Director of DevelopmentSarasota Opera • Full-Timehttp://www.sarasotaopera.org/Sarasota , FLORGANIZATION
Based in Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera, in its 54th season, produces outstanding opera true to the vision of the composer to entertain, enrich, and educate its communities, as well as patrons from across the state and around the world.
In 1960, the group, then called Asolo Opera Guild, was formed to present the touring Turnau Opera in chamber-sized productions in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota's Ringling Museum of Art. The company began mounting its own productions in 1973. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979. Renovations began in 1982, and the theater, on the National Register of Historic Places, opened in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House, with the company renamed Sarasota Opera.
Since 1983, Sarasota Opera has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi. Under Maestro DeRenzi, Sarasota Opera has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as for its Verdi Cycle producing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its performances for local schools and the unique Sarasota Youth Opera program.
With the completion of The Verdi Cycle in 2011, Sarasota Opera created the American Classics Series, which presents a series of great operas written by American composers during the twentieth century. The series was inaugurated with a production of The Crucible
by Robert Ward, based on Arthur Miller's Tony Award winning play of the same name, and followed with a production of Samuel Barber's intensely beautiful opera Vanessa
in 2012. This season, Sarasota Opera is presenting Carlisle Floyd's opera Of Mice and Men
, based off the novella by John Steinbeck.
The Sarasota Opera House completed a $20 million dollar historic renovation and restoration in 2008. The project was designed to restore the historic 1926 theater to its original glory, while creating a venue for opera for the 21st century. Decorative details have been restored, seating has been replaced, and the orchestra pit almost doubled in size to accommodate operas that require larger orchestras. Backstage systems have been updated, and public areas and amenities expanded and enhanced.
Sarasota Opera's FY12 budget was $7.4 million, with $3.6 million coming from contributed income. The Opera is led by Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi, Executive Director Richard Russell, and an engaged and committed 24-member volunteer Board of Trustees.
In 2012, American Style Magazine
named Sarasota #1 among small cities in its Top 25 Arts Destinations. It is indeed defined by a rich and varied arts scene that belies the size of the city. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art features an enormous selection of paintings – including one of the biggest collections of Rubens in the world. There's a vibrant gallery scene showcasing Sarasota's talented local artists, as well as visiting collections from artists around the world. The performing arts include Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Orchestra, national touring shows in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and three different theater companies all within a mile of one another.
Beyond the arts, Sarasota has some of the most extensive public park lands in the state, including the incomparable Myakka State Park, with miles of hiking trails. Six islands line Sarasota's extensive coastline, each revealing its own personality, recreational options, and natural beauty. Sports fans can enjoy dozens of golf courses and the Ed Smith Stadium, the spring training headquarters of the Baltimore Orioles and home to a minor league franchise.
Forbes has named Sarasota one of the best places for business and careers, and Money
magazine recognized it as the nation's best small city, one of the best places to retire, and one of the cities with the best health care systems.
In addition, Sarasota County Schools has been designated as an "A" district by the Florida Department of Education. Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores exceed state and national averages. The district has also been recognized for outstanding arts education by the Kennedy Center and the National School Boards Association. Institutions of higher education in Sarasota include one of the most innovative visual arts colleges in the country, the Ringling College of Art and Design, and the New College, the State of Florida's legislatively-designated "honors college for the liberal arts."
The Director of Development at Sarasota Opera works closely with the Executive Director, Artistic Director, and Board of Trustees to raise funds for the company. This position plays a vital role in developing sophisticated contributed revenue strategies, as well as actively soliciting funds that will impact the growth of the Opera over the next five years. This chief development officer is charged with conceptualizing and implementing a long-term strategy for building the donor base and charitable giving; growing community and volunteer involvement; increasing corporate interaction and philanthropy; and identifying and maximizing granting opportunities. The Director of Development manages a development department of five employees including Associate Director of Development, Individual Giving Officer, Development Associate, Grants Officer, and Corporate and Special Events Officer.
The overarching challenge for the new Director of Development will be to create and execute a successful fundraising program that raises significant dollars and builds visibility for the opera. He/she will be responsible for the direction, planning, and implementation of an annual, endowment, and planned giving program, including the stewardship, cultivation, and solicitation of donors and prospects for Sarasota Opera. He/she will work closely with the Board of Trustees and local, regional, and national foundation, corporate, government, and individual funders to identify and grow the resources to support Sarasota Opera's artistic vision and strategic organizational development.
Responsibilities include the following duties, including the ability to work evening and weekend hours:
TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS
- With the Executive Director, chart the short and long-term trajectory for development initiatives, evaluate current programs and strategies, and determine yearly budget targets with the objective of continuing the company's current rate of growth.
- Develop strategy for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors.
- Maintain a portfolio of key donors and enable the cultivation of key donors by the Executive Director and the Board.
- Supervise the research, writing, and submission of grants proposals and applications.
- Identify and solicit corporate gift and partnership opportunities.
- In coordination with the marketing department, create a development communications strategy; craft messaging and language; supervise design and layout of materials; and determine media and methods, including print and electronic.
- Oversee coordination of fundraising and related events.
- Supervise the maintenance of database of current and prospective donors, and ensure data confidentiality and security.
- Become involved in the local community and develop a rapport with local, state, and other legislators and key players.
- Report on development activities to the Board of Trustees.
- Represent Sarasota Opera at community events, fundraising events, and performances as necessary.
- Embrace other duties as needed.
Sarasota Opera seeks an energetic, entrepreneurial individual as Director of Development. The successful candidate needs to be a "people person" who can work nimbly within a frequently changing creative environment to motivate a team and achieve goals. The Director of Development should be "customer focused" and possess strong, persuasive interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to articulate compelling messages for support that generate enthusiasm and commitment among stakeholders. He/she will have frequent interaction with others and must work collaboratively with all levels of staff, volunteers, donors, and prospective donors. The successful candidate must exhibit a polished presence, empathetic attitude, diplomacy, discretion, and a deep respect and understanding of donor and trustee relations. The Director of Development should possess an understanding of how to effectively build consensus with a sense of immediacy in achieving fundraising goals, as well as a great appreciation of the teamwork required to succeed organizationally. He/she will need to be a good manager, mentor, and teacher who can motivate his/her staff to achieve goals.
The Director of Development should have the capacity to embrace challenges and thrive in an entrepreneurial environment where creative ideas and close collegial relationships are appreciated. This important member of the senior management team must have exceptional organizational, problem-solving, and administrative skills, with the ability to plan, set goals and objectives, organize, and follow-through, valuing practical accomplishments, results, and rewards. He/she must have a strong sense of self management, with an outstanding ability to set priorities and complete multiple tasks simultaneously in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames. The overall ability to set, pursue, and attain achievable goals, regardless of obstacles and circumstances, will be a key quality. The successful candidate should demonstrate an ability to initiate and sustain momentum without close supervision.
A Bachelor's degree is required, with a master's degree preferred, and five to seven years of increasing responsibility and proven success in a fundraising role within an arts organization. Opera experience is highly desirable. A proven track record in the identification, cultivation, acknowledgement, and stewardship of donors and potential donors at all levels is a necessity, along with the ability to manage and develop budgets, maintain confidentiality, and conceptualize and implement special events. Excellent interpersonal and teambuilding skills are required, as are good computer skills, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access), donor database software (Tessitura), and use of internet-based tools for research.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Competitive salary and benefits, including medical, dental, vacation, sick and personal days, holidays, a retirement savings plan, and discounted and complimentary tickets to Sarasota Opera.
APPLICATIONS AND INQUIRIES
Send letter and résumé outlining demonstrable accomplishments and a verifiable track record of results to:
Lee Kappelman, Vice President
Arts Consulting Group, Inc.
1718 M Street NW, Suite 283
Washington, DC 20036-4504
Tel (888) 234.4236 ext. 4
Cell (410) 218.1953
Fax (888) 284.6651
Sarasota Opera is an Equal Opportunity Employer.