Director of Development

December 2021 | New York, NY
Download PDF

Studio in a School seeks a new Director of Development to provide fundraising leadership for a vital, dynamic, widely respected and established visual arts education organization.

About Studio in a School 

Student painting at an easelIn 1977, when drastic budget cuts virtually eliminated the arts from New York City public schools, the founders of Studio in a School (Studio) devised a strategy to restore visual arts instruction by engaging professional artists to teach in public schools. Since then, Studio has served over one million students, most living in struggling communities, through partnerships with more than 1,000 public schools, community-based organizations, and cultural institutions in New York City and other cities nationwide.

Studio’s mission is to foster the creative and intellectual development of young people through quality visual arts programs directed by professional artists, and to collaborate with and enhance the capacity of those who provide and support arts programming for children and youth. This mission is realized through two organizational divisions:

  • Studio NYC reaffirms the commitment to the Studio’s core direct service by providing quality visual arts instruction to 30,000 students from Pre-K through 12th grade, in-school and after-school, in partnership with nearly 200 schools and educational sites citywide.
  • Studio Institute provides professional learning programs for educational systems, partnership programs with cultural and community organizations, arts internships, and the dissemination of arts education research in local and national forums. With a mandate to replicate and disseminate Studio’s model, the Institute now offers programs in Boston, Cleveland, Memphis, Newark, Philadelphia, and Providence, as well as in New York City.

About Philanthropy at Studio in a School

Studio in a School’s overall budget for the fiscal year 2020 was $8.2M (Studio NYC: $5.4M; Studio Institute: $2.8M). It has the support of benefactors from the corporate, governmental, and private sectors (including Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, George Gund Foundation, Clark Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and NYC Department of Education). The founder, Agnes Gund, remains on the Board and committed to the organization and its mission.

In 2017, Studio in a School marked 40 years as a leader in arts education with its once-every-five-years gala celebration. The next gala will be held in October 2022 and will be a pivotal opportunity to raise additional funds for the organization

To lead the organization into its next era, Studio in a School named Alison Scott-Williams as its new President in March 2020. Previously, Ms. Scott-Williams was at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), where she had been the Vice President for Arts Education since 2015. Earlier, she was Associate Vice President for Diversity and Campus Life at The Juilliard School in New York City, where she served in a variety of positions for more than 14 years.

About the Position

Reporting to the Studio NYC President, Alison Scott-Williams, the new Director of Development will provide fundraising leadership for a vital, dynamic, widely respected and established visual arts education organization. This person will oversee a department responsible for raising at least $4 million annually.

Child holding up colorful paintingAs part of the leadership team, the new Director of Development will be a well-rounded development professional, responsible for creating and executing a comprehensive fundraising strategy. This person will work closely with both the Studio NYC and Studio Institute Presidents, program staff and members of the Board of Directors to ensure annual goals are met and/or exceeded.

The right candidate will believe in the mission of Studio in a School, see its potential, and be able to develop the cultivation and communication strategies that will secure support. The individual in this role will be part of a team that delivers measurable results in visual arts education and leadership development for young people participating in our programs in NYC and beyond. The Director of Development will be based in the Studio in a School New York City office beginning later this year.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead, manage and grow Studio in a School’s comprehensive fundraising program which includes funding from individuals, foundations, government, and corporations
  • Provide strategic vision to the fundraising program, identifying growth potential and maximizing opportunity for fund development
  • Support and partner with the President of Studio NYC, the President of Studio Institute, Board members and volunteers on major fundraising initiatives
  • Identify, cultivate, and steward new and existing donors
  • Coach, mentor and motivate a team of two FTEs including the Development Manager and the Marketing Manager
  • Serve as the front-line fundraiser for the organization, managing a portfolio of individual and institutional donors
  • With staff, plan and host large-scale fundraising events and small Board member cultivation and fundraising events, including the next Gala to be held in October 2022
  • Oversee the development of a best practice Development infrastructure, including systems, policies, and procedures to ensure effectiveness and accountability across the program.
  • Oversee marketing and communications

Key Qualifications

  • student working on a wire sculptureMinimum of 5 years working in a professional development capacity with experience in a high achieving fundraising program that meets and exceeds goals annually
  • Proven track record of success in identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding 5 and 6-figure gifts from individuals and foundations
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising strategies and principles.
  • Familiarity with raising funds from government a plus
  • Highly organized, attentive to detail, and able to anticipate, plan for, and meet deadlines
  • Proactive self-starter able to work in a fast-paced, innovative environment
  • Superior written and verbal communications skills
  • High energy, “can do” spirit and a sense of humor
  • Commitment to the mission of Studio in a School a must
  • Ability to travel as needed
  • Experience with Raisers Edge a plus

Studio in a School is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to hire staff members who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. All positions at Studio in a School are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, employment status, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.

Jesse Bryan
Senior Consultant
Development Guild DDI 

Related Posts

Interested in this position or other new career opportunities?