Folger Shakespeare Library



Folger Shakespeare Library

Director of Development


A hub for scholarship, performance, and the study of the early modern period, the Folger Shakespeare Library (Folger) puts Shakespeare and the period in which he lived in dialogue with a changing world. In advancing its mission, the Folger connects with 21stcentury audiences through programming and research inspired by a renowned collection of rare books, manuscripts, and other materials. The Folger creates lovers of Shakespeare and the humanities through programs that speak directly and powerfully to the human experience. Driving discovery and creating transformative experiences for students of all ages, the Folger is a leader in performance-based education, and more than two million teachers and students benefit from its broad variety of programs, exhibits, and events each year.

The Folger’s founders, Henry Clay and Emily Jordan Folger established the institution in 1932. The Folger is a world-class research center on Shakespeare and the early modern western world. The historic landmark building, designed in 1932 by Paul Cret, is undergoing a multiyear, $80-million-dollar renovation expanding public space, improving accessibility, and enhancing engagement for all visitors including a 12,000 square-foot New Pavilion that will feature new exhibition space and visitor amenities. The expanded Folger building promises a dramatically different relationship with new and existing audiences: teachers/educators, families, daytime visitors, members, academics, researchers, and scholars, general enthusiasts, and local/national/global institutional partners and funders.

The transition to a more public-facing Folger has been ongoing for several years, and new development, communications and marketing strategies will be implemented during the renovation, scheduled to complete in fall 2023. The Folger is currently working with branding agency Truth & Consequences to develop a communication and marketing campaign specifically aimed at reopening visitation. The success of the campaign to support the renovation of The Folger is a catalyst for the next generation of board, donor, and membership support.

Located one block from the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC, the Folger is administered by a 22-member Board of Governors led by Chair D. Jarrett Arp, under the auspices of founder Henry Clay Folger’s alma mater, Amherst College. Director Dr. Michael Witmore leads a staff of 130 employees. For the fiscal year ending July 31, 2022, the Folger reported total revenue of $19.3 million and total expenses of $19.2 million.

Position Summary

The Director of Development serves as the lead fundraising officer of the Folger Shakespeare Library, charged with developing $4 to 5 million in annual support for the organization. They provide fully integrated leadership and direction in increasing philanthropic resources, high-impact partnerships, awareness, and powerful connections with both the Folger’s existing stakeholders and its broad-based emerging audiences. The Director of Development will collaborate closely with the Director and the full senior director team, to establish fundraising goals that support the larger strategic goals of the institution. The Director of Development will resource, cultivate and solicit major gift prospects, as well as provide fundraising leadership for the team. The Director of Development collaborates with the senior director team on overall organizational strategy and is part of the executive leadership team that drives high impact programming, engagement, and communication at the Folger, in the community, on the road, and online.

The Director of Development is responsible for the direction and supervision of a development staff comprised of 10 professionals across the following functional areas: planned and major gifts; capital campaign initiatives; corporate, government and institutional giving; annual giving, membership, fundraising events; and development operations. They will be empowered to optimize the organizational design/functional alignment of the development team in consultation with the Director of the Folger. The Folger has recently exceeded its $50 million goal on its Wonder of Will campaign and will continue to solicit gifts for priority areas as that campaign concludes. The return to the newly renovated building will provide an occasion for both celebration and cultivation of the next group of Folger supporters and members.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Set campaign and annual fundraising goals for the Folger in consultation with the Director, senior leadership, and the development team.
  • Identify and refine giving priorities and translate those priorities into compelling opportunities for philanthropy.
  • Construct development strategies and execute plans that will markedly increase individual (including annual, major, principal, blended, and legacy gifts), foundation, corporate, government, membership, and other philanthropic support.
  • Personally manage a portfolio of current and prospective donors at six-figure to eight-figure giving capacity, including both individual and institutional sources, moving them through the stages of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Collaborate with the development team to fully maximize the philanthropy and partnership opportunities in the community and field.
  • Lead the effort to create strategic and distinctive fundraising events, engaging donors, volunteers, and staff, and support teams to celebrate the Folger’s mission and service in the community.
  • Provide regular financial projections and budgets regarding Folger fundraising activities and progress to the Director, senior leadership, Board of Governors, and, as appropriate, for broader distribution within the organization.
  • Maintain a contemporary knowledge of modern data management and fundraising practices, including database information systems and data modeling to streamline development processes and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.
  • Think strategically to shape messaging and develop a case for support and innovative fundraising plans to achieve goals and objectives and move individuals and institutions across the spectrum of prospect development, culminating in solicitations appropriate to organizational priorities and donor interests.

Board and Donor Engagement

  • Partner with the Director to identify and recruit new board members, educate board members about their role in advancing a culture of philanthropy, cultivate and solicit them for financial support, and leverage their respective networks to expand the donor base and support for the Folger.
  • Ensure high-quality, individualized, and meaningful stewardship of donors, coordinating with colleagues throughout the Folger and personally stewarding donors as needed.
  • Lead and oversee the development team in creating and promoting effective cultivation and solicitation opportunities that involve the Director of the Folger, members of the senior leadership team, volunteer leaders, and other senior organizational leaders.
  • Support leadership and development efforts as a key liaison to the Board’s Advancement Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee.
  • Commit to ongoing discovery of new major and principal gift prospects and serve as the Folger’s primary knowledge source for funding opportunities and philanthropic outlets.
  • Analyze existing members and entry-level donors to identify donors with greater capacity to support the Folger’s fundraising priorities.
  • Maintain knowledge of important developments within the regional and national funding environments and speak credibly and persuasively about the Folger’s mission and vision for the future.

Team and Organizational Oversight

  • Recruit, diversify, coach, inspire, and motivate a strong philanthropy team that represents the community that the Folger serves, including hiring, managing, mentoring, training, and evaluating an experienced and competent team.
  • Work with the annual giving and membership teams and colleagues in communications and marketing to increase membership and participation in the annual fund.
  • Lead the planned and major gifts team in the ongoing discovery, strategy, and solicitation of new major, principal, and legacy gift prospects.
  • Oversee the institutional giving team, working closely with colleagues from across the institution on both sustainable and project specific funding opportunities.
  • Spearhead growth, maintenance, and enhancement of the development team’s technological proficiency and tools, maximizing technologies to streamline operational processes; spearhead creative technology initiatives that touch new potential donors.
  • Create a supportive, collaborative, productive, and healthy work environment based on respect, teamwork, and the equity, diversity, and inclusion values of the Folger.
  • Set performance standards and provide timely, constructive feedback while supporting opportunities for professional development.
  • Support team growth with appropriate human resources, structures, systems, and technological platforms that are in alignment with current and future trends in philanthropy.
  • Embrace other team and organizational effectiveness responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The Director of Development will be a proven leader, manager, mentor, and collaborative colleague who is comfortable leading major initiatives and inspiring others and who has a history of effectively leading organizational growth. They will be an innovator in philanthropy, possessing credibility and passion for Shakespeare and the humanities. The ideal candidate will have participated in a meaningful way in a major capital campaign, have proven results as a frontline solicitor of major gifts, and have collaborated on major campaigns that connect audiences with the philanthropic mission of an institution like the Folger. They must be a student of modern philanthropy best practices and able to effectively leverage a fundraising model through the strategic, forward-thinking integration of corresponding functions.

Other key competencies include:

  • Leadership and Teamwork – The ability to articulate a vision and create a sense of purpose and direction for internal and external stakeholders, build trust by demonstrating respect and integrity, and create an environment where team members are appreciated and supported.
  • Diplomacy and Interpersonal – The agility to effectively manage difficult or sensitive issues and to effectively communicate, build rapport, and relate well to all people.
  • Patron Focus – The capacity to anticipate, meet, and frequently exceed patron expectations while deeply considering internal stakeholder perspectives.
  • Personal Accountability – The capability to self-evaluate and answer for personal actions, decisions, and results.
  • Time and Priority Management – The clarity to prioritize and complete tasks to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.


A bachelor’s degree is required and an advanced degree and certifications in fundraising are desirable. A minimum of seven years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, which includes work in all functional areas (individual giving, institutional giving, annual giving, planned giving, stewardship, board relations) and participation in a major capital campaign (planning, implementation, management, and successful conclusion), preferably within a major cultural institution, nonprofit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity. The successful candidate will have superior writing and eloquent public speaking skills. They will have a demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with at least five years of significant supervisory experience, including experience creating and managing a budget. A strong record of recruiting and developing exceptional people and fostering a transparent work environment where collegiality is a key to success.

Compensation and Benefits

The Folger offers competitive compensation, with an anticipated annual salary range between $175,000 to $210,000; a benefit package that includes annual vacation, sick, and personal time; more than 12 paid holidays; employer-paid individual health, dental, and vision insurance; 403(b) with contribution and match; life insurance; short- and long-term disability; flexible spending; pretax transit assistance; educational assistance; grant-in-aid for dependents; credit union membership; membership; employee assistance program, and more.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume highlighting relevant and demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Nan Keeton, Senior Vice President
Wyona Lynch-McWhite, Senior Vice President
ACG 25
292 Newbury Street, Suite 315
Boston, MA 02115-2801
Tel        (888) 234.4236 Ext. 203 (Ms. Keeton) or Ext. 225 (Ms. Lynch-McWhite)

The Folger Shakespeare Library currently defines diversity in compliance with the DC equal opportunity definitions of protected classes: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, sexual preference or orientation, gender identification, genetic information, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, student status, political affiliation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable federal, district, or local EO laws and regulations. Areas not covered by the DC guidelines are particularly important to pay attention to, including class, economic status, and education levels.
To provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the Folger are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. This policy of equal opportunity applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, placement, promotion, retention, termination, layoff, recall, furlough, transfer, leave of absence, compensation, and training.

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

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