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Job Board

Director of Development

Central City Opera

Full Time
Posted February 13, 2020


Reports to:                         General/Artistic Director
Classification:                    Full-time, exempt
Salary:                                 Compensation commensurate with experience, education and skills


Central City Opera’s mission is to sing extraordinary stories to spark imagination, inspire creativity and open minds to the breadth of human experience.

Central City Opera (CCO) is currently in the silent-phase of an ambitious 5-year campaign to raise significant endowment and capital funds to ensure the future of the company. The new Director of Development will be responsible for leading these fundraising efforts in addition to developing and implementing a strategic fundraising program that achieves a major expansion of the Company’s donor base by nurturing the existing donor community and inspiring increased loyalty and support. This position works as part of a Senior Management team, which also includes the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Marketing and the General/Artistic Director.

Reporting to the General/Artistic Director and working closely with members of the Board and staff, the Director of Development will ensure the smooth running of the daily fundraising operations through oversight of contributed income.

Current staff reports include the following:

  • Associate Director of Development
  • Assistant Director of Development
  • Development Associate
  • Development Operations Manager
  • Events Coordinator
  • Grants Manager (contracted)

The Director of Development will view all the organization’s activities, performances, programs, events, contacts and relationships as opportunities to market the organization and raise funds for CCO. The Director of Development will be responsible for a department that raises annual, endowment and capital funds through the following:

  • major gifts from individuals, and business and corporate sponsorships,
  • grants from local and national foundations
  • contributions associated with CCO events
  • restricted giving campaigns
  • planned giving
  • extensive support group and membership contributions, including matching gifts
  • direct mail and web-based giving
  • building relationships with audience members, especially those who attend multiple performances



In collaboration with the General/Artistic Director, Campaign leadership and Board leadership, the Director of Development is expected to personally solicit, or arrange for the solicitation of, annual unrestricted, restricted capital and endowment gifts in support of CCO, its performances, facilities, and programs. Refined communication, an ability to understand the needs and motives of donor-investors, and experience in structuring agreements that simultaneously fulfill the requirements of CCO and donors, are key elements of this position.


  • Collaborate with CCO’s leadership team to develop ambitious but attainable goals for contributed annual operating and endowment campaign support, track progress toward goals, report regularly to staff and Board of Directors, and adjust tactics as needed to meet fundraising objectives.
  • Assist with the identification, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift prospects, working in collaboration with CCO’s Board of Directors and General/Artistic Director, accompanying these individuals on solicitation and stewardship visits as appropriate.
  • Advance the relationships between CCO and its mid-level and major donors by sharing information about the art form and CCO’s impact, introducing donors to artists, staff, and board, and strengthening personal connections between the company and its supporters.
  • Manage and mentor junior Development staff to oversee the annual operating support campaign, ensuring that direct mail and digital campaigns are conducted in a timely and effective manner.
  • Supervise corporate and foundation underwriting, working with the Grants Manager and other Development staff to identify new prospects, submit compelling and timely grant proposals and reports on deadline, and cultivate corporate and foundation representatives.
  • Oversee solicitation for CCO’s major fundraising events and collaborate closely with the Events Coordinator to engage volunteer leadership, meet financial goals, and create a positive guest experience. Provide similar oversight for CCO’s season events and cultivate events, ensuring that goals for stewardship and financial management are met.
  • Serve as a staff liaison for Board Nominations and External Affairs Committees, working with members and appropriate colleagues to identify prospects, assign appropriate solicitors, and assess progress throughout the year.
  • Oversee CCO’s planned giving efforts.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Marketing and appropriate junior staff to develop effective development collateral, including solicitation and acknowledgment letters, print materials, and digital media communication. Set the tone for all fundraising communication and interactions with donors to ensure stewardship is timely, appropriate, and consistent in message.
  • Create and manage a department budget (revenue goal of around $3 million) to ensure fiscal responsibility relative to CCO’s fundraising initiatives.
  • Create a culture of philanthropy that reflects best practices of solicitation and stewardship and echoes CCO’s core values, treating donors at all giving levels as valued collaborators.
  • When appropriate, represent the General/Artistic Director and the Company at events and meetings.


  • A history of significant growth in annual fundraising initiatives; extensive nonprofit fundraising experience with a sizable institution, with responsibility for a department of this scale and funding targets in this range
  • Experience in engaging board and staff in the fundraising process, preferably for a performing arts organization
  • Appreciation for opera and the performing arts and an ability to speak passionately about opera, artists and repertoire (preferred)
  • Broad-based knowledge of and experience with various development campaign activities including: planned giving, capital campaigns, major gift programs, event planning and management, direct solicitations, leveraging fundraising databases and support systems for donor segmentation, research and volunteer management
  • Skilled in analyzing financial data, budgeting, and in creating accurate, easily understandable financial reports
  • Experience structuring complex sponsorship agreements including a broad knowledge of branding and visibility campaigns
  • Demonstrated success with establishing stewardship and donor recognition programs that sustain long-term relationships
  • A track record as an exceptional communicator, in writing as well as verbally; a good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into a sound, well-organized plan
  • Determined yet respectful of other’s concerns, with the flexibility/creativity needed to find alternative ways to reach funding objectives; a skilled negotiator who does not drive him/her selves or others into a corner; someone that is action-oriented
  • A hard worker with a high energy level; a “doer” with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of development and advancement activities
  • Emotionally mature with a very good sense of humor and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations


Please send resume and cover letter by Monday, March 2, 2020 to jobs@centralcityopera.org.

Apply Here