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Director of Development

Company: Starlight Theatre
Date Posted: November 8, 2017

Title: Director of Development

Reports to: Vice President of Marketing & Development

Supervises: Development Coordinator

Compensation: Annual salary, medical / dental / vision / disability coverage, vacation, sick and holiday pay

Submit to:  Send resume via email only to Ms. Jacques’ Hassen, Human Resources Manager, at


This is an opportunity to join a vibrant, creative, fun team in Kansas City’s oldest and largest performing arts venue, all located in beautiful Swope Park. The Development Director is responsible for developing a strategic fundraising plan for Starlight Theatre.  This includes identifying, pursuing and acquiring financial resources for all philanthropic initiatives for the annual fund, education, benefit Gala, capital improvements, and endowments.

  • Serve as liaison to Board Development Committee and staff leadership to create and execute Annual Fund Development Plan to support unrestricted income for theatre operations. Annual Fund Plan should include direct mail and email appeals, major gift solicitations, prospect research, grant requests, matching gift initiatives, etc.
  • Coordinate donation appeals to theatre subscribers, including development of membership programs.
  • Work with Marketing Department on audience development initiatives including the Young Friends of Starlight.
  • Lead fundraising efforts for annual benefit Gala. Strategize and implement plan to reach budgeted goals. Develop and refine prospect list; develop and refine guest invitation list; work with marketing team to define theme and develop logo. Manage committee and help board and volunteers secure returning and new benefactors; provide weekly updates to board and Gala chairs regarding income. Work with staff and Epic Innovative Events to create key messaging for the Gala.
  • Serve as primary grant manager and writer, including identifying prospects, writing, editing and submitting grants in a timely manner to secure foundation and corporate funding of key educational programs, annual fund, special projects and capital needs; maintain grants calendar and oversee grant follow-through and reporting.
  • Work with CEO and Development Chair to communicate board giving expectations and to secure gifts from 100% of board members annually.
  • Increase donor revenue in order to grow existing educational programs including long-term and sustainable funding for annual Blue Star Awards.
  • Increase awareness and participation in recently launched legacy/planned giving program.
  • Additional future duties:
    • Prepare for eventual capital campaign, including conducting feasibility study, selection of campaign leadership, creation of Capital Campaign Cabinet, creation of case for support and campaign collateral, define naming opportunities, construct gift chart, develop prospect list, including for lead gifts, and facilitate gift incentives such as tax credits and challenge grants. 


  • Serve as key member of management team at Starlight.
  • Supervise and conduct annual review of Development Coordinator.
  • Revise development intern job posting, disseminate same, review submitted resumes, conduct interviews and hire annual summer development intern.
  • Develop work tasks for development intern; provide daily supervision and feedback for summer intern.
  • Oversee staff to ensure donation information is input into Tessitura system in accurate, timely fashion.
  • Prepare monthly development reports for board meeting.
  • Enter pertinent donor detail into Tessitura database; run regular donor reports to assess progress toward annual fund and restricted income goals.
  • Ensure that all website copy pertaining to development remain updated and fresh, including details regarding the annual Gala.
  • Serve as primary staff liaison and manager of the Development and/or Gala Committees which includes overseeing membership recruitment, scheduling meeting times and locations, ensuring that meeting minutes and agendas are maintained and shared with members.
  • Work with marketing team and external resources to develop collateral, including but not limited to case statements, website copy, direct mail and email appeals, annual report, digital media copy, playbills / programs, and Gala invitation, menu card, program, tickets, etc.


  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with key donors and prospects in a manner that encourages their long-term relationship with Starlight.
  • Create templates for acknowledgement letters and tailor as individual donor situations arise.
  • Oversee and ensure timely, personal acknowledgements are recorded and sent to donors.
  • Work with marketing team to best utilize Starlight’s marketing tools to convey fundraising messages, involve patrons and donors, use website, emails and social media to communicate to donor base.
  • Responsible for ensuring donor recognition commitments are delivered.
  • Create and share annual report with lead donors.
  • Conduct cultivation events to deepen donor relationships with Starlight Theatre, including annual board reunion and Blue Star Award VIP Reception.
  • Plan and implement donor appreciation events for Producer’s Circle members.
  • Seek opportunities to honor volunteers (including board members) and donors through nomination for local and national awards; prepare applications for said awards, and secure letters of support. Oversee award process, if applicable.
    Please note: other duties may be assigned by the CEO and/or VP of Marketing & Development.  
  • Positive and dynamic personality with a passion for musical theatre and Starlight.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, leadership and organizational skills.
  • Strong communication skills, including one-on-one and small group interactions, persuasive writing skills, and the ability to represent the theatre at public events.
  • Competent in MS Office and donor database systems; knowledge of the Tessitura database is preferred.
  • Between 7-10 years of experience in fund development with successful track record of raising significant funds.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s or other advanced degree and CFRE or other advanced fundraising certification preferred.
  • Ability and willingness to work numerous evenings and weekends.
  • Knowledge of local and regional philanthropic community.
  • Knowledge and experience with capital campaigns and planned giving strategies preferred but not required.

Mission Statement:  Starlight Theatre Association is dedicated to producing, presenting and promoting excellence in musical theatre and the performing arts for diverse audiences of all ages, with continued programming for families and children. Starlight strives to enrich our region for all residents and visitors by building appreciation for the performing arts, making live theatre and music affordable and accessible, providing superior theatre arts education and community outreach programs, and delivering exceptional customer service. Starlight will remain a beloved Kansas City cultural tradition by devoting resources to preserving and enhancing our home venue in Swope Park and creating new memories for generations to come.

Starlight Theatre Association of Kansas City, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.