Director of Advancement, Annual Programs and Advancement Services - San Diego Symphony

Sterling Search Inc. - San Diego, CA

Sterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the new Director of Advancement, Annual Programs and Advancement Services (Director) for the San Diego Symphony (SDSO).

The San Diego Symphony Orchestra performed its first concert on December 6, 1910. In the 100-plus years since its inception, SDSO has become one of the leading orchestras in the United States and has been designated a Tier 1 Orchestra by the League of American Orchestras since 2010. The Symphony is committed to providing musical experiences of superior quality for the greater San Diego community and beyond. Through a rich mixture of innovative and educational programming designed to appeal to all ages and cultures, the Symphony works to make music an integral part of the cultural and intellectual fabric of Southern California, valued by and relevant to all its residents. Music Director Designate Rafael Payare begins in FY20.

San Diego Symphony To Build $25M Open-Air, Waterfront Concert Facility

In 2015 Todd Schultz was recruited as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement under the leadership of CEO Martha A. Gilmer, who joined the SDSO in 2014, after an impressive 35-year career at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Schultz, prior to taking over The Old Globe fundraising efforts in 2004, served as marketing director for the Los Angeles Opera, the Atlanta Opera and the San Diego Opera. Among his achievements at the Globe was a successful $75 million capital and endowment campaign.

Since 2015, Schultz has built a comprehensive and robust development function with a donor centric focus and a high performing team. With collaborative goals and an organizational culture of philanthropy the advancement team has achieved continuous growth. SDSO also has an impressive Board of Directors with a minimum of $15,000 give, many of whom, including an Angel donor, give far beyond their requirement.

CEO Gilmer is a firmly committed fundraising partner with Schultz, and together they have increased annual operating support to $16 million. With the building of the new facility, the Symphony is gearing up to add a strong middle management team to execute a successful significant comprehensive campaign. The Director of Advancement, Annual Programs and AdvancementServices is the last of several leadership positions added to the department and a new position created to take Schultz out of the day-to-day running the department so he can focus on being more external with the campaign and principal gifts. Although the new Director will be focused on the annual fund and advancement services, Schultz believes it is important for the Director to continue to develop their major gifts skills and will also manage a small portfolio of donors.

Building upon the SDSO’s momentum of success, the Director will assist Schultz in leading the vision and strategy for the fund development function in an organization which continues to be poised for even greater growth. This is a phenomenal opportunity for a development professional, who is passionate about the mission of the San Diego Symphony and playing an integral role in the next stage of its growth.


Job Description:

The Director reports to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and serves as lead strategist for all annual fundraising programs, to include annual giving, institutional giving, web-based fundraising, events, and stewardship programs. Also oversees, and sets direction, for all development and advancement services operations, providing critical support to all other members of the philanthropy team. Advancement operations includes gift processing, acknowledgement, pledge tracking, systems integrity, research, budgeting and prospect management. Finally, the position carries a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects (30% FTE) and works with the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and team of Advancement staff to build major annual support for the Symphony. This position works with Board, Chair, CEO and Vice President for Institutional Advancement as lead staff member to ensure increasing annual support for ongoing and restricted programs.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Leads the overall fundraising team in the collaboration, planning and execution of fundraising campaign for annual support
  • Oversees Annual Fund Manager and direct-response campaign for lower-level annual giving, including renewals and acquisitions through direct mail, tele-funding and email solicitation. Work with the Annual Fund Manager to develop and implement…
    • Web site content to support annual fund campaigns
    • Appropriate donor recognition, acknowledgement and stewardship
    • Special events to support the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of lower- level annual
  • Plays a leadership role in strategizing the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts from individuals, contributing to the annual fund, endowment and capital projects
  • Provides creative assistance in the development of new giving programs and in the improvement of existing giving programs
  • Leads departmental stewardship program, assisting in the creation of cultivation and stewardship opportunities for deepening relationships with prospects and donors and ensuring excellent stewardship to donors, helping to cultivate a culture of gratitude with the department, the company and the Board of Directors
  • Oversees and ensures success of all development events
  • Maintains a 30% FTE portfolio of donors and prospects
    • Responsible for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individuals and institutional donors/prospects within personal portfolio
    • Work with Advancement Staff, Executive Management and Board members to cultivate and manage donors and prospects in the portfolio
    • Oversees all research and prospect management functions, identifying and researching new individuals for the Prospect Pipeline and supporting portfolio assignments and renewals.
    • Collaborate with Advancement staff in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies
  • Works with the Director of Advancement, Planned and Major Gifts, to assist in developing, strategizing and implementing planned giving and endowment fundraising programs for cultivation, solicitations and stewardship
  • Attends Symphony concerts, dinners, receptions and events with prospects, donors and Board members
  • Works with CEO, Board Chair, Development Committee and leadership volunteers to ensure their close relationships with key prospects and donors
  • In coordination with the Vice President, supports the Nominating Committee
  • Serve as a principal resource and liaison for Board of Directors
  • Oversees all departmental special events, and supports the team on fundraising events, especially assisting in solicitation of underwriting and sponsorship gifts from individuals
  • Help strategize all aspects of the fundraising process, including activities to enhance and maximize prospecting, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship for all donors
  • Other duties as assigned.

    Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Basic knowledge of accounting nomenclature and principles
  • Strong writing skills
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies
  • Strong organizational and administration skills
  • Ability to work as a team player
  • Proficient in MS Office programs, especially Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Customer service and professional communication skills

    Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Experience working in the fundraising department of a non-profit
  • Knowledge of Tessitura software

A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

Please send resumes to:

Sterling Search, Inc.

Phone: 310-774-0099 or 714 433 7040

Direct all correspondence emails and telephone calls to Sterling Search, Inc.

Any resumes sent or telephone calls made to the San Diego Symphony will be redirected to Sterling Search, Inc.

The San Diego Symphony is an Equal Opportunity

Posted On: Friday, May 24, 2019

Position Contact
Nicole Seipel
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