Director of Development–Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts

Director of Development BSTMersky, Jaffe & Associates, a national executive search and consulting firm, has been engaged to conduct a search for the next Director of Development of the Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts.


Bay Street Theater and the Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is a year-round, nonprofit professional regional theater and community cultural center which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.

Many of the productions that premiered or were developed at Bay Street have moved to Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and abroad, including GREY GARDENS, FELLOW TRAVELERS, CONVICTION, NOBODY DON’T LIKE YOGI, HEDDA GABLER, LOVE JANIS, IF LOVE WERE ALL, FULL GALLOP, SWINGTIME CANTEEN and THREE HOTELS. Bay Street is considered “…one of the Country’s pre-eminent regional theatres” (CBS Sunday Morning) and “…in the same league with the best major regional and Off-Broadway theatres.” (Newsday)

In addition to the Mainstage productions, the variety of year-round programs at Bay Street include Music Mondays, The Comedy Club, Title Wave: The New Works Festival, Special Events including Bay Street Under the Stars, and Educational Outreach Initiatives including a fully staged production from classic American Literature known as Literature Live!, a Summer College Internship Program, Theater Workshops and Camps and Classes for children, teens and adults alike.

Bay Street Theater is proud to be a member of Hamptons Arts Network, Theater Communications Group (TCG), and numerous chamber and civic organizations.

Position Description

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will work as a member of the senior management team of the organization.  In consultation with the Executive Director and the Board, the Director of Development will

  • design and implement a plan to raise unrestricted annual funds.
  • alongside an outside fundraising firm, implement a capital and/or endowment fund campaign.
  • lead the expansion of the donor and funder base to support the growth and engagement of Bay Street’s community as well as the future reality of a new building, housing complex and possible campus.

Among other specific responsibilities and duties, the Director of Development will

  • create and articulate the organizational case statement;
  • develop a tactical fundraising plan that includes a timetable, gift table, stewardship and communications programs;
  • prepare and monitor budgets for all development activities subject to the approval of the Board and Executive Director;
  • coordinate and monitor all development activities of the organization, with special emphasis on the Patron and membership campaigns, and regularly report results to the Executive Director, the Development Committee, and others, as required;
  • supervise the development of proposals for foundations and corporations;
  • design and implement a schedule for communicating with the various constituencies of the Bay Street Theater;
  • organize, motivate and lead Board members to recognize and carry out their fundraising responsibilities;
  • identify and recruit additional members to the Development Committee and volunteer infrastructure for the organization to expand the opportunities for major gift cultivation and solicitation;
  • train the Board, Development Committee members and volunteers to serve as solicitors and cultivators of other prospects;
  • coordinate with Front of House Manager to create a system to support, track and recognize volunteers;
  • supervise the research, cultivation and development of appropriate solicitation strategies for identified and new major gift prospects;
  • engage in and direct personal solicitation of such prospects;
  • coordinate and conduct all communication with donors and prospective donors;
  • create a variety of appropriate gift vehicles to meet the needs of different donors;
  • administer stewardship activities by supervising the maintenance of the database of contributors and gifts, track current and potential donors, and acknowledge, record and report all gifts with appreciation to donors;
  • coordinate with Director of Education to support development efforts for major gifts, planned giving and endowment funding on a local, regional and national basis around educational opportunities; and
  • create a communication plan for donors and prospects including reports from the Director, brochures and other communication tools that informs prospects and donors of special giving opportunities.

The successful candidate will be

  • an experienced professional with a proven track record in major gift solicitation and experience working with high level volunteers and philanthropists;
  • experienced in leading development and major gifts in an arts organization;
  • a strong manager who is a self-starter who listens and can build a motivated team of volunteers and professionals;
  • a hands-on director with superior verbal and written communication skills; and
  • a creative, energetic individual passionately committed to realizing the potential of the bold, innovative and dynamic vision of the Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts.

This is a New York City based position.  However, during the summer, this position will require full-time residence in the Hamptons, housing provided, as well as part-time hours on-site in the Hamptons in the off-season.


Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is proud of its association with the Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts and to be conducting the search for its next Director of Development. If you, or someone you know, might be a suitable candidate for this position, please forward, in confidence, the person’s name, cover letter, resume, salary requirements and contact information to Lori Fainblatt Fodale