Forklift Danceworks: Development Manager

Full-time, Exempt; Location: Austin, TX
Posted: October 1, 2017 Posting Closes: October 31, 2017


Forklift Danceworks’ mission is to activate communities through a collaborative creative process. 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


The Development Manager will serve as a key position for Forklift Danceworks and will be joining our team at a moment when the company is strongly positioned to increase our contributed income. Forklift seeks a fundraising professional who is excited about expanding the current development program while utilizing best practices and local knowledge to build on the current donor base. Forklift is a small and nimble organization, so the Development Manager must be able to think big picture one minute and focus on details in the next. Being one of only four full-time positions, the Development Manager will be a critical member of our leadership team. The Development Manager will report to the Artistic Director, Allison Orr.


  •  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 executive strategies. You can assess current revenue streams, identify areas for improvement, and implement changes and new initiatives.

  •   Goal-oriented: You are a person that is excited by challenge.

  • 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. You are able to work well on your own as well as with a team.

  • Excellent ‘customer’ service skills: Interacting with volunteers, donors, and the public, you have strong listening skills, are patient, well-spoken and empathetic.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Designing a sustainable development program, focused on growing revenue, with an annual strategic development plan and supporting back office operations

  • Planning, implementing, evaluating and managing the development program designed to meet the goals and objectives as defined by the strategic plan

  • Ensuring all levels of donors are appropriately cultivated, solicited and stewarded in a donor-centered manner

  • Partnering with staff, board members and volunteers to identify, cultivate and solicit potential donors to help meet funding goals for the organization

  • 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

Compensation: Competitive compensation commensurate with background and experience. 

Full-time 40 hours work week at Forklift Danceworks – 2023 East Cesar Chavez Austin, Texas 78702 with some flexibility to work from home

Interested applicants are encouraged to send a cover letter and resume by email to: with Development Manager in the subject line, or by regular mail to:

Allison Orr at Forklift Danceworks, Development Manager Search 2023 Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78702

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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