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Development Director | Ox-Bow, School of Art and Artists' Residency (Chicago, IL and/or Saugatuck, MI)

The Development Director is responsible for developing and implementing an overall fund development strategy in support of Ox-Bow’s operations, scholarships, capital, and endowment funds. This is a full time exempt position reporting to Ox-Bow’s Executive and Creative Director. 

A successful candidate for this position will be someone with experience running fundraising events for 400+ people, who understands how individual giving programs work, and who has strong grant writing skills. S/he will enjoy working with a wide range of people from varied and diverse backgrounds including constituents from the West Michigan and Chicago communities. Employees who thrive at Ox-Bow are teamwork oriented and self-starters. Building strong connections and relationships with donors is a large part of this job, so a successful candidate for this role will be someone who enjoys the social component to this work.  The ideal candidate for this position is someone who has experience with fundraising, loves to strategize and think big, while understanding what it takes to implement a plan from start to finish.

This position is open to candidates who can work in either our Chicago or West Michigan locations, with the understanding that travel between the two locations will be regularly required.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:


  • Develop long term funding strategy to support organizational growth
  • Develop a yearly development strategy and associated financial goals for the following areas:
  • Special Events
  • Individual Giving (Annual Fund and Major Gifts) o Corporate and Foundation Relations (Grants and Partnerships)
  • Work to ensure that development goals remain a consideration throughout the organization (i.e. marketing, strategic partnerships, etc.) 


  • Execute all fundraising activities with the support of staff, board, and volunteers including:
  • Summer Benefit and other fundraising events o Individual Giving (Annual Fund and Major Gifts)
  • Grant proposals to corporations and foundations  

Special Initiatives

  • Facilitate fund-specific campaigns as needed
  • Continue to identify and implement opportunities to build Ox-Bow’s endowment fund Relationship Building/Communication
  • Build relationships with the Board and Stewardship Committee
  • Develop an active volunteer base in support of fund development efforts
  • Build relationships with current and potential funders
  • Ensure prompt and meaningful follow-up communication with donors  


  • Research appropriate funding opportunities
  • Identify and collect the necessary support materials to articulate Ox-Bow’s relevance to funders and the broader community
  • Hone Ox-Bow’s development database so that it becomes an effective development tool 


  • Work with the staff to determine their priorities and support their efforts as needed
  • Define the objectives for and assess the success of:
  • The Development and Events Coordinator
  • Other development consultants
  • Facilitate the development efforts of the Executive and Creative Director
  • Make sure that appropriate budget and programmatic tracking is done
  • Attend appropriate professional meetings and conferences on Ox-Bow’s behalf 

The position is full time, exempt and includes health insurance benefits, paid time off, and a 401(k) plan. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Please submit a cover letter and CV by October 15, 2017 to the link below. Please save files as PDFs.