SYSO is currently poised for growth and seeks a Director of Development and External Relations with a strong vision and the demonstrated ability to put plans into practice, shaping the organization’s trajectory into the future and moving from maintenance into growth mode.
SYSO’s development work focuses on strengthening its diverse streams of philanthropic revenue to create a more sustainable fundraising program. The organization has created systems and plans aimed at increasing contributed income and building out individual and major donor giving programs. There is great opportunity and untapped resources for a skilled fundraiser to execute a diversified and comprehensive fundraising program. Specifically, SYSO has recently launched Alumni and Parent Association groups, and the opportunity for giving is tremendous with just these two constituencies. Planned giving and estate planning are additional opportunities for development.
SYSO’s marketing and communications work is shared across the whole organization’s staff of 8, and the team works collaboratively to manage communications projects and market programs. The Director of Development and External Relations will lead this group work, setting strategy and messaging and guiding the timing and execution of a collaborative communications calendar that serves the marketing needs of all SYSO programs. As SYSO’s revenue model includes earned income programs as well as fundraising, the marketing work serves a combination of both functions.
Having recently completed a holistic development assessment and with a concrete development plan in place, we seek a builder to collaborate with the board, Executive Director and Music Director to execute on and grow our development activities. SYSO is looking to modernize its operations and customize its revenue strategy to meet future needs; this person will play an instrumental role in implementing and expanding the plan. SYSO has recently transitioned to using Salesforce, and the Director will be instrumental in working with the Data and Operations Manager in optimizing the CRM for revenue generation needs. The Director of Development and External Relations will also provide coaching and guidance to the board, Executive Director and Music Director to deepen their fundraising proficiency.
Candidates for this position should be a knowledgeable Development professional with a passion for and, preferably, experience working in the arts and with youth. In particular, SYSO is seeking candidates with a history of successfully raising major gifts from individuals and corporations. Candidates should thrive on the opportunity to build: relationships, partnerships and community with a wide variety of stakeholders. This person should be self-directed, comfortable with ambiguity and able to implement a strategy, coaching and guiding staff, leadership and board members along the way. The successful candidate will possess a superior organizational skill set, clear set of values that align with SYSO’s mission, and a demonstrated ability to develop relationships and cultivate and steward donors, partnerships and gifts that align with strategic goals. The minimum annual contributed revenue goal is approximately $500,000.
The Director of Development and External Relations will be expected to work some weekends and holidays due to concert and other event schedules. The Director will attend all concerts and events and will be a well-known and trusted steward of the mission and organization within the broad community of concert attendees and community members. This person will also be 6.22.19 required to staff and attend all relevant Development and External Relations Committee meetings.
Provide oversight and lead execution of all aspects of contributed resource development
Lead fundraising efforts in the areas of annual campaign, major giving, corporate, private and government grantseeking, planned and estate giving, annual benefit event, Parent Association, and Alumni Association.
Engage, guide, coordinate and coach Executive Director, Board, Music Director and other community stakeholders to enhance fundraising efforts and advance the mission of SYSO, including acknowledging donors, engagement with the annual fundraiser, and leadership donor pipeline development.
Prepare annual development plans and associated budgets including strategy, planning, execution, evaluation and review of all development efforts, including management of associated personnel and expenses
Prepare annual development program assessment and review.
Lead Major Gifts and Institutional Fundraising Programs
Ownership of major gifts fundraising, working with Executive Director, Music Director, and volunteer leadership to grow major gifts program with a focus on moves management and major gifts pipeline building.
Ownership of institutional fundraising including management of grant writing contractor, institutional giving management, and funder stewardship.
Oversee work of Development Manager
Provide coaching, support and supervision of development activities for all staff that collaborate on fundraising activities, including the Executive Director, Music Director, Data and Operations Manager, and Development Manager
Work collaboratively with staff across function areas to execute communications responsibilities.
Create workflow efficiencies and align individual team member goals with the strategic and revenue development plan
Act as member of SYSO Leadership
Staff Development and External Relations Committee of the Board of Directions, and attend general Board meetings as necessary
With Executive Director and Music Director, form leadership team for the organization, setting direction, policy and culture for SYSO’s work. ? Steward a culture of philanthropy within the SYSO community
Coach and mentor SYSO staff, board and key volunteers in executing on development plan
Integrate a strong understanding of issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion into all aspects of the work
Marketing and Communications
Grow SYSO’s mission profile in order to increase student, audience and philanthropic participation in its programs in alignment with the strategic plan
Lead SYSO communications and messaging, hone the SYSO brand through thoughtful pursuit of PR opportunities.
Work with SYSO team to collectively execute communications and marketing plans
• 5-7 years experience in a lead development role in an arts, education and/or youth focused organization
• Experience cultivating and securing major gifts of $10,000 or higher
• Experience creating and/or overseeing major donor, individual donor, planned giving, corporate, foundation and institutional programs
• Experience converting alumni, parents, audience members and other stakeholders into donors
• Broad understanding of foundations and institutional donors beyond those focused on the arts
• Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal, and an ability to articulate a compelling story about SYSO that engages and motivates community members, funders, staff and various stakeholders
• At least five years staff management experience and demonstrated commitment to a servant leadership model
• A demonstrated passion for the SYSO mission and a sense of humor, levity and a willingness to do whatever it takes to support the team, all key constituents and the mission
About Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1942, the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) is one of the premier, and largest, youth orchestras in the nation. SYSO now serves over 1,700 diverse students a year through five academic-year orchestras including the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, Marrowstone Music Festival, SYSO Summer Music, the Seattle Conservatory of Music, and the Endangered Instruments Program and Musical Pathway Project, partnerships with local public schools to provide equitable access to music education. The flagship Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, is made up of the finest young classical musicians in the region, delivering performances of professional caliber with the unrivaled energy and passion of youthful artistry.