Chief Advancement Officer (CAO)
our community with the highest quality and diversity of dance in
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.
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
- Direct all programs for annual and capital fundraising for The
- 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
- Research, identify, and solicit prospective individual and
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Strong skills in managing, selecting, coaching, evaluating, and
- 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
- Comfortable managing multiple projects simultaneously and
- Proficient with donor databases and related technology,
prospect research and donor metrics to further program
- Skilled communicator through written, oral and interpersonal
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.