Development Director: Fleisher Art Memorial

Position Summary

The Director of Development is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of Fleisher’s fundraising, with a focus on institutional giving, as well as oversight of the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, special events, and capital campaigns. The Director works closely with The Executive Director and the Board of Directors in all development and fundraising endeavors.

The Director of Development ensures that relationships are nurtured and cultivated to bring the greatest amount of resources to Fleisher in order to fulfill its mission and support its operational, programmatic, and strategic activities. The Director of Development is responsible for securing nearly one third of Fleisher’s annual operating budget and for informing, designing, and executing all campaigns and events designed to deepen relationships with constituents and broaden the organization’s base of support.

The Director of Development serves as a key leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting Fleisher. The Director of Development supervises a team that includes a Donor Engagement Officer, Special Events Manager, and Development Assistant.


Located in Southeast Philadelphia, Fleisher is recognized as the nation’s oldest community school of visual arts. Founded in 1898 as the Graphic Sketch Club, Fleisher has maintained its mission to make art accessible to everyone regardless of economic means, background or artistic experience. Samuel Fleisher created a place where anyone, especially those that otherwise lacked access to creative enrichment, could be inspired by art. The endeavor grew so popular that he ultimately acquired three row homes, a former school, and a former church to accommodate classes and exhibitions. After Fleisher’s death in 1944, his estate was left in trust to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the perpetuation of his vision. In his memory, the Club was renamed the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, and became an independent nonprofit in 1983.

Additional detail about Fleisher Art Memorial can be found on its website:

Our Programs

Fleisher serves over 20,000 annually through its onsite classes as well as numerous programs reaching throughout the city. As it has done from its inception as the Graphic Sketch Club, Fleisher continues to offer free and low-cost classes for every level of artist, from beginner to professional. Our Teen Lounge provides students in grades 9-12 with free artist-led projects during after-school hours, and our new after-school program, Creative Labs, extends learning beyond the school day in workshops designed to helps students in grade K-5 find their artistic voice. Our offsite programs reach broad and deep, and includes ColorWheels, a mobile art studio, and artist-residencies in fifteen schools and social service agencies.

Our galleries are home to ten free exhibitions each year. The Wind Challenge Exhibition Series has showcased artists for more than 40 years, with public programming that engages children and adults. We partner with Calaca Flaca, a committee of local Mexican business owners and activists, to present an annual Dia de los Muertos Festival for 500+ people.

Fleisher’s programs have been recognized as models by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Grantmakers in the Arts, Americans for the Arts, among others. The Wallace Foundation featured Fleisher in two case studies: Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts (2013) and Staying Relevant in a Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial is Adapting to Shifting Community Demographics (2015). In 2011, Fleisher received National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Our Operations

Fleisher currently operates with an annual budget of approximately $2 million with 20 staff members. Additionally, almost one hundred part-time teaching artists and faculty members provide classes for a student population that encompasses children and adults, amateurs and professionals, community residents as well as those from across Philadelphia. Approximately 30% of the budget comes from earned income – tuition/studio fees, rentals, and sales of artwork. Income from the Fleisher Trust and other investments comprise another 30%, with the remainder raised in contributed funds from individuals and foundations.

Fleisher’s current facility encompasses six connected buildings which house administrative offices, galleries, multi-use spaces, and working studios – including numerous specialty studios e.g. print making, photography, ceramics, digital media, among others. It completed a master plan in 2015, and has a vision for the future of its campus. Fleisher is equally committed to the depth and quality of its offsite programming made possible through numerous long-term partnerships. We currently present art education programs in fifteen spaces throughout Southeast Philadelphia, and see potential for continued growth and demand.

Fleisher’s culture is one of collaboration and team effort. The Board is highly engaged, serving Fleisher from both oversight and operational functions; there are numerous working committees working closely with highly qualified staff.



  • Sustain and build the infrastructure needed to grow the currently $2.5M budget through the solicitation of major gifts, individual gifts and memberships, government grants, special events, and corporate and foundation support.
  • Expand and diversify Fleisher’s donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives.
  • Overall grant management and organization including writing proposals, LOIs, and reports, researching and identifying prospects, pipelines, tracking, strategy, task assignment, and maintenance of timelines.
  • Guide and support the activities of the Executive Director in all matters related to major gifts, institutional funders, and individual donor relationships.


  • Lead the efforts of the Development Committee of the board. Support and improve the engagement of board members in development activities.
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the development program.
  • Oversee research of funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position Fleisher ahead of major funding changes or trends.
  • Participate in the conceptualization, development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies for furthering Fleisher’s overall vision, mission and program goals, including laying the groundwork for a future capital campaign.
  • Identify, hire, and oversee all independent contractors and/or volunteers related to building capacity in fundraising.


  • Recruit, train, oversee, support, develop and guide qualified development staff. Strong supervisory skills that exemplify our core value of continuous learning. You will educate your team as a Learning Partner, using a coaching and mentoring approach that helps your team feel supported, recognized, valued, and able to connect with colleagues.
  • Encourage an overall spirit of teamwork and collaboration within Fleisher, setting an example for the staff at all times and serving as a model of professionalism for the entire organization.
  • Provides budget projections and reports on giving to Business Manager and Executive Director.
  • Maintains complete electronic and hard copy records of all funding activity, including recording information in database.
  • Work closely with the Communications Director to ensure that development programs and campaigns are communicated appropriately, including proper recognition of major funders and compelling fundraising messaging to the public.


  • Extreme level of tact and discretion with confidential information.
  • Superb interpersonal and communication skills; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
  • Strong organizational skills and broad experience in conceiving, developing, and executing annual development work plan for comprehensive fund development programs and producing charitable contributions. A demonstrated confidence in asking people to contribute time and money.
  • Knowledge and skill in the nature and dimensions of philanthropy, ethics, motivations for giving and volunteering, research and cultivation practices, standard fundraising techniques including face-to-face solicitation, proposal writing, special events, telephone solicitation, direct mail and development office functions such as gift processing, prospect & donor history compilation and fundraising reporting.
  • Ability to analyze information, situations, practices or procedures to define the problem or objective, identify relevant factors, formulate logical and objective conclusions, and recognize alternatives and their implications.
  • High level of proficiency with constituent management databases.
  • Interest or experience in community-based art or education a plus, but not required.
  • Energy and passion for work. Strong commitment and belief in Fleisher’s mission, vision and values.
  • Willing and able to balance work with personal life to include some evenings and weekends.


Approx. $65,000 annually, with five weeks of vacation/personal time. Fleisher employees receive a competitive compensation package, including options to enroll in health, dental, life insurance, and pension plans; a Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) employee badge that provides access to museums nationwide; and access to educational and professional development opportunities.

To Apply

If this description seems like a good match for your personality, skills, and career goals please submit your cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and three references (all in one document.) No phone calls, please. Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2021 or until filled. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.  All candidates will receive a response — finalists should expect three separate interviews. References will be called for finalists only. All submissions will be held in the strictest confidence by the search committee. Start date is by July 1.

Fleisher’s core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain a diverse and inclusive environment. As an equal opportunity employer we are committed to employment practices that ensure employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

Fleisher strongly encourages individuals from marginalized and underrepresented groups to apply. Fleisher is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.