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TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, is a Chicago not-for-profit theatre company with an annual budget that will exceed $2 million in 2019-20. Over 22 seasons dedicated to presenting stories that explore today’s social and political issues through the lens of the past, the company has garnered more than 50 awards for artistic excellence and business management. Now TimeLine is preparing for our next chapter with a capital campaign to establish a new home, renovating a historic building in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

As the company embarks upon the capital campaign and continues an ongoing development program for its annual fund, this newly created position of Director of Development takes a critical role. They will lead and enhance a comprehensive development program to expand and grow all contributed revenue, providing the overall leadership, strategy and management that TimeLine is poised to adopt. They will strengthen and lead a development team of at least 2 full time people with additional contract/part-time staff, further activate the Board of Directors in fundraising, provide structure and support for the capital campaign while driving its major gift fundraising, and manage the development budget. As part of the senior leadership team, they will report directly to the Managing Director.

At this exciting time of organizational expansion, the Director of Development has the opportunity to build upon TimeLine’s strong foundation and fully realize the organization’s great potential within our robust pipeline of current donors with major donor capacity. This position requires the ability to shape and mentor a development team that will provide leadership on grant writing, annual fund, data management, and events, in order for the Director of Development to focus greater attention on major gift opportunities and their own portfolio of donors. The Director of Development will work closely with Executive Staff (Managing Director and Artistic Director), Board Leadership, and TimeLine Co-Founders, providing them—and other staff and volunteers involved in fundraising—with structure, management and strategy around the capital campaign and major donor activity. As a trusted member of the senior team, the Director of Development will become another important face of the organization within the community.



The Director of Development will have the following primary responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership to create a robust development program necessary to advance TimeLine’s mission.
  • Lead the growth of TimeLine’s relationship management efforts, including identifying, qualifying, cultivating, and stewarding new and existing donors and prospects.
  • Ensure Patron Manager, TimeLine’s database, is accurate and appropriately managed for ongoing stewardship, moves management, and accurate reporting.
  • Partner with the marketing team to create consistent, appropriate messaging to engage donors and subscribers.
  • Develop, implement, and communicate annual and long-range strategic fundraising plans to meet identified goals, building on existing programs and incorporating new opportunities.
  • Maintain an active portfolio of major gift prospects to cultivate and solicit.
  • Help with day-to-day management and reporting of campaign activities.
  • Provide support to the Managing Director and Artistic Director.



As a successful candidate, you will have a passion for TimeLine’s mission and a dedication to building substantial relationships with donors, share TimeLine’s Core Values (see below), and create a personable approach with all constituents. You will use your creativity to identify and expand major gift opportunities and carry the confidence and leadership qualities that come with years of development experience. You will enjoy working in a collaborative and creative environment, building strong communication with teams and departments and forging connections with TimeLine artists who can aid cultivation efforts.



Founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues, TimeLine seeks to continue the extraordinary legacy of Chicago not-for-profit theatre companies that started small, dreamed big and matured into prominent institutions that enrich the cultural landscape of the city. Now celebrating our 22nd season, TimeLine has emerged as a leader in the Chicago theatre community, distinguished by our unique mission and built on a reputation for artistic excellence and sophisticated business management.

The heart of TimeLine is our team of Company Members, who work closely together to shape the artistic vision and choose the programming for the organization. We produce four subscription-series productions each season, as well as the TimePieces play reading series, and the Living History Education Program in Chicago Public Schools. Over our history, TimeLine has produced more than 75 plays, including 10 world premieres and more than 35 Chicago premieres that have received 54 Jeff Awards (including 11 for Outstanding Production), in addition to numerous other artistic and business awards.

The company strives to embody its vision and values, which include commitment to inclusion and embracing diversity in all its forms, and has been lauded by the Chicago Tribune as a “savvy and growing company, where more and more Chicagoans have come, with reason, to trust the power, truth and integrity of the work.”

Staff members at TimeLine Theatre Company share the core values of the organization:

COLLABORATIVE: Valuing teamwork as a creative force
EXCEPTIONAL: Demanding excellence and innovation in everything we do
FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE: Managing resources effectively and appropriately
INCLUSIVE: Embracing diversity in all its forms
INTIMATE: Creating a close connection between art and audience
RESPECTFUL: Listening and being open to everyone’s perspective

After more than two decades of growth, we are at a critical juncture, bursting at the seams of our home at 615 W. Wellington Avenue in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood, and navigating the following challenges:

  • Current capacity of just 99 seats in TimeLine’s home theatre challenges the financial sustainability that is critical for success.
  • To accommodate an audience of nearly 2,500 subscribers and an expanding single-ticket audience, we present one production per year at an alternate venue.
  • The facility TimeLine currently leases has limited space, which constrains artistry, hampers audience accessibility and comfort and restricts potential expansion of key programs like the Living History Education Program.
  • Beyond the stage, additional space is needed to accommodate a growing staff and to enhance one of the company’s most notable attributes: substantive lobby experiences created for each production to further explore the context and issues in each play.



TimeLine has purchased property at 5033-5035 N. Broadway in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood as the site of our future home. Encompassing a historic warehouse building and vacant land, the location will allow TimeLine to create a dynamic home to grow and innovate. Elevating everything audiences love about TimeLine and supporting new artistic possibilities, it will feature two fully flexible performances spaces, expanded areas for audience engagement and lobby exhibits, as well as office, rehearsal and production support spaces. The project’s anticipated budget is $20 million, to be paid for through a combination of private philanthropy and other sources.



As a successful candidate, you will:

  • Share a passion for TimeLine’s mission and have the ability to inspire others.
  • Bring 8 or more years of broad development experience, with a successful record in campaign support and major gift fundraising, including securing gifts of $10,000 or more from individuals.
  • Be experienced at strategically developing and implementing a comprehensive development program covering all sources of contributed revenue with hands-on knowledge to lead staff in grant writing, events, annual appeals/development communications, gift processing, and data fulfillment.
  • Be accustomed to effectively supervising and mentoring a team and possess the ability to recognize and develop existing potential as well as identify and interweave new staff into an organization.
  • Provide creative ideas, solutions and inspiration to the development team and organization.
  • Provide leadership and support to Executive Staff, Co-Founders, Board of Directors, Company Members, volunteers and other staff in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Possess a high level of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.
  • Be a leader who is poised and comfortable serving as the face of the organization with a variety of constituents.
  • Contribute excellent written and communication skills with grant writing knowledge and be an articulate and persuasive storyteller with extraordinary relationship-building skills.
  • Exhibit a strong, team-oriented work ethic.
  • Work well with donors, volunteers and colleagues at all levels of engagement.
  • Be committed to a collaborative, team approach combined with an ability to self-direct and effectively lead people.
  • Excel in a fast-paced, ever-changing, growing organization, remaining open to taking on its challenges and opportunities.
  • Exhibit a personality and outlook that are inclusive, positive, optimistic, and focused.
  • Demonstrate administrative self-sufficiency and a willingness to work in Excel and TimeLine’s database (Patron Manager).
  • Perform other related management duties and responsibilities as required or assigned.



This is a full-time exempt position. The salary range is $90,000-$95,000. TimeLine offers a competitive benefits package. Regular full-time employees are eligible for health, dental, vision, and life insurance; optional 403(b) retirement; generous paid leave policies (vacation, personal, sick, maternity/paternity/adoption, and holiday); and professional development support.



TimeLine Theatre Company is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to the goal of building a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment.

All interested and qualified candidates should submit a resume and cover letter addressing your specific skills related to this position and what you find compelling about the case for TimeLine Theatre Company’s future by end of day May 29, 2019 to with the subject line “Director of Development” or via mail to Human Resources, ATTN: Director of Development Search, TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago, IL 60657. No phone calls please.