Donor Engagement Director

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

Website steppenwolfthtr Steppenwolf Theatre Company


For over 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and model for theatre companies in the United States and around the world. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors, stage managers and playwrights. Steppenwolf’s artistic ambitions are made possible by its incredible workforce of individuals, who help create a culture of inclusivity, collaboration, and accountability. To that end, we attempt to use an anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens in our roles and everyday decision-making. Join us in this ongoing process, as we navigate, together, our complex world.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is seeking a passionate individual with excellent project management and relationship-building skills for the full-time position of Donor Engagement Director. This role is an essential part of the Development team, supporting the team’s efforts to raise nearly $8M annually. The Donor Engagement Director is an events professional and fundraiser with the experience, creativity, and commitment to create special events that increase engagement between donors, artists, and the theatre.

This position is a senior member of the fundraising team, and reports to the Deputy Director of Development. They will supervise and be supported by the Donor Engagement Coordinator. Steppenwolf currently operates under a hybrid work model allowing for flexibility in remote and onsite work.


  • Contribute to an overall fundraising goal of close to $8M directly through event fundraising of nearly $2M and indirectly through donor engagement and relationship building.
  • Lead Gala team with a specific focus on sponsorship sales, program development, artist engagement, auction, and marketing/press
  • Oversee opening nights, pre-performance events, board meetings, and other Steppenwolf events that may occur on weeknights or weekends
  • Develop strategy and create annual calendar for engagement activities built around Steppenwolf’s season of plays, including new and evolving events across the organization
  • Create and manage the department event budget including revenue and expenses
  • Partner with trustees, theater leadership, and artists to engage donors
  • Serve as departmental liaison to artists, including Steppenwolf Ensemble Members
  • Acquire a comprehensive knowledge of Steppenwolf programming and artists, and clearly communicate the theatre’s mission and impact to donors in conversation and in writing
  • Work with restaurant partners to set season-long agreements including donated and discounted events as well as marketing benefits and member/staff discounts. Execute events alongside Steppenwolf staff project manager
  • Create, market, and execute donor tours to Steppenwolf productions outside of Chicago, including hotel and restaurant negotiations and preparations, show tickets, and artist involvement
  • Maintain patron and event information in Tessitura and track moves-management steps

Qualifications and Abilities

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated success in event planning and sponsorship sales and/or fundraising
  • Experience managing vendor relationships, negotiations, and contracts
  • Ability to collaborate with all areas of the Development team as well as lead projects interdepartmentally
  • Professional confidence and strong ability to build rapport and trust with donors by listening deeply and building connections to the theatre leadership and artists
  • Self-motivated and able to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to organize, track, and prioritize multiple events, projects and cultivation steps
  • Strong belief in the value of arts and culture; familiarity with theatre, as practitioner or audience member, preferred
  • Knowledge of donor database systems; Tessitura experience preferred.
  • Proficiency in MS Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Evening and weekend hours required as needed
  • Steppenwolf gives preference to candidates who have demonstratable experience advocating for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA)


Salary range: $69,020 – $75,871 per year with excellent benefit package for full time employees, including medical, dental, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, vacation pay, paid sick time, personal days, Ventra transit benefit program, employee assistance program and 401(k) matching retirement program.

How to apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references through the link provided.


About Steppenwolf:

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 400-seat Ensemble Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a five play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multigenre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Audrey Francis and Glenn Davis are the Artistic Directors and E. Brooke Flanagan is the Executive Director. For additional information, visit,, and

Steppenwolf Mission: 

Steppenwolf Theatre Company strives to create thrilling, courageous, and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world.

Steppenwolf Core Values: 

Equity + Inclusion
Integrity + Curiosity
Courage + Collaboration
Accountability + Leadership

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Steppenwolf complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Instructions to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references through the following link.

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $69,020 - $75,871 per year