Director of Development (GRS)

Celebrating its 90th season, the Grand Rapids Symphony is Michigan’s second largest performing arts organization and has received national recognition for the high quality of its concerts as well as Gateway to Music, a network of education, engagement and access programs.  The Grand Rapids Symphony presents more than 400 performances and enhances the lives of 200,000 attendees annually.  Nearly half of those who participate are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through inclusive education and access programs. 

Delivering great music is Symphony’s mission and the constant driver behind our fund development strategies. This is further enhanced by our commitment to providing entertainment platforms that bridge culturally diverse groups and nuture an inclusive growth community that enriches the lives of everyone. The ability of our Director of Development to communicate that commitment to our donors is essential to our fund development success!

The Grand Rapids Symphony seeks a skilled major gift officer to join our team in achieving our fundraising and planned giving program objectives.  The Director of Development will be responsible for identifying, cultivating and deepening intentional relationships with current and prospective major gift and planned giving donors.  This involves prospect research and developing inclusive solicitation strategies as well as stewarding donors throughout the major giving process.  The Director of Development will cultivate a donor portfolio and emphasize gifts of $50,000 or greater.  This is an office-based full-time professional position with occasional night/weekend hours.

This individual will also work with our board members and staff leaders to coordinate and execute long-term fundraising initiatives.  Our ideal candidate will have at least five years of major gift/planned giving experience and an undergraduate degree, with a Master of Business Administration or Public Administration preferred.  He/she will also have a thorough background in fundraising best practices and donor databases for managing donor and solicitation records.  Candidates with a strong for-profit sales and relationship management background will also be considered.

Required Skills & Key Responsibilities:

  • Planning, developing and managing a portfolio of major donor relationships.
  • Developing an inclusive donor solicitation strategy for major gift prospects.
  • Designing and managing an inclusive donor stewardship program.
  • Tracking and assessing major gift fundraising metrics.
  • Drafting major gift proposal documents.
  • Utilizing major giving fundraising and marketing tools.
  • Working collaboratively with board members and staff on fundraising initiatives and activities.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with a demonstrated ability to articulate concepts in clear and understandable terms that resonate across constituencies and community groups.
  • A driven, versatile and flexible self-starter. We’re looking for someone who can thrive in our fast-paced environment.
  • A candidate who loves technology. Strong working knowledge of MS Office Suite expected.  Experience with Raiser’s Edge preferred.
  • Interest in and passion for orchestral music or the performing arts is a significant plus.

We are an equal opportunity employer.

What we’re offering:

  • Join the team! When you join our team, you become part of our culture and the Symphony story.
  • Variety - every day is different and creativity is encouraged!
  • Robust compensation and benefits package including health and dental insurance, PTO and 401k.
  • Two complimentary tickets to most Symphony concerts – attendance is encouraged!


To Apply

To apply for this position, please send resume and cover letter to Paula Tibbe, Manager of Human Resources and Finance at [email protected] by September 30, 2020.

For complete information about the Grand Rapids Symphony visit

We are an equal opportunity employer.


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