Director of Development

Goodspeed Musicals

East Haddam, Connecticut

Work Location: In-office


Goodspeed Musicals

The Director of Development will lead the planning and execution of all fundraising efforts to achieve sustainable growth from government, foundations, major gifts, individuals, corporate, and events. The Director will be a critical member of the Leadership Team working alongside the Artistic and Managing Directors.

Currently, Goodspeed Musicals has an operating budget is $11.5M. Contributed revenue currently represents 20-30% of the annual operating budget, with the aim of bringing this percentage closer to 40%. While contributed revenue has maintained a consistent level over the past few years, a recent study found significant opportunity for growth in all areas. The Artistic and Managing Directors will be actively involved in fundraising as will a growing number of Trustees. The ideal candidate will have experience raising contributed income levels and enjoy motivating key members of the organization to fundraise. This position will appeal to those inspired by the tremendous potential for growth and desire to motivate a team of Board and staff to achieve success at a vigorous pace.

The Director of Development will oversee a team of six staff members: Director of Major Gifts, Membership Director, Special Events and Corporate Relations, Grant Writer, Database Administrator and Development Associate.

About Goodspeed Musicals

Goodspeed Musicals is the foremost expert in American Musical Theatre. Founded almost 60 years ago, Goodspeed has produced 280 musicals, including over 70 world premieres, and exported 21 productions to Broadway. Goodspeed gained worldwide recognition for the creation of three of Broadway’s longest-running musicals—Annie, Man of La Mancha, and Shenandoah—and has been recognized within the industry with two Special Tony Awards.

The mission of Goodspeed is to be the leader in preserving and producing musical theatre of the highest quality. This season, Goodspeed will offer more than 256 performances from May to December of new and newly revived musicals. Performances will be offered on their main stage of the historic Opera House in the bucolic village of East Haddam. Goodspeed is planning a return to their contemporary second stage in nearby Chester in 2023. Audiences come from Connecticut and further afield.

In addition to producing works onstage for audiences, Goodspeed offers preservation and education programs. The American musical artform is preserved by their Scherer Library of Musical Theatre, which is the second most extensive musical theatre research library in the country. Educational offerings for professionals include Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre, including the celebrated Musical Theatre Institute. The annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove provides a writers’ retreat. Staged readings of new musicals, along with seminars, a symposium and cabaret performances are offered in The Festival of New Musicals. The Arts Education Collaboration provides arts education programs for underserved Connecticut youth.

Goodspeed Musicals, led by the new leadership team of Artistic Director Donna Lynn Hilton and Managing Director David B. Byrd, envisions a bright future as a thriving artist community where the creative process informs the work on their stages and expanding educational and engagement programs. They are committed to discovery and innovation that will enrich the field with the next generation of musical theatre artists.

Job Description

Goodspeed Musicals is seeking an experienced development professional to serve as its Director of Development. This executive-level position provides an opportunity to be part of one of the few theatre companies in the United States whose focus is exclusively American musical theatre. Reporting to the Managing Director, the Director of Development will concentrate on increasing contributed revenue, thereby strengthening for the future and positioning Goodspeed Musicals for long-term success.

Essential Job Functions

* Develop short and long-term goals and strategies in all areas of development designed to increase contributed revenue.
* Provide supervision and mentorship of the development team, creating a positive workplace environment that promotes employee engagement and satisfaction.
* Serve as a member of Goodspeed’s senior leadership (operations) team, collaborating on high-level planning and decision-making.

* Work collaboratively with the Board of Trustees in fundraising, including establishing goals, training and motivating where necessary, and providing support. As the key figure in development, meet and develop relationships with key prospective and current funders and donors.
* Work with development staff on the following in all areas of fundraising:
o Conduct and/or outsource research to identify new targets
o Develop effective cultivation strategies
o Create tactical plans
o Enhance donor/funder recognition and stewardship plans
o Optimize CRM system, Patron Manager, for plans, actions, results and analysis
o Ensure fundraising processes and protocols are being followed
o Prepare budgets and regular forecasts as needed
* Employ robust data analytics to help direct plans for individual giving.
* Work with Director of Marketing to integrate awareness building of fundraising need and stimulate interest in support of Goodspeed into communications with audiences.
* Ensure senior representatives from the organization meet with potential and current high-end donors and funders.
* Play a strong leadership role integrating development considerations and effort into all areas of the company.

* Background in development leadership, proven fundraising record, and capacity to formulate and execute both traditional and innovative strategies and tactics
* Work experience in performing arts or cultural institutions is a plus
* Energetic and enthusiastic leadership style, strong management skills, and a collaborative spirit
* Experience working successfully and collaboratively with a Board of Trustees, senior management, and professional colleagues
* Demonstrated ability to select, train, motivate, and inspire staff, while holding them accountable for their performance.
* Ability to manage and build consensus across internal and external constituents
* Proven understanding of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, the role that racial inequity plays in our society, and a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate and collaborate across differences
* Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communications skills
* Highly organized, strategic thinker
* Knowledge of fundraising software, preferably Patron Manager

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend only to apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. So, whether you’re returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

Please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role.


Salary range is $115,000 to $130,000, commensurate with experience. Goodspeed Musicals offers an extensive benefits package including health, dental and vision insurance, a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), 403(b) retirement account and free parking.

Application Instructions

The search for the Development Director is being conducted on behalf of Goodspeed Musicals by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries.

To apply, visit and submit your materials. Your cover letter should include relevant experience, including any direct experience you’ve had with similar roles and institutions. No phone calls, please.

To apply for this job please visit