DHR Global – Position Specification Vice President, Institutional Advancement, August Wilson African American Cultural Center – Pittsburgh, PA

Position Specification

Reporting To:
President & CEO

Direct Reports:
Annual Giving and Stewardship Manager; Grants Writer; Development and Prospect Research Coordinator; Corporate Giving Manager. (The VP will also have the opportunity to hire an Assistant Director of Development and a Development or Grants Coordinator).

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Company Description

August Wilson African American Cultural Center

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (“AWAACC” or “The Center”) is located at the gateway of the Cultural District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Center, named for Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Pittsburgh native August Wilson, showcases nationally and internationally renowned performing and visual artists, as well as supports and nurtures the burgeoning local arts community. This programming connects the entire community to the rich, substantive artistic content that reflects the African Diaspora.

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center offers multiple exhibition galleries, a 492-seat theater for performances in all genres, multipurpose spaces for classes, lectures and hands-on learning, community programs and events. The Center is housed in an iconic building designed by award-winning architect, Alison Williams. Offering the community a distinctive mix of cultural spaces as well as a rehearsal studio, sweeping walkways and ample community gathering and meeting spaces, this bold facility serves as a true “center,” a place of coming together where all manner of
art, artistic expression, and community conversation are welcomed and encouraged.

The President & CEO seeks a new leader to drive the next phase fundraising of the renewed August Wilson African American Cultural Center. The Vice President of Institutional Advancement (“Vice President”) is a key member of the AWAACC leadership team reporting to the President & CEO.

Scope and Responsibilities

S/he/they will create and implement long- and short-term strategies to generate and maximize contributed income that supports the AWAACC mission and priorities, including capital, programmatic, cash reserve, and endowment campaigns. The Vice President will tap into new sources of support beyond the organization’s current base of supporters to achieve ambitious results. The Vice President is responsible for coordinating and managing the organization’s institutional development program as directed by the President & CEO. The candidate will also assist in developing and maintaining active and productive relationships with board members, individual and institutional donors, and government officials. In this role, the Vice President will help forge new external relationships to build AWAACC’s visibility, impact, and financial success.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Direct the planning and implementation of a range of fundraising programs to achieve the organization’s contributed revenue goals for annual operations (current goal: $6 million).
  • In conjunction with the President & CEO, maintain, expand, and implement an annual fundraising plan with financial goals, objectives, and strategies for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major individual gifts, sustaining partnership gifts, corporate, local and national foundation gifts, and sponsorships. Prepare periodic reports for the President & CEO that track fundraising against established development targets.
  • Identify new individual and institutional funding sources and trends to support AWAACC fundraising efforts.
  • Forge strategic partnerships with major companies and key community leadership to support AWAACC programs and organizational priorities.
  • Provide leadership and administrative support for various AWAACC fundraising and event committees; organize regularly scheduled fundraising and event committee meetings, including presentation materials. Oversee and coordinate follow-up to committee meetings and assist members as needed.
  • Plan, fundraise, and execute the annual gala and manage the efforts of event planning team.
  • Coordinate special fundraising and/or cultivation events to secure new friends and donors. Work closely with the President & CEO to ensure productive and efficient relationships with event committees and/or consultants.
  • Coordinate and supervise any annual sustaining membership campaign and direct mail programs, with support of development staff.
  • Oversee the maintenance of all development files and records regarding prospective contributors on all levels and ensure that all other necessary records are available as needed for smooth development and auditing operations.
  • Oversee Development Coordinator in establishing all donor database systems and development of procedures to track, record, report, acknowledge, and recognize all contributions and ensure the accuracy and timeliness of all fundraising, prospect, donor, and fundraising volunteer communications.
  • Manage and oversee grants writer in successful completion of funding applications and follow-up reports
  • Work closely with the President & CEO to develop fundraising materials. Assist the President & CEO and Marketing team in the design and production of all major fundraising publications, including AWAACC’s website and social media. Work with designers and printers to promote the annual fund- and friend-raising goals and activities.
  • Source national funders and manage special projects related to cultivation of new donors.
  • Coordinate with Vice President of Finance and Legal Affairs for grant application budgets and financial reports.
  • Coordinate with Senior Director of Programming on programming details, including accurate budgets and closeout reports, for fundraising.
  • Ensure optimal use of Tessitura relating to development and marketing.
  • With the President & CEO, lead strategic plan initiatives and capitalization efforts.
  • Manage, assess, mentor, and support a staff of six, and have the ability to make key hires within the department as needed.
  • Other duties as may be assigned by the President & CEO.

Key Selection Criteria

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to supporting and advancing a diverse team.
  • Success as a front-line cultivator and solicitor of transformational, major, principal, and planned gifts.
  • Capital campaign leadership experience.
  • Seven to ten years’ minimum successful fundraising experience leading a department in a comparable non-profit; proven track record of fundraising for large nonprofit organization.
  • Undergraduate degree required; advanced degree and certifications a plus, but not required.
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation a plus, but not required.
  • Experience with fundraising software and donor database software, such a Tessitura or Raisers Edge.
  • Proficiency in MS Office applications including Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint, and TEAMS.

Personal / Professional Attributes:

  • Understanding and appreciation for the performing arts and other cultural programs with a specific passion for the unconventional and innovative AWAACC culture and programming.
  • A warm, engaging, charismatic presence.
  • Ability and willingness to attend evening and weekend AWAACC events on a regular basis and to travel, as needed.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Commitment to embracing current and emerging tactics in philanthropy, including but not limited to e-philanthropy, and digital/social media platforms.
  • Highly motivated and able to work independently.
  • Ability to garner the respect and trust of the President & CEO, the AWAACC board, various fundraising committees, current and prospective donors.
  • Ability to work as a team with senior leadership leading other departments.
  • Self-confident, flexible, and able to work collaboratively with a variety of volunteer leaders and staff.
  • Superb relationship builder.

Additional Information:

  • Hours: Salaried exempt full-time position with employee benefits. 35-hour work week minimum, evening and weekend hours as needed.
  • Compensation: Negotiable

Contact Information

James Abruzzo
Managing Partner, Global Nonprofit Practice
New York, NY
T: +1 212-883-6800
E: [email protected]

Philip DeBoer
Associate Partner, Global Nonprofit Practice
Miami, FL
T: +1 786-558-2636
E: [email protected]

Jack Thompson
Executive Assistant
Pittsburgh, PA
T: +1 412-261-1492
E: [email protected]

Emma Kemper
Denver, CO
T: +1 720-262-7574
E: [email protected]

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