The Head of Development is responsible for planning and implementing Derby Theatre’s fundraising strategy.
Responsible to: Executive Director
Responsible for: Development Officer
This post is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund but is a permanent full time post.
Derby Theatre’s vision is to engage, empower, inspire and enable the widest possible audience through transformational learning and theatre.
Derby Theatre has pioneered a new vision of what a regional producing theatre can be with its ground-breaking Learning Theatre model, which was established in 2013. This has transformed the theatre from a traditional producing house into an organisation that places learning at the heart of its mission.
“Increasingly the most crucial theatre in the region because of its emphasis on learning, nurturing and nourishing”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
As well as creating professional productions for its main stage and studio and presenting a full programme of touring theatre and other art forms, the theatre has an extensive talent development programme for emerging artists (In Good Company), an innovative schools and community outreach programme and a bespoke programme for young people in care (Plus One).
The theatre also enjoys a unique partnership with the University of Derby, which enables it to engage with Derby’s student community in different and inspiring ways, supporting the next generation of artists to learn their craft.
At Derby Theatre professional production and learning opportunities go hand in hand and the critical acclaim and industry recognition that the theatre has received over the past few years are testament to the success of this unique approach.
“Derby Theatre, now a ‘Learning Theatre’, has been a model of this sort of co-operation since 2012 with community engagement running through all the company’s work with substantial regional and national impact.”
Arts Council England: Analysis of Theatre in England
Derby Theatre is an independent limited company and registered charity, and part of the University of Derby Group. The theatre receives funding from the University and Arts Council England and in 2012 won significant awards from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation to establish its ground-breaking Learning Theatre model. In 2015 the theatre was awarded Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding – the largest new entrant to the Portfolio in 2015 - and in 2016 it was awarded a further 3 years of Esmée Fairbairn funding. In 2016 the theatre was awarded a Catalyst grant from Arts Council England to develop fundraising capacity and match fund new monies raised from 2016-19.
Derby Theatre welcomes over 100,000 audience members and engages with over 25,000 young people annually. The organisation builds on the producing theatre tradition established by its forerunner, Derby Playhouse, which operated on the same site from 1975 until 2008, when it was succeeded by Derby Theatre.
In 2017 the theatre was awarded a 59% uplift in its Arts Council NPO funding, one of the largest uplifts awarded across the portfolio and an endorsement by ACE of the theatre’s work over the past 3 years. The new money will enable the theatre to develop a unique project called The Lab, which combines its strengths in theatre-making, learning and academic practice, and draws on its relationship with University of Derby. The Lab will bring together artists, academics and audiences to create new pieces of theatre focusing on under-represented audiences, including Early Years & U5’s, Deaf young people and audiences/artists from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. A major fundraising drive to supplement our NPO uplift is planned.
In addition, plans are being explored for a capital project to develop the theatre building on its current site, which would upgrade and expand existing facilities and create a theatre to match the quality of the work produced and presented here.
The Head of Development is responsible for planning and implementing Derby Theatre’s fundraising strategy. Currently the focus of fundraising is on securing revenue funding from a variety of sources to support the core activities of the theatre and its distinctive learning agenda, though there is also a need in the longer term to identify and raise capital funding for building improvements.
The theatre’s fundraising strategy encompasses fundraising from public funding bodies, trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors, individual givers and special events and the post holder will be required to demonstrate a successful track record in these areas. The post holder will be comfortable working in a target-oriented culture. The Head of Development is a member of the theatre’s Senior Management Team.
To devise an overarching fundraising strategy, to lead the implementation of the strategy within agreed budgets and to achieve an annual fundraising target.
To develop prioritised plans and targets for fundraising from key target groups, including public funding bodies, trusts and foundations, individuals and corporate sponsors and donors.
To identify trusts and foundations whose funding criteria are aligned with the theatre’s activities and to develop imaginative and compelling grant applications.
To oversee the administration of grants from trusts and foundations, ensuring that funding terms and conditions are met in a timely way in relation to acknowledgement, reporting and evaluation of grants.
To develop a corporate sponsorship and donation programme, with a range of offers tailored to different levels of corporate giving.
To identify potential corporate sponsors and donors through research, networking and cultivation events.
To develop proposals for prospective corporate sponsors and donors that make the case effectively for supporting Derby Theatre.
To develop an individual giving programme with opportunities for giving at all levels, including small one-off donations, a Patron/Friends’ Scheme and major gifts/legacies.
To devise imaginative individual giving appeals and campaigns that encourage regular giving and increase levels of support from this area.
To plan and deliver fundraising events to secure support and raise the profile of Derby Theatre’s charitable status and fundraising profile.
To support fundraising initiatives for joint city-wide projects – e.g. Plus One, Derby Cultural Education Partnership – in which Derby Theatre is a partner, ensuring alignment with the theatre’s fundraising.
To horizon scan for new sources of funding, e.g. Local Authority commissioning monies, Local Enterprise Partnership grants and other emerging sources of income for the sector, and to pursue opportunities where there is alignment between funding criteria and the theatre's activities.
To continually monitor progress against financial targets, taking appropriate remedial action where necessary in order to meet targets.
To regularly update Senior Management Team, Theatre Executive and the Board on progress through verbal and written reports.
To develop and maintain positive relationships with donors and sponsors ensuring a high level of supporter care to maximise retention rates.
To keep abreast of current thinking and developments in the fundraising sector and to apply this to practice within the organisation.
To develop a proactive fundraising communications strategy to raise awareness of this aspect of the theatre's profile and maximise the reach and impact of fundraising activities.
To develop high quality communications for use online and offline to drive fundraising initiatives and campaigns.
To maintain Derby Theatre's brand values in all fundraising communications, working with the Marketing Department to ensure consistency with other theatre communications.
To present proposals to potential funders and sponsors persuasively and effectively, attracting confidence in Derby Theatre as a funding proposition.
To communicate with supporters regularly to increase levels of engagement, encourage repeat giving and maximise retention rates.
To develop systems for data collection relating to funding prospects and to work with the Box Office Manager to maximise use of the theatre's CRM system as a fundraising tool.
To act as an ambassador and advocate for Derby Theatre across relevant local, regional and national networks, extending and deepening understanding of the theatre's fundraising profile, programme and activities.
To lead the Development Department, comprising the Development Officer and other volunteers and placements from time to time.
To line manage the Development Officer, monitoring and managing performance on an ongoing basis through regular one to one meetings and personal development reviews.
To manage relationships with other departments across the theatre, working collaboratively to identify and maximise fundraising potential.
To ensure that there is high awareness of fundraising activities and initiatives across all departments and that staff are trained and coached to support the delivery of the fundraising strategy where appropriate.
To contribute to the wider strategic development and management of the theatre as a member of the Senior Management Team in day to day operations and through SMT meetings, away-days, business planning, etc.
To liaise with the Finance Department on the financial reporting of all gifts and support including the timely collection of grant and sponsorship payments and submission of Gift Aid returns.
To fully engage with Derby Theatre’s Learning Theatre model which may include sharing skills, mentoring colleagues, students and participants, as well as progressing your own professional development. Training is provided for all staff to undertake this element of their role.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.