Sep 5, 2023

Headlands Center for the Arts

Sausalito, California

Title: Director of Development
Department: Development
Reports to: Executive Director
Status: Salaried, Exempt
Salary Range: $130,000 – $150,000
Schedule: Full time; Occasional evenings/weekends required.


Headlands Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization located in a historic former military
fort in the coastal wilderness of the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate National Recreation
Area, 15 minutes north of San Francisco. Established in 1982, Headlands promotes artistic
exploration and development of new creative work. Through residencies and public programs,
including open houses, lectures, performances, and community meals, we seek to explore and
interpret the relationship between place and the creative process and to extend appreciation
for the role of artists in society. Residencies bring artists from many different disciplines,
cultural backgrounds, and nationalities to live and work on-site each year, while public
programs engage artists, scholars, activists, and other professionals.


Headlands Center for the Arts’ (Headlands) Development Department strategizes the organization’s fundraising efforts alongside Executive Director, Maricelle Robles; the Board of Directors; and the full staff with the goal of raising contributions to support Headlands’ programs. The organization’s fundraising goal and focus continues to expand as Headlands looks to deepen its impact. This expansion requires that we approach our work with strategy, flexibility, and the understanding that our duties and responsibilities are unique to the Development Department.

The Director of Development (DoD) serves as a key member of the senior leadership team, steering Headlands’ efforts in fundraising strategy and execution for institutional advancement efforts. The DoD supervises three Development staff members and stewards relationships with the Board of Directors and related Committees, leading the organization’s major donor fundraising efforts. The DoD will build capacity for the organization to sustain and grow an approximately $4M budget through the solicitation of major gifts and grants, special events such as the benefit auction, and corporate and foundation support, with a particular focus on a comprehensive campaign supporting Headlands’ Master Plan to improve and expand the campus. The DoD will also cultivate and manage a portfolio of high net-worth individuals and raise six-figure or above, multi-year contributions to support Headlands’ mission and campaign goals.

All of the duties and responsibilities outlined below are essential job functions subject to reasonable accommodation. This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities, or requirements. Individuals may be required to perform any other non-related instructions as requested by their supervisor, subject to reasonable accommodation. This position description is not all-inclusive and will regularly be reviewed.

Strategy and Leadership

  • Responsible for long-term strategic direction for development
  • Working closely with the Executive Director to generate and oversee opportunities to engage Headlands’ donors with organizational mission and Master Plan.
  • Lead with vision and clarity of purpose, embodying Headlands’ core values and modeling behavior for staff.
  • Set departmental objectives and priorities in light of Headlands’ comprehensive campaign, managing, developing, and inspiring a team of Development professionals focused on institutional advancement.
  • Create tactical fundraising and membership plans based on strategic framework
  • Establishing annual goals and forecasting multi-year fundraising projections in collaboration with the Managing Director and Executive Director.
  • Articulate Headlands’ mission and vision in a manner compelling to potential donors
  • Serving as an ambassador for the institution at touchpoints ranging from virtual programs to Bay Area cultural events to high impact donor functions.
  • Strategize and oversee a donor program rooted in community that diversifies Headlands’ donor base and accommodates various levels of support and correlating benefits.

Board Work

  • Effectively engage with the Board of Directors on their individual giving and their respective fundraising portfolios
  • Serving as a thought partner for Board members and supporting them in cultivating and stewarding donors.
  • Provide staff leadership to the Advancement Committee, collaborating with Committee members to create and implement fundraising strategies.
  • Work closely with the Board Chair, Executive Director, and Governance Committee to help shape the composition of the Board.


  • Meet or exceed ambitious, multi-million dollar fundraising goals as part of Headlands’ comprehensive campaign
  • Maximizing funding from existing donors while building a strong pipeline of potential supporters.
  • Cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of approximately 125 qualified major donors and prospects through a robust calendar of cultivation, solicitation, closure, and stewardship activities.
  • Collaborate with contractors and associated staff to ensure a successful special events program including donor parties, member events, artist salons, dinners, studio visits, a travel program, and the Headlands Benefit Art Auction.
  • Establish, grow, and renew corporate partnerships with in-kind donors, auction supporters, and others.
  • Collaborate with Communications & Digital staff to develop effective communication platforms and strategies in support of Headlands’ fundraising objectives.
  • Oversee all major donor communications ranging from gift solicitations to personalized acknowledgement letters.
  • Ensure effective operations of database and other systems designed to track donor engagement, working closely with Development staff.
  • Other duties as assigned.


The DoD will be a strategic-thinker and doer who inspires others with passion for Headlands’ mission, confidently manages a growing portfolio of major donors and prospects, exudes enthusiasm for taking external meetings and building sustainable donor relations, and sets a standard for persistence, integrity, and creativity in meeting Headlands’ ambitious fundraising goals.

Successful candidates will have the following attributes:

Leadership: You are a visionary leader with the ability to bring others along with your passion for the transformative power of art, rendering you a talented fundraiser.

Strategic: You are a strategic thinker who knows how to get things done; you are results-oriented and motivated by clear objectives.

Enterprising: You see and seize opportunities in places no one thought to look; you’re often first to try something new, and you have an uncanny knack for connecting dots, following through, and closing.

Inspiring: Wherever you go, people are energized in your presence and love to follow your lead—whether you’re rallying a team or enchanting a donor prospect.

Mission-driven: Something in your own life experience drives your passion for Headlands’ mission and vision.

Additionally, strong candidates will bring:

  • At least three years of experience in driving major donor fundraising and philanthropy
  • Track record of securing six- and seven-figure major gifts and/or corporate commitments
  • Proven ability to build rapport and trust-based relationships with high-net-worth individuals
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills—compelling conversationalist, intelligent listener, and naturally intuitive
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills across all mediums; clear and concise writer, inspiring and persuasive speaker
  • Ability to hold a big vision while executing tactically in a lean organization
  • Excellent organizational skills, detail orientation, and capacity to manage a high volume of work
  • Strong supervisory and management skills
  • BA degree in related field or equivalent experience
  • Experience with or willingness to learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
  • Due to our Marin Headlands location, reliable vehicle access is required.


  • Frequently required to talk and hear; stand; walk; use hands to handle or feel; reach with hands and arms.
  • Occasionally required to climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and ability to adjust focus.
  • Must be able to do extended periods of work at a computer.
  • Must be able to assist with events, which includes lifting up to 35 lbs.
  • Must be able to work occasional nights and weekends.

Benefits: Total compensation includes a generous benefits package with medical, dental, 401(k), and paid time off (PTO).

Headlands Center for the Arts is committed to a diverse and pluralistic workplace. People of Color and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates should email a single PDF attachment that includes both a cover letter and resume to by September 26, 2023. The subject line of your email should be Director of Development/your name.

Review of applications will begin Monday, September 26, 2023 and continue until the position is filled. Please note: Due to the volume of applicants, only candidates who will be invited to interview will be contacted.

Thank you in advance for your interest in Headlands Center for the Arts. Due to the volume of applicants, only candidates who will be invited to interview will be contacted. Due to the sensitivity and requirements of our positions, Headlands reserves the right to require candidates to undergo and be cleared of an employment background/criminal check, if extended an offer for employment. You may also be asked to provide proof of educational degree(s), licenses or credentials pertinent to the position.

Headlands Center for the Arts is committed to a diverse workplace and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals; as such Headlands is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all applicants, employees, volunteers, and interns. Headlands makes decisions based on the merits of each candidate.

Headlands Center for the Arts prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s race, color, religion (including all aspects of religious beliefs, observance or practice, including religious dress or grooming practices), sex (including gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender, pregnancy, and breastfeeding), sexual orientation (including heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality) national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status or registered domestic partner status, uniformed service member or veteran status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics or information, or any other basis protected by law. Headlands will afford equal employment opportunity to all qualified applicants, employees, volunteers, and interns as to all terms and conditions of employment, including, without limitation, compensation, hiring, training, promotion, transfer, discipline, and termination.