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Major Gifts Officer / Handel and Haydn Society

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • TypePaid
  • TermFull time
  • CategoryDevelopment
  • Post DateFeb 20, 2018

Title: Major Gifts Officer
Department: Development
Reports to: Vice President of Development

To Apply

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President of Development, the Major Gifts Officer will play an instrumental role in the Handel and Haydn Society’s fundraising efforts by focusing on securing individual annual gifts of $10,000 to $50,000 and special campaign gifts of six and seven figures. This new position will work with the Vice President of Development and Senior Philanthropy Officer to build on an existing portfolio of major prospects from researched lists and recently acquired subscribers. In this new role, the Major Gifts Officer will build and manage a portfolio of approximately 125 prospects.

The Major Gifts Officer will join a six-person development team and will work closely with the Vice President of Development, the President and CEO, and the Senior Philanthropy Officer in implementing a major gifts program, launched in 2016 following a successful four-year capital campaign ($13.5M). The program aligns with H+H’s newly-adopted strategic plan (2018-2023).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Enlarge and manage a portfolio of approximately 125 individual donors and prospects, acting as an externally facing fundraiser while working with colleagues and volunteers for further engagement of donors. Responsible for developing new relationships through proactive outreach. Develop and implement overall strategies for engagement, solicitation, cultivation, and coordination of all follow-up steps with a goal to increase the number of gifts, donors, and revenue at major giving levels ($10,000-$50,000 annual; $100,000+ special).
  • Execute an average of 8-10 donor and prospect visits a month and distribute contact reports on a timely basis.
  • Work collaboratively with the H+H development team to determine best strategies for major gift prospects. Develop fundraising strategies while coordinating solicitations, engagement, and stewardship activities.
  • Work closely with the Senior Philanthropy Officer and Vice President of Development to develop and research a personal portfolio to achieve specific annual objectives and financial goals.
  • Primary staff for the Major Gifts Task Force (6-8 members); setting agendas, developing prospect strategies, following up with volunteer solicitors and providing analysis of fundraising efforts.
  • Assist in expanding the 1815 Society planned giving program by encouraging appropriate prospects to consider estate gifts, including bequests and Charitable Gift Annuities. Ensure proper stewardship of planned giving donors.
  • Assist the President and CEO and Vice President of Development in developing strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of all major gift prospects and donors, and tracking these efforts using the Tessitura Plans Management system.
  • Manage donor communication, including the Major Donor Newsletter and participate in drafting donor Case Statements for major projects within the strategic plan.
  • Ensure documentation and timely recording of actions for donor portfolio in Tessitura donor database.
  • Draft major gift acknowledgement letters for portfolio of donors and others as needed.
  • Assist in projecting and tracking multi-year gift solicitations, write and distribute stewardship reports where appropriate, and provide progress reports for senior staff, volunteers, and the board as needed.
  • Convene internal prospect strategy meetings and work closely with Director of Annual Giving to ensure coordination of solicitation efforts among entire prospect/donor base with other individual giving.
  • With the Development Coordinator, plan and oversee donor screening activities.
  • Attend H+H concerts, special events, and board meetings as appropriate and assist events team by attending and engaging prospects at events involving major donors.
  • Execute other major gifts and related duties as may be required.

Position Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with 4-8 years of relevant major gifts experience.
  • Experience with planned giving (including life income gifts) and capital campaigns.
  • Experience with Board volunteer management and the ability to maintain a high level of diplomacy and connectedness.
  • Highly energetic, self-motivated, goal-oriented individual with track record of developing and executing successful major gifts strategies.
  • Commitment to the Handel and Haydn Society mission with an appreciation for Baroque and Classical performances, music education, and community engagement.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills, organizational skills, and project management skills required.
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor.
  • Excellent project management skills; ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines and willingness to meet unexpected demands.
  • Ability to succeed in a creative and dynamic work environment.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of donor confidentiality.
  • Availability to attend and staff various H+H events as part of Development Team during evening and weekend hours as needed; some local travel. Regular H+H office hours are M-F, 9-5, and working remotely is possible.
  • An advocate for diversity and inclusive communities.
  • Ease with technology including familiarity with donor database systems and moves management processes (Tessitura preferred, or similar); comfort level with Microsoft Office.

The Organization

The Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and Classical music. Based in Boston, H+H’s orchestra and chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners each year with a ten-concert subscription series at Symphony Hall and other leading venues in addition to a robust program of intimate events in museums, schools, and community centers. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, the ensemble embraces historically informed performance, bringing classical music to life with the same immediacy it had the day it was written. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H also provides engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education to over 11,500 children each year through in-school music instruction and the Vocal Arts Program that includes six youth choruses.

H+H provides transformative musical experiences for audiences of all ages. It aims to make its performances and programs accessible and meaningful to as many people as possible. The board adopted a new strategic plan in September 2017 to guide the organization from 2018-2023. The four areas of strategic focus are:

  • Artistic: Strengthen our artistic quality, creating superb musical experiences that push artistic standards to greater heights and further elevate the organization’s brand.
  • Patrons: Pursue new marketing and communications initiatives to attract, retain, and deepen our engagement with patrons in greater Boston and beyond.
  • Learning: Solidify our education offerings to provide experiences for all ages that foster understanding and enjoyment of classical music.
  • Institutional Culture and Capacity: Deepen our commitment to becoming an inclusive institution across all areas; strengthen organizational resources and infrastructure.

The new plan comes at a key pivot point for H+H as it concludes its last strategic plan (2012-2017) which took H+H through its 2015 Bicentennial and $13.5 million capital campaign, which substantially grew the endowment and launched important initiatives. Following the completion of the campaign in fall 2016, H+H has continued to grow its individual fundraising program through the implementation of its major gifts program. In the first year of this program, H+H has dramatically expanded its base of individuals giving $10,000 or more annually. This robust support underwrites operations as well as strategic initiatives.

In the past year, H+H has experienced unprecedented growth in ticket sales, including a 10.4% increase in the subscription base. In April 2017 H+H returned to New York City with a sold-out performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers at the Metropolitan Museum, which was streamed live online for 60,000 viewers around the world. In August 2017, H+H returned to Tanglewood after a 20-year hiatus to present a critically-acclaimed performance of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen.

Founded in Boston in 1815, H+H is the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States. H+H began as a choral society founded by middle-class Bostonians who aspired to improve the quality of their singing in their growing American city. They named the organization after two composers – Handel and Haydn – to represent both the old music of the 18th century and what was then the new music of the 19th century. In the first decades of its existence, H+H gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Since its founding, H+H has given more than 2,000 performances before a total audience exceeding 2.8 million.

In addition to its subscription series, tours, and broadcast performances, H+H reaches a worldwide audience through ambitious recordings including the critically-acclaimed Haydn The Creation, the best-selling Joy to the World: An American Christmas, and Handel Messiah, recorded live at Symphony Hall under Christophers’ direction.

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