Contact Person: Tom Moore
Context of the Position
Founded in 1974, People’s Light serves as one of Pennsylvania’s largest professional nonprofit theatres. The company is known for its resident company of artists, an eclectic mix of productions, and innovative work with young people. Each season the company produces eight to nine productions for nearly 77,000 patrons, presenting stories drawn from ancient times through tomorrow that have direct relevance to the thoughts and concerns of the community it serves regionally and as an important voice in the national theatre community. People’s Light produces both classical and contemporary theatre and has long supported the commission of new work—in their history of over 400 productions, over a third have been world or regional premieres.
People’s Light has always called Chester County, PA its home. In 1979 the company moved into its current location in Malvern on a sprawling and bucolic campus. The location includes two flexibly configurable black box theatres (340 and 160 seats), administrative offices, scenic and production shops, rehearsal halls, and a restored 18th Century Farmhouse which serves as a place for guest artist housing and as a banquet facility and restaurant. The Farmhouse banquet and catering facility and Bistro restaurant have become increasingly important components of the entire People’s Light experience, serving as both important revenue centers and open doors for new People’s Light audiences and supporters.
People’s Light employs nearly 50 full and part-time employees. There is also an addition of nearly 150 guest artists annually from Philadelphia, New York, Washington, DC and other cities primarily on the East Coast work at People’s Light each season
People’s Light is approaching its 50th anniversary in 2025 and is currently in the silent phase of a major campaign to support this milestone. Along with the development team, this position will work closely with the Executive Artistic Director in securing major gifts and building the pipeline of engaged donors and prospects.
Summary of Responsibilities
The primary objective of the Major Gift Officer (MGO) is to develop philanthropic relationships with donors and prospects, with the ultimate goal of soliciting these individuals for major gifts. This person will research, identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward donor prospects who have capacity for five to seven figure gifts. The MGO will develop a tailored strategy for each prospect and coordinate steps to move them toward readiness in order to be asked for a substantial gift – over and above their annual support.
This specific term position lasts until the end of 2025 and potentially renewable as permanent staff. The Major Gift Officer position reports to the Executive Artistic Director and the Director of Development.
- Researches, identifies, cultivates and solicits individual donors and prospects for People’s Light, with a focus on gifts of $50,000 and higher.
- Manages a dynamic portfolio of 150 to 200 prospects and makes 10 to 15 prospect meetings per month.
- Establishes solicitation priorities, manages prospect lists and research, develops and executes targeted cultivation plans and solicitation strategies for a range of prospects; prepares and provides support to staff, board members and volunteers for solicitations.
- Builds an on-going and dynamic pipeline of major gift prospects.
- Works collaboratively on the cultivation and solicitation of major donors with the Executive Artistic Director, Producing Director, Director of Development, along with other senior staff and board members, as appropriate.
- Writes briefings and proposals for prospect meetings; compiles contact reports; and tracks donor activity within the Tessitura donor database.
- Assists in tracking, assessing, and reporting on major gift fundraising metrics.
- Bachelor’s degree plus 3 years experience in fundraising.
- Exemplary oral and written communication skills.
- Experience in campaign fundraising
- Possess a working knowledge of prospect research and analysis.
- Be a self-starter, with ability to work independently, and with perseverance.
- Demonstrated ability to initiate cold contact with donors and prospects.
- Willingness to travel regionally, as necessary to work with prospects and donors. This Includes some expected evening and weekend hours for performances and special events.
- Ability to listen carefully while conveying credibility and guidance in advising donors on confidential financial matters related to their philanthropy.
- Be a personable, mature, and diplomatic individual, who works effectively with trustees, donors, volunteers and inside staff and is comfortable dealing with people of wealth, and who relishes taking an active, public role in the cultivation and solicitation of donors, and as a representative of People’s Light.
- Possess a genuine interest in theatre and the arts in general, understand and support the theatre’s mission and appreciate the important role cultural institutions play in the life of a vibrant community, and have the ability to articulate this mission and role to others.
- Working knowledge of fundraising software, Excel, and Outlook.
Compensation is commensurate with experience plus benefits. The Major Gift Officer salary will be competitive with other companies of comparable stature and size. Benefits will include the following:
- Medical/dental/life/disability insurance plans (largely employer funded);
- Defined Contribution Plan through TIAA-CREF
- Paid vacation, holidays and sick leave
To apply, please submit cover letter, resume, and three references to Tom Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org
People’s Light is dedicated to building a culturally diverse and equitable environment. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply. People’s Light is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic.