Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Chief Development Officer Executive Search Arts Consulting Group Fundraising

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Chief Development Officer


“We built Bethel Woods to create a better place for people of this county and region to live, work, and play. Our kids are our future. Let’s give them every opportunity to flourish here, to become successful, and contribute to society.”

Alan Gerry, Founder and Chairman

Serving nearly 200,000 visitors each year, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Bethel Woods) is a world-class cultural center located on the original site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival in the Catskill Mountains in southern New York. Alan Gerry, a cable television pioneer and philanthropist, created the nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life and revitalizing the economy in his native Sullivan County. Since its opening in 2006, Bethel Woods has grown and developed into a multi-faceted cultural destination committed to leveraging its success for the economic and social benefit of Sullivan County.

Located 90 miles from New York City on a beautiful, pastoral 800-plus-acre campus, Bethel Woods boasts a 15,000-seat outdoor performing arts venue, a smaller intimate performance space, and a museum. Each year Bethel Woods offers a diverse selection of nearly 300 cultural experiences through a variety of performances, presentations, and educational and community activities. Musical legends including The Eagles, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Van Halen, and Lady Gaga have graced the stage in the award-winning amphitheater. During the fall, regional artisans, farmers, brewers, and vintners share their craft in a variety of festivals and markets, embodying the spirit of the farm-to-table movement. The Museum at Bethel Woods is the Center’s history hub, serving visitors annually through permanent and special exhibits, public programs, and historic preservation. The Museum interprets the cultural significance of the 1960s and the festival, connecting people with past events and issues that continue to shape their lives.

Educational programming has expanded every year since 2006 and has become a vital community resource, reaching nearly 30,000 individuals, children, and families annually, many who would otherwise have little or no access. Multi-disciplinary programs provide learning opportunities about the lessons of the 1960s – Individual expression, heightened cultural engagement and social consciousness, empowerment and inspiration. In 2013 The Conservatory opened to accommodate the planned growth, both on and off campus, of youth and teen education and outreach programming. The Conservatory brings creative youth development programs to a region where few to none previously existed.

Bethel Woods is built on a sustainable business model with diverse revenue streams that leverage its unique, historical setting as a competitive advantage in its live performances, social and corporate events, and cultural offerings. The $17.6 million annual operating budget is comprised of earned revenue from events and concerts and $4.8 million in contributed revenue for its museum, community, and educational programs. The organization is poised to grow its philanthropic support to expand its impact on young people and the residents of Sullivan County. Bethel Woods is governed by a 13-member board of trustees with Alan Gerry serving as Chairman. Darlene Fedun is the Chief Executive Officer.


Sullivan County, home to Bethel Woods, is a spectacular setting located at the crossroads of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley region, a 90-minute drive from New York City. Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York is a 45-minute drive and offers direct or connecting service by major airlines to any location in the world. The idyllic setting has been described as one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, and untapped recreational meccas in the United States, offering year-round outdoor activities, a wealth of cultural attractions, and a nationally ranked school district.

Since the 19th century, Sullivan County has been a popular vacation spot, attracting visitors with refreshing summers and stunning scenery. Home to more than 30 scenic towns and villages, the county is in southern New York State, southwest of Albany and separated from Pennsylvania to the south by the Delaware River. Monticello is the county seat and largest community in the county.

Sullivan County and its surrounding communities is a charming place to settle and is especially attractive to young families. The school district is nationally ranked and housing is affordable. Nearby, Walnut Mountain Park features 13 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that are considered among the best in the region. Within a short drive of Liberty, one can enjoy a world of year-round recreational opportunities, including golf, gambling, cross country and alpine skiing, or live performances. Summer activities include fly-fishing, cycling, water skiing, and rafting on the Delaware River.

The schools in Sullivan County are among New York State’s best and some are nationally recognized for their achievement with a student to teacher ratio of 11:1. SUNY Sullivan is a comprehensive community college in the SUNY (State University of New York) system with an enrollment of 1,600.

The Veria Lifestyle Wellness Resort will open later this year and the Resorts World Catskill casino will open in 2018. Both major investments are poised to attract more visitors and employment to the area. The bounty of the farms and dairies in the region makes its way to restaurants and farmers’ markets in the area, creating an eclectic food scene. Craft breweries, wineries, and small batch distilleries dot the picturesque landscape.


The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will have an exciting and rewarding opportunity to chart the next phase of philanthropic growth for Bethel Woods. Reporting to and partnering with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the CDO also works closely with the board of trustees to engage in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors and leveraging the potential for significant gifts. As an integral member of the senior management team, the CDO plays an active role as a thought-partner in planning for the organization’s overall advancement.

The CDO is charged with conceptualizing and implementing a plan to grow Bethel Woods’ philanthropic support and donor base, including participation in the development of plans for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock in 2019. The CDO will be responsible for developing and establishing strong relationships with all segments of the community. The CDO will manage a team of seven full-time staff whose responsibilities include major gifts, membership, annual fund, foundation grant writing, corporate sponsorship, special events, research, and database administration.

Roles and Responsibilities

Fundraising Management

  • Oversee the development department, including individual, institutional, membership, and special events, and supervise the development staff by setting clear expectations, motivating the team, and assisting with their professional development.
  • Proactively support the board, development committee, and CEO to drive fundraising activity and personal engagement with top prospects.
  • Work with the CEO and board of trustees to develop and implement long- and short-term strategies for fundraising.
  • Provide leadership to the development department with a focus on the expansion of the donor base and major gifts.
  • Maintain a personal portfolio of donors, cultivating and soliciting major gifts for the annual fund, special events, capital projects, and special programs.
  • Develop, cultivate, and enhance Bethel Woods’ relationships in the community.
  • Establish solicitation priorities, manage prospect lists and research, and develop and execute targeted cultivation plans and solicitation strategies for a range of prospects.


Departmental Strategic Planning and Operational Effectiveness

  • Create, implement, and manage a strategic development plan designed to significantly increase contributed revenue from current levels of approximately $2.6 to $2.7 million annually.
  • Guide and mentor the development team’s successful achievement of contributed revenue goals for individual, corporate, foundation, and government funding and special events, with a personal emphasis on identifying, cultivating, and securing new sources of funding.
  • Ensure that the department adheres to long-term strategic and operational plan goals, coordinating and presenting regular progress reports to the CEO and board as needed.
  • Manage the department’s staffing needs, including interviewing, hiring, evaluating, and mentoring team members.


Administration and Oversight

  • Direct all aspects of membership and patron benefits program, including stewardship, special events, cultivation, benefits fulfillment, daily donor interaction, and volunteer management.
  • Prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets; provide accurate reporting, analysis, and integration of data; and oversee the maintenance and integrity of membership, donor, and prospect records.
  • Develop partnerships with all key departments to support annual giving programs, sponsorships, special projects, and events and create customized donor stewardship and recognition opportunities to support expanded fundraising activities.
  • Lead and mentor the development staff in utilizing available data to analyze and document fundraising needs and opportunities.
  • Assess current technology and refine development practices to ensure maximum efficiency and results.

Traits and Characteristics

The successful CDO will be a proactive and collaborative leader, skilled fundraiser, and an experienced manager with the vision to think big, pursuing Bethel Woods’ ambitious goals with creativity and determination. This individual must possess superlative interpersonal and communication skills and articulate compelling messages for support, both verbally and in writing. The CDO will be self-sufficient and self-managed with a highly organized approach and the ability to achieve organizational objectives. This key member of the senior management team should enjoy working collaboratively with staff, volunteers, donors, and prospective supporters. The CDO should possess the leadership skills to effectively build consensus with a sense of immediacy in achieving significant fundraising goals as well as an appreciation of the teamwork required to succeed organizationally. This individual will bring an affinity for Bethel Woods’ mission and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success, complemented by highly-developed skills and an efficient, best practices approach.

Other key competencies include the following:

  • Personal Accountability – Accepts responsibility for actions and outcomes of development and development-communication efforts. Inspires others, builds trust, and demonstrates loyalty while acknowledging one’s own responsibility to be accountable for personal actions and professional decisions.
  • Customer Focus and Interpersonal Skills – A commitment to customer satisfaction with a high value on multiple stakeholder needs and the ability to anticipate challenges and develop appropriate solutions. Builds rapport and relates well to all kinds of people regardless of cultural differences.
  • Planning and Organizing – Works within established timeframes and ascertains top priorities for optimum productivity with procedures, processes, and systems that result in order, accuracy, and efficiency.
  • Goal Achievement – Establishes goals that are relevant and attainable and initiates activity without delay.
  • Leadership – Organizes and motivates others to accomplish goals while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among a variety of stakeholders.
  • Presenting – Communicates persuasively and effectively to groups of all sizes through presentations, discussions, remarks, and written communications.


A bachelor’s degree, a minimum of seven years of experience with increasing responsibility, and proven success in a fundraising leadership role, ideally with an arts, humanities, or education focus, are required. A strong track record in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors and potential donors at all levels, particularly major gifts donors, and the ability to develop budgets and staff teams are necessary. Candidates must be highly self-motivated, metrics-driven, and goal-oriented. Superior presentation and written and verbal communication skills are required. Experience working with boards and high-level volunteers is essential. Candidates must possess a flexible and adaptable style to positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives. This individual must exhibit a passion for understanding the influence of the arts and humanities in empowering others to realize their potential and for inspiring stakeholders to invest in the future of Bethel Woods and the economic and cultural vibrancy of the region. Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), donor database software, traditional, electronic, and social media, and use of advanced tools for donor prospecting and research are necessary.

Compensation and Benefits

Excellent compensation and benefits include health and dental insurance, matching 401(k) plan, vacation, and a quality work life in Sullivan County with frequent access to its natural wonders and the unique, creative environment of Bethel Woods. The office facility houses a fitness area and full menu cafeteria.

Applications and Inquiries

Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:

Ms. Elisabeth B. Galley
Senior Vice President

2807 Allen Street, Suite 324
Dallas, TX 75204-4062
Tel        (888) 234.4236 Ext. 209
Fax       (888) 284.6651

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is an equal opportunity employer.

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