Director of Development COCA


Reports to: Sr. Director of Development & Finance
Department: Development
FLSA Status: Exempt
Direct Reports: Yes (4 – 5 Direct Reports)
Salary Range: $80,000–$85,000

COCA is seeking an ambitious, mid-career nonprofit fundraising professional with a love for arts, education, and community building to join its full-time staff as Director of Development. Coming off the completion of a bold $49 million Create Our Future Campaign that raised critical support for a facility expansion and a growing endowment, COCA is poised for further program growth and impact. The Director of Development will help shape long-term engagement and fundraising strategies that support the implementation of a new five-year strategic plan.

The Director of Development, reporting directly to the Sr. Director of Development & Finance, is a senior member of the Development Team and is responsible for strategies and initiatives that increase constituency engagement and achieve contributed income goals. This position cultivates and stewards a portfolio of individual and corporate donors and prospects and provides leadership for multiple volunteer boards and committees. Responsibilities also include the management of a dynamic, collaborative Development team and the development of genuine relationships and creative collaborations in order to secure financial resources that advance COCA’s mission and vision.

Company Bio: COCA

Center of Creative Arts (COCA) is the region’s largest community arts center and the fourth largest in the nation. With a mission to enrich lives and build community through the arts, COCA embraces the power of arts education to build the creative capacity of all St. Louisans regardless of age or ability. Each year thousands of students engage in a slate of programs including arts classes, camps, performances, workshops, and events at our campus in University City and in schools and community centers throughout the metro. COCA is currently engaged in a 5-year strategic planning process, centering programs and people at the core of this work with deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions. 

Departmental Oversight

  • Work closely with Senior Director of Development and Finance and the Director of Individual and Corporate Engagement to set goals and review progress regularly for the Development Department.
  • Manage departmental contributed income budget
  • Create and implement strategies to achieve short- and long-term fundraising objectives.
  • Provide monthly income projection reports and track progress toward fundraising goals.
  • Expand departmental capacity to leverage the capabilities of Tessitura—the donor customer relationship management software.
  • Create and oversee development and event expense budgets to ensure the prudent stewardship of the department’s resources.
  • Collaborate with leadership to identify opportunities for securing major gifts for programs and initiatives with comprehensive plans for cultivating and soliciting prospects.
  • Participate in organizational planning efforts.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Inspire and guide direct reports in their day-to-day operations and toward goal-oriented outcomes.
  • Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable laws.
  • Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, training employees, planning, assigning and directing work, appraising performance, rewarding and disciplining employees.
  • Partner with Sr. Director, Development and Finance to drive departmental operations, initiatives and budgeting.

Fundraising Responsibilities:

  • Steward portfolio of current individual donors, as well as qualified prospects, and develop strategies for personally moving prospects through the donor cycle.
  • Meet an agreed-upon number of portfolio contacts on an annual basis.
  • Oversee strategy and operations of COCA Business Partners program, including the growth of sponsorship and philanthropic participation.
    • Create opportunities for new program sponsors and engage in active prospecting, including the identification of key leadership and researching current interests and funding.
  • Ensure the fulfillment of sponsor benefits and provide timely reports for sponsors and donors regarding the stewardship of their support.
  • Serve as a key member of the collaborative team creating COCAcabana—COCA’s annual fundraiser.
    • Identify and engage both individual and corporate prospects in participation through committees, tickets, sponsorships, and other donations.
    • Ensure alignment of financial goals with volunteer engagement, messaging, production, and customer experience.
  • Steward donor and prospect information in Tessitura, including notes on interests and contacts.
  • Manage portfolio of Board donors, serving as a “board buddy” and identify ways for them to be actively engage in programming.
  • Participate in planning and operations of board and volunteer committees, as assigned.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in an applicable field is required.
  • Eight (8) or more years of relevant fundraising or sales experience, including corporate sponsorship or B2B sales is preferred.
  • Two (2) years of management experience is required.
  • Experience working with a donor database is required.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office - Outlook, Excel, and Word is required.
  • Experience with Tessitura is a plus.
  • A love for the arts, education, and building communities!
  • Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


  • Customer Service – Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; Responds promptly to customer service needs; Solicit customer feedback to improve service; Responds to request for service and assistance; Meets commitments.
  • Oral Communication – Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Present numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Set goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Motivation – Sets and achieves challenging goals; Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; Measure self against standard of excellence; Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals.

Physical Demands & Work Environment:

  • This position frequently communicates with donors, vendors and teammates. Must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.
  • This position frequently moves objects weighing up to 20 pounds for various even needs.
  • This person needs to move about the inside of the office and events. This requires the ability to sit and stand for long periods of time.
  • This position is essential to COCA events. This requires work hours during evenings and weekends, as applicable.

COVID-19 Considerations:

  • COCA Employees are required to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Employees are required to provide proof of vaccination.
  • COCA requires all employees, students, patrons and guests to remain masked at all times, regardless of vaccination status.

COCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. All employment decisions at COCA are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. COCA is committed to achieving a diverse workforce through application of its affirmative action, equal opportunity, and nondiscrimination policy in all aspects of employment. COCA complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact

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