Director of Development

Company Overview:

Ascend Performing Arts is a dynamic organization dedicated to elevating the lives of young people through high-level performance activities in the Denver Metro Area. We offer a range of performing arts programs that promote teamwork, discipline, leadership skills, and self-esteem. As we expand our presence and mission, we are seeking a passionate and experienced Director of Development to join our small but mighty corporate office and lead our fundraising efforts.

Job Summary:

The Director of Development will play a pivotal role in expanding Ascends donor base by cultivating relationships with alumni, local arts organizations, and businesses. This individual will work closely with the CEO, Board of Directors, and staff to fulfill the organizations fiscal needs and support our mission. Key responsibilities include strategic planning, fundraising, donor cultivation, stewardship, community building, and communications.


1. Fundraising and Strategic Planning

– Identify, cultivate, steward, and solicit major donors in consultation with the CEO and BOD.

– Plan and implement solicitations, including the annual fund, fundraising events, periodic capital campaigns, and online initiatives such as “Colorado Gives Day.”

– Plan the solicitation calendar, marketing collateral, and communication plans in collaboration with the Director of Communications, Director of Marketing, and Director of Digital Media.

– Write grant applications and manage the annual grant reporting process.

– Generate and fulfill gift acknowledgments, donor stewardship, and recognition strategies.

2. Cultivation, Stewardship, and Community Building

– Develop a robust plan to introduce community members and philanthropists to Ascend in efforts to steadily build the donor base and create a strong case for support.

– Collaborate with Communications and Marketing Directors to promote the organizations mission and increase awareness in the wider community.

– Create solid plan to engage with alumni and garner their support of Ascend Performing Arts

3. Communications

– Publish and promote Ascends annual report each fall.

– Develop strategies for promoting fundraising on Ascend’s social media platforms and manage content on those platforms alongside the Director of Communications, Director of Marketing, and Director of Digital Media.


– Minimum of 5 years of professional major-gift non-profit fundraising experience.

– Proven track record in securing 5- and 6-figure gifts.

– Excellent writing and communication skills.

– Highly organized with strict attention to detail.

– Experience working with or being a member of non-profit boards.

– Proficiency in Salesforce, email marketing software.

– Professional yet inviting presence making current and potential donors feel welcome and valued.

– Preferred background or experience in music and working with young adults.

– Comfortable working in a small office setting.

– Possesses a good sense of humor.

What We Offer:

– Competitive salary range: $60,000 – $80,000, depending on skillset.

– This is an exempt position

– Health, dental, and vision insurance.

– 401(k) retirement plan with a 4% match.

– Paid time off (PTO) accrual plan.

To Apply:

Please send cover letter and resume as one integrated PDF document to with “DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR” in the subject line of the email. References, work samples, and questions will be part of the selection process. The position will remain open until filled – No phone calls please.


As this is a new position for APA, expect role and responsibilities to evolve as needed for the organization.

Working Hours M-F with occasional weekend/evening events

APA employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

At Ascend Performing Arts, we value diversity and embrace its benefits. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, or veteran status. If you require accommodations due to a disability or special need, please let us know.

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