May 09, 2022

Director of Development and Communications

  • Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Full-Time Business Development Executive Management (CEO/ED)

Job Description



Ellis Marsalis Center for Music

New Orleans, Louisiana




The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a cultural gem located in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana, seeks a tactical, motivated, and nimble professional to serve as the organization’s Director of Development and Communications.


The Director of Development and Communications will be eager to embrace this moment of opportunity at the Center, as the organization takes steps toward fulfilling the aims of its recently completed strategic plan. Positioned as central to the success of the organization, the Director of Development and Communications will, in concert with the Executive Director, steward the Center’s current, and impressive, base of institutional and individual donors; identify and sustain new sources of revenue for the Center; and build a strong and compelling institutional profile and public presence for the organization. The ideal candidate will be eager to fuse their deep knowledge of fundraising best practices with a desire to work collaboratively and creatively in an organization that sits at the nexus of music, culture, youth development, and social services.




Located in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music uses music as the focal point of a holistic strategy to build a healthy community and to deliver a broad range of services to underserved children, youth, and musicians from neighborhoods battling poverty and social injustice. The Center is a safe and supportive environment where children and youth develop musically, academically, and socially; where local musicians perform, record and develop professionally; and where the community gathers. The Center also serves as a community resource and a catalyst for cultural preservation.


The Center was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by New Orleans natives Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. It lies at the heart of Musician’s Village, an affordable housing development conceived both to create a community for displaced musicians and to preserve New Orleans music culture. The Center’s 17,000-square foot facility features a 170-seat performance space, a recording studio, a computer center, a listening library, a dance studio, office spaces, community gathering spaces, and a variety of classrooms and teaching facilities.


More information about the Center can be found at




The Director of Development and Communications will maintain primary responsibility for overseeing the creation, implementation, and assessment of the Center’s annual fundraising and marketing strategies, with a goal of increasing revenue and heightening organizational awareness. Reporting to the Center’s Executive Director, the Director of Development and Communications will build and ultimately manage a small team. In terms of key responsibilities, the Director of Development and Communications will:


  • Generate and execute comprehensive annual development and communications plans that align with the Center’s overall strategic plan; track progress toward objectives and ensure consistent accountability
  • Identify opportunities that will allow the Center to diversify and expand its base of financial support, with a focus on expanding individual donor and corporate funder pipelines
  • Oversee the Center’s grants management pipeline and calendar, which includes prospect research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements
  • Personally manage a portfolio of key donor relationships
  • Support the Center’s Executive Director and members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board in major gift cultivation and solicitation activities
  • In partnership with Center’s Executive Director, develop and manage fundraising budgets; ensure effective use of analytics, data, and metrics to forecast and track progress and success of fundraising strategies and tactics
  • Oversee the creation of the Center’s fundraising and marketing collateral and assets
  • Build and maintain relationships with media contacts, organizational partners, and other key stakeholders to raise the Center’s profile at the local and national levels
  • Ensure the coordination of relevant programming activities with other staff, especially where such programs present opportunities for donor cultivation, gift solicitation, or marketing exposure




While no one candidate will embody all of the ideal qualifications, the most competitive contenders for the role will embody a solid combination of the following traits and experiences:


  • An interest in, understanding of, and commitment to the mission of the Center
  • A minimum of five to seven years of progressively responsible experience in a nonprofit, or similar, environment
  • A proven track record of cultivating individual donors and successfully closing gifts of at least five figures
  • A proven track record of success in securing funding from foundations and corporations
  • Experience developing and implementing comprehensive communications plans and growing organizational brand awareness
  • Experience managing other team members
  • Experience working with CRM systems; familiarity with Salesforce is ideal
  • Superb writing, editing, speaking, and presentation skills
  • The maturity and gravitas to interface with a high-profile Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and other key stakeholders
  • Ability to operate as a self-starter; ability to be self-sufficient and resilient in working with the Center’s varied internal and external stakeholders
  • A personal and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace
  • A Bachelor’s degree




The annual salary for this position starts at $75,000. The Center offers a benefit package that includes a non-contributory medical insurance offering, retirement benefits, and vacation leave.




To apply, please email a resume, letter of interest, and three professional references, in confidence, to:


Candidate nominations are also welcomed.


The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music is an equal opportunity employer.

There is no discrimination with regard to hiring, assignments, promotions or other conditions of staff employment because of race, creed, color, religion, veteran status, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual preference or a disability not pertinent to the assigned job.

Hiring Organization

Ellis Marsalis Center for Music



Industry/Service Area

Arts/Culture and Humanities



Application Instructions



To apply, please email a resume, letter of interest, and three professional references, in confidence, to:


Candidate nominations are also welcomed.


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