Irish Arts Center

Director of Development Operations

To Apply

The Irish Arts Center has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Debbie Farrell, Senior Director of Leadership and Development
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168


Please put “Irish Arts Center” in the subject line of your emailed application.

Irish Arts Center, founded in 1972, is a national and international home for artists and audiences of all backgrounds who share a passion for the evolving arts and culture of contemporary Ireland and Irish America. Based in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, the Center presents, develops, supports, promotes, tours, and distributes work from established and emerging artists, providing audiences access to cultural experiences that are innovative, collaborative, diverse, authentic, emotionally and intellectually transporting, meet the highest standards of excellence, and celebrate our common humanity. The Center also provides community education programs for adults and children of all ages and ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, and an international home for the Irish community to come together and engage with a dynamic, global diaspora.

Later this year, the organization will break ground on a landmark new permanent home, including a state of the art flexible theatre for music, dance, theatre, visual arts and interdisciplinary works; a second, intimate space optimized for  live music and conversation, recordings, master classes and special events; classrooms and studio spaces for community education programs in Irish music, dance, language, history, and the humanities; and a spacious avenue-facing lobby café lobby that will be a hub for artistic and community hospitality. The Irish Arts Center has recently completed the first phase of the capital campaign, raising over $60 million from New York City, New York State, the Irish government and private donors for development for the 11th Avenue new building. The second phase of this project is a $10 million campaign to complete the renovation of the historic 51st Street building as well as build a “Growth and Sustainability Fund” will begin with the ground-breaking.

With an annual budget of $3.5 million, the Irish Arts Center continues to build a first rate team of intelligent, hardworking, kind-spirited people of integrity and purpose to continue its dramatic growth in the coming years as it prepares to occupy a new facility and in anticipation of its 50th Anniversary in 2022.

The Director of Development Operations (DDO) will play a leading role in building out the Irish Arts Center fundraising program infrastructure, developing processes to significantly increase prospecting and grow contributed revenue lines to achieve significant incremental growth of the annual fund, and capital and endowment campaigns. Reporting to the head of development and working collaboratively with the Executive Director and other team members, the DDO will be a key player in the development of the operating plan for the Irish Arts Center.

Principal Responsibilities:
To achieve the aims described above The Director of Development Operations is responsible for carrying out the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Reporting to the Vice Chair and working in concert with the Executive Director, develop, implement and support systems to build and enhance Irish Arts Center revenue-generating programs, including research, prospecting, meeting solicitations, moves management, grant writing, and events. Develop and help implement a collaborative annual fund and capital campaign plan with objectives, timelines and evaluation plans for fundraising in the context of the Center’s five year revenue plan
  • Manage an annual integrated solicitation and communications calendar for all donors including strategies for pipeline building, as well as the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual prospects and donors: create, manage and implement all systems and operations to support all fundraising activities
  • Develop and steward new systems to dramatically increase the Center’s prospect pipeline, especially for arts and culture and mission driven funders
  • Oversee utilization and development of the Center’s fundraising database system, Raiser’s Edge, to achieve prospecting and fundraising goals
  • Make strategic contribution to the development of the Center’s unique value proposition for donors, creating unforgettable cultural experiences in an environment of excellence, intimacy and hospitality
  • Provide executive level reporting and analysis on the development budget and all streams of revenue efforts as necessary.
  • Oversee two staff members, Development Officer and Development Associate, toward the achievement of the above tasks as well as work with outside vendors and consultants.
  • Work with executive leadership and staff, donors and board members, in a supportive and direct manner


  • 7+ year fundraising background as well as a track record of scaling fundraising infrastructure including communications, information technology and Raiser’s Edge software, social media, staffing, and planning for capacity building
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Entrepreneurial, dedicated, intelligent, hard-working self-starter who has experience overseeing a range of fundraising methods and can identify and cultivate supporters and funders
  • Impeccable integrity, judgment, and discretion along with a professional demeanor and interpersonal style that elicits trust from leadership, funders, staff, and partners
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at the same time; highly organized and detail-oriented; willingness to work in a self-supported manner and wear multiple hats
  • Exceptional writing, verbal communication and presentation skills
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168