Eighth Blackbird is currently searching for a full-time Director of Development to build long-term financial sustainability through increasing contributed income. The Director of Development will provide strategic oversight of the implementation of all aspects of Eighth Blackbird’s Development Plan. The Director of Development will supervise a part time Grants Manager and receive staff assistance on maintenance of databases, and handling day-to-day administrative duties.

The Position: Director of Development

The Director of Development’s primary responsibility is the design and implementation of Eighth Blackbird’s Development Plan with an emphasis on long-term strategies.  Building on a clear understanding of Eighth Blackbird’s vision, the Director will identify, qualify, cultivate and steward the best possible gifts from donors.


The Director of Development will provide strategic leadership for Eighth Blackbird. Responsibilities include:

  • Create and implement comprehensive annual fundraising programs for Eighth Blackbird, including directing the calendar of solicitation activities, grant application and reporting, and donor events, providing strategic oversight for special events

  • Direct the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual donors

  • Oversee all communications with donors and prospective donors, including print and online materials, solicitations, acknowledgments, and stewardship materials

  • Build and maintain partnerships with interested foundations, corporations, governmental entities, and other support stakeholders

  • Develop and present research, metrics, and reports on fundraising activities to Eighth Blackbird’s board of directors and committees

  • Provide guidance surrounding the development efforts of the board of directors, artistic directors, and managing directors

  • Manage all aspects of the contributed income and development-related sections of Eighth Blackbird’s annual budget.

  • Manage and direct ongoing efforts to fully utilize and integrate development database (currently Salesforce) into development processes and reporting

  • Effectively manage the Eighth Blackbird development team and provide opportunities for professional development

Desired Qualities and Experience

  • Five years or more of fund development experience in the nonprofit sector

  • Experience shaping and implementing successful development strategy(s) within organizations with reputations for innovation and excellence;

  • Relevant experience with and understanding of the challenges of smaller budgeted but rapidly growing organizations

  • Knowledge and expertise in budget management  and other areas of financial management

  • Strong staff and board management skills

  • Skill and knowledge of web-based fundraising strategies, marketing and strategic planning

  • Proven track record of success in partnership building and individual and institutional fundraising

  • Knowledge of, and experience with, Chicago’s philanthropic community, particularly in the arts and culture arena and capability to cultivate potential regional and national support

  • Ability to inspire confidence and trustworthiness while courting donors at public events and in individual meetings

  • Excitement for and commitment to making this unique partnership successful

  • Passion for adventurous art

  • Excellent written and oral communication, and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work independently and as a team player

  • Ability to manage multiple, simultaneous deadlines and priorities

  • Strong time management and project management skills

  • Flexibility, high energy, creative drive and positive disposition

  • Strong computer skills and knowledge of database programs

  • CFRE is a plus

To be considered for this position:

Please send a letter of interest with salary requirements and resume to employment@eighthblackbird.org

Questions may be directed to:

Nathalie Joachim, nathalie@eighthblackbird.org