Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Leadership & Planned Gift Officer

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Please submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the position title in the subject line, along with any additional materials specified in the job description.
Posted On: March 7
Location: Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201

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

The Leadership & Planned Gift Officer is a key member of the Advancement Department’s team who will be responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of current and prospective donors as part of the DSO endowment campaign.  The position is additionally responsible for management and expansion of DSO’s planned giving program, the 1887 Society. 

The Leadership & Planned Gift Officer is a unique opportunity for a motivated and experienced development professional to impact growth for an ongoing endowment campaign program. This position requires both strategic vision and a hands-on approach with knowledge of all facets of development and a good working understanding of nonprofit best practices.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 100 – 125 qualified leadership and planned gift prospects with the goal of securing investments in the endowment campaign as well as maintaining and increasing investments in the annual fund
  • Develop and execute strategy for planned giving program and provide training to Advancement Department colleagues 
  • Build and facilitate plans to cultivate existing donors and prospects with the goal to open new opportunities for funding and to deepen existing relationships
  • Help recruit, train, coach, motivate and manage volunteer leadership to engage in solicitations and other cultivation/stewardship activities
  • Attend meetings of, and help provide staff support for, the Development Committee and other relevant working groups and meetings as assigned
  • Prepare a yearly Work Plan, aligned with DSO endowment campaign financial targets, as well as professional goals and objectives
  • Keep detailed, comprehensive and accurate records of contacts with all prospects and donors
  • Participate in all events of the Advancement department including donor stewardship events, the Herman and Sharon Frankel Donor Lounge shifts, board engagement and other key fundraising events throughout the year. 
  • Other duties as assigned.

Preferred Skills:


  • 5+ years of development experience with increasing levels of responsibility and achievement in executing a successful fundraising program
  • Demonstrated proficiency in performing personal solicitations of major and planned gifts
  • Knowledge of planned giving vehicles, IRS regulations and financial planning 
  • Endowment fundraising experience preferred
  • Strong history of fundraising results
  • Ability to work easily and effectively with volunteers and staff
  • Experience working with a donor database like Tessitura or Raiser’s Edge a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree required

Reporting Responsibility

  • Campaign Director


  • None

Personal Attributes and Competencies

  • Strong leadership skills with a proven track record for meeting goals and objectives
  • Motivated to network socially and have a call and passion for building relationships with those in decision making positions
  • High energy with a positive attitude and the ability to provide superior donor service
  • 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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