Director of Communications + Institutional Advancement

Posted by Karamu House ; Posted on 
Jobs - DEADLINE :  
Director of Communications + Institutional Advancement





Reports To:  President + CEO

Department:  Institutional Advancement + Communications

FLSA Status: Full-time, Exempt ______________________________________________________________________________


In 1915, Oberlin College graduates Russell and Rowena Jelliffe opened the Playhouse Settlement in a Cleveland area called The Roaring Third.  The Jelliffes wanted to build an environment where people of different races, religions, and social and economic backgrounds could come together to seek and share common ventures through the arts, and Karamu House was established as a gathering place for racially diverse members of the surrounding community at that time. As the community became predominantly African American, Karamu responded with programs geared to their needs and interests.


Today, Karamu is evolving to be reborn as a beating heart for the entire community, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, or age, as it embarks on its second 100 years, retaining its historical identity as “a place of joyful gathering.” Core programs include a five performance, socially-relevant and professional quality theatre season; arts education in drama/theatre, music and dance for all ages; and community programming, such as a lecture series, and spoken word and music performances, that invites participation and engagement, reflection, and a re-commitment to cultural values.



The Director of Communications + Institutional Advancement provides strategic oversight and administrative leadership for Karamu’s fundraising and communication efforts.  This role encompasses all aspects of the fund development cycle as well as all communication on behalf of the institution.  The Director of Communications + Institutional Advancement reports directly to the President + CEO and serves as an integral member of the senior leadership team. The Director will set and achieve fundraising goals, oversee annual fundraising events and cultivate relationships with a diverse mix of funders that includes foundation, individual and corporate support.  The Director will also align a communications strategy to all institutional product lines and offerings as well as ensure Karamu’s brand integrity.





  • Develop, execute and evaluate annual strategic development plans with measurable goals.
  • Oversee/manage the successful execution of Karamu House’s current and future sustainability and capital campaigns.
  • Lead strategies and research to identify, prioritize, cultivate, solicit, recognize and steward all individual donors and prospects.
  • Provide oversight of the organizational membership database, creates profiles, tracks donors, prospects and analyzes donor giving history.
  • Provide oversight for the full grants management process, including review and approval process, in collaboration with senior leadership.
  • Execute upon identified major gift and corporate giving opportunities, in collaboration with senior leadership.
  • Provide strategic direction and oversight to special campaigns and eve
  • Serve on senior leadership team and serve as liaison to Board of Directors, including the Development Committee. Work directly with the Board to elevate their understanding of and active participation in achieving Karamu House’s fundraising goals, as well as growing their own involvement.



  • Develop, execute and evaluate annual, strategic marketing-communications plans with measurable goals.
  • Design and implement communications strategies that inspire, educate and galvanize Karamu House’s community of donors, volunteers, partners and other key constituents.
  • Lead high-impact media relations for regional, national and global media coverage.
  • Track and monitor planned media coverage and news relevant to the organization, including tangential pieces of information that may present an opportunity to grow the nonprofit’s programs and mission.
  • Provide direct oversight and involvement with all media activities, including public relations/traditional media and social media – including both strategic and tactical activities
  • Oversee and provide direction to the advancement of the Karamu House brand, including consistent messaging and creative
  • Oversee and direct all online and print marketing activities, including email marketing and website
  • Full oversight and responsibility for all revenue generation opportunities, including forecasting and reporting (e.g., gift shop, fundraising, event tickets)




  • Ability to set goals strategically and oversee execution.
  • High level of discretion and ethical approach to fundraising.
  • Proven ability to interact and influence philanthropic leaders.
  • Experience motivating and managing high-profile volunteer leadership and senior executives.
  • Ability to work cross-functionally with various internal and external constituents.
  • Ability to organize and complete multiple tasks simultaneously with close attention to detail and prioritization to meet deadlines.
  • A genuine interest in and knowledge of the theatre / performing arts



The successful candidate will possesses the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required (Graduate degree preferred)
  • Knowledge of philanthropic community
  • Strong knowledge of principles, ethics and practices of successful fund raising
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, coordinate and manage projects
  • Ability to work effectively with board members, volunteers and staff
  • Knowledge of all applications for Word, Excel, Power point, etc.
  • Experience in planning special events.
  • Demonstrated experience, success, and progressive responsibility in fundraising with a minimum of three to five years experience
  • Excellent written + verbal communication and presentation skills
  • Proficiency in database management, Microsoft Office Suite, and other computer skills, as required.
  • Valid driver’s license & insurance and/or reliable transportation required for out-of-office travel as required by the position.



Salary range:  $75 – 90,000.  Additional benefits include medical and paid time off.



Applicants for the position should send resume, cover letter and salary requirements to:


ATTN:  Careers

Karamu House | 2355 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44106




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