Director of Development and Communications

The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company

Los Angeles/Pasadena

The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company’s (US) mission is to mentor, educate, and enrich youth in under-resourced communities through the creation of collaborative original theatre. Our mission powers our vision of a world where all youth are given the opportunities and support they need to succeed; and to be heard, valued and respected. We strive to be a bridge that helps youth make positive life choices.

Founded in the wake of the 1992 LA Uprising, US has grown from a small, volunteer-led youth intervention program into a recognized leader in arts education, youth development, mentorship, and community building. With the launch of a new Alumni Residency, we now serve 1,600+ participants annually via 7 program models that use theatre-arts education & mentorship to mitigate the underlying environmental risk factors that threaten healthy youth development. Each modeled after our core Youth Theatre Residency Program and reimagined for virtual delivery during our health crisis. US programs collectively provide holistic prevention & intervention benefits and open educational/career pathways for LA’s most underserved youth. For more information, visit:
In the fall of 2021, our organization committed to a sweeping organizational transformation aimed to center our communities in all aspects of our work and bring Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) to the forefront of our operations and programs. Now in the midst of pandemic recovery and rebuilding efforts, US staff, TAs, and Board are actively working on important action steps that we believe will transform the organization in exciting ways, and ensure we reflect and uplift the vibrant communities we work with well into the future. We have developed the following objectives for our initiative, each through a DEAI lens: 1) revitalize programs; 2) increase people capacity; 3) develop our Board of Directors; 4) overhaul communications
The Unusual Suspects is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and strongly encourages people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those with protected class backgrounds to apply. We value the individuals that we hire and look forward to creating a positive, diverse work environment for all identities.

Job Summary
The Director of Development and Communications (DDC) is a core member of the senior leadership team of an organization with an unparalleled track record of transforming communities by empowering, enriching and educating underserved youth and their families through original and collaborative theatre. Reporting to the Executive Director and serving as a key member of the organization’s leadership team, the DDC is responsible for ensuring the successful growth and sustainability of the organization. The DDC will lead a high-performing development and communications team, working collaboratively across the organization to build and institutionalize a culture of philanthropy. Additionally, the DDC will be responsible for the design and implementation of a comprehensive development plan, meeting ambitious fundraising goals, and engaging with the community through fundraising activities. The DDC is an experienced development professional who thrives in a highly collaborative, entrepreneurial, diverse and inclusive culture. Further, they bring strong experience scaling corporate, foundation and individual donor programs, building internal infrastructure, and working effectively across a complex organization. The position is responsible for annually increasing the fundraising of the organization through foundation and government funding as well as individual and corporate giving. The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker with a deep philanthropic portfolio that can develop new ideas for funding and seek sustainable partnerships.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership
● In partnership with the directors’ team, provide vision, leadership and strategy for sustainable growth across the organization as well as with our organizational transformation to focus on anti-racism, abolition, and anti-colonialism across our work
● Work with the Executive Director and directors’ team to establish and execute long- and short-term strategic development and communication priorities aimed at increasing support from individuals, foundations and the corporate community
● Implement use of best practices with respect to use of data, research, and analysis in identifying sources of support, developing revenue projections, and customized approaches to engaging new donors
● Collaborate with the Executive Director in overseeing organizational fiduciary responsibility, including cash flow analysis, annual budgeting process and managing operations within a budget

● Oversee the design and execution of a development plan that will significantly increase US’s fundraising capacity and fortify its current sources of diverse revenue
● Manage existing funder relationships and implement expanded funding strategies that generate new revenue from diverse sources to ensure organizational sustainability
● Oversee all community engagement activities, including fundraising events, drives, and volunteer management
● Align our fundraising efforts with a community centric approach
● Lead grant management practices and strategies and work closely with grant writing team to identify, and secure grant funding

● Oversee all aspects of US’s communication strategy, ensuring that the organization’s mission and impact is well-known in the community
● Strengthen the organization’s brand identity through best practice approaches of traditional and digital communication tools
● Position US as a thought leader, showcasing the organization’s best practices in the field

Team Leadership and Development
● Lead, motivate, and provide coaching for a dedicated fundraising and communications team, fostering a culture of growth, learning and innovation
● Collaborate with colleagues across the organization to support the achievement of US’s overall mission while promoting a culture of mutual support and accountability
● Develop overall fundraising objectives, as well as specific goals for members of the development and communications team and plans to ensure accountability and success
● Grow staff capacity in critical skill and competency areas, recruiting the very best talent for the organization, and operating from a succession planning mindset

Board Engagement
● Leverage a large and engaged Board to raise US’s profile and increase philanthropic support for US
● Communicate and collaborate with the Board, maintaining active engagement and dialogue on Development and Communications-related items
● Creates overall development strategies, working closely with Executive Director, Board,, and US staff to increase support for The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company
● Develops and implements an annual Development and Communications Plan and produces revenue progress reports
● Serves as the organization’s ambassador, nurturing funder relationships and identifying individuals for board candidacy and prospects as potential donors
● Helps identify, cultivate, recruit, develop, and evaluate fundraising volunteers and contractors

Desirable Skills & Qualifications
● At least 5 years of working experience in a similar role
● Proficiency and comfort in working and leading a team remotely through virtual meetings and fundraising events
● Work well with people in various communities, institutional and governmental organizations
● Cultural competency to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
● Working proficiently in relevant office/finance software and ability to analyze financial statements
● Developed relationships with outside vendors, contractors and operational resources
● Work in a team environment with minimal supervision
● Experience in meeting facilitation, and/or community relations
● Ability to work independently, be flexible, and manage multiple priorities
● Work well in a team-oriented environment and maintain harmonious relationships
● Some knowledge of the Los Angeles City/County/State political and policy process
● Proficient computer skills, especially using Microsoft Suite and Google Suite of applications
● Detail-oriented with excellent communication, organizational, interpersonal and writing skills
● Experience with public speaking and presentations
● Must have reliable transportation and be able to drive a car and have appropriate auto insurance coverage, and a valid California Driver’s license
● English/Spanish bilingual a plus

Personal Qualifications:

The candidate is dedicated to developing leaders and building coalitions. Exhibits a strong commitment to social justice through community empowerment and the arts. Personal values align with the vision and values of The Unusual Suspects organization.

Physical Requirements & Work Environment:

Must have a valid Driver’s license, reliable transportation and appropriate auto insurance coverage. Must be able to lift 30 pounds. Must be flexible working in a fast-paced, non-profit environment. Experience or interest in theatre and youth arts education is a plus. This position works primarily in the US administrative office but candidates must be willing to work remotely when necessary or required due to government mandates.

This is an exempt position and the candidate is expected to work at least 40 hours weekly. Candidates must be open to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends.

Salary & Benefits

● Full time, exempt position.
● $85K – $90K, commensurate with experience.
● Health benefits reimbursement up to $400 monthly.
● CalSavers - Roth IRA Program
● Cell phone and internet reimbursement
● Accrued PTO; 2 weeks’ vacation per year and paid sick leave.
● Additional week off from December 24th through January 1st.

Apply Today!
Send resume and cover letter to [email protected] by 7/18/2022. Include in the subject line of your email the title of the position in which you are applying. No calls please.

Additional Information

The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain, or to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications and objectives required of employees assigned to this job. The Unusual Suspects provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. 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.

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