Current career opportunities
at FirstWorks

FirstWorks is a non-profit arts organization based in Providence, Rhode Island that enhances the vitality of our community through world-class performing arts and education programs. Celebrating our 15th anniversary season, FirstWorks is the only First Night festival in the country to become a year-round arts organization. FirstWorks’ annual season includes performances with artistic icons and ground-breaking innovators. We are the proud Founding Partner of PVDFest, the City of Providence’s signature cultural celebration that attracts 130,000 people. We also provide art education to over 4,000 K-12 students each year.


FirstWorks seeks a Director of Development (DoD) with an agile skillset and a commitment to FirstWorks’ mission. The DoD is a member of the senior management team with primary responsibility for corporate and individual giving. They connect donors, funders, sponsors and ticket-buyers to the organization through a variety of development strategies. The DoD must be an excellent writer, analytical thinker, and communicator capable of distilling information into a compelling case for the support of FirstWorks and working in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.

Reporting to the Executive Artistic Director (EAD), the DoD will spearhead development efforts to achieve annual fundraising goals through the solicitation of gifts, grants and sponsorships. The DoD manages a portfolio of relationships with existing supporters and helps forge new relationships to build FirstWorks’ visibility, impact, and funding pipeline. They will contribute to all aspects of the organization’s fundraising strategy including sponsorship, the Annual Fund campaign, and the Curator’s Circle, FirstWorks’ premium donor membership program. The position oversees the Development Team and liaises with the Board of Directors on fundraising initiatives.

This is a full-time position. Start Date: Fall, 2019
FirstWorks is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to a diverse workplace.

Primary Responsibilities:
Responsible for meeting targets in annual fundraising, the DoD will actively work with the EAD and staff to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy:
• Oversee development and execution of all proposals and reports, working closely with the Grant Manager and occasionally writing proposals
• Conduct solicitations to secure gifts and sponsorships
• Coordinate/create written communications and donor communications to consistently message FirstWorks’ value
• Develop and steward ongoing relationships with major donors; coordinate a program for recognition, involvement and stewardship
• Research, qualify, and cultivate potential funding sources, in collaboration with the team
• Develop reports and reconcile with the FirstWorks Bookkeeper
• Manage PVDFest sponsorship acquisition and fulfillment
• Plan and manage the execution of cultivation events
• Oversee development communications including direct mail, newsletters, web-site updates, PowerPoints, and collateral

• Design and implement annual development plan
• Execute FirstWorks’ annual fund campaigns, executing a strategy for expanding a sustained base of annual individual donors
• Create and maintain the annual fundraising pyramid
• Oversee research of funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position FirstWorks ahead of major funding changes or trends
• Supervise maintenance of donor tracking data, utilizing FirstWorks CRM system

• Manage Board Development Committee
• Work with Development Team to ensure smooth day-to-day fundraising operations, data entry and gift processing
• Ensure integration with financial system tracking system; oversee the creation and operations of effective program evaluation tools, dashboards and reports
• Coordinate and manage Development Team and committees as assigned
• Monitor budget targets and provide reports

• Bachelor’s degree required (Master’s degree preferred) with minimum 5 years of experience working with cultural nonprofits, including development and grant writing experience
• Excellent writer, creative and strategic thinker with ability to clearly articulate organizational mission, programs, and present FirstWorks in a compelling and effective manner
• Ability to represent the organization in donor conversations, and to identify and cultivate new donors
• Entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, and a sense of humor
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team; outstanding organizational skills, attention to detail, and initiative
• Welcoming spokesperson: ability to generate enthusiasm for the organization, elicit cooperation, and get information over the phone, via email, and in person
• Facile knowledge/user of software applications (i.e., word processing, spreadsheets, email, search engines, prospect research tools; databases), familiarity with SalesForce/Patron Manager a plus
• Familiarity with issues related to arts and education trends; understanding of and belief in FirstWorks’ mission

To apply, please submit current resume cover letter, one writing sample, and sample project management document to