Development Manager: Forklift Danceworks

Position: Development Manager; Full-time, Exempt in Austin, TX

Reports to: Artistic Director

Closing date: Open

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Forklift is Hiring!

Forklift Danceworks is seeking a Development Manager to support our core artistic programs and initiatives. A key position, the Development Manager will work directly with the Artistic Director and Board of Directors as a critical member of our leadership team. We are looking for a fundraising professional who is excited about expanding the current development program while utilizing best practices and local knowledge to build on our current donor base of loyal fans.


Founded in 2001, Forklift is one of Austin’s most celebrated arts organizations, marrying the creative process with civic engagement, presenting innovative performance projects with diverse communities. Through our performances, we seek to create opportunities for more informed civic dialogue, deeper understanding of the jobs essential to urban life, and greater connection between citizens and across communities. 


You’re a great fit for this position if you are:

  • A Relationship builder: You enjoy fostering relationships and are completely comfortable soliciting contributions.
  • Innovative, creative and strategic thinker: You have the ability to analyze, plan and execute strategies about fundraising and donor stewardship.
  • Highly productive with ability to multi-task and self-manage: You are adept at knowing how to prioritize tasks and your time most effectively to achieve goals.
  • Excellent ‘customer’ service skills: Interacting with volunteers, donors, and the public, you have strong listening skills, are patient, well-spoken and empathetic. You like interacting with the public.
  • Flexible, fluid and comfortable with a certain amount of ambiguity: You are able and willing to shift focus to address emerging needs while not losing track of long-term goals and assignments.

Your ongoing responsibilities will include:

  • Designing a sustainable development program, focused on growing revenue, with an annual strategic development plan and supporting back office operations
  • Ensuring all levels of donors are appropriately cultivated, solicited and stewarded in a donor-centered manner
  • Partnering with staff and board members to identify, cultivate and solicit potential donors
  • Developing strategies to acquire, upgrade and renew donors annually; implement a moves management plan for annual and major gift prospects
  • Leading foundation research, grant writing activities and reporting
  • Managing all development documentation including gift receipts, thank you letters, reports to the Board of Directors, and other fundraising correspondence
  • Leading the planning and execution of fundraising and awareness-building events, including budgets, volunteer management, strategy and follow-up
  • Supervising and coordinating data-capture and hard files; maintaining security and quality controls; generating queries, reports, exports and any other collection data as needed; managing any related vendors
  • Serving as the primary staff liaison and as a resource to the Board of Directors on all matters related to fundraising; providing ongoing support and training to Board members and key volunteers


  • Minimum 3 to 5 years’ experience in fundraising in Austin with a proven record of success
  • Demonstrated excellence in organizational, project management and communication skills
  • Familiarity with the Greater Austin philanthropic and business community; relationships with Austin donors and community stakeholders
  • Ability to work both autonomously and in collaboration
  • Proficiency with technology and its increasing role in development communication, including use of social media, email marketing, and development software for donor tracking
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Access to reliable transportation, proof of insurance, and a valid driver’s license required


  • Forklift Danceworks – 2023 East Cesar Chavez Austin, Texas 78702
  • Full-time with schedule flexibility to work remotely
  • Cell Phone Stipend & Employee Parking Provided
  • Generous PTO policy that begins accruing immediately (above federal/state holidays)

Ready to Apply?

Please send the following to:

  • A short cover letter that describes why you want to work with Forklift as Development Manager
  • Your resume
  • Three professional references
  • Salary requirements

Forklift Danceworks is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all persons, especially those who bring the benefits of diversity to the organization. People of color and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. It is Forklift Danceworks’ policy to operate and conduct business without discrimination or segregation because of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability, except where there is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job tasks to be performed. All qualified candidates are welcome to apply for available positions at Forklift Danceworks. Forklift Danceworks does not cover relocation expenses.

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