Web Site:www.watermillcenter.org
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Development Director

The Watermill Center seeks a Development Director to spearhead our advancement initiatives. This position is responsible for the strategic planning and leadership of the development department and all of its fundraising efforts including individual, institutional, Board giving, special events, and corporate. The Development Director will be responsible for executing the development plan and holding themselves and the team responsible for their goals.

Founded in 1992 by avant-garde visionary and theater director Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities situated on ten acres of Shinnecock ancestral territory on Long Island’s East End. With an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, Watermill integrates performing arts practice with resources from the humanities, research from the sciences and inspiration from the visual arts. The Center is unique within the global landscape of experimental artistic practice and regularly convenes the brightest minds from across disciplines to do, in Wilson’s words, “what no one else is doing.”

RESPONSIBILITIES+ DUTIES include, but are not limited to:

Fundraising Strategy Development

  • With the Managing Director, Trustees, and other directors on staff, build a comprehensive strategy to expand philanthropic and external support, both domestically and internationally, and create a thriving, sustainable culture of philanthropy in support of The Watermill Center’s programming and operations.
  • Execute fundraising plans with precision and report regularly on progress, identifying development goals, ensuring the team works effectively and cohesively towards these goals, and devising and implementing adjustment strategies where needed
  • Work with development staff to evaluate data from past fundraising efforts and from the organization’s donor database, and develop strategies accordingly

Individual Giving

  • With the Director of Individual Giving & Special Events, overseeand plan strategies and activities for donor cultivation, solicitation, and ongoing relationship management
  • Develop and implement a planned giving program and strategy for the Foundation

Institutional Giving

  • With the Director of Institutional Giving, identify and secure multi-year funding opportunities

Board Development

  • Participate in board development efforts, including the research and identification of strong, diverse board candidates

Special Events

  • With Director of Individual Giving & Special Events, oversee the planning and organization of special events, including the annual summer Gala

Management and Operations

  • Provide leadership for the Development department staff, creating short-term and long-range plans to meet goal-oriented outcomes
  • With leadership and colleagues, prepare annual operating budget revenue and expense forecasts, manage departmental expenditures to budget, and track quarterly cash flow against contributed income projections
  • Prepare financial reports for senior management;


  • Minimum 5 years development experience and strong track record in all areas of development, from individual, institutional and corporate fundraising to special events
  • Established networkswith leading arts funders and New York philanthropic circles
  • Strong management skills with proven ability to motivate and lead
  • Aware of innovations and new trends in philanthropy, and willingness to implement best practices and think outside the box
  • Strategic, analytical and detail-oriented with excellent writing skill, interpersonal skills in small and large groups, and public speaking skills
  • Flexible in multi--tasking, managing several projects concurrently, and functioning under the pressure of deadlines
  • A good sense of humor, high energy, and “can do, will do” roll up your sleeves spirit
  • A demonstrated commitment to supporting artists and the arts
  • The ability to work evenings and weekends, and to travel when necessary
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advance degree a plus

Compensation with be commensurate with experience and includes a competitive benefits package.

All inquiries and materials will be confidential. The Watermill Center is operated by The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, which is committed to equal opportunity and diversity in its workforce.

Questions about Membership or this application? Please contact Vincent Covatto, organizational membership manager, at VCovatto@operaamerica.org or by calling 646.699.5237.
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