Albany Park Theater Project
Director of Development
Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) creates transformative experiences that forge an inclusive community of youth artists, adult artists, and audiences to envision and build a more just, equitable, and joyful world. APTP’s teen ensemble and adult artistic team collaborate to devise world-class original theater that amplifies and illuminates the real-life stories of immigrants and first-generations of the Albany Park community. Audiences come from across Chicago and beyond to experience APTP’s innovative and visionary theatrical performances.
Founded 25 years ago with a trifold commitment to art, youth development, and social justice, APTP serves as a cultural and community anchor in the Albany Park neighborhood and contributes to its vital and vibrant reputation. Since 1997, APTP has engaged more than 5,000 young people through its Performing Ensemble and APTP@School, its school-based program. Fueled by their participation in APTP’s creative community, teens envision and prepare to lead choice-filled lives, which they pursue with support from APTP’s mentoring, tutoring and post-secondary planning programs. More than 60% of Performing Ensemble alumni have graduated from college by the age of 25.
At its home theater in Albany Park and other venues, APTP’s Performing Ensemble has premiered more than 20 original plays and performed for more than 80,000 audience members. The teen ensemble’s performances foster empathy, humanize challenging social issues, encourage new ways of seeing the world, and inspire action. The Chicago Tribune recognizes APTP as “one of Chicago’s more remarkable artistic institutions,” and the Chicago Sun-Times hails APTP as “a prodigiously gifted, exquisitely directed youth ensemble that abounds in talent, technique, and emotional heat.”
In 2023, APTP will debut a 12,000 square-foot immersive performance space, supported by a recently completed $2.5-million major gifts campaign and an in-kind building donation by a major donor. The new facility will house Port of Entry, a signature immersive performance by the teen Performing Ensemble that will invite audiences to step inside the stories of immigrants from all parts of the world as they forge new lives side by side within the walls of a single apartment building.
Albany Park Theater Project has a 12-member board of directors, led by Board President Reena Bajowala. Guided by Co-Executive Directors David Feiner (also a co-founder) and Miguel Angel Rodriguez (also an alum of the Performing Ensemble), APTP has a full-time staff of seven which expands to a team of more than two dozen during productions. For the fiscal year ending June 2022, APTP reported total revenue of nearly $2.5 million, total expenses of $1.5 million, and net assets of $2.7 million; with the opening of Port of Entry in 2023, APTP anticipates an annual budget in the range of $2 million.
Located eight miles from downtown on the northwest side of Chicago, the Albany Park neighborhood is known as a port of entry that welcomes people from all around the world. Albany Park is frequently cited as one of the most culturally diverse communities in Chicago and the entire country. More than 68% of Albany Park residents are people of color, 40% immigrated from other countries, and 62% speak a language other than English at home. Reflecting the diversity of its residents, Albany Park boasts a phenomenal array of neighborhood restaurants serving up culinary delights from many parts of the globe. APTP’s office and its home theater sit within a public park nestled alongside the north branch of the Chicago River.
The Director of Development (DOD) will be a strategic, proactive, and highly collaborate development leader. The DOD will leverage available networks to cultivate new and existing funding relationships with individual and institutional donors. They will partner with the board of directors and executive leadership to identify and cultivate a pipeline of donor prospects. Leading a development team of three, including an administrative support role and contracted grant writer, and reporting to the Co-Executive Directors, the DOD will oversee all aspects of fundraising to grow and diversify streams of philanthropic support. Collaborating with all staff, the DOD will serve as an ambassador for the APTP mission of art, youth, and justice and demonstrate compassion, care, and concern for social justice work, with an emphasis on issues impacting the APTP community.
Roles and Responsibilities
Development Leadership and External Engagement
- Partner with the Co-Executive Directors to create and execute a comprehensive annual development plan addressing the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of APTP donors and donor prospects with an emphasis on institutional giving and increasing individual giving at $5,000+.
- Supervise institutional giving with an emphasis on identification of new mission-aligned funding partners, creation of inspirational proposal language, and effective stewardship and reporting.
- Serve as a thought leader in creating and executing solicitation and development strategy, evaluation, design, and implementation opportunities.
- Expand APTP’s moves management strategy to cultivate, steward and enhance the already robust pipeline of donor prospects to support current and future revenue goals.
- Ensure that inclusion, diversity, equity, and access are centered in APTP’s fund development strategy.
- Engage as an articulate, passionate, and visible storyteller and prominent fundraising presence for APTP among stakeholders, and in the Chicago philanthropic community.
- Foster an organizational culture of philanthropy, building participation in fundraising across the organization and board.
Development Planning and Administration
- Recruit, train, mentor, and supervise a team of three development professionals.
- Partner with APTP’s Co-Executive Directors on strategic planning and other mission-driven organizational decisions as a member of the core leadership team.
- Monitor trends and changes in the local and national philanthropic landscape and take appropriate actions to ensure that APTP is well positioned to respond to the shifting dynamics.
- Comply with all applicable regulations, statutes, and ethical and professional standards.
Financial Management and Analytics
- Partner with the Co-Executive Directors to craft the annual budget and to set ambitious, yet realistic fundraising goals.
- Collaborate with the Finance & Operations Manager to prepare budgets, financial reports, and financial statements for grant proposals, grant reports, and for board and leadership meetings.
- Oversee fundraising progress, providing detailed monthly reports to support cash flow, annual budget, special project budgets, and overall financial decision-making.
- Supervise the Development Coordinator in the highly accurate processing and public recognition of grants and donations and the maintenance of data entry and reporting protocols.
- Collaborate with in-house designer on the creation of all digital and print materials related to development.
Traits and Characteristics
The successful Director of Development will be a collaborative, self-starting leader who is motivated by uplifting youth, the arts, and social justice while fostering an organization-wide culture embracing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. This confident, results-driven leader moves with diplomacy and authenticity, building and maintaining relationships using empathy and connection to the mission. The DOD will develop, nurture, and leverage relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
Other key competencies of the role include:
- Planning and Organizing – The ingenuity to collaboratively establish strategic goals while assessing risks, organizing activities, people, and operational priorities to meet mutually agreed upon expectations and fund development goals.
- Personal Accountability – The capacity to accept responsibility for personal actions, results, and outcomes, and the willingness to take ownership of situations and decisions.
- Time and Priority Management – The capability to effectively balance timelines and priorities among challenges and delays while creating a constructive environment.
- Self-Starting and Goal Orientation – The ability to collaborate, effectively utilize available resources, and take initiative towards organizational goals, while advocating for the organization and taking calculated risks to achieve challenging goals.
- Creativity and Innovation – The dexterity to create new approaches, processes, technologies, and systems to achieve organizational goals.
A combination of demonstrated professional experience and development proficiency is essential for this role. A minimum of five years of progressive fundraising experience with at least one year of supervisory leadership is required for this position. Demonstrable skill in professional writing or writing supervision, storytelling, and overall communication is essential for success in this role. A successful candidate will show evidence of establishing and increasing diverse revenue streams, building new partnerships, and will possess a successful track record of securing major gifts, along with experience of raising at least $1 million annually. A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice is necessary. This is a full-time exempt position with a hybrid option (2-3 days per week in the office) and a traditional 9 to 5 work schedule that will require occasional weekend and evening hours. The chosen candidate must be fully vaccinated prior to beginning the role.
Don’t check off every box in the requirements listed above? Please apply anyway! Studies have shown that marginalized communities—such as women, LGBTQ+, and people of color—are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. Albany Park Theater Project is an Equal Opportunity employer and values a diverse workforce.
Compensation and Benefits
Albany Park Theater Project offers a competitive compensation package, with a salary range of $100,000 to $115,000, 100% employer-paid platinum health insurance (employee only), 50% employer-paid dental and vision coverage, retirement plan contribution, and a generous PTO benefits package.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Delilah Norris, Vice President
201 West Lake Street, Suite 333
Chicago, IL 60606-1803
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 230
Albany Park Theater Project is an equal opportunity employer. APTP is unconditionally committed to the goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic team. ALAANA-identified individuals, trans and gender nonconforming people, people from poor and working-class backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
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