Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Campaign Research Specialist

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Posted On: January 18
Location: Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
Job Type:
Full Time

Job Description:

The Organization

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, and collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists.  Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season.  The DSO offers a year-round performance schedule that includes classical, pops, jazz, young people’s concerts and festivals.  The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music.  For more information visit

Position Summary

We seek an energetic, driven and creative advancement colleague to conduct prospect research; develop targeted cultivation and stewardship plans for a range of prospects; establish solicitation strategies; manage prospect lists and moves management processes; and provide support to staff and volunteer leadership for campaign solicitations.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Prospect Research
    1. Conducts in-depth research to develop background information on prospects, including information on wealth, associations, and businesses
    2. Utilizes on-line databases, the internet, reference materials and directories to gather and analyze information and qualify prospects for specific projects/campaigns
    3. Prepares written summaries, profiles and reports
    4. Evaluates potential purchase of prospect rating/research services and applies them to donor and prospect database
    5. Responds to specific research requests
    6. Adheres to ethical and confidentiality guidelines of both the DSO and Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA)
  2. Prospect Management 
    1. Maintains prospect tracking and management system and participates in prospect review sessions to help develop cultivation and solicitation strategies 
    2. Prepares lists of prospects as needed for cultivation events and other purposes
    3. Assists in scheduling various meetings with volunteers and prospective donors
    4. Generates donor communications
    5. Participates in fundraising planning to ensure the integration of the research program with campaign fundraising efforts
    6. Creates queries, spreadsheets and ad-hoc reports as needed
    7. Assists in preparing solicitation materials including informational packets, proposals and support documents
    8. Creates and maintains comprehensive tracking and invoicing schedule for capital campaign commitments, reconciling income with Finance Department monthly
    9. Ensures proper fulfillment of benefits for campaign donors
  3. Organizational Support
    1. Represents the DSO on external and internal matters and to external constituencies 
    2. Maintains excellent relationships with musicians, senior staff and board members 
    3. Participates and attends as supportive fundraiser at major events 
    4. Works as needed to provide support on special projects

Preferred Skills:


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 3-5 years of work experience in a fast-paced office environment demonstrating superb organization, writing, communication and interpersonal skills; academic or philanthropic research experience
  • Demonstrated ability to problem-solve, analyze, and communicate synthesized and segmented volumes of financial and biographical information into concise research profiles and reports
  • Experience working with a donor database like Tessitura or Raiser’s Edge, a plus

Reporting Responsibility

  • Campaign Director


  • None

Personal Attributes and Competencies

  • Attention to detail
  • Dynamic self-starter who can think strategically and provide solutions
  • Strong analytical skills, action-oriented, decisive, accurate and timely 
  • Sensitive to the needs of individuals and able to maneuver within multiple departments 
  • Ability to work well under pressure; persistence, perseverance, tenacity, integrity and patience  
  • Strategist that is motivated by deadlines and measurable outcomes
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