Chief Development Officer


Open Position: Chief Development Officer


About the Organization

ArtsMemphis is the primary arts funder in the Mid-South and exists to strengthen our community by supporting Memphis artists and arts organizations. The arts are essential in driving our economy, enhancing quality of life, improving youth development, providing healing and connection, bridging differences, and sparking innovation. ArtsMemphis grants over $3M to 65+ organizations and hundreds of artists annually.  ArtsMemphis has invested over $90 million since its inception in 1963, expanding the foundation of art for our city.

ArtsMemphis generates arts support and invests in artists and organizations. Over the last several years, ArtsMemphis began funding individual artists and implemented a more equitable grant-making structure that supports more organizations, enabling more arts experiences for Memphians. ArtsMemphis elevated its role as convener and connector during the pandemic, helping the sector navigate impacts and plan for a forever-changed future.

ArtsMemphis envisions a Memphis in which every individual feels pride in our city’s authentic cultural assets and experiences the impact of the arts in their lives. In pursuit of that vision, we are guided by a commitment to access, equity and inclusion, creativity and innovation, and transparency (learn more here).

About the Position

After a record year due to record need and with an approaching 60th anniversary, ArtsMemphis seeks to expand its team by adding a Chief Development Officer. Reporting to and in partnership with the President & CEO, the Chief Development Officer will spearhead a comprehensive fundraising strategy and oversee communications to achieve annual and long-range goals.

The Chief Development Officer will have at least two direct reports (including the Director of Donor Engagement & Communications and the Development Manager), work closely with the 25+ member Board of Directors, and provide staff leadership to the Board Development Committee. This position is part of a collaborative leadership team which includes the CEO, CFO and COO.

This position will oversee all annual campaign fundraising ($3M) which includes individual, foundation and corporate contributors in addition to the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. Additionally, this position will play a role in future efforts to grow the endowment ($25M).

Position Responsibilities

Management/ Leadership (15%)
  • Serve as a key leader of ArtsMemphis, with a visible presence in the Memphis community.
  • Understand and clearly articulate ArtsMemphis’ mission, history, programs, values, and policies to stakeholders.
  • Remain current on and adapt to the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that affect revenue goals and external messaging.
  • Mentor, motivate and manage the development team, ensuring strong professional development and high workplace satisfaction.
Development (75%)
  • Lead a comprehensive development strategy including planning, budgeting, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Create, implement, and manage fundraising and communications plans designed to increase revenues, number of donors and public visibility. Prepare a comprehensive, written annual development plan with clearly defined goals, objectives, timelines, and assigned responsibilities.
  • Formulate annual development budgets, track performance, produce reports and projections, and monitor expenditures.
  • Provide oversight and guidance on data management, gift processing and reporting functions within Raiser’s Edge NXT.
  • Using data and experiential engagement, draw current donors closer to what makes them associate with ArtsMemphis and understand what is important to new and potential donors.
  • Serve as a primary ambassador and solicitor for ArtsMemphis, stewarding and nurturing existing relationships and establishing and building new relationships to broaden donor base.
  • Maintain a portfolio of donors, cultivating and soliciting major gifts and developing productive corporate and foundation relationships.
  • Ensure ArtsMemphis stewardship efforts are formalized, inspire investment, and build strong retention and high satisfaction via donor recognition and engagement opportunities.
  • Engage, inspire, and motivate colleagues, the Board and grantee partners by building a culture of philanthropy that drives fundraising activity.
  • Cultivate and inspire legacy gifts; oversee the stewardship of planned gifts.
  • Oversee planning, production and evaluation of fundraising events.
  • Build a strategic vision for grant writing including a compelling case for support. Oversee the grant-seeking process including application, management, reporting and close out. 
  • Develop relationships with and seek support from funders outside of Memphis.
Communications (10%)
  • Oversee branding, marketing and communications.
  • Partner with marketing and PR firm to implement strategies and tactics that drive energy for and awareness of ArtsMemphis among current and potential stakeholders.


  • Bachelor’s Degree required
  • 7+ years’ experience working in not-for-profit development with a track record of philanthropic success (high level fundraising and relationship management); history of reaching multi-million-dollar campaign goals; experience working with national foundations
  • Knowledge of all areas of fundraising including major gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving, campaigns, special events, non-traditional fundraising sources, and marketing and communications
  • Experience in leading and mentoring a team
  • Strong communications skills, written and verbal
  • Strong planning, organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency with MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint;
  • Proficiency with databases, research tools and data intelligence tools; (Raiser’s EdgeNXT a plus)

The ideal candidate will be:
  • a natural connector and confident fundraiser who embraces their role as a leader within the organization and throughout the community.
  • a strategic leader who is highly motivated, entrepreneurial minded, goal oriented and positive.
  • one who has a desire to be a key player in the future of ArtsMemphis.
  • able to take a job from conception to completion and open to doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
  • able to engage a wide range of stakeholders.
  • one who is knowledgeable about the philanthropic community in Memphis.
  • one who understands and is familiar with the latest data, tracking, systems and development trends and has experience using this information to track, analyze and plan.
  • able to create and deliver effective presentations to individuals and large groups.
  • one who balances autonomy and collaboration.
  • a proven manager who promotes teamwork, creativity and open communication.
  • willing to work with a small team in a collaborative, fast-paced, creative environment.
  • able to lead budgeting and forecasting procedures.
  • able to balance present organizational needs while planning for robust future goals.


Salary Range

$90,000-$110,000 and commensurate with experience.


  • 401(k)and 401(k) company match up to 4%
  • Health, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Paid time off (up to 20 days) + Paid sick time (9 days initially)
  • 16 Paid holidays
  • Parental leave
  • Professional development opportunities + arts experiences

Work hours

While typical work hours are 9:00am-5:00p, Monday-Friday, employee must be willing to handle flexible hours including occasional work on nights and weekends. Employees are generally expected to be in the office Monday – Thursday with remote work flexibility on Fridays.


This position description is not intended, and should not be construed to be, an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions associated with the job. It is intended, however, to be an accurate summary of those principal job elements. This position may be required to perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

To Apply

Interested and qualified candidates may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to [email protected].  No phone inquiries, please. Cover letter should describe why candidate is interested in working with ArtsMemphis and how their skills and experience fit with the responsibilities for this role. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled.

People of color are encouraged to apply.

ArtsMemphis strives to build and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and equitable working and learning environment for all staff. ArtsMemphis provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability, pregnancy, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status.

All positions require a valid driver’s license and automobile insurance.

All applicants are subject to a drug screening and background check.




One gift supports 68 arts organizations and 145 artists

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