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  Vice President of Development  

Position Summary:  The Vice President for Development is primarily responsible for relationship management with a focus on developing deep personal relationships with current or high potential major supporters through the work of the department and volunteers.  The Vice President drives fundraising efforts among individuals, corporations, foundations, volunteer organizations and ArtsWave to secure support for operating needs, special initiatives, capital projects and endowment, and provides a full suite of patron benefits.  The Vice President builds and leverages his or her strong managerial skills and a volunteer-integrated culture to achieve results. 

The Vice President for Development brings strategic and analytic skills to the organization, and is a leader in managing data and business applications to support data-driven decisions. 

The Vice President of Development and Vice President of Marketing are partners in the integration of the traditional marketing and development functions into a total patron relationship system that enhances the bond between patron and institution to maximize participation and total revenue. 

The Vice President for Development and Vice President of Marketing will work jointly to support a shared service model to streamline activities requiring similar skills that service both departments – e.g., data management, mining and analytics, direct mail efforts, relationship management roles, etc.  The leaders will establish baseline performance and set objectives to improve rates of engagement across the life cycle of a patron.

The Vice President is one of the key leaders in realizing the strategic objectives of the organization and creating a new, sustainable model among orchestras.  He or she works cross-functionally with the senior management team and serves as an external ambassador for the organization.


Representative Duties and Responsibilities:
Build and leverage a volunteer-integrated organization to secure engagement from philanthropic leaders

  • Serve as a primary point of contact with key corporate, foundation and individual supporters as well as ArtsWave.
  • Identify greatest opportunities for contributed income growth across donor categories in new and increased gifts.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of ongoing and season-specific activities and build compelling, targeted cases for support on a prospect-by-prospect basis.
  • Build and energize a strong, active volunteer team, leveraging community leaders to realize growth opportunities.
  • Manage the activities of the volunteer association to support the institution’s organizational and financial objectives.
  • Provide guidance and support to Board committees to achieve financial and participation goals.
  • Develop strong personal relationships with key supporters and serve as a leading advocate and solicitor for institutional support.

Oversee the Development Department

  • Develop a culture of open debate of options, decisiveness to choose the best path forward and accountability for results with clear timetables for departmental deliverables.
  • Set objectives for team members consistent with the annual operating plan and linked to performance outcomes.
  • Develop and adhere to the departmental budget, allocating resources to the highest impact opportunities.

Provide oversight for special events to establish buzz and excitement around the organization

  • Identify and implement a limited set of marquee events to establish buzz and excitement around the organization and support fundraising goals.
  • Oversee general event logistics.

Evaluate progress in achieving financial and moves management objectives

  • Identify and align on a set of key metrics to evaluate success.
  • Monitor progress to goals and respond to feedback in order to improve results.
  • Ensure key stakeholders are engaged and motivated to hit organizational targets.

Develop and implement the overall strategic direction and supporting organizational structure for patron management in conjunction with the Vice President of Marketing

  • Develop overall architecture for customer management across the patron life cycle and identify key touch point opportunities.
  • Develop meaningful, patron-informed action plans with clear timelines and owners to move patrons to increasing levels of commitment to the organization.

Build the supporting organizational structure to effectively implement the strategy

  • Design the department to streamline like activities, channeling resources to most effectively execute against the plan.
  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities across the Vice Presidents of Marketing and Development to ensure that functions are clear within the department and across the organization.

Develop an exceptional level of patron service and recognition

  • Create a suite of patron benefits with VIP concierge services to enhance engagement with the institution.
  • Organize a coordinated set of cultivation and networking events to increase patron connections to the organization.
  • Develop opportunities to exceed patron expectations.
  • Monitor patron feedback to identify opportunities for further improvement.

Effectively leverage information to improve decision making and allocate resources wisely

  • Ensure proper collection and hygiene of data.
  • Mine and analyze data to identify high potential prospects.
  • Design, generate and maintain critical reports.
  • Provide leadership with IT and data vendor relationships.
  • Provide guidance on web development functionality and POS and CRM protocols.

Work cross-functionally to achieve institutional objectives

  • Maintain strong, productive relationships across departments to ensure that the contributed income goals are effectively advanced.
  • Guide senior staff toward potential opportunities that surface in the community.

Serve as a highly visible leader in the community

  • Represent the organization effectively as a key leader among business and philanthropic leaders.
  • Develop deep relationships with high level supporters to advance the mission of the organization.

Perform concert duty

  • Establish concert duty schedule for team that takes in to account work-life balance needs of Development staff with best-in-class sponsor and patron cultivation.
  • Regularly attend CSO and Pops concerts and events, serving as an advocate for the organization among key stakeholders and ensuring that patron management efforts are highly functioning.

Other duties as assigned

Reporting Relationship:
The Vice President of Development reports to the President, serves on the senior management team and acts as a liaison with members of the Board of Directors.

Job Requirements:

  • Highly strategic thinker with the ability to develop coordinated, impactful plans.
  • Focus on timely execution in a fast paced environment with a strong drive for results.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with internal and external stakeholders to advance strategic objectives.
  • Exceptional experience, skill and demonstrated success in fundraising.
  • Strong leadership and managerial skills with the ability to prioritize activities of the Development team.
  • Ability to leverage data effectively to support decision-making.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to act independently with community and philanthropic leaders.
  • Strong and concise verbal and writing skills to present a polished image of the institution.
  • Established, positive relationships in the local philanthropic community, preferably within the arts and culture sector.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the performing arts environment preferred.
  • C.F.R.E. also preferred.

Compensation and Benefits:
The Vice President of Development position garners a competitive salary.  The CSO offers generous benefits including; medical, dental, long term disability, life, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, health savings account, 403(b) participation and employer contribution, and the opportunity to work for a financially sustainable, major American orchestra.  Relocation assistance available.

The CSO celebrates diversity!  We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity, Minority, Female, Disabled, Veteran Employer.


Please send cover letter and resume to:

Margot Benish
Director of Human Resources
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Music Hall
1241 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH  45202

Or via email at:


No third party applications will be accepted.


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