Chief Commons Director: CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia

Posted August 28th, 2019 at 10:54 am.

Welcomes returning citizens

CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia (CWP) seeks a seasoned cultural executive to be our Chief Commons Director (CCD), our senior-most management position. CultureWorks is a nonprofit “management commons”—a platform for sharing essential support systems for the arts and heritage community. For more information go to

This position reports to the Board of Directors and supervises the Senior Finance Director, the Co-Management Director, the Brand Awareness Director and the Consulting & Community Director. The CCD works closely with the Board and the senior management team to develop and maintain the highest level of quality in the services, programs and systems that power CultureWorks’ management commons.

CWP consists of two charitable entities, CultureWorks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and CultureTrust, a 501(c)(3) charitable trust, through which we manage a Model A Comprehensive Fiscal Sponsorship program. Both are governed by one Board of Directors. The CCD exercises executive powers for both entities. CWP is supported by and receives technical assistance, human resources support, core management technologies, impact assessment tools, and access to capital resources under a license from a national supporting organization, CultureWorks Commons Management (CCM). On the continuum of nonprofit organizational life cycles, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia is evolving from “adolescent” to “mature,” with strong programs and systems in place but the Board’s primary role becoming more focused on strategy, policy and fundraising.

Under our mission “to provide arts, heritage, and creative practitioners equitable access to the resources they need to flourish,” CultureWorks offers a flexible and affordable array of integrated services, focusing on human capital, systems, policies, best practices, and a shared nonprofit umbrella. We build and share all of the essential supporting services that individual cultural practitioners and nonprofit organizations or creative enterprises need for their programs, work, or services to succeed. These include staff to manage finance, compliance, human resources, legal, fundraising, marketing, and data, in addition to flex and interim staffing, office and meeting space, advisory services, basic insurances, and nonprofit status itself. CWP serves the five-county region of Southeastern Pennsylvania and parts of Southern New Jersey and Northern Delaware.

The Chief Commons Director represents the mission and vision of CWP to the community at large, including funders, government, the corporate sector, key community partners, as well as the many individuals and organizations that flourish on our commons. Successful candidates for this position will demonstrate the following attributes:

  • A history of dynamic and successful senior leadership and a strong knowledge of the cultural community in Philadelphia or similar geographies along the full spectrum of arts and humanities.
  • The ability to lead in a changing environment and build organizations. As a new-model solution for our ever-evolving community, our work is dynamic and entrepreneurial and must epitomize equitable and transparent policies and practices.
  • The compassion, empathy, and drive of a social worker. The CCD must understand and embrace the diverse needs of individual artists and organizations.
  • Relentless optimism and omnivorous curiosity. We solve difficult problems every day across a vast spectrum of cultural practice. Our job is to be courageous, to embrace change, to be comfortable with ambiguity and risk-taking, and to be able to say, “Yes, that’s possible.”
  • A critical eye and willingness to tinker with best practice. We are committed to innovation and a restless sense that anything can be improved with iteration and measured risk.
  • A strong fiduciary sensibility. A successful CCD will be hardwired to set budgets and develop and implement the business-development and fundraising strategies to achieve earned- and contributed-revenue goals.
  • The ability to set curatorial impulses aside. We are not arbiters of taste or cultural practice; we provide the platform upon which culture may flourish.
  • A collaborative work ethic. Our working culture is horizontal and depends on a high degree of self-management, initiative, communication, and collaboration from all staff and leadership and collaboration from all staff and leadership.


  • Provide executive leadership and oversight to both CultureWorks and its affiliate, CultureTrust.
  • Develop and diversify the membership portfolio, balancing equity and inclusion with financial sustainability.
  • Work with Board leadership on developing the annual budget, strategic plan, policy, practices, and the organization as a whole.
  • Supervise and collaborate with senior leadership positions, as well as the staff team.
  • Lead the senior management and staff team in overall program development and delivery.
  • Oversee overall membership development and the financial health and growth of the commons.
  • Represent the organization to peer leaders in the public and private sectors.
  • Work with the national commons organization on program development and innovation.
  • Ensure transparency, equity, accountability, and quality of delivery in all service areas.
  • Cultivate a strong knowledge of trends and best practices in cultural practice and management and share this knowledge across the organization.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree or higher and 8-10 years of experience in senior cultural management
  • A strong background in program development and innovation
  • Experience with fundraising, direct sales, and constituent development
  • Demonstrated experience in maintaining and deepening positive working relationships with Board leadership and leading organizational growth
  • Deep knowledge of the arts and heritage/humanities, as well as cultural policy and practice
  • Experience working with artistic/curatorial, executive, and board leadership of diverse cultures
  • Strategic thinker with experience in leading organizational development, management services, or funding programs
  • Experience with nonprofit financial management and auditing, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, operations, and human resources
  • General knowledge of charitable law, in particular relating to the field of fiscal sponsorship
  • Superior communications, interpersonal, and management skills
  • Proficiency in basic management technologies (Microsoft Office, CRMs, databases, and others)

The salary base for this position starts at $70,000 (relocation allowance provided if necessary). CultureWorks offers a benefit package, including an unlimited paid time off policy, a wellbeing allowance, health insurance, and access to a 403(b) retirement account.

About Us

CultureWorks is a management commons for arts, heritage, and creative communities; a platform of space, human capital, and services to help artists not only survive, but flourish.

With more than 230 members, including 100+ fiscally sponsored projects, we provide equitable access to management resources for both individuals and organizations, the makers and preservers of culture.

Apply for this job

Please send in PDF form a cover letter, resume, and three references to Mailed, hand-delivered, or faxed applications will not be accepted. The deadline for applying is August 23, 2019. CultureWorks is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, gender, or sexual identity.

Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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