How Huntington prepared for the successful onboarding of its Director of Development by implementing new fundraising programs and reporting

The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre company and one of the region’s most well-regarded cultural assets. The Theatre’s core values inspire creativity and attract the world’s most prestigious and talented artists, and audiences, to its productions. The Theatre’s educational programs serve more than 33,000 students, teachers, and community organizations each year with student matinees, statewide Poetry Out Loud and the August Wilson Monologue Competition, and in-school teaching artists.

The Huntington engaged Development Guild in 2018 to serve as interim Director of Development while simultaneously conducting a search for a talented development professional to permanently fill the role.  By spending two days a week on-site and working closely with the Chief Development Officer, Development Guild was able to ensure that the Theatre’s campaign and annual fundraising efforts were well managed during a time of transition. In addition to overseeing the development team, Development Guild also implemented a new gift receiving process, enhanced prospect tracking systems, new cultivation and stewardship strategies, management reports and dashboards, and annual work plans, as well as assisted in developing new membership benefits for individuals and corporations.

This engagement resulted in a seamless onboarding of Jessica Morrison as the Theatre’s new Director of Development.  Jessica joined the Huntington from the American Repertory Theater where she served as Deputy Director of Development for five years.

The Theatre continues to cultivate, celebrate, and champion theatre as an art form, as it gears up for another season of presenting award-winning plays from world-class talent.

I have worked with many search firms in the past and my recent experience with Development Guild far surpassed all previous engagements. While Development Guild conducted our search for a Director of Development, they also provided interim fundraising counsel. Development Guild assessed staff performance, provided detailed guidelines and expectations for success, and facilitated effective group training. Most importantly, their counsel put a strong structure in place, which set up our team—and the new Director of Development—for success.

- Elisabeth Saxe, Chief Development Officer

Contact us to learn more about our executive search and interim management services.