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Director of Development | Djerassi Resident Artists Program (Woodside, CA)

Djerassi Resident Artists Program seeks a development professional with a dual commitment to the work of individual artists and demonstrated development experience and success in the Bay Area to fill the position of Director of Development (DofD).

The successful candidate will work from our office in San Francisco with regular in-person and electronic communication with Woodside-based staff and Bay Area board members. The successful candidate will manage most administrative details (travel, appointments, etc.) personally. Regional and occasional non-local travel. Evening and weekend work is often required.     

Key areas of responsibility will be the maintenance and growth of major gifts and working in concert with Board members.

The position reports to the Executive Director.  

About Djerassi Resident Artists Program:
Djerassi Resident Artists Program is the largest artist residency program in the western United States, awarding month-long residencies to 70-75 artists and 25, 1-3 week winter residencies annually on its 583-acre property in rural San Mateo County.  

An independent non-profit since 1994, the Program has an annual budget of $850,000 and a staff of 9. Its remote location, one hour south of San Francisco, and the demands of Program operations are a barrier to regular in-person contacts with Bay Area philanthropists, donors, artists and cultural organizations. We need a strong, personal presence in the Bay Area.

About the Opportunity and the Successful Candidate:
The Djerassi Program seeks a goal-driven, roll-your-sleeves-up, get-the-job-done kind of person. Flexibility is mandatory; each day will be different. You may hike the redwoods with donors during the day and attend a cocktail reception that evening. You will be the face of the Djerassi Program in San Francisco and the Peninsula.
Working closely with the Executive Director and volunteers, the DofD will be key to building annual support for the Program’s artist residency programs, buildings, and grounds.  Yours will be a critical voice as we transform ourselves to be a source of inspiration and respite for artists in perpetuity via a new eponymously named initiative, Djerassi Forever.   
The successful candidate will:

  • Have a demonstrated record of development success, at least 2 years of which must be in the Bay Area.  
  •  Demonstrate previous successes in clear year-over-year and multi-year metrics.
  • Have a hands-on understanding of front and back-of-the-house operations with a wide-ranging knowledge of the variety of tools available for cultural organization resource development.
  • Have a demonstrated mastery of oral, visual, and written communication skills.
  • Be a communicative and generous colleague focused on success for fellow staff and the organization.  
  • Understand, value and be able to articulate the importance of individual artists’ career development and why it matters.  Be similarly eloquent about the value of land conservation.  
  • Have a working knowledge of DonorPerfect (or other donor database programs), Word, and Excel. Knowledge of non-profit accounting practices desirable.    
  • Have a valid driver’s license and ability to travel to meetings and appointments within a 50-mile radius.  

Specific Duties


The DofD will take primary responsibility to grow the giving program for individual donors of $5,000 or more. The current Bay Area individual and foundation portfolio totals $200,000 annually. With the addition of this position, the goal is to grow the portfolio to $400,000 annually within two years.

Specifically the DofD will:  

  • Help develop and meet annual individual/private foundation income goals, through the development of a plan for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a portfolio of major individual and private foundation prospects.
  • Write targeted solicitation proposals and stewardship reports for private foundations, individual donors and prospects.
  • Work closely with Advancement Director to staff the Development Committee and Campaign Cabinet.
  • Attend selected Bay Area cultural events on behalf of the Program.
  • Attend committee and Board meetings as needed.  
  • Plan and manage Bay Area Djerassi events, e.g. Djerassi Forever evenings to introduce potential donors to our work and celebrate the work of alumni.
  • Identify most appropriate person(s) to participate in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals. Engage trustees and key staff processes and participate directly in solicitation meetings with major donors.  
  • Maintain accurate/complete records of donor contacts and communications. Provide weekly reports to ED. Meet regularly with Program staff.   
  • Prepare and manage annual major gift program expense and revenue budgets.
  • Maintain and grow a personal portfolio of 25-50 individuals and private foundations capable of making major gifts of $5,000 and above.
  • Advise Executive Director regarding individual/private foundation donor portfolio with an eye towards prospective endowment and capital investments (e.g. Djerassi Forever).
  • Hire and direct work of intern(s) on a semester-by-semester basis.  
  • The DofD will work independently BUT as part of a team.
  • Compensation:  DOQ with generous benefits including 401K, health, dental, life insurance, 15 days vacation, 9 paid holidays; 11-day year-end office closure.


DEADLINE:  August 6, 2017
Using subject line of DofD Application, send 2-3 page cover letter outlining aptitude and interest in the position, salary requirements and/or salary history, resume and names and contact information of three (3) professional references via e-mail to Margot H. Knight, Executive Director at margot@djerassi.org.  Phone calls welcome at (650) 747-1250. 

Read more: http://www.djerassi.org/