SAG-AFTRA Foundation

Director of Development

Employment type
Full Time
28 days ago
Los Angeles, CA

Job Title: Director of Development
Department: Development
Reports to: Cyd Wilson, Executive Director
Location: Los Angeles
FLSA Status: Full Time, Exempt

Position Summary:

The Director of Development of SAG-AFTRA Foundation (Foundation) represents a renewed push for greater philanthropic emphasis and strategic direction. While it only has two special events per year, few corporate sponsors, and a small group of individual supporters, the Foundation has largely relied on non-philanthropic revenue to fund its programs and services. The addition of this senior development professional to the Foundation staff is motivated both by an identified need to establish a more traditional non-profit fundraising capability as well as a focused outreach to the entire entertainment industry for their support. The Foundation has spent the last three years expanding its presence nationally, by building offices and program facilities in NYC to mirror program offerings on each coast where the largest number of members reside and work. During that period, the Foundation has also expanded programming and services remotely through its website and by sending key staff on the road multiple times a year to deliver programming to SAG-AFTRA members in areas other than the two main hubs.

Although some of the best-known and highest profile actors are indeed well-paid for their craft, the vast majority of the union’s 150,000 members are not. A significant majority is unemployed at any given time, and so relies on the educational programs, professional development, health benefits, and emergency assistance provided them free of charge by the Foundation. The ability of the Foundation to maintain and grow these services contributes directly to the vitality of art and entertainment around the world and its continued growth and vibrancy allow it to nurture the actors and performers who entertain and inspire us well into the future. Our recent marketing strategy has been crafted to position the Foundation as “Patrons of the Artists” and we look outward for donors who have an interest of also supporting the arts in this way.

The main function of the Director of Development, is to develop and implement an innovative and sustainable fundraising program to support and advance the work of the Foundation. As there is currently limited traditional development infrastructure, this seasoned development professional must be able to innovate, create, and implement broad-based fundraising capability and to lead the establishment of a pervasive culture of philanthropy at SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Additionally, as the Foundation is deeply imbedded in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and New York, successful candidates should come to the table with existing knowledge, understanding, and/or connections to Industry individuals and corporations, including talent agencies, studios, broadcast networks as well as philanthropic organizations who support the arts.

Working with the Executive Director and the Development staff, the Director of Development will build development capability including major gifts, corporate giving, planned giving, annual fund appeals, and special events.


  • Complete an internal development audit to gain a full understanding of existing and historical fundraising programs, events, event sponsors, systems/processes, communications/marketing tools, major donors, and institutional funders.
  • Based on this audit, and in collaboration with the Executive Director, develop a comprehensive fundraising strategy and plan for 2017 which includes annual fund, major gifts, special events, corporate/foundation support, planned giving, and direct mail/appeal.
  • Develop a major donor/major gift strategy, including identification of existing and potential major donors, plans for stewardship, and support of major donor events.
  • Provide input to a capital campaign to fund the Robin Williams Center & Screening Room in New York City, at the donor amount of $6 million.
  • Develop and deliver on appropriate personal and team revenue goals, fundraising targets, timelines, and income diversification.
  • Meet with existing major donors and corporate/foundation partners to solidify, strengthen, and expand relationships.
  • Work collaboratively with development staff to further develop existing events and to expand corporate partnerships with a focus on philanthropic and marketing dollars.
  • Work with communications staff to hone marketing plans, add to the current communications strategy, and marketing collateral to support development programs and efforts.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • Minimum of 12-15 years of broad-based fundraising, business development, and/or entertainment industry experience, with a track record of proven financial results and demonstrable leadership capacity.
  • Minimum of 5 years as a leader of high-functioning teams, departments, and development efforts.
  • Broad-based fundraising and development background including annual fund, major gifts, special events/sponsorship, corporate/foundation solicitation, and planned giving efforts.
  • Particular strength in developing and implementing a comprehensive and strategic fundraising plan and executing against that plan.
  • A demonstrated track record of effective solicitation of philanthropic giving; planning, implementation, management, and successful conclusion of a major campaign are highly desirable.
  • Direct experience in managing successful major gift programs (cultivation through solicitation and stewardship).
  • Credible marketing and communications skill as it relates to supporting fundraising programs and developing donor-specific collateral and presentations.
  • Current knowledge of and connection to the entertainment industry, inclusive of talent, management & representation, entertainment/media companies and studios, and/or entertainment philanthropy.
  • Superb judgment and outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required.

Personal and Leadership Characteristics:

  • Energy and determination to lead an enterprise-wide transformation to a culture of philanthropy; zeal of a missionary, patience of a saint, ability to educate and inspire.
  • Able to manage egos, nurture disparate interpersonal relationships, to work independently and as member of a team in a fast-paced environment.
  • Capability, presence, and judgment to work effectively with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, talent, industry executives, and SAG-AFTRA Foundation partners in an appropriate and effective manner.
  • Ambitious and entrepreneurial orientation; history of creating from scratch and/or professionalizing a development function within a fast-paced, high growth environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and strategic direction. Ability to develop trust and strong collaborative working relationships.
  • Passion and charisma and superior communication to express orally and in writing the mission and fundraising goals of SAG-AFTRA Foundation with clarity and persuasion.
  • Self-starting and self-motivating with the ability to show results on time and in a highly ethical and professional manner.
  • Customer focused and dedicated to meeting and exceeding the expectations and requirements of internal and external constituents.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Supervises Director of Grants and Gifts, Special Events Coordinator and Data Base Entry Administrator.

To apply

Apply online here.