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Director of Individual and Major Giving

Position Description- Director of Individual and Major Giving

Type of Employment: Salaried, Exempt 

Reports to: Vice President and General Manager 

Important Staff Relationships: President and Artistic Director, Music Director, Vice President- Global and Artistic Outreach, Director of Advancement, Chief Financial Officer, Marketing and PR Manager, Box Office Manager, Special Events Manager, and Development Associate 

Central Role

Direct the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors at all levels with an emphasis on increasing fundraising capacity and the solicitation of major gifts.  This position will work closely with the Vice President and General Manager and the Vice President for Global and Artistic Outreach to strategize and execute new and innovative strategies for increasing giving to AVA through current donors and new prospects.  This position is crucial for successful fundraising of roughly $2.0 million dollars annually.  


  • Direct the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship at all levels.  
  • Maintain and grow a strong portfolio of 50+ current and prospective donors capable of making gifts at the $15,000 level and above.  
  • Develop strategies for multi-year giving
  • Meet monthly and annual benchmarks for individuals through an active meeting schedule 
  • Spearhead the Annual Campaign/Friend of AVA efforts twice annually through a combination of mailings, e-appeals, and online platforms. 
  • Maintain accurate and up to date portfolio files for donors in Tessitura with contact reports and next steps.  
  • Coordinate with Special Events Manager on the execution, seating, and other logistics for cultivation and donor events. 
  • Maintain donor lists in coordination with the Development Associate. 
  • Actively engage with the Development Committee of the Board of Directors to identify prospects, strategize, and solicit contributions. 
  • Produce monthly strategy reports for gift renewals of existing donors. 
  • Attend performances, events, and other AVA activities. 
  • Identify and cultivate possible new prospects for the Helen Corning Warden Society for legacy gifts. 

Skills Desired and Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s Degree required
  • 5-7 year of front line fundraising experience preferred with demonstrated experience in creating and executing a successful cultivation and solicitation strategy
  • Demonstrated success in securing five and six-figure gifts as well as annual fund appeals
  • Experience working with donor databases and wealth research software, especially Tessitura and WealthEngine 
  • High level of proficiency with Microsoft Office suite 

Specialized Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of opera or classical music is an asset.  
  • Familiarity with Philadelphia’s philanthropic network a plus
  • Ability to thrive in a small, collaborative, creative organization 
  • Outstanding interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills. 
  • Familiarity with and adherence to the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Standards and the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement’s Statement of Ethics 
  • Results oriented, motivated, and energetic with the ability to work independently.  
  • Ability to work nights and weekends as required.  

An equal opportunity employer, the Academy of Vocal Arts is committed to fostering an environment in which employees from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive.  

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to opportunities@avaopera.org 

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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