Director of Development

Director of Development

Director of Development 150 150
Upstate Films
September 14, 2021
Rhinebeck / Saugerties
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Jason Silverman



Upstate Films, mid-Hudson Valley, New York

Since 1972, Upstate Films, a 501(c)3 cultural presentation organization, has provided an ambitious schedule of film and educational programs for New York state’s mid-Hudson Valley (recently named one of the 100 best places in the world by Time magazine). Upstate Films is headquartered at the beloved Starr Theater in historic Rhinebeck, NY, with additional screenings at the newly acquired Orpheum Theatre in the river town of Saugerties, and a robust schedule of off-site programs. ( 

Our mission is to connect the Hudson River Valley through transformative cinematic experiences. In this crucial moment, as we grapple with the pandemic amidst social and environmental challenges, Upstate Films is poised for significant growth. Its two co-directors, Paul Sturtz and Jason Silverman, with a combined 50+ years of leadership in arts organizations, intend to create one of the nation’s finest arthouse cinema programs, using cinema as a means of engagement with the low-population, politically diverse communities of the region. By designing programs that are wholly inclusive, with substantive community input, Upstate Films intends to increase civic engagement, create positive economic impact for local businesses, support local creative expression and create youth and adult education opportunities.  Achieving this ambitious program will require expert leadership. As such, the organization is hiring its first Director of Development.

Director of Development

This position leads all campaigns and initiatives designed to fund the expansion of Upstate Films as an arts organization. The Director of Development’s first year will be spent helping create and lead a multi-million dollar campaign as part of our 50th anniversary. The Director of Development will build partnerships with funders and organizations in conjunction with the executive directors, who will be working side by side to ensure success.

Among the job duties:

  • Create and manage short- and long-term fundraising strategies starting with the Upstate Forward/50th anniversary campaign. This includes identifying and soliciting private donors, working side by side with the Executive Directors, and collaborating with the Board of Directors. Establish solicitation priorities, manage prospect research, create and implement designed cultivation plans, and design donor benefits that effectively keep investors engaged;
  • Participate in the planning and execution of special events; Develop and implement strategies and plans to secure foundation, corporate, and government support;
  • Create, implement, and manage annual appeals;
  • Initiate and manage national partnerships, inclusive of significant regionally based program partners and foundations;
  • Evaluate the success of fundraising campaigns and incorporate feedback into fundraising processes that model best-in-class practices;       
  • Maintain grants matrix and draft funding submissions for review and approval by the Executive Directors;
  • Review and participate in management of other development programs: business partners and memberships;
  • Establish a calendar of regular communications, targeted and general, to donors and other investors;
  • Create succinct, concise weekly reporting for the Executive Directors and monthly reporting to the Board of Directors;
  • Develop and manage protocols for acknowledging donor gifts;
  • Develop, implement and manage a community engagement strategy



  • Demonstrated success in raising funds through foundation support, membership, individual donors and business partners, preferably with a nonprofit;
  • Excellent presentation, written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge and love of film and the arts in all its forms
  • A desire to work with an adventurous, visionary team
  • Expertise in digital management tools including donor databases.


$75,000 plus benefits including health care

How To Apply

To apply

Please provide a cover letter and CV or resume. We encourage applicants to submit a narrative detailing successful campaigns and initiatives. Enquiries and applications to

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