Web Site:http://www.operalafayette.org/
Phone:202-546-9332 | 212-634-9388
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Development Manager

With the leadership and guidance of Opera Lafayette’s Development Committee, its Chairman, as well as the Board Co-Chairs and the Board of Directors, the Development Manager is responsible for setting and achieving the annual contributed revenue goals. The Development Manager will maintain existing, and develop new, relationships with individual donors and long-standing foundations and government agencies. S/He will also establish new programs such as corporate sponsorship and planned-giving.

Major Priorities

  • Increase significantly the company’s contributed income donated from New York City resources while sustaining the support from Washington, DC individuals and institutions. 

  • Lead the two remaining years of Accelerando, a three-year match campaign for $100,000 of new or increased dollars for each fiscal year.

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan that includes strategic goals, timelines, cultivation and stewardship events, and action plans.

Individual Giving

  • Manage the Annual Fund campaign, moving current patrons up through the giving levels, and building a steady pipeline of new donors.

  • Identify and cultivate prospective major donors (currently identified as $1,000+), and support Opera Lafayette’s leadership in securing sponsorships (currently identified as gifts $20,000 or larger), researching prospects and recommending sponsorship programs that align with the institution’s needs and the donor’s priorities. 

  • Direct the benefit fulfillment process, including thanking donors, publicly acknowledging donations appropriately, and ensuring donors receive incentives, privileges, and other benefits offered at their giving level.

  • Plan annual crowd-funding activities such as Do More 24 and Giving Tuesday and consider other online fundraising possibilities, such as donations by text or online payment platforms. 

  • Produce two annual benefits: one in DC in partnership with the Board’s Social Chair; and one in NYC, in conjunction with Benefit Chair(s) and a NY-based special event coordinator.  

  • Facilitate other social gatherings for donor cultivation, recognition, and stewardship, ranging from intermission cocktails for donors of specific giving levels to cultivation dinner parties in private homes.

  • Coordinate logistics for all development events, including, but not limited to ticketing, marketing, catering, entertainment, technical needs, decorations, transportation, etc.

Institutional Giving

  • Sustain support from the company’s current foundations and government agencies, while researching and identifying new grant opportunities that align with Opera Lafayette’s programming and mission.

  • Manage grants calendar, submitting complete and compelling applications by the deadlines, tracking and forecasting the award amounts, and ensuring OL fulfills all grant requirements, including submitting mid-term and final reports.


  • Establish an annual expense and income budget, monitoring campaign results, providing regular status reports, and forecasting significant changes.

  • Maintain PatronManager, the company’s Customer Relationship Management tool, including processing donations, entering data, pulling reports, and reconciling monthly reports with accounting reports.

  • Work with the Opera Lafayette team to create and implement development initiatives in support of OL’s community engagement activities, such as Opera starts with OH!. 

  • Lead the design and production process of all collateral fundraising materials, including, but not limited to, brochures, invitations, newsletters, and annual campaign letters.

  • Recruit, train, and manage volunteers for projects and events.


  • Five to ten years fundraising experience, with expertise in prospecting, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding. 

  • Proven record of progressive fundraising experience in a nonprofit organization, preferably in opera and/or the performing arts, and ideally with fundraising experience in New York City.

  • Proficient in building and maintaining strong relationships with a wide range of people, including Board and Committee members, individual donors, and program officers from foundations, government agencies, and corporations.

  • Able to establish thoughtful and strategic cultivation processes unique to each donor, and comfortable making asks of at least $1,000 gifts.

  • Superior organizational capacity, able to hold the overall vision of the goal without forgetting the individual steps.

  • Entrepreneurial spirit, willing to solely handle the day-to-day responsibilities of a department, while growing the resources to build a full fundraising team. 

  • Expertise in expense budgeting and forecasting.

  • Awareness of industry best practices, trends within the nonprofit sector, and other issues that may have impact on fundraising.

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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