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Major Gifts Officer

Washington Performing Arts
District of Columbia, United States
$60,000.00 - $70,000.00
Closing date
Feb 11, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Annual Fund, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Membership, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising, Special Events, Programs, Community Outreach, Government Relations and Advocacy
Employment Type
Full Time
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Department: Advancement

Title of Immediate Supervisor: Chief Advancement Officer

Salary Range: $60,000-$70,000 per year

Hours: Full-time, Exempt

Best Consideration Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2022



Position Summary/Purpose:

The Washington Performing Arts Advancement team—a creative, lean, and collaborative collective of arts professionals—seeks an experienced and dynamic Major Gifts Officer (MGO). The MGO carries primary responsibility for managing Washington Performing Arts’ corporate giving portfolio and cultivating diplomatic and government relationships.  This position will also support department-wide efforts to continue growing individual support of the Annual Fund pipeline.


This is an exciting role offering excellent opportunities to work with a collaborative, supportive, and passionate team while working to enrich our community with vibrant performing arts experiences. The ideal applicant would be adept at relationship building with organizations and individuals, have a proven track record of success in fundraising, and be passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and the performing arts.  Washington Performing Arts offers a generous benefits package, where we value our staff and strive for an inclusive culture.     


Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, this individual also works closely with the Director of Individual Giving and Washington Performing Arts President & CEO, as well as the Board of Directors, President Emeritus, and other Management and Advancement colleagues.  With collaboration from colleagues, this position will be working to identify and cultivate prospective corporate and individual donors, and to develop strategies to increase their level of giving and engage more fully with the organization.


Entry points to leverage include:


  • Performance Sponsorships- Secure sponsorships for dozens of  music and dance performances each season, covering a broad spectrum of genres including classical, jazz, gospel, chamber, and contemporary;
  • Education and Community Engagement Programs- Cultivate engagements that support the organization’s robust gospel music programming and training, community--based cultural programming, global art forms, and instrumental and vocal programs developed in partnership with D.C. public schools;
  • Washington Performing Arts’ World in our City initiative- Develop and implement strategies to weave together programs with global focus including featured programming on the annual presenting season, the Embassy Adoption Program (led in partnership with D.C. Public Schools), and Mars Arts D.C.; and
  • Special Event Sponsorships- Identify and secure special events sponsorship opportunities including a large-scale annual Gala, the quadrennial Inauguration Weekend Brunch, and special productions like this season’s Hazel Scott 101st Birthday Celebration


The Major Gifts Officer also develops and advances strategies and relationships to engage the diplomatic community, congressional community, and other elected and appointed officials in Washington, D.C. to the advantage of Washington Performing Arts and its programs, with a focus on institutional visibility and well-aligned partnerships.


Essential Duty #1: Portfolio Management

Percentage: 65%

  • Donor Portfolio Management & Building- Manage and build a portfolio of 75+ active and prospective corporate and individual donors for annual gifts and multi-year major gifts beginning at $5,000 and extending to five and six figures; support an annual portfolio goal of more than $350,000 in contributed revenue
  • Giving Programs- Grow the annual fund giving programs (Friends and the Chairman’s Circle) through targeted acquisition and cultivation plans; acquire and cultivate new and existing mid-level annual fund donors at $1,000 to $25,000 giving level
  • Donor Prospecting- Research and qualify prospective donors via wealth screening tools, phone calls, and in person conversations, and track activity in Tessitura
  • Creation of Stewardship Materials- Create stewardship materials by working with programmatic colleagues and design colleagues to generate annual reports, e-news vehicles, and other collateral as needed


Essential Duty #2: Corporate/Institutional Cultivation, Strategy, and Solicitation

Percentage: 35%

  • Develop Strategies to Increase Corporate Giving and Engagement- Identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective corporate donors, as well as diplomatic entities, and develop strategies to increase their level of giving and full engagement with Washington Performing Arts.
  • Board of Directors/Corporate Donation Cultivation and Stewardship- In close collaboration with the Chief Advancement Officer and President & CEO, serve as primary relationship manager for Washington Performing Arts Board of Directors members who also hold Corporate Board seats, to facilitate corporate donation giving and stewardship.
  • Develop and Pitch Proposals- Build a pipeline and develop and pitch proposals for corporate and individual donors and prospects who have connections to corporate foundations, and for diplomatic entities that could be supportive of Washington Performing Arts
  • Project Reporting- Submit periodic progress and final project reports to fulfill donor compliance expectations, via corporate funding and diplomatic portals
  • Strategic Partnership- Develop engagement and relationship-building strategies for legislators and representatives at the local, state, and federal level, diplomatic entities, and related associations, to support direct fundraising initiatives, often in partnership with the Chief Advancement Officer and President and CEO
  • Junior Board Facilitation- Facilitate and leverage Junior Board relationships within the corporate, diplomatic, and government communities
  • Special Events Engagement- Manage corporate and diplomatic engagement and participation connected to the Annual Gala and Auction, and other large-scale special events like the Quadrennial Inauguration Weekend Brunch


Supervisory Responsibility: N/A

Number of Direct Reports: N/A


Minimum Qualifications:

  • 3-5 years of experience in fundraising
  • Some college coursework in a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Proven track record of success in cultivating, soliciting, and closing gifts of $5,000 to $50,000, and ideally six figures as well, from corporations and individuals
  • Proven ability to set goals strategically and oversee execution
  • Experience managing and partnering with Board members, high-level volunteers, and executive staff
  • Proven ability to interact with and influence philanthropic leaders
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines independently and to work effectively and cross-functionally with internal and external constituents
  • Demonstrated commitment to and interest in, the performing arts


Essential Capabilities & Preferences

  • Creative and strategic thinking skills
  • Ability to proactively design initiatives and proposals to engage donors and prospects
  • Genuine interest in a wide range of people and a diverse array of programmatic content, preferably in the arts world
  • Collaborative team player
  • High degree of personal initiative and accountability
  • Superlative written and verbal communication skills
  • High level of discretion and ethical approach to fundraising
  • Good judgment, tact, patience, and sense of humor
  • CRM experience (ideally, Tessitura or Raiser’s Edge)
  • Affinity for the performing arts and commitment to REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) a must
  • Relationships in the local D.C. business community, on Capitol Hill, and within the diplomatic community a plus



Specific Conditions of Work

  • General office environment (during COVID-19 pandemic hybrid of regular in-person office work and remote work)
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends, to staff events as well as attend social and networking events on behalf of Washington Performing Arts
  • In-person attendance of various performance, education, and community events
  • Ability to lift up to 15 lbs.
  • Adherence to all local and venue-specific COVID-19 measures when in person
  • Criminal background check required after a conditional job offer is made


COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

Washington Performing Arts values the safety of our employees and families, our patrons and visitors, artists and students, and the community at large.  Effective October 15, 2021, all Washington Performing Arts employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.   The COVID-19 vaccines remain a critical tool for saving lives, reducing the severity of the illness in infected people, and stopping the spread of COVID-19.  In support of these values, if you are selected for this job, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except when vaccination is not medically advised or violates your sincerely held religious beliefs.  If you are invited to join our team, you must submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to the Washington Performing Arts’ HR representative, or you must request an accommodation from the HR representative.   New employees must either provide proof of vaccination or be granted a medical or religious exemption before working with Washington Performing Arts. Accommodations will be granted where they permit employees to perform the essential functions of their jobs and/ or do not cause Washington Performing Arts undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. 



This position is eligible for Full-time employee benefits. Washington Performing Arts offers a generous benefits package which includes Health, Dental, Life & Long-Term Disability Insurance, 403(b) Retirement Savings plan, and paid Holiday, Vacation, Sick, and Personal time off.   




How to Apply:

  • Send cover letter and resume (in attachment format) to with position title in subject line.
  • For best consideration, please send applications by January 18, 2022.


Please note: Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.   

About Washington Performing Arts:

One of the most established and honored performing arts institutions in America, Washington Performing Arts has engaged for more than half a century with artists, audiences, students, and civic life. The city is truly our stage: in venues ranging from concert halls and clubs to public parks, we present a tremendous range of artists and art forms, from the most distinguished symphony orchestras to both renowned and emerging artists in classical music, jazz, international genres, and dance.


Washington Performing Arts deeply values its partnerships with local organizations and other arts institutions. Through events in myriad performance venues and neighborhoods, Washington Performing Arts engages international visiting artists in community programs and introduces local artists to wider audiences. We place a premium on establishing artists as a continuing presence in the lives of both young people and adults through residencies and education programs.


Our achievements have been recognized with a National Medal of Arts and with three Mayor’s Arts Awards from the D.C. Government. We have now embarked upon our second half-century, ever-inspired by the motto of our founder, Patrick Hayes: “Everybody in, nobody out.” Washington Performing Arts’ employment decisions are made based on the business needs of the organization and qualifications of the applicants and employees.


Organizational Diversity & Inclusion

Washington Performing Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in all aspects of our work. In keeping with our mission and guiding principles, we seek, represent, and welcome a multiplicity of voices in everything we do from programmatic content to the composition of our board and staff. Accordingly, we seek to build a team that reflects — and meets the needs of — the community we are part of and serve. While we have made important progress, we continue to pursue that goal through intentional, focused learning and action. Hiring a diverse workforce is but one component — we strive to make Washington Performing Arts ever more inclusive, and true to our founder’s guiding ethos of “everybody in, nobody out.” To gain the maximum benefit from our increasingly diverse team, we wish to make every employee feel welcome and motivated to do their best work. We know that we work better together in service of Washington Performing Arts’ mission, because of our differences, not despite them.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

Washington Performing Arts subscribes to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. In addition, the District of Columbia adds protection for marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, or political affiliation. Minorities, Women, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. Washington Performing Arts’ employment decisions are made based on the business needs of the organization and qualifications of the applicants and employees.

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