Director of Major Gifts

The Public Theater

425 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003




Feb 04, 2022

The Public Theater is seeking a Director of Major Gifts to join the Development team. The Director of Major Gifts will lead the strategic planning, goal setting, and output of Major Gifts Officers, as well as work closely with other frontline fundraisers and the Board of Trustees. The Director of Major Gifts will manage a portfolio of 100-200 donors, as well as oversee cultivation, solicitation, acknowledgement, recognition, and stewardship for a portfolio of existing major donors and prospects. The successful candidate will be team-oriented, collaborative, entrepreneurial, and strategic.
The Director of Major Gifts is responsible for managing a team of 3-4 frontline fundraisers and reports to the Senior Director of Development.


  • Partnering closely with the Senior Development team, the Director of Major Gifts will support best operational practices in working towards The Public’s desired outcomes while building and maintaining relationships successfully and strategically on behalf of the organization
  • Develop and propose cultivation and solicitation strategies for a portfolio of prospects and donors with an affinity for the arts and capacity to make annual investments of $25,000+ to The Public Theater. These include: assessing ongoing relationships with prospects/donors; recommending gift purposes and levels; identifying who is best to be involved in subsequent cultivation and solicitation; assuring that solicitations are carried out
  • Participate, build, and manage a network of relationships with prospective donors involving The Public Theater leaders and staff
  • Design and implement programs for Major and Special Gifts staff, including professional development, process documentation and improvement, and progress tracking
  • Provide mentorship and strategic guidance for the Major Gifts Officers in their cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors
  • Interact with internal contacts to consult on The Public Theater needs, formulate strategies to promote prospect engagement, and identify potential donors
  • Work closely with other Individual Giving managers to ensure effective coordination with their programs and to reinforce the prospect relationship continuum; engage with affiliates to jointly manage donors when appropriate and to support mutually beneficial relationships
  • Participate (collaboratively with others) in gift solicitations to fund The Public Theater programs and to enhance development efforts
  • Ability to manage the Major Gifts program in conjunction with The Public’s largest comprehensive capital campaign
  • Lead the team in navigating additional fundraising responsibilities and efforts in connection with the Capital Campaign
  • Assist with the strategy for and creation of written communications from various Public Theater leaders targeting our donors’ interests
  • Perform additional duties as assigned


The ideal candidate will be an exceptional fundraiser who knows how to hit the ground running, serve as a mentor to other Major Gifts Officers, and work collaboratively with the department to meet and exceed annual goals.

  • 7- 10 years of major gifts fundraising and/or direct donor relationship experience
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred; additional related academic courses or professional training preferred
  • Proven ability to close gifts of $25,000+ and experience securing gifts from prospects
  • Experience in developing sound donor strategies, including qualifying and disqualifying prospects using research and additional supporting materials
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to manage multiple assignments and quickly changing priorities
  • Proven ability to build and maintain relationships with a variety of internal partners, donors and board members while maintaining impeccable discretion above all else
  • A motivated, unflappable team player with exceptional communication skills
  • Experience managing a team highly desired
  • Experience in theater fundraising and working in an affiliate structure highly desired, but not required
  • Comfort in online fundraising toolsets and databases, including Tessitura
  • Outstanding oral, written, communication and presentation skills, including the ability to listen and target communication to specific interests of varied audiences

COVID-19 and Vaccination Policy:

  • As a condition of employment, The Public will require all who report to work on-site (either at The Public Theater or any other workspace or performing location) to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Public is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin, ability, age, or veteran status.




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