Development Director: Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse (Smith) is hiring a Development Director to plan, manage and oversee fundraising efforts, including grant writing and reporting; corporate sponsor cultivation; annual appeal and individual donor solicitation; and fundraising events.

Working closely with the Executive Director, leadership team, and Board of Directors, the Development Director will play an important role in helping Smith expand programming, upgrade facilities, and amplify the impact of the organization. The ideal candidate will be comfortable in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment where they have the opportunity to help shape strategy while also managing the execution of fundraising programs.

About Smith 

Smith opened its doors in 1899 at the forefront of the national playground movement to serve as a model for the importance of play in children’s lives and as an urban oasis for families. Today, Smith remains a vital resource to the community, promoting and providing access to play for an annual audience of over 160,000 children and adults drawn from over 500 zip codes throughout the region. Smith offers children from diverse backgrounds free, accessible, and one-of-a-kind play experiences that support their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth.

Located in East Fairmount Park, Smith sits on 6.5 beautiful acres of open fields, wooded terrain, and sloped hills and is the home of the beloved Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide, a certified Nature Explore outdoor classroom, and a newly renovated 16,000-square-foot Playhouse. During visits to Smith, children and caregivers enjoy quality time together engaging in a wide range of educational and enrichment activities indoors and out.

In the fall of 2021, Smith will be opening a preschool in the ground floor of the newly renovated Playhouse. The Smith Urban Nature Preschool and Teacher Training Center will provide the City of Philadelphia, generally, and the neighboring Strawberry Mansion community, specifically, with quality early childhood education. It will also enhance the quality of preschools across Philadelphia through it’s teacher training programs.

Smith offers a warm, collaborative, fun, and collegial work environment.  We are looking for a personable, creative, and self-motivated person to join our team and help us pursue the goals of: (1) becoming a local and national thought leader on play and play-based learning, and (2) making a powerful and positive impact on the physical, social, and cognitive development of children in Philadelphia.

Development Director Responsibilities

Create and manage a comprehensive development plan to guide annual fundraising activities and meet revenue goals.

Work with the Fundraising Committee of the Board of Directors to engage all members of the Board in effectively supporting Smith’s fundraising efforts.

Maintain grants calendar, write grant proposals, and meet application and report deadlines.

Work with colleagues to develop strong case statements for Smith’s mission and programs.

Cultivate and steward relationships with foundations, corporations, and major donors.

Lead the annual appeal and donor solicitations to increase individual giving.

Plan and manage annual fundraising events.

Conduct prospect research to identify new individual donors, foundation grants, and corporate funders.

Oversee donor acknowledgement and maintenance of donor records.

Supervise Communications Manager to meet goals for social and traditional media outreach, e-newsletter, and press relations

Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Skills and Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree and 5 – 7 years of fundraising or related experience

Excellent oral and written communications skills combined with the ability to engage donors and funders with compelling storytelling.

Self motivated, entrepreneurial, creative, flexible, and open to innovation

Ability to work in a fast paced, goal-oriented environment and relate to a variety of people of all ages and backgrounds

Ability to work independently with attention to detail.

Sense of humor, patience, and desire to work collaboratively in fun, unconventional, collaborative, fast-paced environment

Value and maintain confidentiality

A personal commitment to excellence, professionalism, and the mission of Smith

Able to work occasional evenings and weekends

Education Level: 

Bachelor’s degree and 5 – 7 years of fundraising or related experience
To Apply

Interested candidates please submit a resume and cover letter to