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Chief Advancement Officer

The Sarasota Ballet
Florida, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
May 18, 2022

View more

Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Annual Fund, Capital Campaigns, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Grant Seeking, Major Gifts, Membership, Planned Giving, Prospect Research, Other Fundraising, Special Events
Employment Type
Full Time
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Chief Advancement Officer (CAO)

To infuse our community with the highest quality and diversity of dance in America. 

We enrich lives, captivate emotions, and strengthen community through the art of dance.

The Sarasota Ballet History

We are seeking a Chief Advancement Officer who will report directly to our Executive Director. Founded in 1989, The Sarasota Ballet (TSB) has become one of the nation’s most exciting ballet companies. Under the direction of Iain Webb, Joseph Volpe, retired General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, and Margaret Barbieri, former Principal ballerina of The Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, TSB has an extensive repertoire of over 157 ballets and divertissements including works by some of the preeminent choreographers in dance including Ashton, Balanchine, Tudor, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins, and Matthew Bourne. TSB is the foremost exponent of Sir Frederick Ashton’s work with the greatest number of Ashton ballets in repertory in the United States.

Today, TSB is national in stature, with highly praised performances and residencies at the Joyce Theater, Fall for Dance and City Center in NYC, Jacob’s Pillow and The Kennedy Center. TSB’s seasoned dancers take on a broad spectrum of demanding classical and modern repertory with artistry and technical virtuosity. In addition to a robust performance season, TSB operates a preprofessional conservatory; a Ballet School; and maintains a community engagement platform with 6 core programs offering over 80 community activities and engaging thousands of students, adults, and individuals with disabilities annually. Through a broad range of community partnerships, TSB engages people of all ages in performance, education, and community programs.


Impact and Reach

The Sarasota Ballet is an economic driver in the greater Sarasota-Bradenton region serving an audience of over 23,000 people locally while maintaining an audience of between 3,000 and 5,000 individuals in the Northeast through touring engagements annually. The Sarasota Ballet supports jobs, generates local business, and is a cornerstone of the cultural landscape in Southwest Florida. The Ballet operates on an annual budget of approximately $7.9 million and directly supports 67 full time employees. The Sarasota Ballet is the sole arts organization from Sarasota that tours out of state regularly, making it a cultural ambassador for the city.


Job Summary


The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the annual fundraising plan in support of the Sarasota Ballet’s mission and strategic plan. Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the CAO plays a vital role as a member of the senior management team. The CAO provides both strategic expertise and operational support in all areas of development, including annual, major, and planned giving, institutional grants, and fundraising events. S/he develops dynamic fundraising and revenue strategies to deepen donor relationships and expand the base of support. The CAO collaborates with all Sarasota Ballet constituencies, including staff, trustees, donors, artists, marketing and event personnel, volunteers, and community partners. Additionally, the CAO plays a critical role in terms of supporting board development and recruitment. The CAO manages staff, colleagues, and volunteers when appropriate, ensuring best practices throughout fundraising operations, data management and technology.




  • Direct all programs for annual and capital fundraising for The Sarasota Ballet.
  • Create short-term and long-term goals for the organization in collaboration with leadership, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Board of Trustees, and Staff.
  • Develop and implement annual income generating strategies for contributed revenue, including annual operating support, subscriptions/ticket sales, charitable estate giving, education programs, and capital needs.
  • Oversee board development to ensure that board members are informed and engaged and are actively involved in leadership recruitment to secure a strong leadership foundation for the organization.
  • Research, identify, and solicit prospective individual and institutional donors.
  • Engage and solicit prospective donors through cultivation meetings, direct mail campaigns, and special events.
  • Participate in program development and the presentation of artistic, education, and community programs to the funding community, audience members, and the Greater Sarasota community.
  • Maintain accounting systems with key metrics to meet reporting and compliance standards.
  • Oversee contributed income gift solicitation and processing, recognition, prospect management, subscriber/donor retention, and cultivation.
  • Oversee the development of all fundraising materials, including annual appeals, annual report, direct mail campaigns, solicitation, and gift acknowledgement.
  • Implement an ongoing patron engagement strategy to increase donor participation and strengthen donor retention.
  • Oversee the annual fundraising Gala to ensure that it meets revenue goals while showcasing The Sarasota Ballet as one of Sarasota’s leading cultural organizations.
  • Lead a five-person fundraising team and manage additional consultants.




  • 10+ years of senior development experience in all aspects of development work, including knowledge of moves management, key performance indicators and metrics, and campaign strategic planning principles.
  • 5+ years of experience working with leadership donors, including conducting personal solicitations, working with and coaching Trustees and leadership volunteers to conduct personal solicitations of these donors.
  • Track record of developing and executing successful multi-year Fund Development plans, including all levels of individual giving, foundations and corporate relations, events, legacy gifts, as well as related marketing and communications strategies to support this work.
  • Strong experience in financial resource management, budget development, and reforecasting.
  • Able to serve as counsel to and partner with the Executive Director and Artistic Director on philanthropic and Trustee activities.
  • Entrepreneurial, creative approach to finding new funding opportunities and partnerships.
  • Experienced with leadership and management concepts and tools, and best practices in the field.
  • Comfortable identifying and executing strategies for building and enhancing the organization’s
  • reputation in the community, including with external partners and organizations.
  • Strong skills in managing, selecting, coaching, evaluating, and motivating staff.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills as leader and team player, at ease with a wide range of constituents.
  • Experience managing leadership volunteers, from Trustees to program volunteers, and staffing
  • volunteer committees.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in strategic planning, critical thinking, problem solving, persuasion, and marketing skills.
  • Strong organizational skills as well as time management and prioritization.
  • Comfortable managing multiple projects simultaneously and meeting deadlines.
  • Proficient with donor databases and related technology, prospect research and donor metrics to further program effectiveness.
  • Skilled communicator through written, oral and interpersonal means.
  • Thoughtful negotiator with good listening skills and sensitivity to diverse perspectives.
  • Comfortable with the collaborative decision-making approach of the organization, and in partnering as a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Able to work frequent evenings and weekends to meet with donors before, during, and after


  • Strong interest in the performing arts.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related area and/or equivalent experience. Graduate degree and/or CFRE accreditation is a plus.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office and G-Suite.


The Sarasota Ballet values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran’s status or any other protected category. The Sarasota Ballet is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from populations underrepresented in the arts are strongly encouraged to apply.


The Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Inc. requires all employees, contract workers, and volunteers to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.


Location of Position: Sarasota, Florida


Please Note: This is a full-time position, and non-local candidates will be expected to relocate.


Salary: Commensurate with experience.


Benefits: Sarasota Ballet offers competitive medical, dental and vision benefits along with PTO and a 401k.


To apply, please submit:


  • Cover Letter
  • Resume/CV
  • Three References


Submit Applications to:


Application Deadline: We are seeking to fill this position as soon as possible. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their materials promptly.

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