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Assistant, WNO Donor Relations
SUBMITTED DATE: 12/8/2017

The Assistant, WNO Donor Relations, will work with the Chief Development Officer and the two Managers of WNO Development in the management and long-term development of the WNO Circles Campaign (donors $1,200 - $19,999), the WNO Major Gifts Campaign (donors $20,000 and above), and the WNO Council (donors $25,000), WNO Board ($2M) including research, cultivation, acquisition, stewardship, and ongoing maintenance for both unrestricted and restricted contributions.

The Assistant will generate solicitations and donor correspondence on behalf of WNO senior staff, ensure fulfillment of donor benefits by liaising with contributors via phone and email, track giving levels and renewal schedules, maintain proper donor crediting, research funding prospects, and utilize departmental systems with regards to gift processing, ticket exchanges,  solicitation tracking, and the storing/maintenance of donor information.   

The Assistant will support the Chief Development Officer in personal schedule, team schedule, and other team administrative tasks as needed.  

The Assistant must be able to exercise discretion in order to prioritize assignments and work under significant pressure, as many projects are time sensitive and involve concurrent deadlines and donor interaction. An eagerness to communicate and problem-solve with a positive attitude is essential.

Duties and Responsibilities:

70%           Assist in the management of the WNO Donor campaigns including Major Gifts, Circles, Board, Corporate, Foundation and Individual giving including:

  • Preparing timely and accurate written communication with over 900 donors:
    • Organizing, developing, and executing standardized solicitation and acknowledgment materials to 900+ donors;
    • Support the Chief Development Office in donor relations including ticket exchanges, general donor needs, team administrative tasks.
    • Drafting and coordinating multiple types of correspondence (solicitations, acknowledgments, notes, research briefings, proposals, tax receipts, etc.) of varying length and complexity;
    • Preparing donor and strategy research projects in support of Campaign goals;
    • Completing timely gift entry forms and ensure accuracy of all billing and contributions; and
  • Manage office resources and collateral materials;
  • Identifying opportunities for gift increases in coordinate with the Assistant Manager;
  • Actively stewarding and soliciting donors through direct contact via telephone, email, and written communication;
  • Maintaining accurate donor records in hardcopy and electronic formats and in Tessitura;
  • Participating in fundraising and general stewardship:
    • Responding to donor requests for Membership logistics and details;
    • Ensuring proper donor recognition across several mediums;
    • Managing donor ticketing needs
  • Researching and preparing detailed briefings on prospective donors to be presented to team leadership
  • Assisting with donor benefit, cultivation, and auxiliary events:
    • Preparing invitations and taking responses;
    • Coordinating scheduling with WNO administrative staff and artists;
    • Coordinating event check-in and event flow; and
    • Completing appropriate follow-up following each event.
  • Coordinating the inventory of WNO collateral materials, including: art revisions; new orders; proofing/editing; and vendor communications.

30%  Assist in the management of the Fundraising Campaigns ($2M goal) including:

  • Preparing timely and accurate written communication with high-level donors:
    • Organizing and implementing solicitation and acknowledgment materials;
    • Generating acknowledgments and tax receipts;
    • Completing timely gift entry forms and ensure accuracy of all billing and contributions;
    • Ensuring proper donor recognition across several mediums;
  • Drafting all types of correspondence of varying length and complexity.
  • Researching and identifying prospective donors in consultation with the Assistant Manager, including the preparation of individually tailored research briefings, solicitations, proposals, and presentations.
  • Maintaining accurate donor records in hardcopy and electronic formats and in Tessitura.
  • Assisting with donor benefit, cultivation, and auxiliary events:
    • Preparing invitations and taking responses;
    • Coordinating scheduling with WNO administrative staff and artists;
    • Coordinating event check-in and event flow.
    • Completing appropriate follow-up following each event. 

Education/Experience: 

Bachelor’s degree required.  An advanced degree in a related field is beneficial.

Minimum one year of development or related experience required.

Working knowledge of the performing arts is preferred.                                              

Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required: 

  • Superior organizational, written, and verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Careful attention to detail and awareness of standard accounting procedures.
  • Ability and confidence to work without close supervision, to foresee development needs, and to proactively generate work for this position as well as an Assistant and an intern.
  • Ability to foresee development needs and to proactively generate work for this position and for others supportive of this position.
  • Ability to delegate and multitask.
  • A professional and cordial demeanor, tact, and diplomacy are imperative as the incumbent is regularly in contact with people at all levels of society and business including Kennedy Center leadership, high level volunteers, major donors and prospects, and other Center personnel.
  • A clear understanding of the Kennedy Center mission, and an understanding of the ways in which a fundraising operation works within a large and complex institution.
  • Creativity and an excellent command of the English language are critical to identifying funding sources, matching their interests to projects, and communicating persuasively, both in person and in writing, the need for funding.
  • Ability to deftly manage many relationships and personality types; both internally among staff members, and externally among constituents.
  • Experience with Tessitura is ideal. 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation’s cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion.


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Questions about Membership or this application? Please contact Vincent Covatto, organizational membership manager, at VCovatto@operaamerica.org or by calling 646.699.5237.
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