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Development Director

Opera Parallele
California, United States
$107,000.00 - $127,000.00
Closing date
Oct 26, 2023

Opera Parallèle (OP) is seeking a Development Director to plan and execute all aspects of fundraising toward a current ~$1.4M annual contributed revenue goal, as well as special future campaigns and legacy giving for one of the country’s preeminent contemporary opera companies. Serving as a key member of OP’s administrative leadership team, the Development Director reports to the Managing Director (MD) and is supported by a Development Associate, a contract grant writer, founders who maintain strong relationships with OP’s loyal donor base, and an enthusiastic board and staff who understand the importance of fundraising and prioritize it in their work. This position provides strategic leadership in all aspects of generating contributed income and oversees staff, while also rolling up their sleeves as a hands-on practitioner.

Who We Are

Based in San Francisco, Opera Parallèle (OP) is an award-winning, female- and artist-led contemporary opera company. Collaboration is in our DNA, as well as a drive to create and keep opera relevant and accessible for our diverse modern world.

Since 2010, Opera Parallèle has become one of the foremost presenters of new opera in the country. A dedication to current issues, 20th- and 21st-century composers, immersive opera experiences, and hands-on, intergenerational community engagement puts OP at the vanguard of making opera meaningful for today’s audiences. OP is on a growth trajectory, with increasing national visibility and a current organizational budget of about $1.8M. OP is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors passionate about innovation and access in opera.

OP’s core expertise is in staging new opera and creating chamber (slimmed-down) orchestrations of larger operas adaptable to many venues, giving many works an afterlife and accessibility beyond their initial run. OP enjoys close relationships with creators and producing partners working in opera, the performing arts, and visual art, and its founders are often sought by today’s top composers to develop the chamber premiere of operas they’ve debuted at top international houses.

OP is committed to creating an inclusive work environment through diversity of people, ideas, talents, and experiences. We value providing a culturally safe workplace, and we recognize that this looks different for everyone. Our work with existing staff and new hires to identify and respect cultural safety needs and build trust across the organization is ongoing, to ensure that all staff can feel engaged and thrive. OP is actively working on increasing fluency in equity issues and is participating in ongoing organization-wide assessment and training in equity, diversity, and inclusion. We welcome open dialogue about how we can continue to improve our support for our community in all aspects of our work.

Please visit to learn more about who we are, what we do, and the values we embrace.

Who We’re Looking For

This section describes the skills and experience most important to this position. We realize not everyone will be equally strong in all of these areas. We are interested in hearing from candidates who can bring strengths and talents beyond what we’ve described, so if you are excited about this role and our mission, we welcome your application.

  • 3–5+ years experience in a nonprofit development role with record of raising funds from diverse sources, including major gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies
  • Working knowledge of, or connections to, the San Francisco Bay Area philanthropic community and beyond with respect to performing arts/opera funding
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills adaptable to different constituencies and audiences
  • A passion for opera and/or the arts and to innovative artistic collaboration, and a commitment to community access
  • Demonstrated success with donor cultivation, grant writing, and special events
  • Ability to inspire and use effective diplomacy as part of a team, to harness the energy and talent of staff, board, volunteers, and external stakeholders
  • Experience handling multiple priorities effectively, organizing time efficiently, and a high tolerance for dynamic environments
  • Ability to work remotely, to work on site during occasional evenings and weekends, and to travel as required

This role would be best served by a person who has

  • An entrepreneurial spirit that supports the success of a small, growing arts organization
  • Ability to take on responsibility, work independently, and be flexible in a changing environment with a commitment to accuracy and details
  • Respect for diverse backgrounds and voices and a demonstrated commitment to inclusion, accessibility, and equity
  • Proficiency in Google Suite and Microsoft Office applications; database skills desirable (OP uses DonorSnap)
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver high-quality work with very strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, and exercise good judgment and initiative
  • A collaborative approach—team player, consensus builder, good listener
  • Sense of humor a plus!

Key Responsibilities 

  • Developing and executing annual fundraising plan to maintain and grow contributed support, including individual and major giving, institutional and corporate giving, and an annual fundraising event
  • Developing regular donor-related programs, events, collateral, and communications in partnership with Marketing and PR staff
  • Working with Finance team to ensure consistent CRM entry and reporting processes
  • Managing Development Associate’s work to provide administrative support for all fundraising activities, including CRM entry and management, donor listings, donor recognition and acknowledgement, volunteer and intern management, and event coordination
  • Managing remote contract grant writer
  • Cultivating and stewarding new and existing major donor relationships independently and in close partnership with OP leaders
  • Providing leadership and support to Development Committee made up of Board, community, and staff members and its chairs, and presenting progress quarterly to the Board and during Board/staff retreats
  • Leveraging Board and existing relationships to build donor base and pipeline
  • Supporting General & Artistic Director and Board in their fundraising efforts
  • Planning/executing special campaigns
  • Managing Development expense budget and regularly reviewing return on investment of Development resources
  • Participating as an active member of OP’s leadership team, furthering the strategic and financial goals of the organization through collaborative budget modeling and review, effective strategic planning, clear and frequent communication of measurements and outcomes, strengthening of board processes, and modeling of OP’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA)

These tasks represent baseline responsibilities for this position. As OP grows, there may be opportunities (and sometimes the need to) add new responsibilities and areas of work. We are a small (but growing!) staff, so an openness to supporting other areas of work is essential for every member of our team.

Location, Schedule, and Physical Requirements 

  • OP’s administrative offices are located on the fourth floor of 44 Page Street in San Francisco, close to public transportation (BART and MUNI) and accessible by one set of stairs and one elevator.
  • Events and performances of OP productions and events take place in varying local sites around San Francisco (and possibly throughout the Bay Area).
  • The OP administrative workday is generally Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We're happy to accommodate a hybrid work schedule, and require at least two days of on-site work each week as well as an availability to be on site for occasional evenings and weekend events.
  • This position requires the ability to sit at a computer, speak, and type for extended periods of time. Duties of this role may also include lifting, bending, and pulling furniture to set up, configure, and break down event spaces.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Opera Parallèle is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and maintains a policy of non-discrimination with respect to employees and applicants for employment. No aspect of employment will be influenced in any matter by race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, pregnancy, disability, medical condition (including HIV or AIDS status), genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member), veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

We value a strong, diverse team, and women, trans- and gender-nonconforming folks, queer people, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. We acknowledge this list is incomplete and encourage you to apply if your lived experience informs your desire to support OP’s commitment to telling diverse, relevant stories through contemporary opera.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a year-round, exempt position averaging 40 hours per week. Compensation is competitive and commensurate with responsibilities and experience, with a salary range of $107,000–$127,000.

This position also includes the following benefits:

  • Health care allowance of $600 per month
  • 12 paid public holidays
  • Paid vacation of 10 days (80 hours) per year
  • Paid sick leave of 10 days (80 hours) per year
  • Funds for professional development opportunities 

To Apply: Send your resume and a one-page cover letter explaining your interest and why you are a great fit for this position to, with “Development Director” in the subject header. Due to the volume of applicants, only candidates who will be invited to interview will be contacted.

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