Job Bank

Director of Leadership and Planned Giving
Princeton, NJ
McCarter Theatre Center
Full Time
Posted April 24, 2024
Join our team at McCarter as the Director of Leadership and Planned Giving. In this critical role, you will lead the design and execution of strategic initiatives aimed at fostering a culture of philanthropy and maximizing donor engagement with a strong focus on acquiring new members and donors, retaining current supporters, and advancing their level of giving with particular attention to gifts at the Director’s Circle ($5,000+) level and above.

You will work closely with our Director of Development and team to identify, cultivate, and steward major donors, while also developing innovative strategies to increase planned and estate gifts. With your knowledge in fundraising practices, you will play a key role in achieving our organization's fundraising goals and advancing our mission.

Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Functions & Duties
• Maintain an active donor portfolio of approximately 125-150 individuals primarily at the $5,000 Grand Patron level and above, with the goal of growing this portfolio.
• Cultivate, solicit, and close gifts to achieve the overall budgetary goal in this giving category.
• Build individual and community relationships to expand the current base of support.
• Utilize Tessitura and other donor management software/technology platforms to track donor interactions, analyze fundraising data, and generate reports to inform strategic decision-making.
• Conduct prospect research and analysis to identify new major donors and planned giving prospects, leveraging internal and external data sources to inform cultivation and solicitation strategies.
• Participate in the planning and execution of multi-year and special project campaign cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
• Oversee the preparation of written materials including solicitation and stewardship materials for leadership giving circle members.
• Design and implement a cohesive and comprehensive planned giving program.
• Cultivate, solicit and document planned and estate gifts that support established organizational goals, programs and endowment.
• Serve as a primary liaison with professional advisors, including attorneys, financial planners, and estate planning professionals, to facilitate planned giving conversations and transactions.
• In consultation with the Director of Development and Executive Director, identify prospects for membership in the Board of Trustees.
• Assist in providing staff support and guidance to Board committees, including the Nominating Committee and Development Committee.
• Attend all Development training sessions required by the director of development and institutionally required professional development opportunities.
• Ensure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, and ethical standards governing philanthropic fundraising and gift acceptance, including adherence to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Code of Ethics.
• Stay informed about current trends and best practices in major gifts fundraising and planned giving through professional development activities, networking opportunities, and ongoing education.
• Adhere to safe working practices while embodying McCarter safety and code of conduct policies
• Participate in the work to make McCarter an anti-racist theater. Actively seek ways to improve our work practices to make the Development department more equitable and inclusive, while upholding and exhibiting our stated values of “justice and joy, beauty and belonging.”


• A Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or equivalent experience, and preferably 7-10 years of experience as a fundraiser in the area of major gift or capital campaign fundraising.
• A proven track record of building an effective giving program and cultivating/stewarding donor prospects.
• Ability to work effectively with senior management, department heads, trustees, and donors.
• Familiarity of and passion for the performing arts.
• Ability to interact well with major gift donors and prospects.
• Demonstrated effectiveness in securing major gifts, and strong ability to convey the case for support for McCarter Theatre Center to inspire leadership level investment.
• Excellent writing, speaking and interpersonal skills.
• Excellent time management and organizational skills.
• Ability to work independently and take initiative.
• Strong ability to work collaboratively in cross-functional teams.
• CRM database experience, preferably with Tessitura or other fundraising software.
• Flexibility to work several nights and weekends as assigned.
• The flexibility and willingness to travel to meet with high-level donors and prospects, and to participate in fundraising-related events.
• Ability to work in an on-site/off-site hybrid environment.
• A critical consciousness and interest in the values and practices that can help build and sustain an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace
• Ability to collaborate with diverse needs, personalities, and work styles with optimism and a solution-discovery mindset
• Final candidates will need to successfully complete a background screening.

Preferred Qualifications
• Knowledge of the greater Princeton-area philanthropic landscape

Work Environment
• Led by our core values, McCarter fosters and expects a culture of care and respect for the wellbeing of our staff.
• In-person work will primarily be completed in a shared office space in our administrative office located at 91 University Pl, Princeton, NJ.
• Employees may be asked to use personal transportation to meet with high-level donors and prospects.
• This position entails extended periods of sitting, manual dexterity for operating office equipment, and the ability to read and interpret documents, while occasionally requiring lifting and carrying objects up to 15 pounds, engaging in repetitive tasks, standing, walking, bending, and reaching within the office environment.
• Employees may be asked to use a personal cell phone in order to access authenticator apps and related software necessary for work credentials/multi-factor authentication (MFA). Applicants should be comfortable using their personal devices for these purposes as part of their job responsibilities, as workarounds cannot be guaranteed in order to access certain platforms.

How To Apply

BENEFITS INCLUDE: Medical, vision, and dental insurance, flexible and health spending accounts, paid vacation, sick, personal, and holiday time, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, 403(b) retirement plan with employer match, access to free parking within less than 1-mile radius, as well as other perks. We encourage all candidates to apply, even if they do not currently meet all qualifications. We know there are great candidates who may not have all of the qualifications listed above but possess intuitive knowledge or other fully transferable skills. If that is you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. McCarter is committed to on-the-job training and mentorship. If you are interested in supporting McCarter’s vision, we would love to hear from you. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to with your name and “Director of Leadership and Planned Giving” in the subject line. Please also mention where you heard about the position. We look forward to learning more about you!