Manager of Annual Giving and Special Donor Events

Organizational Summary

Boston Arts Academy is our city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts serving 440 urban students in Grades 9-12. It was founded in 1998 based on the conviction that academics and the arts are equally important to human development and achievement. The arts are woven throughout the curriculum motivating students, with a wide variety of learning styles, to stay in school, succeed in school, and pursue higher education and training. Each year, over 94% of graduates are accepted to college, most the first in their families to do so.

Boston Arts Academy is home to the Center for Arts in Education, the dissemination, advocacy, and program development arm of the school. Over the past ten years, the Center has trained hundreds of educators and administrators from around the world in the school’s best practices. It works closely with BAA teachers to develop innovative curricula that is tested and refined in BAA classrooms. This work has led to the joining of the Science and Math teams into a unified STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Department and the construction of a STEAM Lab, the first of its kind in an urban public arts high school.

In recognition of its innovation and consistent success with urban teens, Boston Arts Academy was featured in a newly-released book by renowned educator, Sir Ken Robinson – Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (Viking Press 2015). The BAA model of education was further discussed on national television when Sir Ken was interviewed on CBS This Morning upon the book’s release on April 21, 2015.

The Boston Arts Academy Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 organization incorporated a year after the school’s opening, is charged with raising private funds to support the arts teachers, essential art supplies, and production costs not covered by Boston Public Schools allocations. That accounts for nearly 40% or $2.4 million of the total school budget of $6 million. It relies on the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporations that believe in the transformational power of an arts education. Without such support our city, one of the cultural capitals of the world, would have no public high school for the visual and performing arts.

Position Description

We are seeking a highly-organized, energetic, and sophisticated development professional to serve as Manager of Annual Giving and Special Events. The Manager will play a vital role in growing the philanthropic revenue for an entrepreneurial, mission-driven organization. Reporting to and working directly with the Executive Director of the BAA Foundation, the individual will develop a comprehensive, year-round individual giving and special events strategy, built upon the major fundraising event of the year—the annual gala.  Held in May, the gala is attended by over 300 guests and currently raises $650,000 to $900,000. In addition to benefit planning and execution, the individual will manage, build upon, and enhance the annual giving program and possibly one or two smaller cultivation events during the year. S/he will manage BAAF’s Development Associate and work closely with him and all other team members in the planning and execution of these strategies. The ideal candidate will have solid experience developing successful individual giving programs as well as large-scale fundraising events. Experience tracking communication and donor activity in a CRM a plus.

It is envisioned that this newly-created position will further professionalize our fundraising efforts that are conducted by a current team consisting of the Executive Director, Associate Director (who is also serving as Acting Director of the Center for Arts in Education) , Development Associate, part-time grant writer, part-time marketing professional (to be hired). This is an exciting opportunity for the right person to build upon the consistent success and growing recognition of - not only a public arts high school – but one that serves as a laboratory and proving ground for the importance of arts in education.


  • Employ new ideas and best practices in revitalizing and expanding BAA’s Annual Giving program (direct mail, workplace, and online giving)
  • Work closely with Executive Director and Associate Director of the BAA Foundation to establish long term goals and objectives, to strategize annual campaign, and all other fundraising efforts. Manage and work closely with the BAAF Development Associate in support of these initiatives
  • Utilize features of our current database (eTapestry) to become a true asset and essential tool in donor research, identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Work closely with the Development Associate to code database accounts according to Capacity and Readiness.
  • Develop strategies for new donor acquisition and growth
  • Oversee fundraising database, tracking systems and reports
  • Manage the annual Benefit Gala in close coordination with staff, event chairs, and event committee
  • Create and follow the Benefit timeline
  • Develop a strategy for individual giving throughout the year (beyond the gala), including cultivation and stewardship opportunities, solicitation strategies, online/direct mail appeals
  • Assist in the creation of external content and collateral for the BAA Foundation and Center for Arts in Education, including but not limited to appeals, social media, website, and invitations
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor's degree
  • 3-5 years experience in annual giving solicitation and event management
  • Ability to recommend and put in place department-wide strategies in donor identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with donors and other volunteer constituencies
  • Strong organizational and project management skills; adept at working under tight deadlines and management of multiple projects simultaneously
  • Significant experience with fundraising database software; experience using a CRM like Salesforce a plus
  • Highly proficient in all MS Office products. Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite a plus
  • Demonstrated experience in the use of social media fundraising
  • Large-scale special event planning and execution required
  • Superior writing, speaking and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule that may include evening events
  • High-energy, enthusiasm and passion for the BAA mission
  • Dedication to providing the very best in customer service
  • Strong organizational, administrative, telephone and interpersonal communication skills
  • Detail-oriented and able to manage and meet deadlines
  • Creative, entrepreneurial team player with a sense of humor
  • People of color, women, and LBGTQ candidates strongly encouraged to apply
  • Must meet City of Boston residency requirements


Rewards include competitive salary, healthcare, defined pension plan as well as 403(b), professional development opportunities, generous paid vacation time and holidays, and the knowledge that your work will directly impact an award-winning institution that is becoming a national model of public school reform.

Resume and thoughtful cover letter on why you and your skills are a good fit for this job can be sent to Bob Kollar, Director of Human Capital, at [email protected]. No phones calls please.

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