Chief Development Officer (Arena Stage)

Arena Stage
Washington, DC

Arena Stage, the home of defining moments in American theater staged at a beautiful waterfront location at the Wharf Marina in Southwest D.C., has retained Development Resources inc. to lead its search for a new Chief Development Officer, who will build an innovative major gift program engaging major patrons of the arts in the nation’s capital.

In 2010, Arena Stage completed the new Mead Center for American Theater, a stunning facility funded by a successful capital campaign. The name of the new location broadcasts what distinguishes Arena Stage from all other major production companies: its dedication to American playwrights and productions that speak to the American cultural and political scene.

Under Artistic Director Molly Smith, the company has launched an exciting array of programs that have introduced more than 300,000 audience members to award-winning American playwrights past, present, and future. In 2016, Arena Stage launched Power Plays, an imaginative initiative to commission and develop 25 new plays and musicals telling stories of American politics and power for each decade from the country’s independence in 1776 through the early 21st-century.

Arena Stage seeks a Chief Development Officer to develop innovative ways to engage major individual supporters of the arts in this powerful creative mission. The CDO will join a staff of 125 full-time members and more than 200 season performers who have won hundreds of awards, including a Tony Award for Artistic Excellence, 100 Helen Hayes Awards, and a Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership, and a National Multicultural Institute Diversity Award.

Reporting to the Executive Producer, the CDO will be charged with leading the design, development, and execution of a comprehensive fundraising program, with a full-time staff of 14 professional fundraisers. The CDO leads Arena Stage to meet annual and campaign fundraising goals, with dual responsibilities to manage and grow a $6 million annual fund and direct the ongoing Ovation Campaign to complete a comprehensive campaign.


Desired qualifications for this role include:

  • At least eight years of experience in upper-level positions within a non-profit fundraising program; some experience in an arts institution is preferred.
  • Experience building and leading a high-performing and comprehensive fundraising team.
  • Demonstrated ability to guide and support Board members and fundraising volunteers.
  • Record of leading strategies that have grown and diversified a donor base.
  • Ability to design cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for individual giving.
  • Record of securing 6- and 7-figure gifts.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising campaigns, including finance and budgeting.
  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree in a related field is preferred.