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The view toward Firth and Shop Studios. Photo by Judith Dupre.
The view toward Firth and Shop Studios. Photo by Judith Dupre.

Employment Opportunities

Director of Development

The MacDowell Colony is the nation’s leading artist residency program. Each year MacDowell awards 300 fellowships to exceptional creative artists of all disciplines. MacDowell Fellows are given an inspiring place to create their best work, exchange ideas, and make the world a better place. MacDowell’s Director of Development is responsible for planning and executing the Colony’s national development and fundraising strategies on an annual and long-term basis. The Director of Development will be located in the New York office of the Colony and report to the Executive Director and supervise a staff of five in the development department. The Director of Development works with the Executive Director, senior team, and board leadership to fund the annual operating budget of $4 million, with a goal of raising half through annual fundraising as well as major gifts for endowment, capital, and programmatic projects.

The successful candidate will have experience in building a national fundraising base, proven success securing six-figure gifts, and managing staff. The candidate should be charismatic, have a passion for the arts, and have exceptional communication, planning, and organizational skills. He or she will have demonstrated success in achieving goals and an ability to envision new avenues of support. The Director of Development will represent the institution publicly in various contexts and will enjoy an active schedule with the aim of introducing new donors to MacDowell as well as stewarding donors across the country.

The Director of Development will:

  • Spearhead a $2 million annual campaign including the prospecting, cultivation, and stewardship of five- to seven-figure gifts from board, foundation/corporate, MacDowell Fellow, and non-Fellow prospects.
  • Develop appropriate cultivation strategies for key prospects and advise and support the Executive Director, board, and volunteers to move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure of major gifts.
  • Oversee prospect identification and stewardship activity for major gifts and a growing donor membership program.
  • Design strategy to secure funds for underwriting special initiatives and fundraising campaigns.
  • Spend 75% of his/her time managing relationships with approximately 100 top donors (those with a capacity of $10k and above), engaging with donors and prospects through 10-15 visits per month, including frequent travel to visit new and potential donors.
  • Work with the Board Development Committee Chair to set fundraising strategy, secure 100% Board participation, facilitate board recruitment, and engage the entire board and non-board volunteers in executing the strategy and securing support from others.
  • Manage and set priorities for the development staff and oversee development operations and departmental budget. Work with other departments to manage marketing, communications, and outreach for Development priorities.


  • 10+ years of experience, including capital campaign experience
  • Keen fundraising strategist who can engage existing donors, engage new prospects, and foster relationships with key supporters and volunteer leadership.
  • Knowledge of the national arts funding arena.
  • Proven ability to raise significant five- and six-figure gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills along with exceptional interpersonal and organizational abilities.
  • Exceptional ability to organize and motivate others, including staff, peers, and volunteers. Experience in training and mentoring other philanthropy staff and volunteers in fundraising practices and techniques.
  • Ability to function effectively as a team leader, and a willingness to participate in activities and assignments that will benefit other members of the team or will contribute to the accomplishment of team objectives.
  • Experience in a broad range of fundraising activities including event planning, e-solicitations, patron groups, direct mail, corporate and foundation grants, and donor recognition.
  • Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge database system and e-communications software.


New York

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume, subject line: Director of Development, to The MacDowell Colony.