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Development Director

Development Director

Job Description: Development Director


The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is now accepting applications for the position of Development Director. We seek a dynamic, self-motivated, authentic individual who has a passion for the cultural arts, love for community engagement, and a commitment to ethical and effective business standards. This is a full-time position with benefits, and is a key staff member within a nonprofit organization operating a 78,000 square foot multi-use venue. The Suffolk Center’s Development Director is responsible for directing and executing the Center’s entire development program, including membership, major gifts, grants, and sponsorships. This is an exciting opportunity for a hands-on leader who is a great communicator, who loves the arts, who loves working with people in the community, and who wants to grow a small development office. This position reports to the Suffolk Center’s executive director.


  • Leads and grows the Suffolk Center’s fund development program, which presently includes approximately $1 million in annual membership gifts, grants, and sponsorships.
  • Prepares and monitors annual plans, goals, and budgets for all fund development activities.
  • Leads the Suffolk Center’s grants program. Researches grant opportunities, develops proposals, builds relationships, and stewards foundation and other funders. Prepares grant reports and ensures grant compliance.
  • Works with the Executive Director, volunteers, and board members to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts, including operating gifts and capital campaign gifts.
  • Conducts a minimum of two outreach meetings or phone calls per month with donors or potential donors in the form of discovery, cultivation, solicitation, or stewardship. Facilitates opportunities and information for the Executive Director and board members to cultivate potential donors.
  • Works with fellow staff members and volunteers to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward business sponsors for performances, gallery exhibitions, and other special events.
  • Oversees donor database management, direct mailings, phone-a-thons, and gift acknowledgement, working closely with the Development Coordinator.
  • Works to expand and diversify the Suffolk Center’s base of support and revenue sources by seeking new prospective donors and trying fundraising strategies that are new for the Center.
  • Hires, supervises and evaluates the Development Coordinator and Special Events Manager.
  • Works closely with the Special Events Committee in planning and executing an annual fundraiser as well as other special event fundraising.
  • Represents the Suffolk Center, our mission, and our programs positively to members of the community.
  • Provides basic development training for board and staff members to increase their knowledge and effectiveness.
  • Attends performances, gallery receptions, and other events at the Suffolk Center to spend time with donors and to help manage events.
  • Other duties as required by the Executive Director.


  • A minimum of five years’ experience in nonprofit fund development, with demonstrated success in raising money through a variety of tactics.
  • Excellent people skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with multiple constituents, including board members, volunteers, members, and donors.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently, set and achieve goals, take initiative, and prioritize time and tasks in a fast-changing environment.
  • Discretion and tact in handling confidential donor information.
  • An interest in performing or visual arts is a plus.
  • Proficiency in office and development technology, including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, donor management software.
  • Experience with Donor Perfect and content management software is a plus.
  • Financial acumen, including the ability to create and monitor a budget.
  • Experience in online fundraising, social media, and planned giving are a big plus.
  • A bachelor’s degree is preferred, but commensurate experience will be considered.
  • Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the Center’s mission for promoting the arts in Suffolk.
  • Familiarity with the Suffolk and Western Tidewater communities is a plus.

This is a full-time, permanent position within the Suffolk Center. Evening and weekend hours are sometimes required for performances, receptions, and special events. Benefits for this position include medical and dental insurance; paid time off for vacation, sick time, holidays, and more; and an employer match toward a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan.

To apply: Please send an email with a résumé, cover letter, and writing sample attached to with Development Director in the subject line. Your writing sample should be 500 words or less, wholly your own work, and preferably related to nonprofits or fundraising (e.g., a solicitation letter or a portion of a grant request).

Applications received by end of day Sunday, October 1 will receive priority consideration; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

About the Suffolk Center
The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is the premier visual and performing arts venue for Suffolk and Western Tidewater. Our mission is to cultivate and promote the creative arts for all residents and visitors through programs and education. Located in the heart of downtown Suffolk, our historic building houses a 500-seat theater, where we host concerts, dance performances, dramatic works, films, lectures, and so much more. The Suffolk Center is home to two art galleries, which host an ever-changing array of visual art exhibitions. The Center has a robust educational program and offers a multitude of classes for the community, such as dance, painting, singing, pottery, drawing, and more, and we host summer camps and send artists to local schools to bring the arts to young people. We are a nonprofit organization with a staff of 15 and dozens of volunteers. We are committed to supporting the economic vitality of Suffolk by enhancing the life experiences of our citizens and visitors.

Fulfilling our mission requires a commitment to inclusiveness in every aspect of our organization—our programming, operations, outreach, and leadership. We recognize that we can succeed only when our organization fully reflects the richness of the communities we serve. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts supports diversity across all lines of difference, including race, age, economic circumstance, ethnicity, sex, range of ability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression. We invite applicants from all backgrounds for this position.

110 W. Finney Avenue, Suffolk, VA 23434
Main: 757-923-0003 | Box Office: 757-923-2900

Administrative Offices are OPEN ~ Tuesday – Friday, 9-5 PM

ART GALLERIES are OPEN ~ Tuesday – Saturday, 10-4 PM
Rental Tours available upon request.

Administrative office, class registration and ticket sales 3rd floor.

Ticket window opens 60 minutes before events.


Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in partnership with Virginia Commission for the Arts and National Endowment for the ArtsDonations are tax-deductible.

© 2023 Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts . All Rights Reserved.  Website Development by Scarlett’s Web, Inc.

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