Vice President of Development

Tennessee Performing Arts Center
Tennessee, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jun 02, 2021
Jul 01, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time


Founded in 1980, Tennessee Performing Arts Center® (TPAC) is located in downtown Nashville and is dedicated to providing and supporting the presentation of the performing and cultural arts. TPAC serves several hundred thousand audience members each year. Performances include the HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series, a variety of special engagements, and the productions of three resident artistic companies: Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and Nashville Repertory Theatre.


In addition, TPAC administers one of the largest and most comprehensive arts education programs in the United States, serving students from pre-school to high school, educators, and adults.


For more than four decades, the Center has welcomed more than 14 million audience members and served more than 1.8 million students, educators, and adults with performances at TPAC, teacher resources, professional development opportunities, classroom residencies, and enrichment programs.


TPAC manages three performance venues in the James K. Polk Cultural Center: Andrew Jackson Hall (2,472 seats), James K. Polk Theater (1,075), and Andrew Johnson Theater (256); as well as the War Memorial Auditorium (1,661), a historic concert hall located across 6th Avenue from the Center.



The Vice President of Development will be a member of TPAC’s senior management team responsible for driving contributed revenue to support the Center’s mission and strategic plan. The successful candidate will design and manage a comprehensive development plan that generates generous annual fund support and delivers strategies to increase revenue from individuals (especially the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of high-net-worth individuals in growing a major gifts program), private foundations, corporations, and government sources. This individual will actively manage a robust portfolio of major gift prospects, supervise and mentor the Development team, and serve as an active collaborator with senior management.


Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer/Executive Vice President, External Relations, with a close working relationship to the President & CEO and in collaboration with the Board of Directors, the Vice President of Development will help position the organization for growth and sustainability through an ambitious fundraising program.



The Vice President of Development will have the following primary responsibilities:

  • Develop annual business plan for Development with objectives of maintaining and increasing contributed revenue across all sources (individuals, corporate, private foundation, and special events) at a sustainable pace
  • In collaboration with the Chief Strategy Officer, establish and achieve an annual fundraising goal that includes clear objectives for each revenue source
  • Maintain and advance a portfolio of 70-75 prospects
  • Support and advise the President & CEO to fully engage and leverage their involvement in fundraising, including identifying the President’s cultivation goals, prospecting donors, and participating in asks, as appropriate
  • Track revenue and provide periodic projections to the President & CEO, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Financial Officer
  • Establish a comprehensive prospect management system built in Tessitura to manage and advance donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Periodically analyze donor and sponsor benefits
  • In partnership with the Senior Director of Leadership Giving, significantly strengthen major gifts program based on best practices and launch a planned giving program
  • Maximize sponsorship revenue by collaborating with Development staff in applying valuation model and delivering strong ROI
  • Develop prospect communication strategies in collaboration with the Chief Strategy Officer to deepen engagement
  • Manage Board solicitation program
  • Direct Institutional Advancement Committee and fully leverage member involvement
  • Collaborate with Board to identify, qualify, and engage prospects
  • Support Nominating Committee in identifying and advancing a robust pipeline of Board candidates
  • Manage department operations of at least six employees
  • Foster a collaborative and high-performing team based on trust, coaching, and shared responsibility in the common goal of moving prospects toward making generous gifts in support of TPAC priorities
  • Motivate team to be accountable for achieving performance goals
  • Develop, revise, document, and advance policies and processes to ensure best practices
  • Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the department
  • Collaborate across organization and ensure integration of Development business plan and fundraising strategies with all departments
  • Ensure integrity of data in Tessitura
  • Establish and thoughtfully manage expense budget
  • Develop KPIs to establish metric-driven expectations and results from staff
  • Leverage data and analytics to evaluate performance across the program, deepen relationships, grow prospect engagement, and drive success
  • Monitor and adjust strategies in response to post-pandemic environment and changes in greater Nashville region and performing arts
  • Position TPAC as a high-achieving, anchor arts institution in greater Nashville among prospects and donors, especially influencers, and capitalize on growth in the region


The ideal Vice President of Development will bring most of the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of 10-12 years of senior-level development leadership experience; experience fundraising for complex presenting or producing performing arts institutions is preferred
  • History of developing strategies and proposals to significantly grow annual development revenue; capital campaign experience is desirable
  • Successful experience directly soliciting and closing individual major gifts at the $500,000+ level
  • Thorough understanding of fundraising best practices, including prospecting, reporting, acknowledgement, and stewardship systems
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, with the ability to persuade and move people to action
  • Familiarity with donor database management
  • Collegial, non-bureaucratic, professional demeanor with flexibility and an entrepreneurial approach
  • Ability to effectively work in teams and develop and maintain strong working relationships with internal staff and members of the external philanthropic community
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant experience is required



TPAC has retained Campbell & Company to conduct this search. To be considered for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest and resume to: