Director of Development

Paper Mill Playhouse

Millburn, NJ 07041


Oct 19, 2023


Sep 26, 2023

Full time / $140,000-165,000 annually / Paper Mill Playhouse / Millburn, NJ

About the Opportunity
Paper Mill Playhouse, the nation’s premier musical theater, located in Millburn, NJ, seeks an energetic, collaborative, and experienced leader to join their team as Director of Development. This is a fantastic opportunity for a talented fundraising professional to advance the work of the skilled team that is in place and bring a beloved institution into its next chapter of achievement. The successful candidate will be skilled at conceptualizing, organizing, and implementing a comprehensive fundraising plan to fulfill Paper Mill Playhouse’s mission and meet their strategic priorities. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will work in close partnership with the Executive and Producing Artistic Directors, the Board of Trustees, members of a 10-person Development department, and across the organization to build a sustainable culture of philanthropy, cultivate transformative gifts, and ultimately expand PMP’s base of support to enable PMP to achieve its financial, cultural, and educational objectives. The Director of Development will also oversee ongoing strategy and management of Paper Mill’s “Next Act” Capital Campaign to raise funds for much needed renovations and expansion of the theatre’s facilities.

The Director of Development will be a thought partner to the Executive Director in addressing institutional opportunities, challenges, and priorities, and will manage and collaborate with four direct reports to strategize, organize priorities, and elevate the department’s success. The Director of Development will work closely with the Board of Trustees Chair, and committee leadership of the Board of Trustees, to strengthen the work of the Board and drive progress forward. Finally, the Director of Development serves as a member of PMP’s senior leadership team and works collaboratively across all departments to leverage and advance fundraising opportunities.

About Paper Mill Playhouse
Celebrating its 85th Anniversary this year, Paper Mill Playhouse has been a cherished New Jersey arts institution since 1938. New Jersey’s largest producing theater, Paper Mill brings new American Musical Theater to life, with a national reputation that continues to grow, bringing over 200,000 tri-state audience members annually to view the best in musical theater, from celebrated revivals to groundbreaking new works. In addition to audiences, artists and students depend on Paper Mill as an artistic home that inspires and nurtures their creativity. As a professional producing theater, Paper Mill is deeply committed to identifying and nurturing creative talent on the mainstage, including singers, dancers, directors, composers, lyricists, choreographers, actors, and designers. The theater is fully unionized under AEA, SDC, IATSE, USA, and AFM and produces five large-scale, mostly musical productions in its mainstage season each year. Some productions are self-produced while others result from collaborations with partner regional theaters and major commercial producers. In 2016, Paper Mill received the industry’s highest honor, the Regional Theatre Tony Award. Paper Mill Playhouse is a cultural hub for the community with an economic impact of over $37M each year.

Paper Mill champions nearly 40,000 students each year with transformative education programs, which are at the heart of this non-profit organization. Paper Mill feels a keen responsibility to ensure children should have access to theater’s life-changing opportunities, regardless of economic, physical, or mental challenges. Paper Mill responds with high-quality arts education, cultural partnerships, and outreach – impacting teens, aspiring artists, and families of children with autism and other cognitive and developmental disabilities. Renowned programs include Adopt-A-School Project, Theater For Everyone, the Rising Star Awards, and the Summer Conservatory, for example.

Paper Mill Playhouse is located on a tributary of the Rahway River, in a bucolic natural setting, with a campus of facilities that include a 1,150-seat theatre with attendant backstage dressing rooms, offices, and production support areas; front-of-house lobbies with bars, concessions and gallery spaces; the 80-seat F.M. Kirby Carriage House Restaurant; a house with two apartments; four parking lots, and grounds for milling. Off campus, there are the Paper Mill Studios in downtown Millburn, and a costume shop located in New York City. Paper Mill has an annual operating budget of $27M, of which approximately $4.2M is raised through fundraising, government grants, foundation and corporate grants, individual giving, and special events. Paper Mill is in the early stage of the Next Act Campaign to raise $40M for renovations of its dated facilities.

MISSION: Paper Mill Playhouse entertains, inspires, and enriches lives. As the nation’s premier musical theater, we foster a creative environment to advance the art form, educate students, develop future theater lovers, nurture inclusion, and provide access for all.

VISION: The vision of Paper Mill Playhouse is to be internationally recognized as the leading musical theater where new and reimagined musicals and innovative education programs are cultivated. Paper Mill Playhouse is the place where artists, theater lovers, and students come together to realize their creativity and to be inspired by the theater’s unmatched passion and commitment to excellence.

Paper Mill Playhouse achieves this, while grounded in its core values:
● Continually aspire to achieve artistic excellence
● Create an inclusive environment of trust and transparency
● Provide outstanding service
● Be fiscally responsible
● Act with integrity and respect

Equity Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Pledge

Recognizing the importance of ensuring that our productions, our employees, our audiences, and the stories we tell reflect the wonderful racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of our community and those we serve, the Paper Mill is committed to serving as allies of all members of historically marginalized communities and to elevate their voices across our community, particularly those who may have been historically excluded for reasons unrelated to their talents and abilities. Our pledge is to hold equity, diversity, and inclusion as core values of Paper Mill that are visible in every facet of our work. As we strive to be actively anti-racist and anti-biased, we pledge to:  

∙ Amplify stories that encompass the breadth of the human experience;
∙ Become a more multicultural, inclusive, socially conscious space where all people are empowered;
∙ Collaborate to create positive change, learning, engagement, and growth in our organization and our community; and  
∙ Eliminate barriers and create pathways that provide access for all. 

This pledge and our work must continuously evolve in tandem with the communities we serve. We shall hold each other accountable to this promise and to living out these values. 


About the Position

Essential Responsibilities

Organizational Leadership
● Foster a culture of philanthropy that fully engages staff, board members, donors and other community members in a deep and meaningful way.
● Act as an inspirational team leader to the Development Department, in order to recruit, retain, support, and guide a diverse team of development professionals who are engaged, active in relationship-building, and growing in their roles.
● Serve as a member of the Paper Mill Playhouse senior leadership team, collaborating on high-level planning and decision making.
● Understand and uplift Paper Mill’s values of equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as anti-racism practices, and ensure they are incorporated into the Development team’s operations.

● Communicate across departments, and particularly with the Director of Marketing and Communications, about the Development Department’s upcoming projects, events, and goals.
● Participate in and attend local and state advocacy and fundraising meetings, events, and roundtables, in order to represent Paper Mill Playhouse and maintain relationships within circles of which Paper Mill is a part.

● Provide strategic and creative leadership in raising approximately $4.2M in annual contributed revenue through government grants, foundation support, corporate sponsorship, individual giving, and special events that meets the organization’s needs for all of its programming and aligns with PMP’s goals for the future.
● Develop a strong and winning case for support each year, manifested in strategic, innovative fundraising plans, and executing those plans to grow fundraising and ideally, exceed goals for the annual fund and capital campaign.
● Build new and bolster existing relationships with foundation and corporate partners, government agencies, donors at various levels, and current and prospective Board members.

● Oversee and strengthen the work of the development staff members devoted to individual giving, who are developing and implementing a membership and stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper relationships with donors that is up to date with current fundraising and audience engagement trends.
● Join forces with the Director of Major Gifts to elevate Paper Mill Playhouse’s efforts to identify, cultivate, steward, and solicit a growing number of major gifts each year.
● Partner with the Associate Director of Development to oversee the planning and execution of the annual gala; engaging the Gala Chair and the Board, PMP leadership, and the development team in a smooth operation that meets financial goals and generates community excitement.
● In collaboration with the Executive Director and Campaign Chairs, act as a leader on the capital campaign effort and coordinate with capital campaign consultants, as the organization works to raise the second half of a $40M goal for building renovations and expansion.
● Maintain, improve, and enforce all protocols and policies for development department operations, including fundraising communications, prospect research, moves management, and gift acknowledgments and processing.
● Collaborate with the Executive Director and the Director of Finance to forecast contributed income levels, set strategic goals, and then evaluate progress toward achieving or adjusting those goals.
● Contribute to building and sustaining a positive departmental culture that supports a commitment to team goals and core values, and that fosters the development of individual leadership, accountability, and continuous improvement in project management.
● Oversee the Development Department’s budget.
● Advise and collaborate with the Executive Director and Producing Artistic Director in their own efforts to cultivate donors and solicit major gifts for the organization.

Board Development
● Act as a liaison to the Board of Trustees and a champion for efforts to continuously strengthen Board culture, aligning the evolution of the Board with the organization’s commitment to DEIA work.

● Discuss with and motivate Trustees individually in terms of their committee participation, Gala commitment, and relationship to giving to the organization.

● Identify and recruit potential trustees; strategize with the Committee on Trustees on the cultivation, recruitment, and onboarding processes for new Trustees.

● Ten or more years of demonstrated success in development/philanthropy leadership, preferably in a cultural non-profit organization, with diversified experience in the following: individual giving, institutional giving, major gifts, annual fund/membership, planned giving, stewardship, development operations, and leadership in a major fundraising campaign.
● A deep appreciation for theatre and the ability to convey that appreciation in an engaging and conversational manner.
● Proven success in securing major gifts and building long-term relationships with high-level donors.
● Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively with both external and internal community members.
● Commitment to building and managing a healthy and strong team, dedicated to the mission of the organization and motivated to continuously improve upon their efforts.
● Strong organizational and time management skills; with an ability to plan ahead, meet deadlines, and collaborate with fellow administrators, board members, and leadership.
● Experience with donor management systems, preferably Tessitura, and an interest in other current and emerging technologies related to fundraising.
● Knowledge of the New Jersey and tri-state philanthropic, social, and business communities.
● Awareness of current trends in the field as well as legal and tax-related requirements related to charitable giving.
● Understanding of the organizational budgeting process in order to set departmental goals and report on them throughout the year.

● Excellent oral and written communications skills, including a proven track record with successful grant funding.
● Experience producing large-scale donor events (galas, etc.) and engaging a Board in the success of those events.
● Willingness and ability to attend evening and weekend performances, as well as to attend meetings and events offsite and outside the regular workday.

A Message from Tom O’Connor Consulting Group

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that cis men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria, while others tend only to apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. So, whether you’re returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

Please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role.


The salary for this position is $140,000-165,000. Paper Mill Playhouse provides comprehensive benefits including comprehensive insurance benefits (health, dental, vision, life, disability); generous paid time off; 403(b) retirement savings account with a 3% employer match; access to a flexible spending account as well as a health spending account; and access to various performances, educational events, and professional development opportunities.

This is a full-time on-site role in Millburn, New Jersey. Employees work five days a week in the office and occasionally work remotely on matinee performance dates.

Application Instructions

The Director of Development search is being conducted on behalf of Paper Mill Playhouse by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries. The search is being led by Search Consultant Brenna Thomas.

To apply, visit the online application ( and submit your materials. Your cover letter should include any training or experience relevant to the job profile that you would like to highlight, why you consider yourself a good fit for this opportunity, and anything else you’d like us to know about your qualifications that may not be present in your resume.

The priority application deadline for this search is October 19, 2023. Applications received by this date will receive priority consideration. While we will still accept and consider applications after this date, we encourage you to apply as early as possible for the best chance at being considered for the position. Please note that meeting the priority deadline does not guarantee an interview.

Paper Mill Playhouse is an Equal Opportunity Employer where the spirit of inclusion feeds into everything we do. We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates. We strive to create opportunities, access, resources, and rewards that are available to and benefit everyone. Paper Mill Playhouse is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, marital status, disability, gender identity, gender expression, and Veteran status.