Director of Development

The JAZZ HOUSE seeks a smart, inspiring, collaborative, seasoned development professional with direct experience in securing corporate sponsorships and individual gifts, securing institutional support, and managing a team of development professionals. The director of development and sponsorships must have the ability to contribute to and activate a long-term fundraising vision and strategy along with overseeing the tactics to meet the identified benchmarks and goals. This is a unique opportunity to direct your energy and talents toward making a substantial impact on the lives of children and building diverse communities. The successful candidate will have the satisfaction of guiding a highly visible and nationally recognized organization through its next phase of development and play a leading role in securing contributed income and championing JAZZ HOUSE KiDS and its programs, building mission awareness, and increasing levels of support and engagement.

Position Type: Full time, exempt; weekend and evening work, as required


For twenty years, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS has been an instrument for change, transforming lives using the power and the uniquely American art form of jazz, through world-class education and performances that create avenues of access, learning, career development and community building. We use jazz and the joy of music, advanced by master practitioners, as a gateway to student achievement.

The JAZZ HOUSE and students have received more than 135 awards and honors for excellence in jazz and jazz education. Our award-winning organization has documented outcomes including boosted social and emotional learning, improved academic outcomes, acquisition of life skills, and increased civic engagement. Alumni are among the most talented young jazz musicians and young professionals in the nation. Every day we keep our promise to build community leaders and develop global citizens through a series of in-school programs in New Jersey and out-of-school programs in Montclair and New York City, the JAZZ HOUSE helps young people gain an artistic edge.

The JAZZ HOUSE produces 150+ free public concerts per year to audiences over 150,000, including the organization’s far-reaching cultural signature program, the award-winning MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL, the largest free jazz festival in the NYC area, attracting more than 25,000+ attendees to downtown Montclair each year. Last year, fans enjoyed 45 musical acts performed by 200+ performers. This multi day event also included 150+ food and artisan vendors and is cited as a significant economic engine for the small businesses in and around Montclair.

Overall Responsibilities

The director of development and sponsorships serves as a chief fundraiser for JAZZ HOUSE KiDS and the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL, which is produced annually by the JAZZ HOUSE. The successful candidate will oversee a four person development team implementing year-round fundraising initiatives totaling $2.5m in contributed income, coordinating its corporate sponsorships, individual donor programs, and foundation and government grants. The director of development and sponsorships will maintain a collaborative relationship with the founder and president, leveraging her history and reputation and setting her up for success with signature donors and sponsors. The candidate will work directly with the chair of the board and other board members and advisors keeping them engaged and enabling their fundraising as well. The individual will manage the day-to-day operations of the fundraising department. They will define and achieve attainable revenue projections, with plans for steady year-over-year income growth. The individual will exemplify JAZZ HOUSE KiDS’ collaborative, forward-thinking, and inclusive culture, maintaining open lines of communications and inspiring excellence.

Your Impact at the JAZZ HOUSE

The work falls into five categories.

Individual + Major Donors

  • Increase major gift funding by implementing a comprehensive strategy to identify, qualify, prioritize, and cultivate individual donors who can make gifts of $5K+.
  • Collaborate with founder & president – engage, cultivate, solicit, and steward a major donor portfolio.
  • Create an annual engagement plan for donors, pipeline and prospects ($750k/1,100 donors).
  • Build out pipeline and activate an annual program to acquire and retain individual donors who make smaller entry level gifts toward a goal of an ever-growing donor pipeline.
  • Spearhead the annual appeal to engage small grassroots support and matching gifts.
  • Working with the Manager of Individual Giving, analyze results of donor retention, reactivation, and attrition as well as identifying new prospects for a moves management plan.

Corporate Sponsorships

  • Spearhead the growth of corporate sponsors portfolio, totaling approximately $800k in 2022.
  • Foster relationships with corporate sponsors, create bespoke engagement opportunities ensuring fulfillment of sponsor benefits, executed letters of agreement and sponsor engagement/satisfaction.
  • With the Manager of Corporate Giving, create compelling major event sponsorship activations and benefits, levels, and exclusive opportunities.

Marquee Events

We are recognized as a curator of elite one-of-a-kind client activation experiences with top award-winning artists and celebrated young talent. This position drives the fundraising for two signature events: MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL and Ralph Pucci’s Annual Jazz Set, a flagship furniture design showroom, attracting VIPs from a cross-section of global collectors, business leaders and creatives.

  • Activate fundraising tied to premiere client entertaining and networking, bespoke private events, with prominent recognition and signage coupled with market and cross channel integration and announcements and on-site engagement
  • Align our shared values around diversity, equity and inclusion, demonstrating an active commitment to a rich multicultural environment
  • Expand the membership program around year-long MONTCLAIR JAZZ FEST offering.
  • Collaborate with marketing/program staff to develop compelling/brand-consistent marketing collateral, including a corporate sponsor deck and event outreach materials.

Institutional Giving

  • Oversee institutional giving ($450k), including identifying, cultivating and the research of new grants, writing and reporting, and relations with institutional funders.
  • Work directly with our grant writer to draft compelling proposals for funders including proposals that require working closely with the executive director, program staff, finance staff, and, at times, artists and teaching artists.

Leadership and Development Department Management

  • Craft a fundraising plan with strategies, tactics and measurable benchmarks to grow contributed income as an overall percentage of the budget.
  • Contribute to the organization’s fiscal health through close coordination with the budget team, projecting quarterly contributed income.
  • Manage and develop a team of development professionals whose job duties and key performance indicators align with the fundraising plan.
  • Work with Development Operations Manager to maintain the integrity of our donor records
  • Contribute to the ongoing strategic planning and budgeting processes.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree a plus.
  • Five+ years of experience as a professional fundraiser, preferably for art or music organizations.
  • Ability to move, learn, think quickly, and work well independently on several projects concurrently with a sense of urgency.
  • Creative with excellent written and interpersonal oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated high energy level and flexibility, pleasant persona, sound judgment, flexibility, and a commitment to be discreet while maintaining confidential information.
  • Experience working within a performing arts setting is preferred but not necessary.
  • Proven project management skills, commitment to careful planning, ongoing organization, and problem-solving with outstanding attention to detail.
  • Major event development and fundraising experience highly needed.
  • Ability to collaborate across departments as a team player.
  • Willingness to work beyond standard business office hours, understanding that most live performance events occur on weekends or evenings.
  • Understanding of event industry standards and trends.
  • Experience working with people from different backgrounds and cultures.
  • Ability to maintain poise, discretion, and professionalism under pressure.
  • Strong technical skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; comfortable working in Bloomerang, NEON, or similar CRM.

Personal Attributes

  • Devoted to JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, jazz, diversity, cultural competency, and inclusion.
  • An emotionally intelligent and compassionate team member with the ability to engage, activate, and support development staff, the board, and other key volunteers as ambassadors, connectors, and cultivators.
  • A team member with a sense of humor and openness.
  • A pacesetter with the ability to juggle and prioritize issues and multiple tasks.
  • Able to effectively analyze and use data and measurable benchmarks in making timely decisions and informing the overall fundraising strategy and direction.

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. Please let us know if you need assistance or accommodation due to a disability.


Montclair, New Jersey, onsite position, occasionally in lower Manhattan office, full time plus concerts and events. This opportunity is open to any applicant eligible to work in the U.S.


This position reports to the JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Founder and President. This role oversees the following staff:

  • Manager of Development Operations
  • Manager of Individual Giving
  • Manager of Corporate Sponsorships and Special Events
  • Grant writer and special projects

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $125,000.00 – $140,000.00 per year


  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off


  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Evening shift
  • Weekend availability

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • Montclair, NJ: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required)