VLA Development Manager

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts seeks a new Development Manager.


Since 1969, VLA has worked to provide pro bono arts-related legal representation to low-income individual artists and nonprofit arts organizations. The services we provide include legal counseling, educational programs, advocacy, and alternative dispute resolution. Without our help some of the most creative and vulnerable members of our society would be left without a means to protect themselves and their creative endeavors.

From our midtown offices, VLA operates a variety of programs to fulfill its public mission. Legal Services, our largest program, helped over 11,000 artists last year in a number of ways: pro bono placements with volunteer attorneys for low-income artists and nonprofit arts organizations; in-house representation and counseling by VLA Staff Attorneys; and the VLA Legal Clinic, a regular forum to meet privately with an attorney to discuss arts-related legal issues. The mission of VLA goes beyond providing legal service.   We also offer over 150 educational programs a year for the arts community; access to a public arts law resource library; and a speakers’ bureau for arts and cultural organizations seeking experienced speakers. These resources magnify the public benefit we provide while preparing and inspiring attorneys to serve the arts.


VLA seeks a Development Manager with a passion for the arts who is inspired by VLA’s mission of legal protection for those without the means to protect themselves. The Development Manager oversees the fundraising activities of VLA and reports to the Executive Director. The Development Manager will expand the organization’s development program by meeting targeted financial goals and executing activities designed to attract annual giving and major gift giving. The Development Manager will be responsible for prospecting new and managing existing relationships with institutional funding sources (including foundations, corporations, and government agencies), individual donors, members, volunteers, and law firms. The position also includes hands-on management of event planning and cultivation of relationships with VLA’s Board of Directors and Associate Board. The Development Manager will track all development data, manage a database for record keeping and reporting, and carry out administrative activities. The Development Manager will work closely with the Executive Director and Director of Legal Services to integrate all programs and services with development efforts to meet budget expansion goals.




  • Work closely with the Executive Director to develop and execute a comprehensive development strategy, focused on long-term sustainability and diversification of revenue sources
  • Lead focused growth in individual and institutional giving, meeting organizational goals
  • Create and maintain grants calendar for foundation, corporate, and government sources, and report regularly on progress
  • Maintain current and identify new grant opportunities through research, writing grant proposals, developing project budgets, maintaining reporting obligations, and managing pipeline
  • Manage proposals and reporting to government agencies, including DCA and NEA
  • Develop concepts for and plan events including a major annual gala, summer benefit, two cocktail receptions, donor cultivation events, volunteer events, and other programming that advances VLA’s profile, reach, and mission
  • Process and acknowledge all gifts and donations, and ensure proper donor stewardship
  • Foster increased artists, arts organization and corporate membership
  • Work closely with the Executive Director and Director of Legal Services to integrate programming with development efforts


  • Passion for VLA’s mission
  • Dynamic and experienced development professional with ability to work and connect with a diverse constituency of artists, attorneys, public interest groups, and community groups
  • Proven record of fundraising success
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain strong relationships
  • Deep knowledge of fundraising program building, donor acquisition, research, cultivation, organization, stewardship, and management
  • In-depth event planning experience
  • Demonstrated public and private grant writing experience and strong writing skills
  • Ability to understand and create budgets and other financial documents
  • Creative problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Ability to prioritize and ensure accuracy in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and persuasively
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • A minimum of 4 years of proven development/fundraising experience in the non-profit field, preferably the arts


VLA offers attractive compensation and benefits.

Open until filled.


All nominations, inquiries, and applications should be sent to Kathryn E. Wagner, VLA’s Executive Director, and will be held in confidence.
Contact: kwagner@vlany.org Subject line: VLA Development Manager
We regret it will not be possible to communicate with candidates except those who most closely match our requirements.


We are committed to enhancing our diverse workforce by actively encouraging people with disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women to apply. We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion. EO/AA Employer.