Development Director

Leela Dance Collective

Elevating kathak, classical dance of India on the world stage

Los Angeles, CA

Work Location: Hybrid: remote & office


  • Full Time
  • Los Angeles, CA (Remote)
  • Fri, May 31, 2024
  • Work Location: Hybrid: remote & office
  • Dance
  • $65,000.00
  • $80,000.00

Website Leela Dance Collective

Elevating kathak, classical dance of India on the world stage

Organizational Summary

Leela Dance Collective is an internationally touring dance company that advances kathak,
classical dance from North India. Through traditional works and cross-genre collaborations, the
Collective brings the richness and depth of Indian classical dance to contemporary audiences
worldwide. Leela Dance Collective has garnered critical acclaim under the artistic direction of
renowned kathak artists Rukhmani Mehta (previously Rina Mehta), Seibi Lee, and Rachna Nivas,
and engages some of today’s leading dancers and musicians, as well as collaborative artists of
other genres. Leela Dance Collective has created groundbreaking productions including SPEAK,
Son of the Wind, ReSound, and more. Past highlights include appearances at Ford Theaters, The
Broad Stage, Kimmel Center, the Green Music Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, National
Center for the Performing Arts in Bombay, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and NC State LIVE. In
addition to its performances, Leela Dance Collective provides world-class education to aspiring
kathak dancers through its pre-professional training programs in Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Denver and New York and engages communities through a diverse range of educational

In 2016, Leela launched a campaign to establish The Leela Foundation, the first United
States-based endowment for North Indian artistic and cultural heritage. The Leela Foundation
aims to build the financial infrastructure necessary for kathak dance and Hindustani classical
music to thrive for generations to come. The Foundation reached its initial $1 Million goal in
September 2023 and annually disburses 4% of the fund to support artist salaries, residencies
and awards.

Position Summary

The Development Director is the lead fundraising professional for the organization and a
member of Leela’s senior staff team. S/he sets annual fundraising goals and strategic objectives
in consultation with the Board of Directors, Artistic Director and Executive Director. The
Development Director is responsible for creating, directing and executing the comprehensive
donor development and fundraising program for Leela, and plays an active hands-on role in the
plan’s execution and on-going success. The Director manages a team of board, staff and
volunteers to deliver the organization’s robust individual, foundation, government and
corporate fundraising targets. The Director is also responsible for designing and delivering
effective communication strategies to ensure on-going donor and funder prospecting,
cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

The Development Director will be responsible for leading a $5 million capital campaign over the
next three years, designed to sustain Leela’s work long-term. S/he will work closely with the
Board of Directors and senior staff to create a thriving culture of philanthropy, expand Leela’s
base of donors and ensure that the organization has the necessary financial infrastructure to
create lasting mission impact.

This position is a full-time, exempt position and reports directly to Leela’s Executive Director.

Salary and benefits package, DOE.

Roles & Responsibilities

The ideal candidate will be entrepreneurially inclined with an ability to create a strategic plan
for development with diverse revenue streams, as well as to set and manage priorities to
execute the plan.

Specifically, the role will:

● Oversee institutional funder and donor strategy, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and donor recognition, and manage a portfolio of major gift donors and prospects to advance and support Leela’s work.
● Develop and implement strong communications strategies for donor and funder stewardship and cultivation (i.e. email campaigns, annual reports, meetings, etc.)
● Effectively manage board, staff and volunteers as needed in fundraising
● Steward and leverage institutional knowledge of donors and their affiliations and contributions to Leela to foster outstanding donor relationships, provide effective staffing to support solicitations and stewardship, and grow a resilient culture of philanthropy for the organization.
● Play a lead role in the design and delivery of a $5 million capital campaign to create a sustainable financial infrastructure for Leela’s mission and work.
● Represent Leela in the local, regional and national arts community to promote positive awareness of the organization and its status as a leading center of dance and creativity.
● Pursue on-going professional development and awareness of industry standards and emerging trends/issues to direct sustainable, strategic growth for Leela.

Required Qualifications

● Minimum five years of development experience in related fields with progressive responsibilities and demonstrable knowledge of effective development practices.
● Knowledge of the performing arts and the advancement of the arts.
● Excellent communication skills (verbal and written).
● Ability to work and interact well with individuals from various backgrounds in a culturally
diverse, fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
● Organized, with excellent skills in prioritizing and time-management; Creative and resourceful; Able to problem solve and meet challenges and obstacles with creativity and grit.
● Excellent relationship building skills and the ability to motivate and excite donors, funders, volunteers, and board members about Leela’s mission and vision.
● Understanding of philanthropy mindset and culture in the South Asian community a plus
● Some knowledge of Indian classical dance and music a plus
● Must be available for key programming activities after-hours and on weekends as
● Bachelor of Arts degree in applicable field required.

Compensation & Benefits

Nonprofit salary commensurate with experience. Full-time employees receive health care, 403(b) options, paid time off, sick leave and flex days. All Leela Dance Collective staff take two weeks off in June and one week off in December. Employees at Leela have access to Leela’s performances and dance classes at a
subsidized rate.

To Apply

Submit cover letter, cv/resume, and three references to Reference
“Development Director” in subject line. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
Position is open until filled.

All applications and expressed interest in this position will be handled confidentially and
references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission.

Although we appreciate your interest, only candidates selected for an interview will be
contacted. No phone calls, please.

We understand that it is not likely you will meet every qualification. We welcome applicants
with varied backgrounds and different applications of skills. If you believe you can excel in this
role, we encourage you to apply!

To apply for this job email your details to