The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and educational organization, is a staple of the international festival circuit. Over the past 34 years, it has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States. SBIFF celebrates the art of cinema and provides impactful educational experiences for its local, national, and global communities, drawing an impressive roster of press and industry heavyweights.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Development Director (DD) will lead in the engagement, identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors and corporations, leveraging the potential for significant gifts and corporate philanthropic support and sponsorship. This individual will maintain and expand public and private sector relationships for revenue outcomes to deliver on strategic plan priorities, build other strategic community relationships, and collaborate with the SBIFF team to maximize successful fundraising efforts. The DD will be responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction in all fund development activities, including sponsorship acquisition, major gifts, annual campaign, donor relations, planned-giving, grant writing, public relations, and fundraising events.

As an integral member of the Senior Leadership Team, the DD will play an active role as a thought-partner in planning for the organization’s overall advancement. Supporting, assisting, and partnering with the Executive Director and other members of the Senior Leadership Team, the DD will operationalize the strategic plan while building a thriving, creative, and diverse culture serving artists and the community. The DD will collaborate with the Executive Director to implement strategic changes that will dramatically increase the board’s fundraising role. This individual will conceptualize and implement a plan to grow SBIFF’s philanthropic support and donor base while leading and motivating a team of one full-time employee, one seasonal staff member, and several interns in devising successful operating fundraising strategies, implementing appropriate delivery and support systems, and evaluating results.

Roles and Responsibilities

Leadership and Accountability

  • Remain current on and adapt to the cultural, economic, and political developments that affect development goals and strategies.Model behaviors that create trust and build confidence, encouraging others to follow suggested paths or approaches.
  • Understand and clearly articulate SBIFF’s programs, history, policies, culture, values, key stakeholders, and financial strategy to ensure the continuing relevance of sponsorship, philanthropic, and grant support.
  • Identify key policy and funding issues of strategic importance and develop a comprehensive approach to address these issues to SBIFF’s benefit.
  • Develop and implement long- and short-term strategies for fundraising with the Executive Director and board.
  • Regularly report on development goals and progress to the Executive Director and board.
  • Proactively mobilize the board, volunteers, and Executive Director to drive fundraising activity and personal engagement with top prospects, sponsorships, and special events.
  • Demonstrate respectful, effective, and appropriate communication to achieve organizational buy-in for a variety of revenue enhancement initiatives.
  • Develop, cultivate, and enhance SBIFF’s relationships in the community.
  • Speak and present in a clear and credible manner, listen for diverse perspectives, and set mutually beneficial expectations with a variety of stakeholders.

Development Planning and Implementation

  • Develop partnerships with all SBIFF departments to support annual giving programs, sponsorships, special projects, and events.
  • Create customized donor stewardship and recognition opportunities to support expanded fundraising activities.
  • Create, implement, and manage a strategic development plan designed to significantly increase contributed revenue.
  • Establish solicitation priorities, manage prospect lists and research, and develop and execute targeted cultivation plans and solicitation strategies for a range of prospects.
  • Maintain a personal portfolio of donors, cultivating and soliciting major gifts for the annual fund, special events, capital projects, special programs, and specific fundraising for an institutional endowment.
  • Ensure that the development area adheres to long-term strategic and operational plan goals, coordinating and presenting regular progress reports to the Executive Director.
  • Direct all aspects of development and the patron benefits program, including stewardship, special events, cultivation, benefits fulfillment, daily donor interaction, and volunteer management.
  • Use the organization’s formal and informal social and technical structures to build relationships, negotiate solutions, and accomplish goals.
  • Guide and mentor the development team’s successful achievement of contributed revenue goals for individual, corporate, foundation, special events, and institutional endowment, with a personal emphasis on identifying, cultivating, and securing new sources of funding.
  • Embrace other development planning and implementation roles and responsibilities as needed.

Administration and Oversight

  • Oversee the development department and supervise its staff by setting clear expectations, motivating the team, and assisting with their professional development.
  • Influence and inspire others to act in an energetic, committed fashion in pursuit of a positive organizational culture.
  • Ensure that the necessary organizational structure, policies, system controls, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
  • Prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets; provide accurate reporting, analysis, and integration of data; and oversee the maintenance and integrity of donor and prospect records.
  • Guide a regular process of staff review and evaluation that ensures the highest ethical standards in all departmental activities.
  • Lead and mentor the development staff in utilizing available data to analyze and document fundraising needs and opportunities.
  • Assess current technology and refine development practices to ensure maximum efficiency and results.
  • Embrace other administration and oversight roles and responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

Proactive, dynamic, and self-motivated, the DD will be a people-oriented leader who values frequent interaction and collaboration with others. An independent, experienced, and entrepreneurial professional, the DD will actively pursue SBIFF’s ambitious goals with creativity and determination. The DD will have a high degree of personal accountability and a commitment to exceeding expectations. This detail-oriented individual will balance tasks and projects with a sense of urgency. They will also possess superlative interpersonal and communication skills that articulate compelling verbal and written messages for support. A self-sufficient and self-managed professional with a highly organized approach, the DD will have the ability to achieve organizational objectives with staff, board members, volunteers, donors, and prospective supporters. This individual will bring highly developed skills, an efficient best practices approach, an affinity for SBIFF’s mission, and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success.

Other key competencies of the role include:

  • Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills – The ability to work effectively and productively with others using effective communication skills to build rapport while relating to many different people.
  • Planning and Organization – The capacity to utilize logical, systematic, and orderly procedures to meet objectives while identifying and overseeing all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.
  • Stakeholder Focus and Diplomacy – The dexterity to anticipate, meet, and exceed stakeholder needs and expectations while treating others fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs.
  • Leadership and Influencing Others – The flexibility to organize, mentor, and motivate others to accomplish goals while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among a variety of stakeholders.
  • Goal Orientation and Negotiation– The clarity to establish and achieve specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and time-sensitive goals regardless of obstacles or circumstances and the ability to facilitate agreements between many parties.
  • Time, Priority, and Self-Starting – The acuity to develop initiatives and demonstrate self-control in managing time and priorities.


A bachelor’s degree is required. Qualified candidates will have at least seven years of progressive experience with increasing responsibility in a fundraising leadership role, preferably in the multidisciplinary arts, education, or nonprofit sector. A strong track record in corporate sponsorship, events, and donor identification, cultivation, and solicitation at all funding levels (particularly major gifts) is required. Prior experience with endowment campaigns would be an asset. Superior written and verbal communication skills and experience collaborating with high-level, nationally respected volunteers are required. Candidates must possess expertise in and willingness to mentor and develop team members to create a high performing department. Strong computer skills are necessary, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), donor database software, media (traditional, electronic, and social), and advanced tools for donor prospecting and research.

Compensation and Benefits

SBIFF offers a very competitive salary, supportive work environment, extended health and dental insurance, vacation time, and participation in a retirement plan to all full-time salaried employees.


Organization/Company: Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Deadline: Open until filled.
How to Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume including demonstrable accomplishments to:

Mr. Martin Bragg, Senior Vice President
Arts Consulting Group
8581 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 406
Los Angeles, CA 90069-4120

Tel: (888) 234.4236 Ext 205 Email: [email protected]