AVP Development - Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Sterling Search Inc. - Costa Mesa, CA

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts (the Center) is the major arts organization in southern California and one of the most active arts presenters and producers in the country. In addition to a successful series of Broadway shows, the Center presents world class dance and ballet, a classical music series, cabaret, and variety acts in its five venues: Segerstrom Hall, a 3,000-seat Broadway/opera house; the 2,000 seat Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall; the Samueli Theater, a 375- seat multi-functional facility, the 250-seat Judy Morr Theater and the 150+ Studio Performance Space. SCFTA also presents numerous community engagement and educational programs and has cooperative programs with school districts and community organizations throughout the region.

The Center is a world-class cultural and educational institution that has undergone a transformation, expanding its mission to embrace the diverse communities throughout the region. The diverse community that surrounds the Center is undergoing significant cultural, social and economic change. The Center, in turn, is acting ambitiously to ensure its continued programmatic excellence and institutional relevance, by establishing itself as a valued civic resource and catalyst for positive change in its community to complement continued growth in its many artistic and education programs.

The Center has launched three strategically integrated projects to ensure its success in realizing this ambitious reimagining of the institution. These include 1.) The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza with programs and amenities fully accessible, and attractive to all of the diverse communities of Orange County 2.) The “Center without Boundaries” programs - exemplified by innovative civic practice focused partnerships, between the Center and non-arts organizations, focused on meaningful community impact while addressing the needs of an evolving Orange County as defined by those organizations making a difference in their community; and 3.) The Center for Dance and Innovation - featuring a new joint venture with the American Ballet Theatre, Gillespie School of Dance, the new School of Music and Dance for Children with Disabilities, and social media/IT based and other innovative community engagement initiatives.

The Center’s world-class artistic programming and highly esteemed education programs are complemented by these new community engagement initiatives to ensure the Center in its entirety is fully accessible to the County’s diverse communities, allowing us to form innovative partnerships that will make positive contributions to the future of Orange County.

Position Summary:

The Associate Vice President of Development will be a deeply involved frontline fundraiser and leader within the department tasked with raising support for the Center’s Annual Fund as well as the Next Act Capital Campaign and other special projects. Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President of External Affairs, the Associate Vice President of Development will manage the following areas within the Development Department: Corporate and Foundation Relations, Special Events and Development Operations. Additionally, the Associate Vice President will be responsible for managing and tracking support raised from the Center’s Board of Directors. Combined efforts equal nearly $6 million of the Center’s Annual Fund goal each year

Key factors contributing to the success of the Associate Vice President will be the ability to raise philanthropic support for the Center and its programs, and to develop effective outreach and campaign strategies that connect with individual and institutional donors. As part of that effort, the Associate Vice President will work with his or her team to continually improve fundraising support infrastructure and ensure that the organization can respond quickly, effectively, creatively and contextually to long term financial requirements, short term operating needs and to donor interests and opportunities.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Oversee four key development areas within the department with the goal of enhancing philanthropic support from corporations, foundations, special event donors and the Center’s Board of Directors.
  • Supervise a team of development professionals including the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Director of Special Events and Director of Development Operations and Prospect Strategy and indirectly supervise a staff of early to mid-career development professionals within those units.
  • Establish work plans, performance objectives, and metrics for direct reports and regularly review performance, professional development and training to achieve those goals.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Ensure development staff in the following key areas meet and exceed annual goals by collaborating, mentoring and developing new initiatives that raise funds through:
  • Corporate sponsorships
  • Philanthropic grant proposals
  • Special Event tickets and sponsorships
  • Board of Directors
  • Manage a portfolio of 100+ prospects including board members, corporations, foundations and some major donors through identification, qualification and cultivation efforts. This will be achieved by:
    • Conducting at least 10 documented personal visits, per month
    • Qualifying 36 new corporate, foundation or board prospects, per year
    • Soliciting 24 prospects of $25,000, per year
    • Conducting 15 stewardship visits, including personal delivery of annual stewardship reports, per year
  • Secure $6 million in individual, corporate and foundation support for the Annual Fund, per year, with $2 million in new gifts and commitments to Annual Fund or Capital Campaign generated by direct solicitations, $500,000 of which is generated by new donor(s) to the Center or significant increase in support from existing donor(s).
  • Collaborate with the Executive Vice President of External Affairs on Capital Campaign fundraising strategies, solicitations and stewardship efforts including managing a portfolio of donors with specific interest or affinity to support the campaign; lead Capital Campaign solicitations and serve as a pivotal member of the frontline fundraising team that raises support for the Campaign.

Corporate and Foundation Relations:

  • Supervise a team of three corporate and foundation relations professionals in meeting their annual goal of raising a combined $2.2 million per year with a goal to grow to over $3 million in five years.
  • Oversee Corporate and Foundation Relations team to ensure successful adherence to grant, sponsorship and restricted giving agreements.
  • Establish long range institutional giving programs for national sponsorships, corporate gifts and regional sponsorships.
  • Develop and implement basic guidelines for sponsorship that will preserve the integrity of the SCFTA brand and enhance its institutional identity as one of the leading performing arts venues in North America.

Special Events:

  • In partnership with Director of Special Events, manage the planning, execution and follow up for annual Candlelight Concert and Arts & Business Leadership Awards Dinner which combined, generate $3 million in support for the Center. Specific duties include securing corporate and table sponsorships and ticket sales; providing support to the events’ Executive Committees including oversight of budget and expenses and strategic management of fundraising progress to goal and serving as a representative of the Center’s leadership team in partnerships involving event chairs and planning volunteers.
  • In conjunction with the Executive Vice President of External Affairs, the Special Events team and other development and Center staff as appropriate, develop a comprehensive, strategic plan for all annual special events that include clear strategy, follow up plans and return on investment.
  • Lead the Special Events team in developing new annual special events that boost institutional and individual fundraising efforts and engage diverse audiences.

Board of Directors:

  • Serve as a member of the development leadership team and manage key board relationships for the Center, cultivating and stewarding relationships as appropriate.
  • Track all board pledges and manage solicitation process on behalf of the department. Board support represents over $2.3 million in contributed revenue each year.
  • Provide assistance to the Board Development Committee with oversight from the Executive Vice President of External Affairs and support from the Director of Development Operations and Prospect Research and the Executive Assistant to help set agendas, create supporting materials, deliver minutes, etc. all with the goal of helping to attract and onboard new board members.
  • Staff board committees when appropriate providing development expertise and fundraising support
  • Partner with board members on individual and corporate solicitations.

Development Operations:

  • Regularly assess current funding streams and fundraising efforts, including individual and corporate giving opportunities; provide leadership to ensure initiatives are supported and make revisions to strategies where appropriate.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Vice President of External Affairs, review and expand the fundraising plan for the Center; setting objectives for institutional fundraising; assigning metrics to development staff and collaborating with them to guide the organization in achieving its fundraising goals.
  • Collaborate with the Associate Vice President of Individual Giving and Director of Development Operations and Prospect Research to define and continually upgrade a systematic and donor-centric fundraising plan, segmented by type (individual, corporate, foundation), level (subscription levels, various major gift levels, planned giving), and restricted for specific purposes, including education initiatives, programming and endowment).
  • Collaborate with Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Associate Vice President of Individual Giving, Director of Development Operations and Prospect Research and development staff to establish clear standards for stewardship, donor recognition, and institutional sponsorship, with emphasis on branding guidelines, naming and other recognition opportunities.
  • Assist with short and long-range strategic planning for the Center including preparation of annual operating plans and budgets which incorporate fundraising metrics and projections and strategic analysis of growth opportunities.
  • Learn about staff and board leaders that are (or can become) actively involved in fundraising and refine the roles of each; develop a strong relationship with the executive leadership, Board members, senior staff, directors and other staff in the development department.
  • Advance a unified view of donors and potential donors that incorporates information on ticket-buying and giving habits for all Center constituents, and share this view with other members of the leadership team.
  • Strengthen the stewardship and donor recognition program for individual donors, with the objective of establishing life-long, planned giving and even intergenerational relationships between donors, their families and the Center.
  • Evaluate current processes and systems that support fundraising initiatives and donor recognition; ensure that information systems are scaled to need and are properly maintained and used, including a continued high-level use of the Tessitura data management system.
  • Lead the development of collateral materials that relay the Center’s mission to donors and individual prospects in an impactful way that is consistent with the institutional branding campaign. Ensure that these materials are segmented and distributed in a targeted, regular, timely and consistent fashion

Ideal Experience:

Candidates should have the following type of experience and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree; Master’s Degree preferred;
  • Minimum of 8 years’ experience in development with a track record of success fundraising at a major gift level;
  • Demonstrated management skills in motivating, directing and managing staff and consultants, and in coordinating and supporting the fundraising activities of others; particular facilitation in mentoring others, encouraging the best efforts of each member of the development team, and in modeling active solicitation is important;
  • Significant nonprofit fundraising experience with a sizable institution that includes, event and endowment elements; experience soliciting significant gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations;
  • A record of personal success in raising money through major gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations, corporations or the public sector; broad-based knowledge of various development activities including: direct mail, proposal and grant development, planned giving, event planning and management, direct solicitations, leveraging fundraising databases and support systems for donor segmentation, research and volunteer management;
  • Ability to navigate a complex fundraising environment with nuanced strategies and initiatives, while building an effective group of volunteer fundraisers through board development and annual fund committee activity, and gaining respect of community and business leaders and the board;
  • A broad knowledge of brand marketing, advertising and public relations with specific experience in structuring sponsorships; 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; adept at writing proposals, solicitation letters, donor correspondence, and other materials;

Personal Characteristics:

The successful candidate should be:

  • A mission-driven individual with a commitment to the mission of the Center; a strong interest in raising support for the performing arts and the diverse communities of Orange County;
  • 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; someone with the flexibility and creativity needed to find alternative ways to reach funding objectives when barriers arise; a skilled negotiator who does not drive him/her selves or others into a corner
  • A charismatic communicator, able to build enthusiasm for the Center, its performances and programs, and for innovative approaches that advance the reputation of the Center as a performing arts leader in Southern California; exceptional verbal and written communication skills;
  • A proven leader 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;
  • Availability and willingness to work evenings and weekends at Center performances and events

To be confidentially considered for the opportunity, or to make a recommendation, please contact:

Any resumes sent or telephone calls made to The Segerstrom Center for the Arts will be redirected to Sterling Search, Inc.

The Segerstrom Center for the Artsis an Equal Opportunity Employer



Posted On: Tuesday, October 2, 2018



Position Contact
Nicole Seipel
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