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Major Gifts Officer - Winston-Salem Symphony

The Winston-Salem Symphony (WSS), a nationally respected, 76-year-old professional regional orchestra, is seeking an exceptional fundraising leader for a new Major Gifts Officer (MGO) position. A pivotal senior leader on the philanthropy team, reporting to the Vice President, Revenue & Patron Relations Officer, the MGO will be responsible for developing and growing a new major gifts program that meets or exceeds contributed revenue goals by conducting lead gift prospect research, developing major gift donor solicitation strategies, and cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding a portfolio of existing and prospective major gift donors. In addition, the MGO is responsible for developing and growing a planned giving program that produces endowment growth, and for managing the Symphony’s corporate sponsorship program (cash and in-kind partners).

The MGO will work closely with the V.P., Chief Revenue & Patron Relations Officer, the President & CEO, the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, and the Board of Directors to coordinate and execute long-term fundraising initiatives. The MGO also collaborates with and guides the Director of Philanthropy and the Patron Services Manager.

This position allows flexibility for a hybrid mix of work in and outside the office and includes concert and special event responsibilities on some evenings and weekends.

Duties, Responsibilities & Position Requirements:

Philanthropic Planning & Leadership

Grow WSS philanthropic results by:

  • Playing a leadership role in creating WSS strategic plans and philanthropy-related financial plans.

  • Demonstrating excellence in major gifts relationship cultivation and management.

  • Leading the development and implementation of a sophisticated multi-year fundraising plan which:

  • Produces consistent growth that meets or exceeds budgeted short-term and sustainable long-term results in unrestricted and restricted donations with a primary focus on individual donors of $10,000+.

  • Expands and diversifies the portfolio of existing and new major and planned gift donors, consistent with the WSS’s commitment to inclusion (DEIA) objectives.

  • Is based on personalized donor solicitation strategies, well-crafted major gift proposals, and regular contact with prospects, call metrics recommended by the Major Gifts Officer.

  • Aligns donor passions with mission centric WSS needs and opportunities.

  • Expands the base of corporate sponsorships and other philanthropic partnerships.

  • Embraces technology to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of fundraising operations and ensure timely, accurate, and secure donor communications, records, and gifts management.

  • Establishes, tracks, and assesses major and planned gift fundraising success metrics/key performance indicators (KPIs).

  • Ensures internal resources are consistently focused on strategic objectives.

  • Focusing on high touch out-of-office prospecting, relationship cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship calls.

  • Planning for the next major comprehensive fundraising campaign.

  • Establishing WSS stewardship efforts as the regional best practices benchmark.

  • Inspiring a culture of philanthropy among Board members and other fundraising volunteers through effective training, and engagement in philanthropic asks and donor stewardship.

Other Management Responsibilities

Enhance fundraising operations management by:

  • Creating and overseeing implementation of:

  • Major and planned gift cultivation practices, policies, and procedures including data mining and other prospect research; call planning, reporting and follow-up.

  • Enhanced patron/partner stewardship practices based on routine personal high touch experiences.

  • Strategies to enhance Board engagement in a culture of giving that inspires action and strengthens intellectual and emotional commitment (through Ambassador’s Program support, training support resources).

  • Strategies that encourage the growth of online giving.

  • Enhanced data analysis and reporting practices.

  • Leading the creation of print and digital communication materials to support major gift, planned gift, and corporate sponsorship fundraising efforts by gathering assets and copywriting in collaboration with the Marketing and Communications Manager and/or Senior Creative Manager.

  • Managing, analyzing, and reporting on major and planned gift fundraising data, following established procedures for donor data management in the WSS’s CRM platform (Patron Manager).

  • Overseeing creation of online donation forms, managing pledges, and working with the Patron Services Manager to analyze data and create reports to identify patrons for gift solicitation, calculate appropriate amounts for increased giving asks, determine the timing and amounts for renewal asks, and track annual fundraising progress.

Knowledge, Skills, & Traits

  • Bachelor’s degree required, fundraising certificates and advanced degrees a plus; minimum of three years of successful and progressively responsible major and/or planned gifts fundraising, or equivalent sales or business development experience; supervisory and prior non-profit experience a plus.

  • The successful MGO will demonstrate the following key professional skills and traits:

  • Impeccable ethics, integrity, and trustworthiness.

  • A thorough knowledge of fundraising best practices.

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills with a demonstrated service-driven ability to listen, build strong relationships, and enthusiastically and convincingly sell opportunities to support strategic initiatives with people of all backgrounds and interests.

  • Exceptional communication, planning, and organizational skills.

  • Results-driven, resourceful, action-oriented, and decisive; not discouraged by rejection.

  • Analytical – successfully uses data-driven insights to drive decision making.

  • A flexible leadership style that empowers staff and volunteer partners and promotes collaboration and teamwork.

  • Successfully manages multiple projects and priorities.

  • An intense desire to lead and to innovate.

  • Thrives in a creative, collaborative, intense and fast-paced work environment.

  • Respects others and accepts alternative ideas and approaches; embraces diversity as a strategic advantage and advances equity in the workplace.

  • Motivated by the WSS’s mission and vision.

  • Formal musical training not required.

  • Technologically savvy with excellent Microsoft Office skills and solid experience with donor databases for managing donor and solicitation records; experience with Patron Manager/Salesforce a plus.

  • Requires successful completion of a background check.

Other Benefits: Following successful completion of 90 days and in accordance with prevailing employee policies: 21 days Paid Time Off (PTO) plus 11 paid holidays; medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability insurance; life insurance equal to one-time annual salary; opportunities for professional development

Organization Description: The Winston-Salem Symphony (WSS) is in its 76th season as one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional per-service orchestras. Its performance season historically includes masterworks classical concerts, pops guest artists and themes, educational and family concerts and more. For more information visit the WSS website at:

Organization Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Application Deadline & Procedure: E-mail cover letter, résumé and three professional references with contact information to Tim Storhoff (VP, Chief Revenue & Patron Relations Officer) at No phone calls, please. Review of applicants is ongoing.

The Winston-Salem Symphony Association is an equal-opportunity employer.

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