass so some trust fund arts management tourist can take a whirl at a “meaningful” job.

We are the ones who created this “broken” model. Don’t have money for a full time development person? Sit down with a consultant for, say $500, and have them analyze your strengths. Then hire a person who can focus on the strategy most likely to have both short term success and legs.