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  • St. Louis City
  • Salary: $50,000-$75,000
  • Organization Type: Art/Culture

The Sheldon

Position Title: Assistant Director of Development

Reporting to:  Jane Koster, Director of Development

The Sheldon is seeking an Assistant Director of Development who is creative, energetic, and adaptable, with a strong work ethic. The position requires an entrepreneurial spirit who thrives on challenges, works well as part of a team, is a strong communicator, a self-motivated team player, well organized, and an expert listener. The Assistant Director of Development

must bring new ideas and programs to life, be detail-oriented and data-driven, and have a passion for helping donors reach their philanthropic goals while advancing the mission of one of St. Louis’ top arts organizations.

About the Sheldon

The Sheldon advances and enriches the St. Louis region by serving as a cultural destination, a cultural resource, and a cultural connector for artists and audiences through a diverse array of music, visual arts, and education programs that better connect our region with the world. We host more than 300 events annually, including concerts, visual art exhibitions and community events. Each year, more than 30,000 students and 200 teachers from 290 schools (109 zip codes) across the region engage with art and music through our education programs.

The Sheldon welcomes everyone as we span the boundaries between music and visual arts, exploring an array of genres to build the arts and open minds.

The Sheldon’s annual operating budget is approximately $3.6 million and contributed income represents more than 55% of the budget. The Annual Fund and Database Coordinator is an integral part of the development team and must have the ability to work independently to help secure the organization’s contributed income.


  • Proactively build, maintain, steward and cultivate donors to strengthen their relationship with The Sheldon.
  • Provide primary direction for the annual fund.
  • Augment and support the work of the Senior Leadership Team, especially the Director of Development, Director of Programming, and Director of Marketing as a strategy and thought partner.

Annual Fund

  • In consultation with the Development Director, develop, plan, execute, and evaluate a comprehensive annual giving program designed to broaden The Sheldon’s donor base and increase overall participation and financial support to the Annual Fund.
  • Coordinate all annual fundraising programs including executing a targeted, multi-approach direct mail program and proactive electronic fundraising program.
  • Coordinate The Sheldon’s Encore giving society, including execution of targeted stewardship activities, communications support for stewardship events, and serving as frontline contact for general questions and inquiries regarding the Encore Society program.
  • Actively manage the individual donor pipeline through the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship process.
  • In collaboration with the Development team, drive the implementation of online giving campaigns, including peer-to-peer, crowdfunding, online giving days and acquisition appeals.
  • Develop and implement effective cultivation and solicitation strategies to improve retention, identify and invite donors to upgrade their support and reengage lapsed donors.
  • Collaborate with Marketing staff to coordinate a cohesive annual marketing effort to increase annual gifts from ticket holders and concert subscribers.
  • Analyze data regarding annual giving programs and past giving trends to provide analyses of program results and to plan for future segmentation.

Relationship Management and Stewardship:

  • Assist the Director of Development in creating a formalized stewardship plan for donors and engagement plans for ticket holders and subscribers.
  • Implement new and manage existing donor programs.
  • Assist in the planning and execution of donor engagement, recognition, cultivation, and fundraising events, including the Annual Gala.
  • Manage a portfolio of donors and prospects.

Donor Communications:

  • Develop and implement strategies for donor acquisition, retention, and upgrades through personal visits, presentations, direct and electronic mail, and social media in coordination with the Director of Development.
  • Manage the production of all materials needed for solicitation, cultivation and stewardship of donors, including brochures, letters, invitations, annual reports, donor lists, etc.
  • Work with the Marketing team to develop materials and to source donor stories in support of fundraising.

Administration + Project Management:

  • Assist the Director of Development on the preparation of annual fundraising plan, year-end reporting, impact and annual reports.
  • Serve as the primary staff liaison for the Friends Board.
  • Attend board meetings and partner with our Friends Board to further their reach and impact.
  • Lead contact for the planning and execution of the annual Friends fundraising event.
  • Direct and manage multiple projects with competing priorities and time critical solutions.
  • Set timelines, assign tasks, track progression and goals from inception to successful completion.


  • Minimum of four years of relevant experience in a development or annual fund program.
  • Demonstrated organizational planning, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively with multiple personality types, sensitivities, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Strong communication and writing skills.
  • Ability to be proactive and positively contribute, actively participating in tasks as needed and anticipating future needs.
  • Competent with technology, including Microsoft Suite and Adobe Acrobat; Raiser’s Edge donor software a plus.
  • Ability to travel throughout the area and work evenings and weekends.
  • Interest in music, visual arts, and the St. Louis arts and culture community.


  • Salary range: $50,000-$75,000
  • Competitive benefits package includes health insurance, retirement match and paid time off.
  • The Sheldon is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community and veterans are encouraged to apply.


Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume and cover letter to with the subject line “Assistant Director of Development – [Your Name].”

No telephone inquiries, please