Philanthropy Officer, Institutional Partnerships

Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Dec 21, 2020
Jan 19, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

REPORTS TO: Senior Director of Leadership Giving and Stewardship

STATUS:          Full-time, exempt


Through artistic excellence coupled with innovative, relevant programming; initiatives to connect with and grow new audiences; engagement with communities to ignite creativity across Chicago; and a modernized Opera House that is the setting for truly great experiences, Lyric is leading the advancement of opera. This collaborative vision will deliver ever more exciting, thought-provoking and inclusive audience and community experiences – while increasing the gravitational pull of our art form, our company, and our city.

Lyric Opera of Chicago (Lyric) is one of the world’s great opera companies, renowned internationally for its artistic excellence and financial strength. Lyric is working to increase annual fundraising and raise significant endowment and capital funds to ensure the future of the company. Philanthropy Officers serve as critical relationship managers with Lyric’s most generous donors, raising their philanthropic sights and generating significant philanthropic revenue for the organization.

The Philanthropy Officer’s main responsibility is to manage and steward relationships with corporations and foundations to secure annual support. This position collaborates with the Associate Director for Institutional Partnerships, who is the principal proposal writer, and with philanthropy officers who also manage relationships with high-level corporations and foundations, to ensure consistent messaging and communications.



  • Demonstrate leadership in accordance with Lyric’s mission and vision.
  • Maintain a portfolio of 50-75 institutional partners (corporations and foundations).
    • Design and execute relationship strategy and stewardship plans.
    • Establish fundraising goals based on giving history, giving priorities, capacity rating, areas of interest, and other relevant information.
    • Ensure timely solicitation according to established giving guidelines, formats, and timetables.
    • Conduct in-person, video, or other meetings with funders’ representatives to ensure alignment of proposal with giving priorities.
    • Enter plans, steps, and call reports in the Tessitura database in a timely fashion to support accurate and timely reporting of fundraising performance.
  • Manage the Civic Engagement Committee to engage current funders and prospects around performances and other events.
  • Work with colleagues to manage and maintain Lyric’s grants calendar.
  • Carry principal, proactive responsibility for ensuring that corporate and foundation benefits and recognition commitments are fulfilled promptly, accurately, and comprehensively.
  • Conduct prospect research on new corporate and foundation prospects, in cooperation with Lyric’s research consultant.
  • Actively participate in department meetings with manager, Leadership Giving Team, Fundraising Lab, and Development Staff.
  • Participate in Lyric’s donor events and opera performances as required to establish and sustain contact with donors.
  • As the business evolves, so may this role. These duties may change as Lyric’s leadership identifies the need at any time.


  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Five (5) years of experience in non-profit fundraising with experience soliciting gifts of $10,000 and higher; experience with institutional partnership fundraising preferred.
  • A passion for Lyric’s mission, its traditions, and its long-term success.
  • Strong project management and organizational competencies with demonstrated aptitude for multitasking, attention to detail, and meeting competing and overlapping deadlines.
  • Outstanding communication skills – interpersonal, verbal, and written – to effectively communicate the mission, goals, and activities of the company.
  • Self-starter with a strong entrepreneurial drive and the willingness to collaborate effectively.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, and analytical skills: leadership, taking initiative, tact, diplomacy, attention to detail, creativity, and cultural sensitivity.
  • Understanding of, and commitment to, working in non-profit organizations.
  • Proficiency in Tessitura or similar relationship management database and in the Microsoft suite of products.


  • Significant evening or weekend functions, meetings, appointments, or performances.
  • Standing for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to operate a computer keyboard, mouse, telephone, and other office equipment.
  • Moving/lifting objects, boxes, and furniture as needed/allowed, not to exceed 20 lbs.
  • Must be able to work remotely through at least June 30, 2021.




The Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to enhancing our diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Lyric does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.