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Director of Development

To review the complete job description, please visit TimeLine’s website.

About the Position
TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, is a Chicago not-for-profit theatre company with an annual budget that will exceed $2 million in 2019-20. Over 22 seasons dedicated to presenting stories that explore today’s social and political issues through the lens of the past, the company has garnered more than 50 awards for artistic excellence and business management. Now TimeLine is preparing for our next chapter with a capital campaign to establish a new home, renovating a historic building in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

The Director of Development will lead and enhance TimeLine’s comprehensive development program to expand and grow all contributed revenue. This position requires the ability to shape and mentor a development team that will provide leadership on grant writing, annual fund, data management and events, in order for the Director of Development to focus greater attention on major gift opportunities and their own portfolio of donors. The Director of Development will become another important face of the organization within the community. As part of the senior leadership team, they will report directly to the Managing Director.


The Director of Development will have the following primary responsibilities.

  • Provide leadership to create a robust development program necessary to advance TimeLine’s mission.
  • Lead the growth of TimeLine’s relationship management efforts, including identifying, qualifying, cultivating, and stewarding new and existing donors and prospects.
  • Ensure Patron Manager, TimeLine’s database, is accurate and appropriately managed for ongoing stewardship, moves management, and accurate reporting.
  • Develop, implement, and communicate annual and long-range strategic fundraising plans to meet identified goals.
  • Maintain an active portfolio of major gift prospects to cultivate and solicit.
  • Help with day-to-day management and reporting of campaign activities.
  • Provide support to the Managing Director and Artistic Director.
  • Partner with the marketing team to create consistent, appropriate messaging to engage donors and subscribers.


As a successful candidate, you will have a passion for TimeLine’s mission and a dedication to building substantial relationships with donors, share TimeLine’s Core Values (see below), and create a personable approach with all constituents. You will use your creativity to identify and expand major gift opportunities and carry the confidence and leadership qualities that come with years of development experience. You will enjoy working in a collaborative and creative environment, building strong communication with teams and departments and forging connections with TimeLine artists who can aid cultivation efforts.


After more than two decades of growth, TimeLine is bursting at the seams of our current leased home located at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood, where we have been in residence since 1999. Over the years, we have increasingly faced numerous limitations that constrain artistry, hamper audience accessibility and comfort, and challenge the ongoing financial sustainability that is critical for long-term success.

TimeLine has purchased property at 5033-5035 N. Broadway in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood as the site of a future home that will elevate everything audiences love about TimeLine and support new artistic possibilities with two fully flexible performances spaces, expanded areas for audience engagement and lobby exhibits, as well as office, rehearsal and production support spaces. The project’s anticipated budget is $20 million, to be paid for through a combination of private philanthropy and other sources.


As a successful candidate, you will:

  • Share a passion for TimeLine’s mission and have the ability to inspire others.
  • Bring 8 or more years of broad development experience, with a successful record in campaign support and major gift fundraising, including securing gifts of $10,000 or more from individuals.
  • Be experienced at strategically developing and implementing a comprehensive development program covering all sources of contributed revenue with hands-on knowledge to oversee and manage staff in grant writing, events, annual appeals/development communications, gift processing and data fulfillment.
  • Be accustomed to effectively supervising and mentoring a team.
  • Be a leader who is poised and comfortable serving as the face of the organization with a variety of constituents.
  • Exhibit a strong, team-oriented work ethic.
  • Excel in a fast-paced, ever-changing, growing organization, remaining open to taking on its challenges and opportunities.
  • Perform other related management duties and responsibilities as required or assigned.


This is a full-time exempt position. The salary range is $90,000-$95,000. TimeLine offers a competitive benefits package. Regular full-time employees are eligible for health, dental, vision, and life insurance; optional 403(b) retirement; generous paid leave policies (vacation, personal, sick, maternity/paternity/adoption, and holiday); and professional development support.

Application Procedure

TimeLine Theatre Company is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to the goal of building a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment.

All interested and qualified candidates should submit a resume and cover letter addressing your specific skills related to this position and what you find compelling about the case for TimeLine Theatre Company’s future by end of day May 29, 2019 to with the subject line “Director of Development” or via mail to Human Resources, ATTN: Director of Development Search, TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago, IL 60657. No phone calls please.


Founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues, TimeLine seeks to continue the extraordinary legacy of Chicago not-for-profit theatre companies that started small, dreamed big and matured into prominent institutions that enrich the cultural landscape of the city. We produce four subscription-series productions each season, as well as the TimePieces play reading series, and the Living History Education Program in Chicago Public Schools. Over its history, TimeLine has produced more than 75 plays, including 10 world premieres and more than 35 Chicago premieres that have received 54 Jeff Awards (including 11 for Outstanding Production), in addition to numerous other artistic and business awards.

Staff members at TimeLine Theatre Company share the core values of the organization:

COLLABORATIVE: Valuing teamwork as a creative force

EXCEPTIONAL: Demanding excellence and innovation in everything we do

FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE: Managing resources effectively and appropriately

INCLUSIVE: Embracing diversity in all its forms

INTIMATE: Creating a close connection between art and audience

RESPECTFUL: Listening and being open to everyone’s perspective

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