Web Site:www.houstongrandopera.org
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Development Officer

This is the best job you’ve ever had.  Seriously.

Do you believe in the power of music? Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives every day through your work? Do you thrive in a creative, artistic environment, as part of a high-performing, supportive team?

HGO is looking for a talented development officer to join our growing department. If you know how to work hard, have a fun, positive attitude, and love connecting donors with the greatest art form ever created, do we have a job for you!

But before you click “apply,” I should warn you… opera is highly addictive.

HGO’s performances are irresistibly great and the donors you’ll meet here are the best in town. This is a pretty amazing place to work, too. So when you wind up a full-blown opera junkie, don’t say you weren’t warned.



As Development Officer, you’ll be responsible for managing a portfolio of approx. 100 Patrons ($5,000+) and Trustees ($10,000+). Your job is to inspire them to increase their support.

You will also coordinate and manage HGO’s Young Patrons Circle (YPC) and Young Trustee donor programs, including group-specific collateral, messaging, recruitment and stewardship events, and overseeing activity of the YPC Committee.

At HGO, we pride ourselves on building transformative relationships with donors that change their lives – and ours. We get out from behind our desks and meet supporters on their turf. We spend time truly getting to know them and their families, listening to their stories with genuine interest, understanding their passions and their interests.

And along the way, we earn something very special. We earn their trust.

At HGO, we know development is best done face to face, and not from behind your desk. The more time you spend with donors, the better. Before long, you’ll walk down the aisle of the Brown Theater before HGO performances, greeting many friendly faces, and feeling the deep satisfaction that you brought them closer to the amazing art they are about to experience. You did that.

So if you like sitting behind a desk, filling out spreadsheets and looking at databases, look elsewhere. This is NOT the job for you.



We want talent. We want it on our stage, we want it on our Board, and we want it on our staff.

You’ll need an undergraduate degree and at least three years of front line fundraising experience, with proven success soliciting gifts face to face. Show us how you’ve built, maintained, and cultivated meaningful relationships with donors in your career.

Evening and weekend work is sometimes required. You’ll entertain donors at performances, behind-the-scenes donor events, and the occasional committee meeting. But if you love the arts like we do, this is the best part of the job!



Be curious about everything. Ask questions. Tons of questions. Our donors have a lot to say, and trust us – you want to hear it. Learn their life stories, why they give, what they love about opera, how they first got involved with HGO – whatever you can. The more you understand them, the better you can engage them with HGO and increase their support.

Be creative in relationship building. Don’t just take donors to coffee and lunches. Bring them to rehearsals, go LP shopping together, bring over an opera DVD to watch together, or take them to experience an HGO education program in their neighborhood school. Blow their minds and make them excited each time you call.

None of us has all the answers. Be excited to gain something new every day. One of the perks of being on a large development team is the chance to grow professionally and learn from your colleagues. We invest in professional development, read fundraising books, roleplay donor visits to fine-tune our skills, attend conferences, acquire certifications, and much more.


You’ve gotta be organized on this team. You’re documenting visits in donor files, invitations to performances, solicitations, pending asks, follow-up, and much more. And if it doesn’t get recorded, it didn’t happen.

Our subscribers love opera. So if you know everything there is to know about it, that’s great. But if you don’t know much about it, that’s okay too. You soon will.

Opera is the most collaborative art form known to man. It combines poetry, dance, music, acting, singing, set-building, orchestras, choruses, and so much more. So no matter what you’re into, there’s a seat for you at our table. Just bring your appetite.



HGO’s development team has a proven track record of attracting, nurturing, and launching the careers of many in our profession. This team is no joke.

Your colleagues are the real benefits package. You will learn from your leaders and coworkers in a truly collaborative environment where you are encouraged to do work that interests and challenges you. We rarely say no. Share your ideas – go for it!

If you enjoy learning, writing, and getting great work done, and you want to help make Houston a more culturally vibrant city, apply now at www.hgo.org/abouthgo/employment-auditions!

Questions about Membership or this application? Please contact Vincent Covatto, organizational membership manager, at VCovatto@operaamerica.org or by calling 646.699.5237.
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All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
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