REPORTS TO: Executive Director


Theatre Overview

As one of the country’s largest ensemble theatres dedicated to the creation of new work, Lookingglass Theatre Company seeks to redefine the theatrical experience and to make theatre more exhilarating, inspirational, and accessible to all. Founded in 1988 by a group of Northwestern University theatre graduates, Lookingglass moved into its permanent home in the historic Water Tower Water Works on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in 2003. Now in its 33rd Season, the Company is a respected source for story-centered theatrical work that is evocative, physical, and visually rich.

With a roster of 29 Ensemble Members and 22 Artistic Associates, Lookingglass productions are centered on ensemble with training in theatre, dance, music, and circus arts. Through its powerful, original theatre, the Company’s goal is to fire the imagination with love, to celebrate the human capacity to taste and smell, weep and laugh, create and destroy, and wake up where we first fell—changed, charged and empowered.

Position Summary

A member of the senior leadership team and reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development is responsible for the leadership, direction, and management of Lookingglass’ fundraising initiatives. They will be responsible for planning, executing, and achieving both long and short term contributed income goals for the Theatre through the annual fund, corporate and foundation support, special events, and major gifts.

The Director of Development will be an enthusiastic spokesperson for the Theatre’s mission and vision, and the value and importance of the arts, for both internal and external constituents. They will work closely with Board members, the Executive and Artistic Directors, and other senior leaders to expand and deepen existing donor relationships while implementing creative approaches to increase the pool of Lookingglass supporters. They will be instrumental in increasing organizational capacity and maintaining a best practices department.

Please note that due to pandemic-related cutbacks, Lookingglass is currently operating within a significantly reduced operating budget, with plans to smartly and incrementally scale up once in-person performances are safely permitted at a level which supports full producing activities. While initially a team of six in 2020, the Director of Development is currently one of two full-time staff members, plus a grantwriter, working in the development department. As the situation improves, the intent is to increase the development staffing and resources which would impact the distribution, prioritization, and oversight of responsibilities listed below. The Director of Development would be actively involved in conceiving and planning this implementation, in collaboration with the Executive Director.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

·        Serve as a thought partner with Executive Director, particularly as it relates to fundraising strategy.

·        Collaborate with senior leadership in fulfilling the Theatre’s mission and vision, and in expanding the organization’s capacity.

·        Direct all fundraising activities on behalf of the Theatre, including direct mail, Board giving, special events, institutional support, and major gifts.

·        Create and implement strategic plans to achieve short and long term fundraising goals.

·        Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major and multi-year gift prospects.

·        Identify new sources of support for ongoing sustainability and future special projects.

·        Supervise, build, and mentor development team.

·        Serve as an enthusiastic spokesperson during events and functions inside and outside the Theatre.

·        Actively participate in and play a leadership role as appropriate at donor and patron events, opening nights, Board meetings, and Executive Committee meetings.

·        Establish and maintain strong relationships with Board members, donors, prospects, and other relevant constituency groups.

·        Advise, train, and motivate the Board, and manage the effective use of Board committees, in support of the Theatre’s fundraising priorities.

·        In partnership with the Executive and Artistic Directors and Board leadership, identify and recruit members for the Board of Directors.

·        Work with the General Manager to oversee, track and project the development department’s budget, including revenue projection and analysis.

·        Monitor and report on annual fundraising goals and annual expense budgets to staff leadership, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors.

·        Collaborate with staff team in planning and envisioning practices and activities post-COVID.

·        Participate in organization-wide anti-racism work and incorporate an anti-racist lens into daily practice. Lookingglass recognizes that it has much to do towards being an anti-racist and a more equitable institution. This work, by the Board, Ensemble, and staff, is ongoing and is publicly reflected here: Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion Statement – Lookingglass Theatre Company. (https://lookingglasstheatre.org/aeistatement/)


The successful candidate will have:

·        Demonstrated success in development, building relationships, and meeting fundraising goals.

·        Ability to cultivate, solicit, and steward donors in ways that lead to deepened and authentic engagement.

·        Experience building trust and rapport with boards and volunteer leadership, effectively inspiring and supporting new levels of engagement with fundraising activities.

·        A positive and authentic approach to relationship-building, and an evident enthusiasm for meeting donors and prospects on behalf of the Theatre.

·        A high degree of initiative, confidence, and energy to achieve and exceed goals.

·        Strategic thinking and orientation.

·        An enthusiastic, collaborative mindset for growth and problem solving.

·        The ability to anticipate organizational needs and effectively address emergent issues, multiple projects, and diverse constituencies simultaneously.

·        Understanding of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles and practices, and the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.

·        A demonstrated capacity to mentor staff, build teams, and enhance the professionalism of development staff and processes.

·        Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to serve as a key spokesperson for the Theatre.

·        Experience with Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software.

·        Ability to work nights and weekends for select fundraising moments, such as opening nights and fundraisers.

·        Ability to work remotely for the time being.


COMPENSATION: $75,000-90,000


·        Health Insurance (choice of PPO or HMO; Organization covers the cost of 95% of the HMO plan. If PPO plan is elected, staff member pays the difference between the PPO plan and 95% of the HMO plan. This is reevaluated annually in June with the adoption of the health plan).

·        Vision & Rx plan;

·        12 paid holidays (including Juneteenth and Election Day);

·        Vacation, Personal, Sick and floating holidays, including birthday.

Lookingglass Theatre Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, genetics, or status as an individual with a disability. We welcome applications from all qualified applicants.


To be considered, please send cover letter, resume, and salary history and/or requirement via email to rfink@lookingglasstheatre.org with “Director of Development Search” in the subject line. Email submissions only.


To apply for this job email your details to rfink@lookingglasstheatre.org