Development Director - Cain Center for the Arts

Cornelius, NC
Full Time

The Opportunity 

Cain Center for the Arts is a 501(c)3 organization with the mission of providing exceptional visual arts, performing arts, and social experiences to the Lake Norman Region. Founded in 2016, the organization operates two arts facilities in downtown Cornelius, NC, and offers programs in arts education, performing arts, and community impact. 

Following an eight-year journey and a successful $25 million capital campaign, Cain Center for the Arts opened its new arts and community center in downtown Cornelius in January 2023. The 34,000-square-foot building sits upon a 1.6-acre site and includes a 400-seat. The site surrounding the center also includes a public plaza and downtown greenspace/park. The organization also operates the Cornelius Arts Center, directly behind the Cain Center, which is located in Historic Oak Street Mill. The Cornelius Arts Center houses a second art gallery, additional classrooms, and the very popular ceramics program. 

More than just a place for the community to attend arts events and classes, Cain Center is committed to making the arts accessible to everyone in the Lake Norman Region. Through numerous community impact initiatives such as the Community Music Lesson Program, Arts in Schools program, and Arts & Communities Program, the center provided arts opportunities to over 5000 residents in 2022-2023. 

Looking to the next stage in the organization, Cain Center for the Arts seeks a Development Director to lead its fundraising efforts. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Development Director will lead a dedicated team and create and execute a philanthropic vision that will sustain and expand Cain’s mission and programs. 


The Ideal Candidate Profile 

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics: 

Strategic Fund Development 

The Development Director will have experience creating and implementing a strategic, diversified, and comprehensive approach to fundraising. In collaboration with the Executive Director and board leadership, they will lead the development plan to include innovative approaches to the cultivation, solicitation, tracking, and stewardship of individuals, corporations, foundations, and grant sources to meet or exceed annual department goals - $780K in FY23. Regular reporting on short and long-term goals will be implemented and monitored by the Development Director. 

The Development Director will sustain a culture of philanthropy for the Cain Center by establishing a cultivation and stewardship plan that effectively engages all constituents and provides opportunities to deepen relationships that increase engagement and financial support. 

Leadership and Management Skills 

The Development Director will serve as staff leader of the Development Committee and leads the active engagement of the board in fundraising efforts. They will provide structure, research, and guidance to board members to support their fundraising efforts. The Director will participate in general staff meetings, providing input for decisions and identifying and communicating needs to Executive Director through a philanthropic lens. The Director will develop and manage the strategies and project work plans supported by a strong understanding of nonprofit financial reporting. The Development Director will oversee day-to-day operations of the Development department; overseeing administrative policies and operations that ensure excellent donor stewardship, including record keeping and gift acknowledgment; planning forecasting and managing income and expense budgets; and oversight and management of the donor database. 

Community Engagement 

The Development Director serves as a community ambassador and spokesperson for Cain Center for the Arts, ensuring a positive integration of marketing and development plans. They will serve as relationship-builder and storyteller in the community to highlight programming, exhibits, classes, and the Community Impact Program. Understanding the Lake Norman landscape is critical to strengthening and expanding partnerships in the community. 

Team Leadership 

The Development Director will have a strong background in team management and supervision within a high-growth nonprofit. The Director will supervise the development team, including the Development Associate and Donor & Patron Services Manager, and the volunteer program. The Director will provide coaching and create intentional policies and communication methods to cultivate a positive team culture. Formal and informal professional development opportunities will be encouraged to develop skills and experiences in support of Cain’s mission. 


About the Organization 

Cain Center for the Arts is a nonprofit arts and culture organization led by Executive Director Justin Dionne and an 18-member board of directors. Funded in part by $4 million allocated by voters in 2013, the Center is located on 1.6 acres in the town’s emerging arts district. Cain Center for the Arts bears the name of local philanthropists Bill and Ericka Cain, whose gift of $5 million serves as both a foundation and an inspiration. 

Cain Center for the Arts offers performance, education, gallery, and community spaces designed to be beautiful, flexible, and close to home for the more than 300,000 residents of the growing Lake Norman region. 

Cain Center Values 

  • Inspirational: To be a center that inspires and encourages creativity. 
  • Community-centered: To be a center that serves everyone. To expose, invite, and engage as a destination for all members of the community. 
  • Creative: To serve as a hub of creativity, providing a platform for unique and individual expression. 
  • Entertaining: To provide a holistic experience that produces valuable, enjoyable experiences while also focusing on comfort. 
  • Educational: To be a center where the arts and education connect. 

Cain Center for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded through ticket sales, class and education tuition, philanthropic gifts, and local, state, and federal government grants. 

Want to know more? Visit Cain’s website at


Key lived experiences, attributes, and skillsets sought in the Development Director 

  • Demonstrated appreciation of the mission and work of Cain Center for the Arts. 
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically with a thorough understanding of strategic development. 
  • Experience in management and design of fundraising programs, including donor solicitation strategy, proposal management, communications, donor selection and appreciation, and special events.  
  • Ability to build and sustain authentic relationships with diverse constituencies with integrity, warmth, and humor. 
  • Experience identifying cultivating, engaging, and stewarding existing and new donors to grow support for the mission. 
  • Proven track record of achieving revenue targets and/or performance metrics. 
  • Experience leading a well-organized, effective development office, fundraising systems, and record-keeping. Understanding of ticketing software and sponsorship models for arts organizations preferred. 
  • Communicate effectively via public speaking and interpersonal communication. 
  • Understanding of the philanthropic landscapes of the Lake Norman/North Mecklenburg area preferred. 
  • Must be self-motivated, results-oriented, and able to set priorities and work on numerous projects simultaneously. 
  • High energy, positive "can-do" attitude, curiosity, flexibility, teamwork, and attention to detail; high degree of initiative.  
  • Ability to commute to meet personally with potential donors in a variety of locations. 
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and at least five years of fundraising experience for a nonprofit organization or equivalent experience. 


Think you are the next Development Director for Cain Center for the Arts? 

Please provide all requested information to be considered. In case of any technical problems, contact No phone calls, please, and no applications will be accepted by email or directly from third-party posting sites. 

Review of candidates will begin May 2023 and continue until the position is filled. 

Salary is commensurate with the requirements of the position and is in the $80-90K range. Cain Center provides a generous benefits package including employer-sponsored medical insurance, PTO, paid holidays, and additional coverage options through their third-party HR provider. 

The Cain Center for the Arts actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates. The Cain Center for the Arts is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.  


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