Director of Development & Communications

Organizational Overview:

Founded in 2008, Playback Memphis’ mission is to bring stories to life in a safe space to unlock healing, transformation, and joy. Playback Memphis trains and employs professional artists and facilitators to use the unique art form of Playback Theatre to engage diverse groups of people in a variety of settings. Playback Theatre is a healing, restorative practice that emphasizes deep and empathic listening to a community member who shares a personal experience or story. Through improvisational, embodied storytelling, ritual and music, that person’s story is given a voice, their humanity affirmed. Playback staff also employ a variety of mindfulness practices and experiential learning tools to create a process of shared exploration where people and organizations can nurture integrity and cultivate the courage to act on their core values and purpose.

Our core/flagship programs engage 2,000+ individuals per year and have evolved organically from the voices, stories, and dreams of community members. In 2021, while implementing our current core programs with excellence, we are expanding our staff to meet the demands of an extensive strategic planning process which will give clarity and direction for expanding our mission-driven work in 2022- 2024.

Job Summary:

During this time of exciting change and growth, we are seeking a mission-focused, strategic, and collaborative leader to serve as the Director of Development and Communications (DDC), a newly established position of the Playback Memphis’ leadership team. Working closely with the Executive Director, Board members, and other core staff in the organization, the Director of Development and Communications is responsible for ensuring success for all fundraising, marketing, and public relations efforts for Playback Memphis. The DDC reports to the Executive Director and supervises a Development Coordinator.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Provide overall leadership for the creation and execution of Playback Memphis’ strategic fundraising efforts.
  • Collaboratively establish annual fundraising goals needed to reach and maintain approximately $1M annual operational budget.
  • Develop and sustain positive relationships with foundations, individuals, corporate and small business sponsors, government officials and partnering fee-for-service organizations.
  • Evaluate, create, and maintain researched strategies to improve the donor experience, including engagement and appreciation initiatives.
  • Research grants, write grant applications and complete required reporting for grants (in collaboration with program staff and finance director).
  • Actively participate in external meetings and speaking events, including engagements with community members, institutional and business leaders, public sector partners, and current and prospective funding partners.
  • Effectively manage the development and implementation of all external communications including press and news releases, e-newsletters, and social media platforms.
  • Partner with the finance director to develop budgets and manage expenses for fundraising and communication purposes.
  • Work with Executive Director to provide regular updates and reports on communications and fundraising strategies, goals, and successes to the Board and other stakeholders.
  • In partnership with the Executive Director, educate and train board members and senior staff in donor cultivation and professional fundraising techniques.

Other Functions:

  • As a member of the leadership team for the organization, be present during and provide hands- on support for key programming events (will require some evening and weekend work commitments).
  • Serve as an ambassador for the organization in the community, expressing the core values of Playback Memphis in their life inside and outside of work.
  • Expand the diversity and inclusion of constituents and donors.

Education & Experience:

  • A Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 5+ years of work experience; leadership and non-profit experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing effective fundraising strategies from a variety of fundraising streams.
  • Proven track record of developing successful partnerships with organizations, businesses, and public sector agencies.
  • Proven track record of writing successful grant applications and completing required grant reporting.
  • Life-long learner, committed to ongoing personal and professional growth.


  • Exceptional communication and influencing skills; both written and verbal.
  • Strong strategic planning, project, and budget management skills.
  • Sense of humility, customer service mindset, the ability to proactively solve problems and make decisions quickly.
  • Team player with strong interpersonal and stakeholder management and relationship building skills.
  • Ability to lead, influence, and hold others accountable to upholding high standards of excellence
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Google Forms, Gmail, other cloud-based information sharing programs and Zoom.

Working Conditions:

  • While performing the duties of this position, selected candidate will work primarily in a fast-paced office setting although regular local travel will also be required.
  • Playback Memphis’ office space is an open and collaborative space.
  • Staff are responsible for providing their own transportation to the office and all work-related functions.


This position will offer a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with the expertise and experience of the selected candidate.

Salary Range:

Starting at $60,000 with a maximum salary of $70,000 Equal

Employment Commitment:

Playback Memphis is committed to promoting an inclusive and equitable work environment that welcomes and values diversity as a guiding principle of all our work. Playback is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate. We consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion (creed), gender, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, or any other basis made unlawful by applicable federal, state, or local laws or regulations.


Interested candidates should submit their cover letter, resume, and 3 references to [email protected] by Monday, June 7th.

Tennessee Arts Commission
Arts Memphis

Playback Memphis is proud to be supported by Arts Memphis, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the First Tennessee Foundation, the Plough Foundation, the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation, and the Assisi Foundation of Memphis
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