Director of Major Gifts

The Metropolitan Opera
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
May 31, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time
The Director of Major Gifts is a senior member of the Met’s development staff and oversees two divisions within the department: a Major Gifts team of 9 and a Prospect Research team of 4.  The Major Gifts team is responsible for raising unrestricted gifts of $25k+ annually (FY22 goal: $31M) from 400+ individuals and for securing an additional $90M/year in restricted gifts and pledges for the Transforming the Met campaign and other special projects.  The Prospect Research team maintains donor and prospect records in the Met’s Tessitura database and provides comprehensive research on existing donors and on prospective donors, including corporations and foundations.     Primary Responsibilities:
  • Manage Major Gifts and Prospect Research administrative systems, projects, events, and staff workload.
  • Cultivate and solicit own portfolio of 100-200 individual donors, with emphasis on upgrading annual gifts and securing leadership gifts of $250,000+ for the campaign and special projects.
  • Develop and monitor donor cultivation activities for current and prospective donors of $25,000+; coordinate with and coach Board volunteers and development staff on solicitation strategies and cultivation follow-up.  
  • Host box parties and gala tables and attend patron functions.
  • Oversee stewardship activities; ensure accuracy of program book lists and plaques; monitor VIP ticketing and opera dedication evenings.   
  • Draft, review, edit, and advise on all Major Gifts and Board communications, including solicitations and proposals, acknowledgement letters, and invitations.
  • Ensure excellent staffing for Board volunteers.
  • Organize and oversee gift tracking, prospect research schedule, and reporting systems.
  • Work with Director of Research to determine best use of research resources, advise on prospecting projects, and help prioritize proactive database research.
  • Oversee orientation activities for new Board members.
  • Develop and carry out cultivation and solicitation strategies to grow the Met’s international donor base.
  • Prepare and monitor annual Major Gifts and Research expense budgets and revenue projections.
Skills & Qualifications:
  • Must have 7-10 years development experience, preferably in individual giving, with substantial one-on-one solicitation experience and success in closing gifts of $1M or more.
  • Excellent writing, communication and budgeting skills.
  • Experience in managing and motivating staff members to achieve financial goals.
  • Previous experience in working with high-level donors, volunteers and Board members.
  • Must be PC proficient, with previous experience using fundraising computer software and data based systems.  Familiarity with Tessitura and with ticketing functions a plus.
  • Knowledge of opera a plus
Physical Demands:
  • The Metropolitan Opera is a performance venue that requires employees working in the building to be fully vaccinated. Due to the nature of this role, you must be fully vaccinated and receive a COVID-19 booster shot, if you are eligible, at the time your employment is scheduled to start.
  • Must be available to host opera evenings and attend evening cultivation events; some weekend work required during the opera season (September to early June.)
  • Occasional travel.
The Metropolitan Opera believes that diversity is critical to our success and growth as a leading performing arts institution and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the communities we serve.   The Metropolitan Opera is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and existing employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, citizenship status, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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