Individual Giving Director

  • Full Time
  • Chicago
  • November 13, 2021

Website steppenwolfthtr Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Individual Giving Director

The Individual Giving Director is a highly visible role to Steppenwolf’s donor community. The Director’s primary role is to serve as the theater’s major gifts officer and to manage a personalized major gifts program for individual donors giving $15,000 to $150,000 for annual artistic and educational initiatives. The Director is a member of the Building on Excellence capital campaign team and works a portfolio of major gift prospects for campaign gifts $50,000 to $250,000. Additionally, the Director supervises and leads an individual giving team responsible for individual giving at all levels ($2MM total in fiscal year 2022) and the donor services team, which processes all gifts and manages the patron database.

This position is a senior member of the development team and reports to the Director of Development and works closely with the Co-Artistic Directors, Executive Director, Board of Trustees, the artistic staff and artists to achieve goals.

Areas of Responsibility:

Major Gifts & Campaign

  • Create a comprehensive annual fundraising plan for major gifts, including a detailed revenue budget, solicitation calendar and cultivation event strategies as necessary.
  • Manage a portfolio of 50 current major gift donors and 100 prospects for both annual and capital campaign support. Drive the cycle of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Develop relationships and maintain ongoing contact with major gift donors and prospects; work collaboratively with artists and theater leadership to involve them in relationship building.
  • Help direct the efforts of theater leadership to advance their own portfolios of prospects, as well as work with Steppenwolf Trustees to cultivate and solicit major gift prospects in their networks.
  • Write and produce solicitation materials and correspondence.
  • Assist the Director of Development to provide support for Trustee annual giving.
  • Oversee donor stewardship, specifically the Individual Production Sponsorship program, managed by the Individual Giving Manager.
  • Track the moves management process in the patron database (Tessitura) and produce progress reports.
  • Serve as a key leader in the development department, offering strategic advice and being a model of collaboration, inclusion and innovation.
  • Be a vocal and professional advocate for the theater at special events, external functions and on boards and committees as needed.
  • Oversee the continued stewardship and recognition of Steppenwolf’s endowment donors.

Oversight of Individual Giving and Donor Services

  • Supervise the Individual Giving Manager’s responsibilities leading the theater’s Directors Circle membership program for mid-level annual donations ($2,000 – $14,999).
    Supervise the individual giving team’s development and execution of the Annual Fund campaign for gifts <$2,000 using direct mail, email and ticket/subscription add-on gifts.
  • Supervise the Donor Services Assistant in processing and acknowledging all gifts to Steppenwolf, monitoring all pledges and accurately reporting contributed revenue to the Finance department.
  • Develop plans by the individual giving team to market Steppenwolf’s Visionary Circle (planned giving society) and steward all current Visionary Circle members.
    Provide ongoing analysis of individual giving revenue and adjust team strategies accordingly

Successful candidates will have:

  • Have a high degree of initiative, confidence and energy to achieve or exceed goals, meet deadlines and manage multiple projects with ease.
  • Have a curiosity about donors and an openness to connect over shared theatrical experiences.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build rapport with key stakeholders and philanthropists and understand their motivations for support.
  • Strong writing and editing skills with great attention to detail.
  • Team leadership and ability to motivate and mentor staff.
  • Understanding of database management and experience with Tessitura a plus.
  • Familiarity with Chicago’s philanthropic community.
  • Ability to attend evening and weekend events.
  • Steppenwolf gives preference to candidates who have demonstrable experience advocating for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA).
Instructions to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references by 11/13.

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $65,000 - $75,000