Jan 09, 2024

Director of Development

$100,000 - $120,000 yearly
  • Search for Good
  • Summit, New Jersey, USA
Full-Time Data/Analysis Fundraising/Development Strategic Planning

Job Description


PLEASE DO NOT USE Impact Opportunity’s URL to apply. We only consider candidates who email their resumes and cover letter to Katherinewdefoyd@gmail.com with Director of Development -Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in the subject line.



The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) seeks a strategic and skilled director of development with a commitment to the transformational potential of the visual arts and arts programming. Located in Summit, NJ, our mission is to nurture the capacity for personal expression, expand the creative experience, and foster stronger communities by empowering people to see, make, and learn about art.

The ideal development director enjoys working directly with donors, is a team player, and is eager to assume a leadership role with our successful arts organization.


VACNJ was founded in 1933 as the Summit Art Association by seven local artists to foster the appreciation, enjoyment, and practice of art. We have grown into a leading contemporary arts institution serving the public through contemporary exhibitions, Studio School classes, and community engagement programs. Our vision is to create an inclusive and welcoming community where lives are transformed and enriched through the shared experience of art. The Art Center comprises 23,000 square feet, with five galleries, ten studios, and an outdoor sculpture garden. We are open to the public seven days a week, exhibiting works by nationally and internationally recognized artists. Visit our website www.artcenternj.org for more information.

We are one of nine American Alliance of Museums accredited museums in New Jersey and are the state’s leading institution dedicated to contemporary art. Our exhibitions, are viewed by 30,000+ visitors each year, feature artistically and culturally diverse works. Through our Studio School, we offer 400+ classes and workshops serving 4,500+ children, teens, and adults, as well as an outdoor summer art camp for children and teens. We serve an additional 1,100 people through our community engagement and education programs. Our educational and visual arts experiences are available to the public, including those who are underserved and economically disadvantaged including at-risk youth, veterans, the elderly, disabled individuals, immigrant populations, English-language learners, and individuals from low-income households.


Major Gifts (30%)

  • Oversee development/implementation of individual giving fundraising plan.
  • Identify, qualify, prioritize prospects through research, screening, discovery meetings.
  • Create annual goals/engagement plan for major donors/prospects based on organizational priorities, individual's interests, giving history, and other criteria.
  • Successfully engage, cultivate, solicit, steward a portfolio of past individual patrons/major donor prospects (309 people | goal of $370K+). Lead staff for a portion of the major donor portfolio.
  • Support the executive director’s major donor work through logistics, moves management strategy, tactical support/advice.
  • Engage, activate, support the board, other key volunteers as ambassadors, connectors, cultivators, and, where appropriate, askers, for VACNJ.
  • Develop/implement innovative fundraising programs, events to identify, cultivate, solicit individual funders.
  • Develop/implement Planned Giving Program.

Public and Private Grants (15%)

  • Oversee grant planning; e.g. scheduling, research, and cultivation.
  • Work with grant writer to conceptualize/draft proposals for foundation, corporate, government funders; coordinate input from the executive director, program and finance staff, artists and teaching artists as needed.
  • Ensure narratives and attachments etc. are of the highest quality, and deadlines are met.
  • Assure grant reporting requirements are met during/after the grant agreement.
  • Develop, update proposal/reporting templates coordinating with executive director, program staff, finance staff, artists, teaching artists for information, anecdotal/statistical data, internal/external research; ensure templates stored in the grants management files system.
  • Supervise efforts in researching grant prospects, writing proposals, reporting to grantors, acknowledging grants and corporate sponsorship contributions.
  • Oversee the database for government, private foundations, corporation funders.
  • Oversee funding acknowledgments are correct for print materials and Donor Wall.

 Special Events Fundraising (15%)

  • Collaborate with executive director, board of directors, fundraising team to coordinate all logistical components, execute annual benefit gala, other events.
  • Oversee creation of sponsorship packages for solicitations.
  • Work with events chairpersons and Development Committee to identify/solicit major corporate/individual donors/sponsors.
  • Develop/manage event budgets.
  • In collaboration with assistant director of communications, develop printed materials - invitations, brochures, event journals, postcards, etc.

Annual Appeal (10%)

  • Spearhead annual appeal to engage small, grassroots supporters and larger matching gifts.
  • Create, oversee implementation of November, May appeal solicitation letters and timetable for distribution, including mail/online solicitations.
  • Analyze results considering rates of donor retention, reactivation, attrition as well as identifying new major donor prospects for a moves management plan.
  • Manage mailing and tracking of all acknowledgment letters.
  • Oversee management of donor database.

 Membership (10%)

  • Continue to grow/manage membership program to deepen engagement through consistent communications.
  • Manage membership levels/benefits.
  • Oversee management of individual membership database.
  • Oversee creation of membership marketing materials.

Communications & Marketing (10%)

  • Oversee assistant director of communications in developing short-/long-term plans and budget for marketing/communications/public relations, monitor and evaluate progress/performance.
  • Oversee assistant director of communications in creation, implementation, and measurement of success of marketing/communications/public relations; supporting the Art Center’s brand in the marketplace.
  • Represent the Arts Center to the highest professional standards with public groups (volunteers, artists, students, members, business, government agencies, art organizations). Maintain a statewide presence for the Arts Center by participation with other arts-affiliated organizations.

Fiscal (5%)

  • Develop/manage budgets for Development & Communications Department.
  • Review/approve department expenditures.
  • Meet department income goals, keep expenses within budget.

Personnel (5%)

  • Develop/implement annual meeting schedules with the Board Development Committee and Development subcommittees. Meet with and regularly discuss/strategize on Development Department initiatives, programs, events with the chair of the Development Committee. Attend Development Committee meetings.
  • Hire, supervise, direct the efforts of the Development and Communications staff. Assess performance of staff members in the Development and Communication department.
  • Maintain a departmental climate that attracts, retains, motivates top-quality personnel, both paid/volunteer.

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training. 

We value diversity and seek actively to build an inclusive applicant pool and pursue a thoughtful hiring process, including a diverse hiring committee, carefully designed interview questions, and mindfulness about unconscious biases.

Hiring Organization

Visual Art Center of New Jersey



  • Passionate about arts, art making, power of arts education.
  • Effective leadership, management, training skills.
  • Highly organized, conscientious with the ability to prioritize effectively, juggle multiple responsibilities, and meet deadlines.
  • Self-motivated; entrepreneurial while being a team player.
  • Strong moral compass; able to maintain highly sensitive, confidential donor information.
  • Committed to fostering environment of trust, transparency, mutual respect.
  • Appreciation of/sensitivity to a diverse environment, inclusive of staff, donors, partners from varying sociocultural, economic, ideological, racial and ethnic backgrounds. 


  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum five years development experience.
  • Experience/success with maintaining relationships with major/mid-level donors.
  • Experience/success in raising major gifts and winning grants.
  • Experience inspiring/leading a team, able to work effectively with a team.
  • Excellent oral/written communication skills; includes one-on-one conversations, proposals, reports, emails.
  • Excellent analytical/strategic thinking skills, the ability to develop long-term plans, set objectives, track/report on progress toward achieving them.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in principles, practices, procedures of charitable giving, particularly in the areas of major gifts, annual gifts campaigns, planned giving.
  • Able to participate professionally in board meetings, support/empower board members on their development-related goals, activities.
  • Experience planning/delivering budgetary responsibilities.
  • Understanding of best practices in nonprofit management.
  • Familiarity with the New Jersey arts community, funding sources.

Industry/Service Area

Arts/Culture and Humanities



Application Instructions


PLEASE DO NOT USE Impact Opportunity’s URL to apply. We only consider candidates who email their resumes and cover letter to Katherinewdefoyd@gmail.com with Director of Development -Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in the subject line.


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