Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts (Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts)

Inspiring lifelong learning in craft and creativity for all

Job Description

We seek a development and communications professional to lead during the next 18–24 months, supporting the organization through an exciting period of change and growth, with the possibility of being considered to remain thereafter. We seek someone with an expert eye who can give shape to systems and processes that will carry the organization into its next period, in addition to managing and overseeing the department’s day-to-day operations.

The job supports the organization’s ability to meet earned and contributed revenue targets by amplifying philanthropy and promoting program enrollment, consistent with the Eliot School’s mission, vision, core values, andstrategic plan. The position oversees communications as it supports both overall organizational advancement and revenue-producing programs.

The person in this position is a member of a Senior Staff Circle of Executive Director, Associate Director, and Program Directors. The job is supported by a Dev Com Assistant and a team of consultants who provide grant writing, event coordination, implementation of marketing, and other functions.

Core Responsibilities:

●    Lead in all facets of Development and Communications, including strategy, planning, analysis, and implementation.

●    Direct support staff and team members (above) as they implement:

o Ongoing development practices, including ongoing donor cultivation and stewardship, pledge administration, data collection and reporting, spring and fall appeals, and donor events.

o Ongoing and strategic marketing and communications to increase the organization’s visibility. 

●    Prepare and monitor annual development and communications budgets.

●    Lead core development functions, including major donor identification, cultivation, and stewardship; foundation and government grants; business sponsors, annual Development Plan, coordination of Board efforts.

●    Support and collaborate with the Executive and Associate Directors and the Board’s Development Committee as they pursue donor stewardship and cultivation.

●    Oversee the organization’s grant portfolio and grant processes: research, calendar, cultivation, applications, and reporting, overseeing consulting grant writers with the support of senior staff.

●    Lead core communications strategy, including annual Communications Plan.

●    Support the organization’s racial equity transformation, collaboratively building practices and processes guided by demonstrated commitment to racial equity.

Qualifications & Skills


●    Exemplary track record with at least 5 years’ experience managing nonprofit development and communications, with demonstrated results, including functions outlined above.

●    Demonstrated experience as a leader who has managed high performing, diverse teams, including remote colleagues.

●    Demonstrated experience navigating racial equity transformation in organizations or community efforts. Experience building programs guided by commitment to racial equity.

●    Demonstrated experience supporting organizations’ financial sustainability by meeting budget goals.


●    Excellent verbal and written communication.
●    Flexibility and experience working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
●    Demonstrated emotional intelligence, humility, cultural competence, feedback skills, and the ability to sustain trusted relationships with a wide array of people.
●    The highest ethical standards and discretion.
●    Strong commitment to the Eliot School’s mission of inspiring lifelong learning in craft and creativity for all.

The Eliot School seeks to contribute to a more just and equal world. As we design our programs and spaces to pursue equity, we are currently asking ourselves: How do all parts of our school enact our mission to inspire lifelong learning in craft and creativity for all? This position works with organizational leadership to develop and implement long-term vision and present-day program implementation based on a commitment to racial equity. 


●    Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
●    Excellent skills in project management.
●    Accurate, detail-oriented, able to meet deadlines. 
●    Excellent verbal and written communication. 
●    Comfortable with technology, able to adapt to new software and systems. 
●    Enthusiasm, collegiality, creative approaches to problem solving. 
●    Bilingual fluency a plus: Spanish, Mandarin, etc.

The Eliot School is an Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a diverse workplace that is welcoming to all.

Salary & Benefits

Salary: $82–86,000 full-time; willing to consider up to $90,000 for a more experienced candidate. Health insurance (80% employer contribution up to $8k annual cap); retirement plan (4% employer match); family & medical leave. This full-time position offers the option to construct a flexible schedule and hybrid in-person/WFH. It requires some evening and weekend hours depending on programs. We are willing to consider the alternative of a consulting position for the same responsibilities, depending on negotiation.

The job comes with generous professional development and networking opportunities through funders’ capacity-building offerings, including the Barr Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative and Linde Family Foundation arts education cohort.

To Apply:

To support our equitable hiring practice, please fill out this survey and follow the code instructions. This is designed to ensure a fair playing field for all candidates:

Send resume, cover letter and three professional references to Abigail Norman, Executive Director: with “Interim Development & Communications Director” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

We hope for a February start date but will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. For job posting purposes, the deadline is listed as December 31, 2022.


The Eliot School inspires lifelong learning in craft and creativity for all. Our programs cultivate welcoming environments where people convene across a continuum of age, economic means, and backgrounds to build skills, craftsmanship, and community. We sustain connections to communities in Greater Boston and beyond. 

Now some 7,000 people (in non-COVID times) engage with us each year. Classes for all ages take place in our schoolhouse and annex, and at schools and community sites throughout Boston. Our focus is on manual arts, including woodworking/furniture, sewing/fashion/fiber arts, drawing/painting, book arts/mixed media. Other programs include creative youth development, an annual artist’s residency, talks and other events. The annual budget is ~$2M, with half of revenue earned, half contributed.

The Eliot School staff and board have made explicit commitments to three strategic imperatives: racial equity, artistic excellence, and financial sustainability. This position supports all three.

Our staff and board reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. More than half of our students are young people of color in Boston’s public schools and community centers. We are actively taking a thought-leadership role to interrogate racial inequity driven by foundational, structural, and historical issues in the fields of craft and art education. As part of this, we co-lead the national Racial Equity in Craft Peer Learning Group. We believe that imagination and art-making can support questioning, engagement, and recognition of one’s power to shape the world. As we rebuild from the pandemic, we remain committed to our mission – the mandate to serve all.