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Theater ,
submitted by
Vashti Emigh

Development Associate

The Development Associate will be responsible for implementing and managing the development strategy for Lifeline Theatre. Reporting to the Managing Director, the Development Associate will work closely with theater staff and board to achieve Lifeline’s fundraising goals. Lifeline seeks a creative, organized individual who is able to work independently and participate effectively in a collaborative work environment. The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated self-starter who finds developing meaningful relationships rewarding.


  • Implement the annual development plan and strategy
  • Support all development efforts to meet fundraising goals
  • Closely monitor activities and timelines and collaborate with all areas of the company to ensure effectiveness
  • Properly and promptly process, record, and acknowledge all donations
  • Maintain accurate tracking of fundraising goals and provide written update reports to the Board and staff on a bi-monthly basis
  • Coordinate end-of-calendar year and end-of-fiscal year contribution campaigns
  • Manage deadlines for proposals and reports to corporate, foundation and government funders, develop collateral materials, and collaborate with a volunteer grant writer and staff members, to write grant proposals
  • Assist the Managing Director in the facilitation of relationships with institutional funders and identification of new funding opportunities
  • Grow individual donor base; manage annual giving campaign; cultivate mid-level gifts
  • Help to plan and implement all fundraising events, including the Annual Benefit
  • Attend events such as Sneak Peaks, opening nights and outside donor events
  • Assist the Managing and Artistic Directors in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major donors
  • Research prospects and assist in the development of strategies
  • Collaborate with Director of Marketing to ensure that all messaging is on brand, patron cultivation and communication efforts are coordinated, and develop and implement data analytics to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the theater’s development efforts
  • Work with Operations Manager to manage and leverage donor information in Lifeline data management system, Total Info
  • Ensure appropriate recognition and stewardship of donors of all levels, from small donations to major gifts
  • Participate in recruiting, hiring, training and mentoring interns
  • As a staff member, participate in operations, production and facilities related projects and activities as needs require
  • Attend all staff, board, and relevant committee meetings


  • 1-2 years applicable professional experience in communication, customer service, or fundraising
  • Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent prior experience. Understanding of theater community a plus
  • Interest, enthusiasm, and affinity for fundraising and working with people
  • High energy, positive, “can do” attitude, flexibility, teamwork and high degree of initiative
  • Experience managing multiple initiatives and projects
  • Excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and judgement with the ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality
  • Computer literacy, proficiency in Excel and other Microsoft Word products, experience in donor databases and design software a plus

The Development Associate is a full-time, exempt position. Salary is $32,000 annually plus benefits.

Send a cover letter and resume to Lifeline will accept applications until January 21. We will contact you if we feel there is a potential match with your skills and experience and our needs. No phone calls please.

Lifeline Theatre provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, protected veteran or disability status or any factor prohibited by law. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Lifeline is closely monitoring state and local public health guidelines and the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of the staff, production teams, and audience members. Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination is required for all staff. Vaccination records will be kept confidential and maintained separately from personnel paperwork. As guidelines are evolving on a frequent basis, Lifeline will continue to adjust safety protocols as needed.

Lifeline Theatre interprets, explores, and reimagines books and other literary works to create stories that move us beyond the margins of our own lives.

Lifeline Theatre is dedicated to offering a safe, inclusive, accessible and just environment that values equity, nurtures individuality and celebrates diversity. We are committed to implementing strategies and best-practices that dismantle racism, harassment and all forms of oppression within our company and the greater theatre community.

Contact Info:
Lifeline Theatre
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL