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Annual Fund Manager

Brilliant Fundraisers Welcome

(Big brains don’t scare us!)



There’s just no better feeling for an Annual Fund Manager.


She pauses for just a moment before signing, asking herself one last time “does this feel right?” But as her eyes glance back over at your recently-opened letter, she knows the answer in her gut.  So with a flick of the wrist, she signs the check.  Her gift is ready to go out and make this world a better place.


Each season, tens of thousands of current and potential HGO donors will be in that same situation, considering whether or not to support.  As Annual Fund Manager, your work will determine their answer.  You must inspire them to say “Yes!”


HGO is looking for a talented development professional to join our growing team in the newly-created role of Annual Fund Manager.


If you passionately believe in the power of great art, have a strategic vision for direct mail fundraising, and relish in building meaningful, authentic relationships with donors, then do we have a job for you!


HGO’s performances are irresistibly great and the donors you’ll meet here are the best in town. And if you wind up a full-blown opera junkie, don’t say you weren’t warned.





As Annual Fund Manager, you’ll have two key responsibilities: the Annual Fund and your Renewal Portfolio.


  1. Annual Fund


    HGO’s Annual Fund currently includes a minimum of two highly-segmented annual fundraising campaigns, sent via direct mail and email to many thousands of HGO attendees, asking them to consider support of the opera, in addition to monthly renewals, Individual Giving donor collateral, and Inside the Circle – our quarterly donor e-newsletter. 


    The Annual Fund Manager is also a key member of the subscription renewal team each season, working with all development officers to design tailored language and ask amounts for each household in HGO’s entire donor and subscriber base.


    You will develop an Annual Fund calendar with the Director of Development and serve as project manager for all Annual Fund campaigns, ensuring all involved parties are on schedule. Additionally, you will develop metrics for tracking each campaign’s performance during the season, then analyze your findings to make data-driven decisions in later efforts.


    You’ll have plenty of support in the work from HGO’s talented Prospect Researcher, our Advancement Operations and Communications teams, and our amazing Development Communications Manager, who will partner with you to write the most compelling fundraising copy you’ve ever seen.


  2. Renewal Portfolio


The Annual Fund Manager is also responsible for managing a portfolio of 150-200 donors between $1,000 and $10,000, and securing a timely renewal of their support each season.


HGO donors are simply awesome. They are well-educated, diverse, fascinating, and passionate opera lovers. They are the lifeblood of the Opera, and it’s your job to let them know that. Meet them. Get to know everything you can about them. Greet them at performances and events with a warm smile. Write them letters that sing their praises (with or without High Cs) and show them the impact of their giving.


At HGO, you need to bring the “wow” factor. Anyone can make a thank you call or mail a card once in a while. But it takes a real pro to learn your donors’ specific needs and interests and then cater to them to make them feel as valuable as they truly are.


At HGO, we know development is best done face to face, not in your office. The more time you spend with donors, the better.


When the time is right, ask them to renew their generous support in person.





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 fundraising experience.


We’re looking for a candidate with great writing chops.  More Tom Ahern than Hemingway.  Please have writing samples ready to share.


Candidates should possess an understanding of Annual Fund strategy and demonstrate past project management experience, ideally for a direct response fundraising campaign.


Show us how you’ve built, maintained, and cultivated meaningful relationships with donors in your career. Demonstrate an understanding of and a passion for delivering top-notch customer service.  Think white glove!


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 creative. You’d be joining a world-class opera company, so creativity is at the core of everything we do, including fundraising. You should relish finding outside-the-box ways to thank our amazing donors. Surprise and delight.


Be curious. HGO’s donors are fascinating. They live interesting lives and have unbelievable stories to share. Learn everything you can about them and make them feel special at every turn.


Be organized. Managing fundraising campaigns, tracking donor visits, renewing gifts, and designing collateral involves a lot of moving pieces. You’ll need to stay on top of all of them to make sure things happen the way they should. This is a great job to beef up on your project management skills!


Our subscribers love opera. So if you know everything there is to know about it, that’s great. But if you don’t know anything 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 for learning.


And perhaps more than anything, bring your positivity, your enthusiasm, and your excitement for making the world a better place through opera. Your work changes lives each and every day. That’s something to celebrate!





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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