Development Director

Posted on 11/26/2021

Vermont Studio Center

Johnson, VT

The Vermont Studio Center (VSC), one of the most respected international artist and writer residency programs in the United States, seeks an energetic and experienced Development Director to lead all aspects of a successful fundraising and alumni engagement program in a dynamic, nimble, and growing institution. The Development Director will join VSC at a time of great optimism for the future, with a new Executive Director, a committed board, and planning underway for a comprehensive campaign.

Position Summary: 

The Vermont Studio Center seeks a full-time Development Director with proven experience leading successful and creative fundraising and engagement activities for a dynamic nonprofit, including identifying and securing funding from new sources, devising, and directing individual and foundation strategies, and stewarding existing donors.

The Development Director will lead a small, talented, and collaborative team to direct all fundraising activities, including major gifts, annual fund, foundation and government grants, stewardship, and development office operations. In recent years, VSC has raised approximately $3M in private donations for annual fund, endowment, and capital projects, on average. With the board’s endorsement and planning for a comprehensive campaign underway, we will grow this amount considerably to usher in a new level of philanthropic engagement. The new Development Director will partner with the executive director and the board of trustees to help carry out the comprehensive campaign.

This leadership position serves as a member of the senior team and reports to the Executive Director. The Director of Development serves as primary staff liaison to the Trustee Development and Campaign committees and works collaboratively across the organization to bring resources to the programs and people that fulfill our mission.

Essential Functions: 

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Partner with Executive Director and Board Chair to set annual fundraising goals and the strategies to achieve those goals
  • Supervise and mentor staff working in grants, annual fund, gift processing, and events
  • Identify, engage, solicit, and steward existing major donors; expand donor base through research and engagement of Trustees and staff to identify new prospects.
  • Make visits (virtual and in-person) to see donors, largely in Vermont, NYC, Boston, Montreal, and occasionally elsewhere
  • Staff board Development Committee and Campaign Task Force; attend and report on fundraising activities at quarterly board meetings
  • Engage with and support board members and VSC staff in fundraising efforts as cultivators and solicitors
  • Coordinate with Finance on donor projections
  • Provide supervision and guidance to employees to ensure full utilization of the systems used to track and cultivate donors and prospects, including donor database and wealth screening tools
  • Plan and execute fundraising and donor stewardship events
  • Oversee gift processing in accordance with non-profit requirements and standards
  • Expand and reinvigorate planned giving efforts
  • Lead program of creative and authentic alumnae engagement

Supervisory Responsibilities: 

Oversee two direct reports: Grants Manager and Development Manager

Work Environment: 

  • Work within a creative community of artists and writers
  • Engage with external audiences; effective at communicating with alumni, donors, board members, visiting artists and residents, and with staff across all VSC departments
  • Work with the development team and across all departments
  • Able and willing to work evenings and weekends


  • Excellent time management skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines
  • Experience with SalesForce or other contact management databases, Microsoft 365, and Zoom
  • Understanding of and appreciation for VSC’s mission and the capacity to communicate our mission effectively and persuasively
  • Superb written, verbal, and interpersonal skills

Required Education & Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 5-7 years of fundraising experience in a non-profit setting, ideally in an arts organization
  • Experience managing diverse teams of staff and volunteers
  • Seasoned and joyful fundraiser with experience soliciting individual and foundation donors and stewarding relationships
  • Experience making timely, effective, and ethical decisions
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and drive
  • Curious and strategic about how to explore and develop new revenue and partnership opportunities
  • Capacity to listen to all constituents with empathy and inclusion
  • Excellent communication skills, both in writing and speaking; experience writing successful proposals and managing grants
  • Authentic, active interest in visual arts and literature, intentional communities, historic preservation, and/or cultural exchange and attraction to the lifestyle, climate, and remoteness of a village in northern Vermont
  • Experience and ease using CRMs and data to track fundraising and drive decisions

Preferred Education & Experience: 

  • Master’s degree
  • Experience working in the arts in New England, and of the arts philanthropy landscape

Salary and Benefits: 

The salary range for this position is $90,000 -$100,000 based on experience. We offer comprehensive and competitive benefits, including:

  • Health, vision, and dental insurance
  • Retirement (401k)
  • Paid Time Off: 25 days CTO (holiday/vacation/personal) and 6 sick days per year
  • Employee Assistance Plan
  • Studio space

Vaccination Requirement: 

Staff spending the night on the VSC campus are required to be vaccinated. Requests for Medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

All employment decisions at the Vermont Studio Center are based on business need, job requirements, and individual qualifications. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, height, weight, religion, age, disability, gender identity, results of genetic testing, veteran status, service in the military or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

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