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Director of Development

Company: Tri-Cities Opera
Date Posted: May 13, 2016

Information about Tri-Cities Opera

In keeping with the history of Tri-Cities Opera, our mission is the production of professional quality opera.  Using the talents of young artists, we seek to benefit, enrich, and educate our community.


Tri-Cities Opera has been the cultural centerpiece of the Southern Tier of New York for sixty-seven years.  Founded in 1949 by Peyton Hibbitt and the late Carmen Savoca, this regional opera  company enjoys an exceptional reputation in the opera world for its Resident Artist Training Program, beautiful sets and costumes, and outstanding opera productions.


Tri-Cities Opera has been honored by the National Board of Directors of Opera America, has received the President’s Medal from Binghamton University, and has been awarded the prestigious New York State Council on the Arts Governor’s Award.


Information about Binghamton

Where the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers meet, you peer out over the numerous bridges and delight in the outstanding architecture, with the backdrop of the signature rolling hills. Greater Binghamton has so much to offer the tourist and even more to offer the resident. As the birthplace to IBM, large and small businesses alike have found a home in Greater Binghamton. Excellent access to major routes makes Binghamton easily reachable from any direction.

Greater Binghamton has all the excitement and culture of a big city while maintaining its charm and Upstate appeal. Theatrical performances, Jazz ensembles, chamber concerts, festivals, community events, educational programs, children’s playhouses, world class singing, national tours, student recitals…and the list goes on. In Greater Binghamton, numerous venues provide exceptional performing arts capabilities! As your thoughts drift to the golf course and you contemplate the back nine, you glance at your watch and see it took less than three hours to get here. Your clubs are in the trunk and you can hardly wait to tee off at one of the many fine area golf courses. Everyone is looking forward to catching a Binghamton Mets baseball game while here. Whatever the season, there is much to see and do in Greater Binghamton — spend the day browsing Antique Row, attend a local festival, catch a show at the Forum, do some tax-free clothes shopping or get involved in the Annual Chris Thater Memorial Bike Race. Greater Binghamton has the diversity you’ve looked for in a travel destination.

You know you’ll find it all in Greater Binghamton, including the locally-invented, tender, spicy, Spiedie sandwich. Take time to explore every corner of this great region and when you’re ready to relax, enjoy a free ride on any of our six restored, working wooden carousels and delight in this old-fashioned pastime.

Position Summary


Reporting to the General Director, the Director of Development creates and oversees the implementation of a strategic approach to fundraising which supports the vision and mission of Tri-Cities Opera Company.  The Director of Development participates in all fundraising efforts for the organization, including creating, implementing, and maintaining strategies for fostering and sustaining public and private support. This may include solicitation of major gifts, annual appeals, corporate donations, government and foundation grants, in-kind resources, and planned giving.


The Director of Development will be able to work independently and as a team member in a fast-paced producing arts organization.  S/he will be results-oriented and able to multi-task.  S/he will have superior writing skills for grant writing, solicitation, and acknowledgement, and be capable of meeting deadlines.  The Director of Development will be able to incorporate information from a multitude of sources into a cohesive and compelling grant application, consistently “making the case” for support.  S/he will be willing to adapt to a changing environment and changing priorities as needed.


Advanced oral and written communication skills are required as well as excellent attention to detail with high organizational and planning capabilities.  Knowledge of fundraising practices and grants management, federal and state legislation affecting not-for-profit organizations, management of volunteer resources, and understanding of financial statements.  Able to make direct requests to donors and funders and comfortable building working relationships.  Proficiency in the use of fundraising software (Choice preferred), database management, and spreadsheets.


Bachelor’s degree in business, arts administration or public administration required. Master’s degree preferred. At least 5 years of related experience identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major and planned gifts, and successful track record with grant research, application and award.


Roles and Responsibilities




  1. Plan development activities:  Collaborate with General Director and Board of Directors to create a development plan which increases revenues to support the strategic direction of the organization.  Implement the development plan in accordance with ethical fundraising principles.  Monitor and evaluate all fundraising activities to ensure that the fundraising goals are being achieved.  Monitor trends in the community or region and adapt fundraising strategies as necessary.
  2. Organize and manage development activities:  Develop and manage timelines for various fundraising activities to ensure strategic plans and critical fund raising processes are carried out in a timely manner.  Develop policies and procedures which reflect ethical fundraising practices.  Prepare and submit grant applications as outlined in the development plan.  Prepare grant reports according to scheduled timelines.  Identify and develop corporate, community, and individual prospects for the annual fund and other organizational fundraising campaign priorities.  Oversee the administration of a donor mailing list and donor profile database.  Engage volunteers for special development projects using established volunteer management practices.  Build relationships with community stakeholders to advance the mission and fundraising goals of the organization.  Foster an understanding of philanthropy within the organization.
  3. Grant writing:  Research grant opportunities for company.  Write all foundation, government, and miscellaneous grants.  Research projects for grants as needed.


  1. Coordinate with the General Director and Board to implement development activities including trainings, special campaigns, and planned giving programs.
  2. Assure that donor gift receipts and thank you letters are promptly and properly prepared.
    1. Produce individualized acknowledgement letters for all gifts
    2. Work with Accountant, Office Manager, and/or Bookkeeper to ensure monthly reconciliation between the financial software and the database system.
    3. Maintain all donor and fund development records within the donor management database.
      1. Enter gifts into database with a high level of accuracy and speed
      2. Send reminders and other development correspondence.
      3. Track donation giving times and reach out to donor appropriately.
      4. Be the point person for creating and generating all necessary reports, queries, exports, and lists from the database
      5. Add new constituent records as needed
      6. Identify prospects through research for cultivation and solicitation
      7. Develop donor solicitation mailings and communications according to established policies.
      8. Communicate with outstanding pledge holders as they complete pledge obligations.
      9. Manage donor benefits: communicate benefits to donors, send invitation to events, track responses, staff donor events.
      10. Analyze data and translate into action to support the company
      11. Prepare donor listings for all programs.
      12. Participate in meetings, conferences, and project team activities.

10.  Assist with and attend all functions of the organization including special events for fund raising purposes

11.  Sponsorship Solicitation and Proposals

  1. Identify potential sponsors within the community in collaboration with the Board of Directors and  Community Engagement Manager
  2. Create appropriate packages for both trade and financial contributions in collaboration with the Community Engagement Manager
  3. Monitor payment status

12.  Liaison with Development Committee/Board and Resident Artist Alumni Advisor Committee.

13.  Event support

  1. Provide support to Community Engagement Manager for all events at TCO. (Opera previews, fundraisers, press conferences, patron experiences, community events.)

14.  Supervise Educational Outreach for grant compliance

  1. Opera-Go-Round scheduling

15.  Participate in meetings, conferences, and project team activities.

16.  Help plan for ample volunteer and staff support at all functions of the organization including special events for fundraising purposes.

17.  Additional development duties as assigned


Compensation and Benefits (SA)

Salary is competitive for the Southern Tier and commensurate with experience.   Benefits include health insurance and dental coverage for full-time employees.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Tri-Cities Opera provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or non-disqualifying physical or mental handicap or disability in each aspect of the human resources function.


Applications and Inquiries

Send a letter of interest with salary history, resume, and a list of at least 3 references with full contact information.

Electronic submissions only will be accepted until May 2, 2016.