Development Director

American Youth Symphony

El Segundo, CA

Position: Development Director
Classification: Full-Time, Exempt
Reports to: Executive Director
Supervises: Intern(s), Part-Time Development Assistant
Location: AYS office in El Segundo, events throughout LA, with option of hybrid remote work

The American Youth Symphony is accepting applications for a newly defined position of Development Director. The AYS office is in El Segundo, CA, with performances and events throughout the greater Los Angeles region.

***To apply, send your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with the subject line: Development Director Application.

About AYS:

The mission of the American Youth Symphony is to inspire the future of classical music. By providing orchestral training and performance opportunities for gifted young musicians (ages 15-29), AYS supports a successful transition from student to professional musician. By showcasing their talent in performance opportunities, AYS also builds audiences and shares the power of music with the community. AYS believes that orchestral music plays a vital role in our communities and should be accessible to everyone. AYS produces full orchestral and chamber concerts that feature a wide variety of symphonic literature, including commissioned world premieres, classic repertoire, works by living composers, and live-to-picture film music. Most AYS concerts are offered free of charge. Full orchestral concerts are performed at UCLA’s Royce Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall, while chamber performances are held in a variety of area venues.

Job Summary:

The AYS staff is expanding! The organization seeks an experienced and energetic Development Director to take on this newly defined and expanded role, supporting a diverse portfolio of contributed income. The Development Director will oversee all contributed revenue initiatives, including individual giving, foundation and government grants, corporate sponsorships, and fundraising events. The Development Director must maintain effective professional relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders, including donors, alumni, musicians, board members, volunteers, vendors, foundation program officers, corporate contacts, and program partners.

Successful candidates will possess a genuine interest in supporting talented young musicians, while providing free community access to quality programming. AYS is administered by a dedicated Director-level staff, guiding ownership of their own projects, as well as collaborating with associates. AYS is currently engaged in a strategic planning process that will culminate in a major re-branding effort and long-term organizational restructuring. The Development Director will play an integral role in this effort by building a philanthropic base that will support this expansion.

Roles & Responsibilities:

Individual Giving

-Prioritize individual giving as a key priority in the new development plan.
-Cultivate and steward relationships with the various donor segments within the AYS community.
-Collaborate with the Executive Director to identify prospects and strategies.
-Connect with donors in their preferred channels by utilizing a variety of campaigns (annual fund, year-end, membership, sponsorships); platforms (direct mail, email, social media, phone) and events (concerts, receptions, galas).
-Create strategies, goals, plans, and schedules for campaigns; execute creation of campaign materials; implement campaigns; analyze and report results.
-Monitor and track multi-year donation pledges and board give/get contributions.
-Compose and edit development letters, emails, website copy, call scripts, social media posts, etc.
-Collaborate with the Director of Marketing & Engagement to ensure that all copy and design of materials align with established branding guidelines.
-Collaborate with the Director of Marketing & Engagement on creating content for the AYS Member Portal.
-Maintain excellent data hygiene (PatronManager/Salesforce) in donor records, donation reports, and mailing lists.

Institutional Giving

-Maintain AYS’ strong grants portfolio by tracking applications, awards, reports, and prospects.
-Manage grant period timelines and restricted funding use in compatibility with AYS programming.
-Work with contracted grant writer(s), Executive Director, and program staff to ensure accuracy and effectiveness of grant proposals, reports, budgets, and supplemental materials.
-Customize grant proposals and management of the granting process to different types of institutions: major foundations, small family foundations, government grants, corporate foundations.
-Develop corporate sponsorship decks and ensure the implementation of corporate sponsor benefits.


-Lead the planning for all donor events, including receptions and dinners at concerts, as well as in-home cultivation events. Act as liaison for donor benefits tied to events, such as access to rehearsals.
-Prepare donor acknowledgements in a variety of formats for program books.
-Work closely with the Director of Marketing & Engagement on providing an excellent front-of-house experience for donors/members at concerts.
-Be present at all AYS events to greet donors and prospects, including some evening and weekend events.

Evaluation & Planning

-Utilize donor database (Patron Manager/Salesforce) to create reports and analyze data to identify trends and evaluate campaign effectiveness.
-Manage and train part-time staff to accurately record donation information in donor database and other tracking systems.
-Work closely with the Executive Director and board development committee to assess opportunities, strategies, and effectiveness of initiatives toward meeting overall budgetary goals and priorities of the development plan.
-Work closely with Executive Director on implementation and ongoing management of the development plan.
-Prepare written reports and give verbal presentations on fundraising efforts at 3-4 annual Board Meetings, plus development committee meetings (schedule TBD).
-Keep abreast of current best practices and trends in fundraising for the broader nonprofit field, as well as issues specific to Los Angeles, the performing arts, orchestras, etc.
-Recommend fundraising policies and procedures to the Executive Director with the goal of increasing revenue, while demonstrating the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.

Required Qualifications:

-Ability to track progress against multiple deadlines and set project management goals accordingly.
-Extensive knowledge of fundraising practices; successful implementation of a variety of fundraising initiatives, including annual giving campaigns and grants. Familiarity with major arts funders, both locally and nationally.
-Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills. Finalists will be asked to submit writing samples.
-Experience in planning and managing revenue goals, and experience reporting on progress.
-Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to maintain professional decorum and a positive attitude in a fast-paced environment.
-Outstanding leadership abilities: experience implementing projects from beginning to end; experience with staff and intern supervision; ability to make decisions independently.
-A keen ability to understand foundation priorities and grant-making practices, and to adjust funding requests accordingly.
-Experience utilizing a complex CRM or donor database; ability to extract and analyze data to determine campaign effectiveness and identify areas of opportunity.
-An appreciation for orchestral music and the skills of orchestral musicians. A basic knowledge of orchestral music, such as instruments and major composers, is required.
-Ability to read and understand organization/program budgets and develop drafts of grant budgets.
-Successful candidates must be willing and able to attend all AYS public events (8 to 10 per year), including events on evenings and weekends.
-Personal qualities of integrity, reliability, and sound judgment.

Preferred Qualifications:

-Previous experience working with and reporting to an engaged board of directors.
-Experience with PatronManager/Salesforce.
-Experience producing fundraising events.
-Demonstrated ability to write compelling solicitation materials.
-Experience with a moves-management approach to individual giving.
-Ability to create some basic graphic design in-house with Adobe Creative Cloud.

If you don’t have 100% of the experience listed above, but you are a quick learner and think you would be great in this role, please apply!

Compensation: 58,240-99,000 // 100% employer coverage for medical, dental, and vision insurance -Employer contributions to a retirement account after one year of employment -Paid time off, including holidays, winter break, vacation/personal, sick leave, comp time, and volunteer time

***To apply, send your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with the subject line: Development Director Application by 5/31/2022.

The American Youth Symphony is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) dedicated to diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and equity. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability or any other legally protected characteristics. Everyone is encouraged to apply for available employment to ensure our staff reflects the diversity of our communities.

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