Development & Communications Director at Kelly Strayhorn Theater

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Manager/Supervisor


(75% Development; 25% Communications)




We’re looking for an accomplished, fundraising and communications professional to lead strategic initiatives, fundraising, and strategic communications. An organizational leader and manager, the Development & Communications Director champions KST’s mission and vision. The Development & Communications Director is committed to excellence, has a collaborative spirit, and enthusiastically takes on new ideas and challenges. This leadership role works closely with the Executive Director, managing development staff and co-managing marketing staff, and in collaboration with the senior team to deepen KST’s donor and audience engagement. And by the way: Kelly Strayhorn Theater's work centers BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA people. So, if you’re a member of these or of other historically resilient communities, we strongly encourage you to apply.


SALARY & BENEFITS: This is a full-time, in-person salaried position and pays $60,000 a year. The salary is fixed. Please don’t apply if this salary does not fit your expectations. You’ll get health benefits, vacation time, a team who knows how to respect a flex schedule, and a career immersed in arts and culture in one of the most storied neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. You’ll also get the chance to deeply affect culture and drive performance at one of the most innovative arts nonprofits in the city (more on that below).

REPORTS TO: Executive Director

DIRECT REPORTS: Development Manager, Marketing Manager

SCHEDULE: Our typical office hours are 10am-6pm on weekdays. Weekend and evening hours are expected. During heavy programming periods and times when you need to be present at events in the evening, you can flex your schedule to help you maintain work-life balance. And because the world has changed in the past years, we should note that this is an in-person, non-remote position.

DEADLINES: Cover letter and resume due by Sunday, February 19, 2023. First day on the job is Monday, March 27, 2023.



Named after 20th-century entertainment legends and Pittsburgh natives Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn, Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) is a home for creative experimentation, community dialogue, and collective action rooted in the liberation of Black and queer people. KST takes a multidisciplinary approach to presenting contemporary performing arts while examining the questions that define and inspire us as individuals and communities. 

This is an exciting time for Kelly Strayhorn Theater. In 2023, it will be 15 years since the theater made a shift from rental venue to producer. Today, KST is known for the diversity of its dynamic programs - some bold and taking risks, and others grounded in the values of our community. Through an expansive definition of contemporary artistic practice and an inclusive approach to programming, KST has demonstrated its ability to gather racially, economically and generationally diverse audiences to share experiences of top-notch, socially relevant arts and cultural events. The artists we have introduced to Pittsburgh early in their careers have gone on to major recognition, winning Guggenheims, MacArthur Fellowships, Doris Duke Awards and many others.



Kelly Strayhorn Theater seeks a creative and experienced fundraising and communications professional to lead its fundraising program and institutional messaging, in alignment with and to advance KST’s strategic plan. With an annual budget of $1.3 million and two distinct venues in Pittsburgh’s East End, KST is a home for contemporary performance. Our expansive programs center on diverse, inclusive and high-quality art experiences, engaging educational activities, and the creation of new work through artist residencies and commissions.

This full-time position works closely with the Executive Director and in collaboration with the Deputy Director and Programming Director to build upon and diversify KST’s fundraising program to achieve growth and sustainability through increased private and public investment. The Development & Communications Director accepts front-line accountability for meeting annual revenue goals.

The successful candidate will have a proven track record of meeting ambitious fundraising goals. The position requires a problem-solver with the ability to initiate, collaborate, and mentor staff to achieve fundraising success.


The key objectives of this position are to:

  • Develop and implement an annual fundraising plan with a goal of more than $1 million each year, employing a wide range of strategies and tactics to achieve short and long-term financial and strategic goals
  • Leverage and maximize KST’s programming and existing relationships to increase annual private giving by 30% over the next two years, with an emphasis on individual giving and corporate sponsorships
  • Strengthen fundraising systems and infrastructure to effectively manage and maximize growth opportunities
  • Ensure institutional messaging is implemented across channels to boost onsite attendance, contributed and earned income, and the engagement of stakeholders
  • Work cross-functionally with development, marketing, and programming counterparts on campaigns and projects to ensure efforts are strategic, collaborative, and effective



  • Develop and manage the implementation of the annual fundraising plan and calendar.
  • Staff the Development Committee of the Board.
  • Oversee the management and use of the Salesforce database to facilitate accurate donor records, regular reporting and analysis, maintain key metrics and effective and efficient communications through segmentation and customization.
  • Provide inspiring and visible leadership for the fundraising program that effectively engages and retains donors, Board members and volunteers in working toward its success.
  • Collaborate on strategy for grants and proposals, engaging other staff, writing proposals when needed and ensuring that deadlines are met and grant reports are accurate and timely.
  • Develop, produce and oversee all fundraising communications including, but not limited to, solicitation letters, corporate sponsorship materials, electronic fundraising promotions, etc.
  • Serve as project manager for all KST fundraising and donor cultivation events including coordinating and supporting the efforts of KST staff, volunteer committees and the Board.
  • Oversee donor stewardship and gift accounting including the timely production of donor acknowledgement letters, recognition events, and activities.
  • Research and respond to external fundraising opportunities and collaborate with programming and marketing staff to develop new fundraising initiatives related to KST programs.
  • Produce regular and comparative fundraising reports that inform the ED, senior staff and the Development Committee about fundraising progress. Highlight areas of success and proactively identify areas for improvement and/or concern.
  • Develop and maintain a balanced departmental budget.
  • Be prepared to accept new challenges and ad hoc responsibilities to advance the KST mission as needed.


  • Co-manage the marketing team with Programming Director and accept all performance accountability responsibilities for director report. Lead strategy for clear and impactful institutional messaging that aligns with strategic priorities for external stakeholders while Programming Director leads visual identity. Partner to accomplish key accountabilities: communicate and promote events through venue assets, advertisement, promotional partnerships, community efforts, and media partners on an event-by-event basis.
  • Advance KST’s brand through the creation of strong internal processes and practices for communications reviews and approvals. Ensure that strategic positioning is consistently applied across internal and external platforms.
  • Develop a local engagement plan with accountability and measurable tracking metrics for each of KST’s stakeholder groups to build trust and loyalty.
  • Identify opportunities to help the organization integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and justice into our communications plans and work.
  • Represent KST as a spokesperson and at events, as needed.
  • Other projects as assigned based on emerging priorities and current events


Requirements (please don’t apply if you don’t have the following):

  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging and the willingness to prioritize and foster a commitment to valuing differences of race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances
  • Five or more years of demonstrated leadership and management experience in fundraising
  • Arts management experience and knowledge of theatrical procedures and practices
  • Ability to represent KST one-on-one and to diverse audiences
  • Exceptional organizational skills with the ability to multitask, prioritize, and work in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to meet revenue goals with experience in individual giving, membership programs, and corporate sponsorships
  • Strong verbal communication skills and demonstrated ability to write clearly and persuasively
  • The ability to use or to learn the following software and systems: Google Workspace, Microsoft Office Suite, Patron Manager, Salesforce, HelloSign, Mac platforms and ShareFile
  • Ability to operate as the in-house expert on gift accounting and donor stewardship utilizing best practices in the field
  • The ability to create and implement systems and processes



A Note to BIPOC Candidates: Studies have shown that women, nonbinary folks, and People of Color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization and we are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a background less traditional to our field of work, and that’s okay. We would strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.

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