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JOB OPENING: Development Manager


Waterwell is a group of artists, educators and producers dedicated to telling engrossing stories in unexpected ways that deliberately wrestle with complex civic questions. We create productions that are creatively daring and emotionally potent to cultivate connections across real and perceived divides. We train young artists and educators to create work with an artist-as-citizen ethos as the foundation of their creative process. We produce our projects using an evolving set of best practices that are influenced by the principles of community organizing. Our projects manifest in more than one medium but everything we do is infused with our love of the immediacy of live performance.

We are looking for a full time Development Manager to work directly under the Managing Director to cultivate and coordinate all areas of fundraising, including individual giving, institutional giving, board relations, events, and database management. This position is ideal for an ambitious early career fundraising professional who  will benefit from working closely with the company’s full leadership team, gaining valuable mentorship and experience. Waterwell’s contributed revenue has more than doubled since 2018, and as the donor community and company continue to grow, we expect this position to grow as well, offering significant opportunities for professional growth as a leader in an innovative, nimble small company.

As a company, Waterwell is dedicated to working hard to achieve our goals while respecting personal life boundaries, healthy work loads, and ensuring that everyone at the company is supported. We value kindness and generosity as fundamental aspects of our collaborative, team-driven office and culture.

Key Responsibilities

Individual Giving

  • With the leadership team, maintain relationships with prospective and current donors by serving as a point of contact and ensuring regular positive touch points
  • Oversee donor research and prospecting
  • Conceive, implement, and help manage individual giving strategies, moves management, and communications, collaborating with leadership as appropriate
  • Conceive and execute annual appeal campaigns, including year-end appeal, spring appeal, back to school appeal, and production fundraising campaigns
  • Coordinate invitations, seating, ticketing, and prospect lists for productions

Institutional Giving

  • Maintain and manage institutional giving pipeline and calendar
  • Collaborate with the leadership to complete grant proposals and reports, including managing grant portal access, project managing the writing process, and, over time, begin preparing initial drafts and/or polish final drafts for submission

Board Liaison

  • Act as lead support for Board of Directors’ fundraising activities, including soliciting Board Member’s prospects for their support
  • Assist Managing Director in preparing agendas and materials for Board meetings
  • Work closely with Managing Director to manage and maintain correspondence with board members regarding donor prospects, meetings, calendar, fundraising events, production related events, and education events
  • Help manage and liaise with the newly formed Board Fundraising Committee
    • Prepare materials
    • Oversee execution of board-planned events
    • Schedule committee meetings, plan agendas, prepare materials

Fundraising & Cultivation Events

  • Assist Managing Director and other leadership staff with planning and execution of all donor events
  • Manage event timelines, invitation process, and other logistical details

Fundraising Operations

  • Develop campaign projections and monitor budget goals, including preparation of regular reports for leadership
  • Handle all gift entry and donor record maintenance in the CRM database, Funraise
  • Prepare and send gift acknowledgement letters and pledge agreements
  • Serve as project manager of fundraising activity across the team to ensure all initiatives are completed well and on time

Key Qualifications

  • 1+ years of individual giving experience
  • Excellent communicator with strong writing skills
  • Working knowledge of G Suite and Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience working in a fundraising CRM database is a plus
  • A self-starter with the ability to work independently and manage multiple priorities and deadlines at once
  • A commitment to continual self-education about Anti-Racism, including how to apply it in actionable ways,  and a committment  to contribute to Waterwell’s culture of inclusiveness;
  • Dedication to the performing arts as a means of personal and social change and/or a passion for Waterwell’s distinct vision and values;
  • High energy, positive attitude, assertiveness, creativity, humor and patience.

Schedule & Work Location

Target start date of December 1, 2021.

Typical working hours are Monday – Friday, 10a-6p, with some flexibility as needed. Occasional evenings and weekends required, particularly during production.

Waterwell is currently conducting administrative work remotely and production and education work in person. In the short-term, we expect this position to work primarily remotely, with some in-person meetings and program visits. Support for home office needs is available. In the long term, the Development Manager will participate in company plans for the transition to a new way of working in person.


Salary of $50,000/year with paid time off, generous company holidays, and reimbursement for medical/vision/dental insurance premiums and expenses.


To apply, please send an email with your resume and cover letter to with “Development Manager” in the subject line.

Equal Opportunity Employment Policy

Waterwell is committed to creating an inclusive community of mutual respect where anti-racist and anti-oppression principles guide our decision-making and company culture. We are currently evaluating how our stated intentions align with the outcomes created by our decisions and identifying actions that will make those goals a reality in the short-term and long-term. We believe that having a staff of artists, teaching artists, and administrators that is racially equitable and represents a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences is essential to fulfilling our mission.

Equal employment opportunities are available to all. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national social or ethnic origin, religion or belief, sex, pregnancy, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, age, physical mental or sensory disability, veteran status, and family or parental status.

More About Waterwell

Waterwell’s most recent theater production, The Courtroom, was a verbatim re-enactment of one woman’s deportation proceedings. Called “theater as civic meditation” and named “Best Theater of 2019” by The New York Times, it was performed in active legal spaces, including the seat of the Second Circuit at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse. In May 2019, Waterwell launched Fleet Week Follies, a festival for military service members and their families. During the pandemic, Waterwell produced screenings of videos from our project The Flores Exhibits ( with 18 different partner organizations in 6 states around the country. We also produced a short documentary, Se Lo Que Es Pandemia / I Know What Pandemic Means in collaboration with Documented, a non-profit journalism outlet that focuses solely on immigration in New York and New Jersey (

Waterwell Education trains young artists and educators to create work with an artist-as-citizen ethos as the foundation of their creative process. Our central program, the Waterwell Drama Program (WDP), teaches 200+ public school students each year, delivering 1.5-2 hours of daily in-class, conservatory-style instruction and rigorous after-school performance projects. This training culminates in the New Works Lab, a commission of a professional playwright to write an original play for the WDP senior class. Waterwell makes this world-class theater education available to a racially diverse student body from a wide range of economic backgrounds through our partnership of 10+ years with NYC’s Professional Performing Arts School.