Development Manager (updated)

Website Oak Park Festival Theatre


Oak Park Festival Theatre (OPFT) is seeking a Development Manager who will work closely with the Managing Director to nurture the next chapter of our company’s growth.  Entering our 48th season, OPFT offers an exceptional opportunity for an individual excited to help steward the development of an Equity theatre in the West Cook suburban area that also sits next to the West side of Chicago. The Development Manager works collaboratively with the Managing Director, Artistic Director, and Board to plan, design, and execute a comprehensive fundraising strategy that includes OPFT’s institutional giving portfolio as well as its individual giving campaigns to ensure continued organizational health and advancement.

The Development Manager is expected to be an excellent writer and communicator, capable of consistently meeting deadlines, with a history of reaching contributed revenue goals.  This is a part-time, remote position with occasional in-person meetings.

Oak Park Festival Theatre explores our shared humanity by telling stories that stand the test of time. By looking to our past and re-imagining the familiar, we hold a mirror up to the times in which we live, bringing us all a little closer.

Central to this mission are three important core values:

  1. ROOTED IN SHAKESPEARE: Shakespeare had a genius for telling stories that speak to all of mankind. His work was universal, visceral, and acutely complex. Following his lead, we aim to explore the human condition through stories that stand the test of time, both classic and contemporary.
  2. INCLUSIVE & COLLABORATIVE: From the stage to the boardroom, we strive to represent the world around us by being inclusive not only in our art-making but in our organizational development, and our relationships with each other, our audiences, and our community. By collaborating with community partners, we widen the scope and deepen the impact of our mission and endeavor to cultivate a sense of reciprocity and inclusion of all.
  3. COMPANY CENTERED: Passion, bravery, and a generosity of spirit have been guiding principles of the artists and patrons of Oak Park Festival Theatre since 1975. We aim to create a safe, supportive, and artistically invigorating environment for all.


The Development Manager will meet the annual fundraising goal set by the Managing Director and Board by focusing on institutional and individual giving while also contributing, as needed, to special events and corporate gift prospecting.  The Development Manager will occasionally represent the theatre and engage directly with community, local business groups and foundations.


Institutional Giving

  • Grant Prospecting
    • Identify appropriate funding opportunities from foundations, corporations, government agencies, etc.
    • Research funder giving history to identify probability of success.
    • Communicate as needed with funding entities to follow up on requests or seek clarification.
  • Grant Writing
    • Work closely with the Managing Director to ensure application materials are aligned with strategic objectives.
    • Compose grant narratives and compile necessary supplemental materials.
    • Prepare applications according to an agreed upon schedule.
  • Grant Tracking
    • Work closely with the Managing Director to report on grant activities as required by each funder.
    • Maintain a system for capturing relevant grant data, ensuring that reports adequately detail successes and challenges.
    • Keep active and updated records of all funder communications, submissions, deadlines, etc., in Little Green Light data system.

Individual Giving

  • Appeals
    • Work collaboratively and on deadline to create annual campaigns that includes:
      • Giving message(s)
      • Giving goal(s)
      • Timeline for delivery of each component
      • Channels for communicating asks
        • Direct Mail: Compile campaign components (i.e. text, graphics, mailing lists, etc.) and work closely with printer/mailhouse to successfully execute.
        • Email/Social Media: Draft and schedule campaign components (i.e. text, graphics, mailing lists, etc.) and work closely with Operations Manager to successfully execute..
  • Donor Acknowledgements
    • Ensure all gifts are accurately recorded and donors are sent appropriate acknowledgements.
    • Ensure all gifts are accurately acknowledged in programs, on websites, and anywhere else the organization deems appropriate.
  • Stewardship
    • Work closely with the Managing Director to build a Ladder of Engagement that grows contributions from individual donors over time.
    • Alongside the Managing Director, meet with donors to develop relationships and determine their interests and giving goals.
    • Craft specific messages for audience member groups based on their giving history.
    • When possible, research and cultivate prospective donors.

Special Events

  • Support the Board as they design and execute special events over the course of the fiscal year.
  • Design and execute communication plans specific to each event.

Data Management

  • Comprehensively track donor contact information and giving history.
  • Ensure that all databases are kept up-to-date.
  • Work collaboratively to develop tools for capturing data essential to understanding the impact our work.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Minimum 3 years experience working in a nonprofit fundraising environment
  • Demonstrated record of success in nonprofit development
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Proactive and highly organized
  • Able to work independently, efficiently, and on deadline
  • Able to maintain confidentiality
  • Experience with Little Green Light, Mailchimp, Google Suite, Basecamp a plus


Oak Park Festival Theatre is an itinerant company whose employees work from home when not in production.  Employees provide their own working internet connection and computer. OPFT is primarily an outdoor summer theatre and also produces at least one indoor show during the year.

OPFT adheres to all federal, state, and city public health guidelines and requires all staff and independent contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. New team members must provide appropriate documentation within the first two weeks of work. We respond conservatively and dynamically to the ongoing pandemic, as the safety of our team is our top priority.


OPFT is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to growing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, as well as nurturing an environment free of discrimination and harassment.  Women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.  OPFT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. Candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Instructions to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and a brief writing sample relevant to your grant writing and fundraising work via email to

To apply for this job email your details to

Pay Rate/Range*: $35-$40/hour