Job Vacancies

Development Manager

November 11th, 2021

Position description

About us

Sydney Writers’ Festival is one of the world’s leading and most beloved literary institutions. It is a place for readers, writers and thinkers to share ideas, tell stories and celebrate literature. Since our first Festival in 1997, we have brought thousands of diverse writers and thinkers from Australia and around the globe together in Sydney. In the company of the world’s best novelists, poets, journalists, public intellectuals, economists, politicians, podcasters and scientists, we’ve discussed some of the most pressing issues of our times. We’ve celebrated prize-winning authors, long-awaited novels from writers at the height of their careers, and introduced debut authors to eager and enthusiastic new audiences. Readers and writers have exchanged thoughts and opinions, perspectives and philosophies, creating a powerful community based on radical dialogue and respectful debate. The drumbeat of questioning that thrums underneath the Festival is powerful and enlivens Australia’s democratic tradition.

About this role

An exciting opportunity exists to join Sydney Writers’ Festival growing Development Department in the role of Development Manager. If you have highly developed written, oral communication, negotiation, presentation, and research skills, can work well under pressure, love building relationships, and working closely in a small team – we would love to hear from you! The Development Manager reports to the Head of Development and is responsible for establishing, building, and managing a portfolio of relationships with existing and potential corporate partners and annual-giving donors. The Development Manager is also responsible for delivering partner benefits, donor stewardship, donor event logistics, development administration, prospect research and grant applications.



  • Deliver outstanding donor stewardship with low-mid level donors.
  • Support the Head of Development to deliver philanthropic campaigns at key points throughout the year.
  • Support the team with research and identification of prospective philanthropic opportunities including potential benefactors, gifts, bequests, and relevant foundations and trusts.
  • Research and identify prospective donors whilst exercising the highest levels of discretion, integrity and professionalism.
  • Research and develop policies regarding philanthropic giving.
  • Maintain current and prospective donor records and relationship progress within the Tessitura CRM system.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing Department to ensure appropriate acknowledgement of donors, across all publications, digital and marketing materials.

Corporate Partnerships

  • Manage relationships and benefits with current corporate sponsors ensuring that all agreements are appropriately leveraged; reporting requirements are met; and contract renewals/negotiations are managed in a timely and positive manner.
  • Develop, plan and manage Development events – liaising with the organisations Production and Programming Departments.
  • Collaborate with Marketing colleagues to ensure appropriate acknowledgement of corporate partners, across all publications, digital and marketing materials.


  • Work in collaboration with the Head of Development and CEO to plan, collate and submit government funding applications and acquittals.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing Department to ensure appropriate acknowledgement of government partners, across all publications, digital and marketing materials.

General Duties

  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with team members.
  • Working with the Head of Development to monitor and achieve budget targets.
  • Ensure the Sydney Writers’ Festival database is maintained with key stakeholders for opening night invitation lists and other communications.
  • Developing, planning and delivering the logistics for fundraising events.
  • Selling paid advertising in the Festival’s Program Guide.
  • Handling the administrative requirements of Sydney Writers’ Festival’s Individual Giving Program.
  • Providing admin support to the Head of Development, including scheduling and minuting quarterly Fundraising Committee meetings.
  • Undertake any other duties as reasonably requested by the Head of Development and CEO

Skills & Expertise

  1. Experience in developing successful relationships with philanthropic donors or corporate sponsors including soliciting gifts, supporting cultivation and stewardship.
  2. Knowledge of fundraising principles and guidelines, relevant legislation and ethical standards.
  3. High level experience in data management, analytics and reporting.
  4. Effective influencing skills as well as tact, diplomacy and discretion.
  5. Working knowledge of prospect identification and relationship management.
  6. High level of relationship management skills.
  7. Proven ability to prioritise a high workload and juggle competing demands.
  8. Ability to work autonomously but as part of a small team.

How to apply 

SWF encourages applications from all backgrounds, communities, and industries, and are committed to having a team that is made up of diverse skills, experiences and abilities.

Applications should be addressed to Drew Bourgeois and be sent to

Applications must include: A current resume and covering letter, including details of your interest in the role, and addressing how your skills and experience prepares you for the responsibilities required.

Candidates are encouraged to send in their applications as soon as possible.

Applications close 22 November 2021.


Sydney Writers’ Festival