Current Job Openings

POSITION DESCRIPTION: Development Director

Forward Theater Company is the professional resident theater at Overture Center for the Arts. Each season we produce four mainstage productions of the best in contemporary theater plus a Monologue Festival or New Play Festival. We’re deeply involved with our community through extensive outreach efforts, and give Wisconsin’s theater professionals an artistic home.

We are seeking a Development Director to lead and execute a robust fundraising plan. Responsibilities include increasing donor engagement and support, cultivating and stewarding new donors, managing existing relationships and growing new relationships with institutional funders (foundation, corporate, government), and managing special events. In addition, over the next two seasons, the Development Director will play a critical leadership role in the execution of our Forward for the Future Endowment Campaign. Past participation in Anti-Racist or EDI training is a plus.

If you have a strong background in non-profit fundraising, we encourage you to apply.

This position will remain open until filled. Forward Theater Company is committed to building a culturally diverse and equitable environment. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply.


• Deepen relationships between individuals and Forward Theater through personal engagement, frequent communications, and donor events.
• Create and execute annual giving strategy and campaigns, and ensure donor benefits are fulfilled.
• Identify, compile, and submit grants, proposals, and reports in a complete, timely, accurate, and compelling fashion.
• Manage Forward’s upcoming endowment campaign.
• Work closely with the Audience and Donor Relations Manager to manage the details of
fundraising and donor engagement events, process and acknowledge donations, and
handle donor ticket issues.
• Work with the Development Committee of our Board of Directors to identify and
introduce high giving capacity prospects to Forward Theater, sharpen campaign strategies, and encourage their active role in donor engagement and annual fundraising events. Create committee work plan and set monthly meetings.
• Provide opportunities for the Board of Directors to make introductions for FTC, thank our patrons, and solicit needed resources.
• Work with Managing Director to identify and solicit Corporate Sponsorships.

Skills and Attributes Needed

• Success at managing a wide array of tasks and projects, and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced work environment.
• Proficiency with computers and office software such as Microsoft Office or similar.
• Experience with content management systems or Development software, such as Tessitura or similar.
• Willingness to work select evenings and weekends throughout the season, and to
occasionally adjust hours to accommodate the needs of the job.
• Ability to be self-directed, with enthusiasm for working closely with the rest of our staff to
chart the company’s future.
• Passion for theater.


Salaried $60,000 per year, plus benefits.


The Development Director can work flexible hours during the week. Evening and weekend hours are required for special events (5 – 7 per year) and during some performance runs.

How to Apply

Please apply by Friday, April 16, 2021.
Email cover letter and resume to Julie Swenson, Managing Director, at

About Forward Theater Company

• Regionally-acclaimed professional theater company, producing annual seasons of four productions at Overture Center for the Arts.
• Small, self-motivated staff working collaboratively.
• Flexible work environment to accommodate healthy work/life balance.