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Director of Development & Events | Skowhegan (New York, NY)

Skowhegan is seeking a creative and entrepreneurial development strategist to lead us in all aspects of individual fundraising, capital campaign management and special events. Skowhegan has recently approved a major multi-year Campus Master Plan, and is assembling a nimble team with deep fundraising expertise to launch and execute an ambitious Capital Campaign in the lead-up to its 75th Anniversary in 2021. It seeks a dynamic, ambitious and well-organized fundraiser to chart a bold course forward to expand Skowhegan’s base of support among alumni, faculty, collectors, philanthropists, and friends.

Skowhegan alumni and faculty represent a cross-section of contemporary practice, and the diversity within the group fosters a richer, more engaged experience on campus. The ideal candidate will have experience and networks within a diverse visual arts community, and will serve as an ambassador for Skowhegan at both cultural and social events. They will be equally comfortable in an artist’s studio and a corporate office, and savvy about using the 75th Anniversary Campaign as a means to dramatically expand public awareness of Skowhegan’s history and impact as a leading arts education program nationally and internationally.

Reporting to Co-Director, Katie Sonnenborn, and working closely with Co-Director Sarah Workneh, the Director of Development & Events will bring a can-do attitude and a sense of humor to their job, and embrace the opportunity to play a transformative role at a pivotal point in Skowhegan’s history. They will be comfortable working with a small team that currently includes a Senior Development Officer (managing institutional support and building an affiliate group) and a paid PT Development Intern.

Specific Responsibilities Include:


  • Conceive and launch an individual giving program, from major gifts to annual appeals, leveraging Skowhegan’s distinguished history, current programs, and ambitious future projects.
  • Cultivate a culture of philanthropy among Skowhegan’s core constituency—artists—as well as collectors, patrons, and other donors.
  • Promote Skowhegan’s existing commitment to diversity b ygrowing opportunities for artists of color, artists who identify as LGBTQ, international artists, and artists from non- traditional backgrounds, among others.


  • Join the Co-Directors in their efforts to motivate and strengthen Trustees in their fundraising role.
  • Serve as the liaison with the Development Committee (comprised of Trustees & Governors) to ensure their involvement in planning and execution of fundraising activities and events.


  • Elevate Skowhegan’s successful annual Awards Dinner (produced by an outside firm) to a $1M+ evening that is an unmissable cultural event within the spring social season. Responsibilities include honoree and leadership selection (in consultation with the Development Committee & Board leadership), programmatic elements, and oversight of all event marketing and collateral.
  • Working closely with board & event leadership, craft a multi-year strategy that culminates in a 75th Anniversary Gala in 2021.
  • Create donor cultivation events, and related stewardship efforts.


  • Create fundraising budgets and reports, and chart achievable income projections over several years.
  • Oversee maintenance of individual donor records, files, database (DonorPerfect) o Work closely with Communications and Marketing Manager to create donor communications.

Requirements and Expectations:

  • Excellent attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Discretion and trustworthiness, essential.
  • Polish and professionalism to interact with donors, trustees, senior management and other external contacts on the phone, in person, and in various forms of correspondence.
  • Bachelor’s degree and at least six years of progressively responsible fundraising experience within a cultural institution and strong general knowledge of development activities.
  • Database experience required.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to work some evenings, and to travel occasionally throughout the year.


  • Competitive salary.
  • Excellent benefits, including opportunities for professional development.
  • FT employees receive health, vision & dental coverage, and a generous 401k matching plan.

Founded in 1946 by artists for artists, Skowhegan is one of the country’s foremost programs for emerging artists. The intensive nine-week summer session, held on a nearly 350-acre campus in Maine, provides a collaborative and rigorous environment for artistic creation, risk-taking, and mentorship by creating a flexible pedagogical framework that is informed by the School’s history and is responsive to the needs of individual artists. Skowhegan summers have had a lasting impact on the practices of thousands of artists, and play an integral role in ensuring the vitality of contemporary artmaking. Since 2014, Skowhegan has hosted public and alumni programs at its space in New York City that carry forward the spirit and character of campus.


Email resume and cover letter as separate PDFs to Please no calls. EOE.