• VP of Development - MYSO

    Location US-WI-Milwaukee
    Posted Date 4 weeks ago(4 weeks ago)
    Job ID
    # Positions
  • Overview

    Since 1956, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has been nurturing, challenging, and inspiring generations of students and profoundly changing lives and our community for the better.
    MYSO has grown from one orchestra and 30 students to become the largest after-school youth orchestra in the country, and one of the most respected. We serve 6,000 students ages 8-18 annually through more than 40 ensemble and enrichment programs. MYSO draws students from more than 200 schools, 60 communities, and as many as 14 counties in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

    The Vice President of Development oversees and manages the organization’s fundraising strategy, development and execution. The Vice President of Development role requires an individual who is a strong leader, understands and is passionate about the mission and vision of the organization, exemplifies MYSO Core Values, and can articulate MYSO’s mission to donors and prospects in a way that both educates and compels them to give. The successful candidate will have experience meeting 7 figure annual fundraising goals utilizing multiple fundraising channels.

    The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra has partnered with Spano Pratt Executive Search to identify the Vice President of Development. For a confidential conversation and to learn more about this opportunity please contact:

    Jamie Pratt


    • Strategy
    o Reports directly to the Executive Director, but also works with the Finance Director, Artistic Director, Marketing Director, and Board of Directors to develop strategies in fundraising channels to include but not limited to: direct mail, internet, email, workplace giving, planned giving and mid-level giving.
    o Develops and implements a fundraising plan for each channel to achieve short-term and long-term goals.
    o Develops and tracks annual contributed revenue budgets.
    o Identifies, cultivates, solicits and expands the number of individual annual, mid-level, and planned giving prospects and donors.
    o Provides analysis and reporting on the overall performance of fundraising against goals and strategic plan.
    o Stays apprised of advancements and changes pertinent to fundraising and development profession.
    o Directs and leads adaptations to current strategies and practices in accordance with these changes and as necessary.
    o Provides vision and direction to build and manage a full-scale development program. The Vice President of Development will also be involved in strategic planning process and other strategic decisions for the entire organization.

    • Revenue Development
    o Building on a strong experience base and creative intellect, design and pursue growth strategies for existing and new fundraising channels.
    o As part of senior leadership team, identify new opportunities to expand organizational funding from charitable or earned sources and design, plan and lead successful new fundraising channel initiatives based on well-crafted strategy.
    o Create and execute major gift, planned giving and capital campaign strategies and goals, including cultivation and solicitation of donor and prospect portfolio.
    • Branding and Marketing
    o Builds upon a branding strategy that supports all fundraising and program efforts.
    o Understands, communicates and enforces the organization’s values, policies, guidelines and practices.
    o Maintains and updates organizational brand standards pertaining to fund development and communicates and enforces execution of the brand.
    o Partners with marketing and public relations efforts to ensure brand representation and adherence across in-house advertising, graphic design, social media, direct mail, website and in communications such as the annual report and other mediums.
    • Supplier Management
    o Works in close cooperation with Marketing Director in procurement of all necessary outside resources for the execution and support of organization’s fundraising efforts including outside print and mail shop suppliers, donation processing vendors, internet email and website providers, database providers, and telemarketing technology vendors.
    o Ensures adherence to organizational policies and procedures as well as the timely review of supplier needs and pricing through formal RFI and RFP practices.
    o Manages the design and implementation of the DonorPerfect donor management platform, and successful completion of all system migration activities.
    o Collaborates with IT Department and outside experts to ensure seamless management and implementation of all Fundraising applications and telephony technologies as critical components of the organization’s capacity to raise funds.
    • Donor Relations and Cultivation
    o Creates, implements, manages and assesses a comprehensive donor relations plan to support organization’s fundraising efforts including responding to donor concerns and/or requests, gift acknowledgements, program information and stewardship.
    o Fosters a positive, ongoing relationship with donors and ensures a long-term relationship is forged by maintaining contact and proactively educating donors on outcomes and results of MYSO’s efforts.
    o Designs and implements growth and retention strategies with existing donors and opportunities to forge new donor relationships.
    o Oversees development of and manages donor and fundraising events.
    o Develop and maintain relationships with local business and arts leaders to enhance the MYSO’s development efforts. Work to enhance public understanding of and support for the unique role of the MYSO in the community.
    o Join and attend service club to enhance the MYSO’s awareness, education, and cultivation efforts, if possible within the MYSO budget.
    o Attend civic and cultural events in the community; represent MYSO by speaking at public events as requested.

    • Leadership and Team Development
    o Serves as a key leadership team member and active participant in making strategic decisions regarding MYSO’s revenue development strategy.
    o Manages and nurtures the Development staff, including hiring, training, and evaluating performance.
    o Contributes to continued growth of organization through team development, participation in senior leadership team discussions and Board of Directors decisions.
    o Participates in Board meetings and serves as staff resource for the Board’s Development Committee.
    • Other:
    o Develop and maintain internal and external contacts to optimize fund-raising efforts.
    o Maintain ongoing contact with contributors, corporate sponsors, and business and community leaders.
    o Support Board and staff efforts to solicit in-kind contributions.
    o Keep abreast of recent research on fund raising; maintain a collection of current fund-raising resource materials.


    Candidates must have the following qualifications:
    • At least 10+ years fundraising and development experience in progressively responsible leadership positions with at least 5 years in a senior leadership role overseeing operational and performance outcomes
    • Verified track record of meeting or exceeding measurable fundraising goals in a medium to large, fast-paced nonprofit environment
    • Strong background managing all aspects of fundraising including high net worth individuals, foundation and corporate relations, direct mail and telemarketing
    • Experience creating budgets and forecasting revenue
    • Strong leadership, interpersonal, communication and writing skills, including confident and professional public speaking abilities
    • High degree of integrity and character that garners the trust and respect of others
    • High energy, flexibility and creative strategic thinking
    • Ability to build, maintain and manage long-term relationships with fundraising constituents as well as work collaboratively with the Executive Director, Board, staff and volunteers
    • Experience supervising and managing a diverse team with demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, delegate responsibility, and inspire, engage and motivate staff.
    • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively in a small team environment that is mission-driven
    • Strong project management, organizational and time management skills to plan, implement and administer fund development initiatives
    • Strong research, data collection and analytics skills
    • Ability to maintain absolute confidentiality of donor information when appropriate
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, fund development software, databases and management information systems, and various social media and website platforms


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