Director of Institutional Advancement
Center Theatre Group
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Center Theatre Group
Director of Institutional Advancement
Los Angeles, California
Center Theatre Group (CTG) is a 501©3 organization and one of the largest, most influential theatre companies in the country by virtually every measure. CTG’s mission is to serve the diverse audiences of Los Angeles by producing and presenting theatre of the highest caliber, by nurturing new artists, by attracting new audiences, and by developing youth outreach and arts education programs. This mission is based on a belief that the art of theatre is a cultural force with the capacity to transform the lives of individuals and society at large.
Over the past 54 years, CTG has entertained millions of audience members and produced some of the most important shows of our time, many of which have been World premieres and have gone on to award-winning Broadway runs and beyond. CTG produces and presents the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country. In the past decade alone, the company has commissioned 65 shows and produced 40 world premieres, making CTG one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works. In addition to CTG’s onstage programming, the company’s robust education and community programs have long embedded the company in the rich culture of Los Angeles. CTG strives to make Los Angeles a theatre destination for audiences and artists from around the world – and to make a major impact on Los Angeles, the lives of residents of the city, and all those who experience CTG’s artistic, education, and community programming.
CTG is a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles County, one of America’s three largest performing arts centers. The Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum are part of The Music Center campus in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, operated in conjunction with the County of Los Angeles. The Kirk Douglas Theatre is fully operated by CTG in the thriving entertainment district of Culver City, about 10 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles.
Typically, CTG has produced 16 to 18 productions annually at its theatrical venues with a total audience in excess of 550,000 a year. Over the five seasons prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, annual expenses for CTG ranged from $45 million to $60 million.
In October 2020, CTG launched the Digital Stage in order to support its mission by continuing to serve its audiences and nurture its artists. The CTG staff has created new works for the Digital Stage in addition to sharing out works created by presenting partners. As of April 2021, over 40 distinct projects had been shared and viewed by over 90,000 households. CTG also has maintained a commitment to artists and young people through continued artistic development and education and community partnership programs. The 2020/21 Digital Stage season included new commissions and streamed productions filmed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, as well as radio plays and pre-recorded productions.
After 20 months of dark stages, CTG is thrilled to return to live theatre for the 2021/22 season with the reopening of the Ahmanson Theatre in November 2021 to be followed by the reopening of the Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre in early 2022. In assembling the season, CTG first honored commitments to many shows that were disrupted by the pandemic over the course of the last two years. The 2021/22 season includes eight critically acclaimed productions at the Ahmanson Theatre; four plays at the Mark Taper Forum that explore a wide range of American experiences; and two World premiere plays as well as two Block Party productions at the intimate Kirk Douglas Theatre. From July through December 2021, CTG hired over 100 people back into the full-time and regular part-time staff pool and as of January 2022 is almost back at pre-pandemic staffing levels.
CTG is investing in an organizational planning process to articulate core values, re-examine its mission, and create a new organizational vision. Given the current upheaval in the American theatre, CTG leaders anticipate this work is now critical to achieve staff, Board, and key stakeholder alignment around values, mission, and organizational vision, created through an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens and with the goal of being an anti-racist theatre.
The Director of Institutional Advancement (IA) is responsible for conceptualizing, organizing, and implementing a comprehensive and strategic fundraising program in support of CTG’s mission and strategic priorities. Reporting directly to the Managing Director/CEO, the Director of IA will work in close partnership with the Managing Director/CEO, artistic leadership and other senior administrators, as well as with the Board of Directors and other volunteers, to build a sustainable culture of philanthropy throughout the organization, cultivate transformative gifts, and ultimately elevate and support CTG’s mission. The Director of IA leads a team of 18 to 30 individuals (pandemic and pre-pandemic staffing) and oversees generation of total contributed revenue ranging between $10 million and $13 million annually (FY21 and FY19 revenues, respectively), which is not inclusive of special capital funds or other major, non-Annual Fund initiatives. This role is responsible for crafting the overall fundraising vision and goals for the department.
The Director of IA will be empowered to examine and evolve all dimensions of the IA program in consultation with the Managing Director/CEO, including the organizational design and functional alignment of the IA team, including the current reporting structure, which remains in flux since the departure of prior leadership. Optimizing the role of the Managing Director/CEO and Board members in advancement initiatives will be a key area of strategic focus. The Director of IA will benefit from CTG’s current engagement of respected advancement consultants in the areas of high-level donor strategy and advancement operations.
While CTG’s aforementioned organizational planning process is not directly correlated to the Director of IA search, the organization seeks a candidate who is undaunted by investigating current fundraising practices to ensure they are equitable in nature. There is a great opportunity for growth within the Los Angeles community that does not require CTG to stand solely with the traditions historically prevalent in theatrical fundraising. A candidate will not be successful in this role unless they are willing to evaluate how CTG as an organization is raising funds to support ever-increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the organization’s operations, production work, and with its staff. CTG also seeks an individual who can deeply invest in the mentorship and training of the staff and maintain a fierce commitment to their personal and professional development.
While CTG will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:
Deep appreciation for the mission and aspirations of CTG and the ability to authentically engage and inspire others as a senior representative of the organization.
Twelve or more years of experience in development, serving in roles with progressive levels of leadership responsibility and including experience with the following: individual giving, institutional giving, major gifts, annual fund/membership, planned giving, stewardship, development operations, special events fundraising, board management/relations, and leadership in a major fundraising campaign (planning, implementation, and successful conclusion). Demonstrated success in change management and in setting and meeting philanthropic goals.
Knowledge of and fundamental adherence to the principles, ethics, and best practices of modern fundraising, including the integration of various giving programs to diversify the funding base and cultivate greater donor commitments.
Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of how to build anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the advancement function; culturally competent with respect to issues such as racial, cultural, religious, sexual, and gender identity. Skilled at delivering solutions in evolving, multi-cultural environments.
Ability to lead, recruit, mentor, evaluate, and develop a diverse team of advancement professionals and contribute to the ongoing fostering of a high-functioning, results-oriented, multi-racial/multi-ethnic workforce, as well as a dedication to both the personal and professional growth of the members of the team.
Track record of maintaining best practices, clear goals, and shared accountability, as well as conceptualizing and executing advancement/development/fundraising program growth.
Demonstrated success in developing a strong and winning case for support, as well as a successful communications plan, and in making strategic, innovative fundraising plans, and executing those plans to grow fundraising and achieve goals.
Successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six to seven-figures and greater.
A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of constituent engagement and connectivity, who will be driven by innovation in developing advancement best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.
The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. Working knowledge of modern data management practices and innovations that can streamline advancement processes and contribute to the integration of related functions.
Knowledge of the Los Angeles philanthropic community, though not required, is a significant asset.
Familiarity with Tessitura to aid in the management of donor communications and event management is a plus.
Flexibility to travel, consistent with public health guidelines.