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Chief Philanthropy Officer

Cincinnati Opera
Ohio, United States
$125,000.00 - $150,000.00
Closing date
Mar 20, 2024
Career Opportunity: Chief Philanthropy Officer with Cincinnati Opera in Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Opera is seeking a Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO) to lead its fundraising activities. The CPO is responsible for the planning and execution of a comprehensive program to achieve the company’s annual and long-term contributed-revenue goals. The CPO is a member of the executive team and reports to the General Director & CEO (CEO).

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Provide vision and strategic leadership for all fundraising. This includes the annual fund, planned giving, special events, and major gift campaigns.
  • Lead the process for developing the company’s annual cultivation and solicitation strategy, enabling sustainable growth in individual, foundation, corporate, and government sources.
  • Work closely with the CEO and CFO to set annual fundraising goals as part of the annual season-planning process.
  • Motivate and lead a five-person department, encouraging team members to achieve targets, grow skills, and increase effectiveness.
  • Serve as a staff liaison to the board’s Executive Committee, reporting on fundraising strategies and progress and helping to maximize the board’s role in fundraising.
  • Serve as a staff liaison to the board’s Nominating Committee, assisting in identifying potential new board members.
  • Oversee the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of all major gifts and personally manage a select portfolio of major donors.
  • Provide strategic leadership on grantmaking opportunities with foundations and government entities.
  • Provide strategic leadership on special event fundraising.
  • Assure excellence and effectiveness in all patron communications and activities, working with the CEO, Director of Communications, Director of Marketing, Artistic Director, and Director of Production as appropriate.
  • Provide strategic leadership on record-keeping, documentation, and the management of patron data.
  • Working with the CFO, provide regular reporting on fundraising activities and progress to the executive team.
  • Optimize opportunities to expand the impact of fundraising through traditional and emerging channels and techniques.
  • Advocate for philanthropic support of Cincinnati Opera within the staff and board, providing information, insights, and inspiration.

The ideal candidate will have an excellent track record in fundraising management and will be an enthusiastic supporter of the performing arts, an excellent communicator, and a relationship builder.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Seven-plus years of fundraising experience, including significant experience managing a team
  • Excellent verbal, written, and listening skills
  • Ability to work independently and exhibit a high degree of self-motivation
  • Ability to manage multiple competing objectives and tasks
  • An exceptional degree of professional integrity
  • Willingness to embrace the vision/mission and strategic direction of the organization
  • Adaptable, optimistic, collaborative, inclusive, respectful, and results-driven
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends, especially during the company’s summer season
  • Ability to work on-site, though some remote work may be arranged during off-peak periods

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of opera and/or the arts funding landscape of the Greater Cincinnati area
  • Five or more years of professional experience with a performing arts organization
  • Five or more years of experience in leading and managing a development team
  • Familiarity with Tessitura, the ticketing and patron-database application


This is a full-time exempt position with a salary range of $125,000-150,000 commensurate with experience. Cincinnati Opera offers an extensive benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, long-term disability, parking, and 403(b) with a portion matched by the company.

Note from General Director & CEO
Greetings from Cincinnati Opera! I thought it would be helpful to share a bit more context about this remarkable career opportunity. The Chief Philanthropy Officer opening comes at an extraordinary moment in the life of Cincinnati Opera. Over the past two years, we have been at work on Vision 2030, a long-term plan for sustainability, artistic innovation, and audience expansion. Also, we will soon announce a major commitment to the creation of new operas aimed at expanding the diversity of the art form’s canon; these new works are set to premiere in 2025, 2026, and 2027. Finally, we have begun a partnership with a top-tier consultancy toward a multi-year capital campaign.

With all this in mind, we are seeking a brilliant and capable leader who will embrace the legacy and potential of Cincinnati Opera and its people and who will champion the development of a world-class fundraising team. This person will join an equally brilliant and encouraging team of colleagues, including Artistic Director Evans Mirageas, and will enjoy engaging with our enthusiastic and supportive board.

I know I speak for the entire company when I say we are looking forward to finding the right person for this position as quickly as possible. You will be proud to be part of our upcoming summer season at historic Music Hall, which will feature the world stage premiere of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio. I look forward to being in conversation with you.

–Christopher Milligan, The Harry Fath General Director & CEO

About Cincinnati Opera

Founded in 1920, Cincinnati Opera is one of the oldest and most highly regarded opera companies in the United States. Known for its longstanding partnership with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a roster of world-class singers, and its spectacular performance venue, Cincinnati Music Hall, Cincinnati Opera has received numerous accolades and awards, including a recent nomination for the prestigious International Opera Award. Cincinnati Opera offers a primary season of performances from June through August (paid attendance 17,000-20,000), plus a host of events through the year, including educational programming, small-scale public performances, recitals, and fundraisers. The organization receives about $4.5 million in contributed annual support from individual donors, foundations, and government entities.

If you are looking for a rewarding, impactful opportunity with a strong mission of helping others in need, you have found it. Apply online at or email!

Cincinnati Opera is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where all backgrounds, cultures, orientations, ideas, and talents can flourish.

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