Harlem Stage

Director of Development

To Apply

Harlem Stage has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (resume and cover letter that articulates interest in the mission) may be directed in confidence to:  

Jack Lusk, President & CEO
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168


Please put “Harlem Stage DOD” in the subject line of your emailed application.

Harlem Stage, one of New York City’s most vital performing arts centers, celebrates the profound and indelible influence Harlem has had on American arts and culture. Hailed by The New York Times as ‘an invaluable incubator of talent’ and boasting five MacArthur Genius Fellowship and Pulitzer Prize awardees among its artistic family, Harlem Stage’s mission has been to bridge the rich and diverse artistic legacy of Harlem to contemporary artists of color. By fostering talent, commissioning works and providing support, Harlem Stage allows visionary artists of color the space and freedom to explore and create new work that is innovative, relevant and socially significant. 

In their support of artists and organizations both local and around the globe, Harlem Stage, for 37 years, has presented a wide array of performances accessible to all audiences. Harlem Stage supports a full range of musical offerings with legendary talents such as Celia Cruz, Jessye Norman, and Harry Belafonte, and contemporary artists including Nona Hendryx, Mumu Fresh, Jason Moran, Stew and Jose James. Among many programs offered are a dance series, films that celebrate emerging artists, performances of both traditional and non-traditional theater, and Dive Deeper – an innovative program that allows audiences to take part in the creative process by engaging with artists both live and in virtual activities. Harlem Stage’s education programming introduces over 2,300 New York City school children every year to the unparalleled excitement of live performance through dynamic programming both at Harlem Stage and on-site at a network of partner schools.

Housed in a dramatic and nationally landmarked building known as The Gatehouse, the Harlem Stage theater seats 160 and is available to the community for private functions.

Reporting directly to the CEO/Artistic Director and working with the Managing Director, the DOD will lead and execute a robust fundraising plan designed to strengthen and expand all development efforts including increased donor engagement and support, cultivating and stewarding new donors, managing existing relationships and growing new relationships with institutional funders (foundation, corporate, government), and managing special events and the annual Gala. In particular, the successful candidate will work closely with the Board of Directors in implementing a Major Donor program and playing a critical leadership role in the execution of The Campaign for Harlem Stage, a $25 million comprehensive campaign designed to consolidate all of Harlem Stage’s development activities over the next five years.

This is a challenging role that requires someone with strong business acumen and experience in developing new fundraising streams and ramping-up existing fundraising efforts. The right candidate brings love and know-how for the art and science of fundraising. The DOD is someone confident and comfortable bringing ideas to the table, able to take charge of major projects and go the extra mile to ensure the continued critical work of Harlem Stage. They are data-driven and appreciate the value of utilizing technology to amplify a development team’s capacity. They possess positive energy, integrity, curiosity, sound judgment, flexibility, an appreciation for diversity, and a sense of humor.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Work closely with the CEO & Artistic Director, Managing Director, Strategic Consultant and the Board to develop and implement successful fundraising strategies for Harlem Stage
  • Build a Major Donor Program 
  • Raise substantial new funding for the WaterWorks commissioning fund 
  • Initiate and develop partnerships with corporate sponsors  
  • Maintain and deepen existing donor relationships 
  • Lead donor cultivation efforts including coordinating and calendaring solicitation events and meetings with prospective donors; write and manage proposals and reports to donors 
  • Engage the Board through in-person visits and video calls making sure they are kept up to date on developments and initiatives; write and present quarterly status reports for board meetings 
  • Partner with the Board to help expand the Board both in number and reach
  • Maintain and manage efficient organization of fundraising plans; ensure all proposals, submissions and reports are filed in a timely manner
  • Maintain detailed and up-to-date financial records that track progress and cash flow throughout the fiscal year
  • Write and edit internal development briefings, status reports, summaries and other informational documents for senior staff
  • Work with staff, consultants and board members in a collaborative and effective manner


  • Bachelor’s degree; graduate degree preferred
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience with 5 years’ relevant development/fundraising experience in progressively increasing responsibilities
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Database Management
  • Thorough knowledge of and experience with online fundraising research methods 
  • Highly motivated with excellent time management, organizational, supervisory, and creative problem-solving skills; able to multitask, prioritize, anticipate and solve problems as they arise
  • A thorough understanding of nonprofit arts/culture sector and funding community
  • A strategic thinker with strong interpersonal and analytical skills, including keen judgement and the ability to work collaboratively with a team of people from a wide array of cultural backgrounds, fostering collegiality and a positive work culture
  • Commitment to and passion for the mission of Harlem Stage

For more information about Harlem Stage, please visit their website at: www.harlemstage.org

Salary and Benefits

Benefits, salary commensurate with experience.

Harlem Stage is committed to diversity and especially encourages members of underrepresented communities to apply. It offers equal opportunity employment regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability status, age, marital status, or protected veteran status.

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168