Chief Development Officer - Los Angeles Master Chorale

Los Angeles Master Chorale in California

Deadline May 05, 2017
Date Posted April 13, 2017
Type Executive
Salary Commensurate with experience
Employment Type Full-time


The Los Angeles Master Chorale is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading professional vocal ensembles and one of Southern California’s most vibrant cultural treasures.  Hailed for its powerful performances, technical precision, and artistic daring, the Master Chorale is led by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and President and CEO Jean Davidson.  We are a founding resident company of The Music Center and the choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Chorister positions are highly sought-after and the ensemble is a diverse and vocally dynamic group showcasing the many voices of L.A.

Presenting our own concert series each season, the Master Chorale performs choral music from the earliest writings to contemporary compositions, striking a balance between innovation and tradition. To date, we have commissioned 50 new works.   We have premiered 99 new works, of which 69 were world premieres.  We have been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America’s prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. The Master Chorale has performed in more than 500 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and we have toured with the orchestra to Europe and New York City. More info:


Reporting to the President & CEO, the Chief Development Officer is responsible for leading an operationally complex Development Department to achieve our organization’s contributed revenue goals. As a member of the senior management team involved in setting the direction of the overall organization, the Chief Development Officer will be committed to the Master Chorale’s mission and be a key leader in sharing and promoting our mission and our work with donors, volunteers, community members, staff and patrons. With an annual budget of close to $6 million, the Master Chorale currently has a contributed revenue goal of $3.5 million dollars a year to maintain operations. We expect that goal to increase substantially over time as we pursue our bold strategic initiatives.

The Chief Development Officer directly supervises the Annual Fund Manager, Institutional Giving Manager and Manager of Special Events. In addition, the position provides leadership to the Board of Director’s Development Committee. The Chief Development Officer will be charged with readying the organization for a possible future campaign.

Primary Responsibilities of the Chief Development Officer:

  • To lead a multifaceted Development Department and further develop its programs in individual giving, institutional giving, and special events.
  • To develop and implement plans for the financial support of the Master Chorale and to involve the CEO and Board of Directors in this work. Take a leadership role in actively engaging directors (especially those on the Development committee) in the donor-cultivation process.
  • To develop, plan, direct, manage, implement, and evaluate the Master Chorale’s development program including annual giving, foundation grants, major gifts, corporate giving, planned gifts, endowment gifts, multi-year campaigns, and special events.
  • To be a collaborative and active participant in the Master Chorale’s strategic and business planning processes, especially regarding setting contributed income goals and identifying the necessary resources required as preconditions for success.
  • To develop, in coordination with other senior staff, reporting mechanisms that regularly update the team with respect to goal achievement during the fiscal year.
  • To hire, manage and evaluate staff in a way that maximizes each individual’s independence and effectiveness. To the greatest extent possible, organize the D­evelopment team to use each team member to his or her best and highest use.
  • To coordinate short- and long-term communications with marketing and public relations senior staff.
  • In collaboration with all members of the Development team, to oversee the cultivation of and maintenance of a vibrant, high-level volunteer program that supports the Development program and creates an ongoing source of volunteer leadership and community involvement.
  • To be conversant with the Master Chorale’s patron-management platform, Tessitura, for tracking donors, grants, and other fundraising activities.
  • To develop and review with the CEO and Development Committee all policies related to Development.

Specific Duties Include the Following:

  • Plan and develop the fundraising program and fundraising strategies. With CEO, CFO and senior management team determine revenue goals and monitor revenues.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate the Development program, including annual giving, foundation grants, major gifts, corporate sponsorships, planned gifts, endowment gifts, multi-year campaigns, and special events. 
  • Present information and updates on development activities to the Development Committee, CEO, Board of Directors, and other constituencies.  Monitor progress toward fundraising goals for all campaigns and work with Development team to organize and share regular updates with key constituent leaders including senior staff and the Board of Directors.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, recognize and steward a portfolio of major donors with capacity to make gifts of $10,000 or more.  Work with major donors toward successful solicitations.
  • Develop and supervise major fundraising efforts, community and foundation support for annual operating budget and in-kind contributions.
  • Develop and supervise capital and major gift campaigns or special initiatives as needed. 
  • Initiate and cultivate donor contacts and identify donor prospects.
  • Work with CEO and the Development Committee to implement relevant Board policies, establish Development policies and long range planning for Development. 
  • Manage Development department’s existing staff (Annual Fund Manager, Institutional Giving Manager, and Manager of Special Events) and key volunteers.  When needed, create staffing plans necessary to accomplish agreed-upon revenue and strategic goals.  
  • Participate in the Master Chorale’s branding process to ensure Development perspective is represented.  Coordinate material preparation with design firm through the Master Chorale’s Director of Marketing.
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of in-kind giving programs.
  • Develop strategies for growing special events including an annual gala. Serve as point person to the Gala Committee.


The successful candidate will be an innovative, forward-thinking and courageous development professional with exceptional interpersonal skills and a high degree of professionalism and integrity.  She/he will be a compelling, mature, persuasive leader with the ability to move a team forward by inspiring and motivating people with creativity and energy.  As such, the Chief Development Officer should not only possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, but should also be able to create a collaborative environment that is conducive to open and direct communication with individuals of varying degrees of involvement with the Master Chorale and our work. He/she should be a resourceful, results-oriented leader with the ability to think strategically, generate new ideas, set priorities, execute goals and objectives and meet financial goals and deadlines. The ideal candidate will be both a skilled manager and an individual contributor who works and thinks independently yet can also build on group dynamics and set high expectations with the Development team. She/he will be an effective delegator who can empower staff, set agendas, lead meetings, document activities and measure progress. A commitment to passionately communicating the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s mission, accomplishments and benefits of its work are essential.


The Chief Development Officer should have a minimum of seven to ten years of successful fundraising experience, steadily increasing managerial responsibilities in a diverse development environment and experience providing intellectual leadership in Board committees. Leading candidates will have a proven track record of raising significant support and proven success with annual giving, major gifts, planned gifts, corporate giving, contracts and grants, special events, capital campaigns and other campaigns, plus a working knowledge of information systems and databases that support fundraising. Candidates will be expected to have experience leading and articulating a vision as well as the demonstrated ability to make and execute plans, reach goals, and develop staff and volunteers into a highly functioning team. A background in nonprofit arts and knowledge of the Los Angeles philanthropic community are preferred. Demonstrated experience using Tessitura, or a similar development CRM program, preferred. Prior experience working with a sophisticated, engaged board is essential.


A bachelor's degree is required; a graduate degree is preferred. A CFRE is a plus.


A competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and excellent benefits will be provided.


Please submit a cover letter and resume online at:

Or you may submit by mail: Los Angeles Master Chorale, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Los Angeles Master Chorale provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, the Los Angeles Master Chorale complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

The Los Angeles Master Chorale expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge.

How To Apply

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