Development Director – Stanford Jazz Workshop – Stanford, CA

The Position

Stanford Jazz Workshop (SJW), a leading education and presenting organization with an international reputation for artistic and educational excellence, seeks a highly qualified Development Director to lead the organization’s fundraising initiatives.

Reporting to the Artistic/Executive Director, and working collaboratively with SJW’s Board of Directors, the Development Director leads the organization’s strategy and relationships with the organization’s donor community. The Director must be adept at stewarding relationships with existing donors, and be able to cultivate support from new prospects, including individuals, institutional foundation and corporate partners, and government sources. Working with senior management team, the Director develops and implements major gift and planned giving strategies that support SJW’s current and strategic contributed funding requirements.

About Stanford Jazz Workshop

Founded in 1972, Stanford Jazz Workshop (SJW) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to jazz education and performance with a deep tradition of educational and artistic excellence that each summer brings together an extraordinary community of leading jazz artists and educators with students from middle school through adult to work in a supportive, encouraging and outstanding mentoring environment on the Stanford University campus.

SJW’s education activities are known for a low faculty/student ratio, a proven, progressive curriculum design that emphasizes personal growth, individual and collaborative creativity, and the resulting rapid artistic advancement in a supportive environment. Prominent SJW alumni return each summer to inspire, encourage, and mentor aspiring student musicians to achieve exceptional growth during their SJW experiences.

Concurrent with the organization’s education programs, SJW presents the acclaimed Stanford Jazz Festival, which features legendary and emerging jazz artists in a popular series of 30+ performances that attracts 15,000+ patrons.

In addition to SJW’s summer programs at Stanford University, which attract over 700 students in winter/spring SJW launched a new after school jazz education initiative that is currently providing locally based opportunities for students in the Bay Area. The organization’s administrative office is located in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighborhood, and SJW moves its base of operations to Stanford University from mid-July through early August.


The Development Director is responsible for forecasting and achieving defined goals for SJW’s contributed revenue by developing and leading a successful fundraising strategy that will achieve near-term goals, while also establishing and working with senior management team members to work toward and achieving the organization’s strategic goals.

Responsibilities include:

Individual Donors

Support, coordinate, and develop effective methods and strategies to increase SJW’s overall fundraising effectiveness
Encourage and support the involvement of SJW’s Board as active partners in the fundraising process
Create and lead effective donor and prospect communication strategy
Coordinate and manage VIP ticket purchases and seating at Stanford Jazz
Festival performances
Cultivate relationships with, solicit, and steward SJW’s Inner Circle donors ($1,000+)
Secure and manage annual concert sponsorships
Coordinate and host donor visits at SJW concerts and education programs
Plan and oversee execution of donor events, including in-home jazz salons, and Festival receptions
Plan and manage SJW’s major fundraising event
Ensure that contributions and donor data are properly maintained in the organization’s donor database, including monthly reconciliation of contributions with Finance Director
Ensure that gifts are acknowledged in a prompt and appropriate manner
Research and identify new prospects

Institutional Funders (Foundation, Government & Corporate)

Develop and successfully pursue defined institutional support goals
Serve as primary liaison to SJW’s foundation, corporate communities, and government agencies, and host visits of program and executives from those organizations to introduce and reinforce SJW’s approach to jazz education and performance
Research, write, and submit effective letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and corresponding grant reports
Maintain and manage a detailed calendar of preparation, submission, and submission of required reports for foundation grants, sponsorships, government agencies, and major gift prospects


Ensure that SJW’s donor database is effectively maintained and archived with accurate and detailed current SJW’s donor records and histories
Oversee quarterly reconciliation of contributions and donor records with SJW’s Finance Director to ensure that grants and gifts are properly coded and aligned
Collaborate with SJW’s Marketing Director to ensure accurate and complete donor recognition and acknowledgement in print and online
Manage and develop supplemental grant materials, such as thank you letters from scholarship recipients, letters of support, California Cultural Data Project, etc.
Oversee and maintain development-related areas of SJW’s website and social media platforms as may be required
Participate as requested when “all hands on deck” are needed to support SJW staff events, including summer registration, performances, and other all-organization events


A minimum of 5 years of experience as a Development Director with deep knowledge of and experience in building organizational capacity
Qualified individuals with development experience in a performing arts/presenting and/or music education organization are encouraged to apply
Excellent professional verbal and written communication, and public presentation skills are required for this position, including effective use of current edition PowerPoint and/or Keynote presentation applications, and Microsoft Office applications (Word and Excel)
Must have experience in serving as a key external representative, and be able to communicate effectively with a variety of individuals and constituents, including individual donors, foundation representatives, artists, parents, and program participants
Candidate Characteristics: Optimistic, thoroughly professional self-starter with strong task/time management and prioritization skills. The successful candidate will be someone who has been and who is effectively able to respond and adapt to changing conditions, who has an entrepreneurial and strategic outlook on how best to maximize maximizing results in able to execute plans with precision in SJW’s fast-paced, collaborative, and high performance environment.
Comfort and prior experience in working with donor software and database applications
Experience in planning and producing events, particularly donor-related events
Facility with developing and interpreting nonprofit financials, project budgets, and Development-related financial and other database-driven reports
Deep knowledge of best practice fundraising principles, including proper handling of restricted gifts and funds, conditions for temporarily restricting and release from restriction gifts per terms of donor gifts, current standards and guidelines for establishing and providing information to donors about tax-deductibility, procedures for receiving and processing gifts of appreciated stock, and additional knowledge of fundraising practices with which senior fundraising professionals are generally familiar
Applicants are advised that SJW operates in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighborhood most of the year, but moves operations to the Stanford University campus for approximately six weeks each summer. The Development Director is expected to move to and operate with SJW’s leadership team and summer employees for the duration of the annual campus residency. Candidates are also advised that SJW holds Board of Directors and other meetings with Stanford and campus area constituents throughout the academic year.
Ability to lift 35 pounds; current, valid CA driver’s license, and ability to drive a car
Must be able to pass a background check
Other duties as assigned

Salary and Benefits

Competitive salary, dependent upon qualifications and professional experience
Generous holiday and vacation schedule
Employer matching 403(b) plan

How to apply

To apply, please send your résumé, a cover letter, and a development-related writing sample (such as a letter of inquiry or funding proposal) to Please include “Development Director” in the email subject. Applications will be reviewed as received, and the position will remain open until a candidate is hired.