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Development Associate: Grants and Special Events

Full Time

Job Category:




Job Sector:

Arts & Culture


Development Associate: Grants and Special Events

OPENING ACT | Brooklyn, NY


Organizational Background

Committed to advancing arts equity in NYC and beyond, for twenty years, Opening Act has actively centered the voices of students of color through free, high-quality theater programming.

Opening Act targets the city’s highest need schools with disproportionately less access to  resources than other schools in the system. These schools are often flagged by the DOE as “underperforming” and lack access to high quality arts education programs. Since inception, we have grown to reach over 5,000 young people. Today, our no cost, year-long, after school theater program serves 57 schools throughout New York City, including our partnership with the city’s alternative school district, where we work with young people who are pursuing a high school equivalency diploma in a formal educational environment because their education was disrupted by a life event.


At this time, when so many of the issues Opening Act’s work addresses – social justice, education,  the arts, equity – are gaining urgency because of national events, our programming is especially critical and relevant.


Looking Ahead

As we approach the new educational landscape of the upcoming year, Opening Act is preparing to return to in-person workshops and will continue offering limited virtual programming and special events.  We have reinvisioned the format of our programs and special events to meet new remote learning and donor engagement requirements, deepened our trauma informed/healing centered practices to support our students, and remain dedicated to creating unique, brave, and empowering spaces for our students and robust community of supporters.


Opening Act is at a pivotal and compelling moment as an organization and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome a new Development Associate: Grants and Special Events to work alongside our new Director of Advancement and play a critical role in our next stage of success in arts education and positive youth development.



Job Summary

Opening Act seeks an emerging leader in the nonprofit field to join a collaborative and dynamic team of professionals as our Development Associate: Grants and Special Events.


We are seeking a highly motivated, organized, and creative individual to provide high-level development, grants and special event support to Opening Act’s development team. The Development Associate: Grants and Special Events will ensure the successful and impactful operation of the organization by providing oversight and operation of Opening Act’s donor management system, including donation tracking and receipts. They will help to manage a portfolio of new and existing foundation and government funders that support general operations and mission aligned and restricted projects.They will work closely with the Director of Advancement to ensure that the pipeline of prospective funders is always growing and new funding opportunities and grants are being pursued on a regular basis. The Associate will be a key contributor in the oversight and organization of both small and large scale fundraising and promotional events to cultivate relationships with our community and donor base by ensuring events are successful and cost-effective, while paying attention to budget and time constraints.


The ideal candidate is detail oriented and enthusiastic about playing an integral role in all the ‘ins and outs’ of running a nonprofit and has outstanding interpersonal skills with the ability to deal effectively with a wide range of individuals and groups while demonstrating warmth, integrity, and professionalism. The position offers exciting and meaningful opportunities to directly impact the strategic and programmatic growth of a growing organization.


Qualifications include:


    Passionate and demonstrated commitment to the mission of Opening Act
    3-5 years experience in development, special events, or relevant work
    Extremely detailed-oriented and highly organized
    Demonstrates initiative and problem-solving skills
    Strong time management with ability to prioritize responsibilities and meet deadlines
    Flexible and willing to shift priorities when circumstances require
    Excellent verbal & written communication skills, including impeccable proofreading ability
    Comfort in a small, fast-paced, entrepreneurial non-profit environment
    The ability to coordinate with multiple vendors and consultants to ensure deadlines are met
    A strong work ethic is required; must work well in a collegial team environment that is supportive of team members’ accomplishments
    A positive outlook and a sense of humor
    While formal training in arts administration can be a plus, relevant experience and intent to develop in this field are more important


In addition: Strong proficiency in Microsoft applications (Word and Excel required); tech savvy and comfortable with donor management and communications management; highly proficient in all social media platforms; experience with CMS web editing, Apple applications, WordPress, and/or graphic design a plus.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Donor & Prospect Management (30%)

    Process donations, acknowledgement letters, generate mailings, and other correspondence
    Ensure accurate data entry and daily operation of donor management system
    Support other team members with requests for reports/information from donor management system
    Conduct individual and corporate prospect research that align with Opening Act’s mission

Grants Management Support (40%)

    Collaborating with key stakeholders in the organization and working with them to secure information needed for proposals and funder reports
    Prepare grant proposals and reports packages with relevant attachments for submission
    Proofing proposal, reports and other written and financial materials
    Manage the organizational grants calendar, set calendar reminders for upcoming grant deadlines for proposals and reports
    Identifying grant funding opportunities by researching opportunities that align with Opening Act’s mission
    Managing all grant portals and keeps each portal up to date with needed requirements.

Special Events (30%)

    Manage the planning and logistics for fundraising events including a cocktail event at HBO, an annual Play Reading Gala with a high caliber creative team and performers, and an annual spring event hosted by Opening Act’s Social Board
    Attend meetings and act as the liaison between Opening Act’s young professional group, The Social Board
    Plan events from start to finish according to requirements, target audience, and objectives
    Work with the Director of Advancement and Executive Director to prepare budgets and ensure adherence
    Coordinate with all vendors and in-kind donors for events
    Manage consultants working on large scale projects
    Book space for events as needed
    Coordinate with communications team to implement promotional activities for the event
    Proactively plan for potential challenges and resolve them as they arise
    Lead debrief of event’s success and prepare reports
    Assist with the recruitment and mentoring of interns


Opening Act values and welcomes diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages all qualified persons to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

In addition, Opening Act’s employees work with a talented team of individuals who are committed to living out Opening Act’s core values of our programs in the workplace:

    Showing Up
    YES And-ing


Classification: Full time

Reports To: Director of Advancement


Opening Act offers a competitive salary of $48,000 – $53,000 (based on experience) plus a benefits package including paid time off, health, dental, vision, and life insurance, 403B plan, professional development, and paid parental leave.


Location: Temporarily Remote. Work must be performed in or near New York, NY

Opening Act