Advancement Officer - The Colburn School

The Colburn School

Los Angeles, CA

The Colburn School is a world-class performing arts school where a renowned faculty provides instruction in music, dance and drama to dedicated students of all ages. 

Since 1950, the school has equipped students with the skills, support and opportunity needed to achieve their highest artistic goals. The school's state-of-the-art campus is located in the “heart-of-art” of downtown Los Angeles, neighboring Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Music Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Broad Museum. 

Position Summary:

The Advancement Officer - Major Gifts at The Colburn School is a senior member of The Colburn School Advancement Department and is responsible for the ongoing cultivation of current and prospective donors to effectively deepen their relationship and support. Specifically, the Major Gifts Officer will manage a prospect portfolio of approximately 150 qualified individuals in active cultivation and facilitate fundraising based around Advancement’s strategic priorities, including annual giving, restricted gifts, and endowment gifts. He/she will meet regularly with high-level prospects and donors, as well as work to integrate these visits when applicable with Board introductions and cultivation. He/she will help establish specific financial goals, develop long-term philanthropic relationships, and be an integral part of helping The Colburn School reach its fundraising goals while preparing for its first ever capital campaign.

The Major Gifts Officer must possess outstanding written and oral communication skills and be able to facilitate appropriate actions and responses in a wide variety of people. While results-oriented, the ideal candidate must also exude warmth and passion for The Colburn School, and be able to take initiative, follow through and be a problem-solver. Flexibility and organized time management is essential. He/she should desire a collaborative working environment, whether it is with staff, board, or donors. A working understanding of the performing arts education and performance is helpful, but not required.  The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic, gracious and knowledgeable in how to steward and engage all populations, high net-worth in particular. A high degree of professionalism is required for this position as well as being able to effectively communicate The Colburn School’s vision and its impact in the community. 

Essential Duties:

  • Shares primary responsibility for accomplishment of annual contribution revenue budget.
  • Shares responsibility for advancing the School's current endowment campaign. 
  • The position will also share responsibility for accomplishing an ambitious building fund campaign.
  • Monitors and organizes all aspects of the major gifts program with guidance and direction from the Director of Advancement to achieve annual revenue goals. 
  • Maintains a dynamic portfolio of prospects at $5000+ giving level for continued cultivation and solicitation; gathers information about donors’ specific interests to pair with The Colburn School’s programs.
  • Moves prospects through the cultivation/solicitation/stewardship cycle, often in collaboration with leadership and deans.
  • Regularly communicates with top 150 donors and prospects through visits, phone calls and emails and arranges meetings with donors and prospects for cultivation and solicitation.
  • Develops and tracks the major gifts program budget and revenue projections. Manages required expenditures within the approved budget.
  • Maintains and develops best practices and ensures a coordinated and collaborative approach; Establishes credibility and collaborative relationships with Senior Leadership, Board members, donors, volunteers, and colleagues from all academic unit and other departments. 
  • Develops a thorough understanding of The Colburn School’s mission, areas of excellence, student population, services, programs, and goals.
  • Prepares reports and briefings for Senior Leadership on the progress of major gifts efforts.
  • Collaborates with Special Events Manager for special events as they pertain to major donor cultivation and recognition. As part of the Advancement team, is involved with major events throughout the year: Gala, concerts, recitals and other key events.
  • Assures actions and donor information are entered into the Raiser’s Edge donor database in an accurate and timely fashion.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Education and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum of five years of related work experience in advancement, with at least three years working in major gifts setting, utilizing moves management is preferred.
  • Proven record of successful, personal major gift solicitations.
  • Ability to successfully manage multiple projects under tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated stature, integrity, and experience to gain the trust and confidence of The Colburn School’s administrative and volunteer leadership, donors, prospects, as well as colleagues from Colburn’s academic units and other department staff.
  • A facilitator and coordinator with outstanding leadership abilities and interpersonal skills; must have credibility, good judgment, integrity and exercise diplomacy in dealing with a variety of constituents. Ability to share information as appropriate to audience.
  • An effective communicator who is articulate and persuasive in writing as well as verbally; adept at crafting proposals, donor correspondence and other kinds of materials; and making presentations to a variety of audiences. 
  • Demonstrated skill in planning, prioritizing, organizing, and following through. Able to apply strategic and creative thinking, while being persistent, motivated and energetic, along with the ability to work in detail-oriented fashion.
  • Experience in and full understanding of use of Raiser’s Edge database to further major gift needs. Computer literacy and Internet familiarity required.
  • A team player who can skillfully coordinate fundraising activities with the Director of Advancement and peers;
  • Decisive and resourceful with the ability to anticipate and act on events and opportunities in an appropriate manner.
  • Must be available to work a flexible schedule including weekends, evenings, and night hours as needed.
  • Knowledge of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Understanding and appreciation of performing arts education or professional performance organization preferred but not required.
  • Excellent salary and benefits.

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