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Work at BE Theater

TITLE – Vice-President of Development
ORGANIZATION –  The Black Ensemble Theater
LOCATION –  Chicago, IL
REPORTS TO – CEO & Executive Director

To eradicate racism and its damaging effects upon our society through the utilization of theater arts.

BE is the only theater in the nation whose mission is to eradicate racism. We utilize theater and educational outreach programs to bring people together in a community that fosters dialogue, respects differences while ultimately embracing and honoring our sameness as human beings.

Black Ensemble Theater (BE), Founded in 1976 by actress, producer, and playwright Jackie Taylor, has grown from a small community arts organization to a vibrant nationally and internationally renowned arts institution.  A leader and innovator in the African American and mainstream arts communities, Black Ensemble Theater is recognized as one of the most diverse theaters in the country, producing excellent musical theater.  In addition to its renowned live productions, Black Ensemble Theater provides educational outreach, black playwright development and community access programs all of which are crucial to its mission.  On November 18, 2011, BE celebrated the Grand Opening of the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, the theater’s first permanent home located at 4450 N. Clark Street, in the heart of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

At the forefront of our strategic planning efforts are the evolution, growth, and sustainability of Black Ensemble Theater.  Our plan for the future expands the theater’s reach, audience, and physical footprint, creating new avenues to serve the community and to accomplish our mission. While our vision and plans for the future are many years in the making, the current racial strife, the seemingly impenetrable systemic barriers and the events over the last few years only serve to strengthen our resolve and commitment to our lofty, but necessary, mission of eradicating racism.

Over its 46 years, Black Ensemble Theater has garnered strong philanthropic support and the talent of a committed and quality Board of Directors.   The Vice President of Development will join Black Ensemble Theater during a critical period in its history.  Working with the CEO, Board of Directors and Executive Team, the VP of Development will leverage the theater’s reputation and profile to help shape the future of the theater.

The Vice-President of Development will lead a staff of two to three development professionals and serve as an essential member of the executive leadership team. As an exceptional leader, the Vice President will work with the CEO to set goals and forward-thinking strategies to support the organization’s general operations and capital projects.  With the responsibility of broadening the theater’s core donor base and contributed revenue through planned giving, major gifts, grants and corporate philanthropy, the Vice President is vital to the visibility, impact, and financial health of Black Ensemble. The ability to work across a diverse group of stakeholders including board members, a loyal base of donors and community partners.

Key Responsibilities

    • Leadership
      • Gain a thorough understanding of Black Ensemble Theater – its history, mission, vision, values, culture, staff, donors, prospective donors, programs, and audiences
      • Work in close partnership with the Chief Operating Officer and the marketing team to grow the patron and donor base through a coordinated marketing and communication plan
      • Provide leadership, management, and mentoring to Development staff; provide guidance on best practices and strategy when needed
    • Fundraising
      • Create a comprehensive plan for growing philanthropic revenue by using data to identify potential donors and move them up the loyalty ladder, by expanding major gifts, and by implementing a planned giving program and other fundraising initiatives
      • Direct the work of the Development team in order to implement fundraising programs using donor cultivation and stewardship opportunities that maximize giving
      • Manage an active portfolio of major donors and prospects by creating and implementing personalized cultivation and stewardship plans and gift requests for each donor within portfolio
      • Analyze reports on donor and patron interactions to make strategic decisions to maximize giving opportunities; prepare and present information and progress to The Black Ensemble Theater’s leadership team and Board of Directors

Professional Experience/Qualifications

    • Experience
      • Seven or more years of substantial and progressively responsible professional experience, including at least four years of experience supervising staff
      • Experience in building and expanding a fundraising effort by making use of moves management, wealth screening, planned giving vehicles, and other development tools
      • Demonstrated experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including meeting financial goals and coordinating the work of key staff and volunteers
      • Demonstrated success in fundraising; experience with individuals, foundations, and corporations
      • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Skills
      • Exceptional leadership skills, with a collaborative spirit and strong management skills; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate staff, board, donors, and volunteers a must
      • Strong strategic and implementation skills; ability to grasp the opportunities and challenges of the organization and the role
      • Outstanding communicator; excellent speaking, writing, and interpersonal skills
    • Personal Characteristics
      • Passionate about the mission of the Black Ensemble Theater
      • Personable and enthusiastic – a relationship builder with high energy
      • Flexible, adaptable, and entrepreneurial; embraces and leads change
      • High degree of emotional intelligence – empathetic and compassionate
      • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Black Ensemble Theater is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Black Ensemble Theater does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

Apply at the form below.