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For nearly a century, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO) has served as one of Hampton Roads’ most beloved and leading cultural assets.  A source of pride in the region, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra continues to connect the surrounding community through the transformative power of exceptional musical performances and educational activities. 

Under the leadership of CEO Karen Philion and an engaged and passionate Board of Directors, the VSO has achieved a positive financial performance and implemented a strategic plan to shift in a direction that will widen the Symphony’s significance beyond regular concert goers.  Through this plan, the VSO has strategically engaged the health and wellness communities; increased our focus on education and created new concert products in community venues that have brought our most diverse audiences to date. 

The VSO will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021 which will provide unique community and donor engagement opportunities.  As the VSO continues the positive momentum towards the next century, we are seeking a dynamic Director of Leadership Giving to join our team.  The Director will be a part of a transformative campaign for the VSO, providing strategic direction and operational coordination for the VSO’s annual and leadership giving efforts; as well as innovating new fundraising and stewardship strategies to engage the VSO donor base.  The Director will manage a robust portfolio of donors and innovate new fundraising and stewardship strategies that will raise the profile of the VSO within the philanthropic community.  In partnership with the Vice President of Development, the Director will develop and implement a comprehensive plan of giving opportunities and critically evaluate efforts on an ongoing basis.


Principal Responsibilities:

Donor and Prospect Management

  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit leadership prospects for mid and major giving through face to face visits and personalized correspondence. Use donor research to determine highest priority prospects.
  • Manage a portfolio of high potential prospects and donors (corporate, individual, and foundation) with the goal of increasing overall giving. Targeting individuals for annual, major and planned giving opportunities.
  • Develop a strategic and creative sponsorship program tailored to meet the objectives of corporate partners. Provide donors with proposals that include quantitative measures to show impact of investment.
  • Plan and manage donor and prospect activity through the Tessitura database, recording activity and creating plans for solicitation.
  • Engage a variety of internal and external leaders and volunteers to further the VSO’s fundraising efforts.

Annual Fund – Direct Mail/Special Initiatives

  • Develop overall strategy for direct mail and tele-funding and manage staff to execute campaigns and monitor results.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of patron benefits to maximize giving. Identify and create new opportunities and initiatives to raise funds for VSO special funding priorities and projects.
  • In conjunction with the Patron Services Coordinator and the CFO, provide financial projections and report on results to ensure assigned budget targets are being met.


  • Oversee Development Coordinator and Patron Services Coordinator, set strategies to ensure their success and provide regular feedback on goals.
  • Along with the VP of Development, manage Trustee Council of the VSO; create opportunities for engagement, personally cultivate and solicit, and develop an annual stewardship event.
  • Create and manage budget items that correspond with initiatives related to annual plan goals.



  • Entrepreneurial and innovative mindset.
  • Ability to successfully solicit and close gifts.
  • Demonstrated judgment and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills.
  • Ability to quickly react to changes reflected in analysis and to shift strategies accordingly.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to engage donors and make them feel valued.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and set priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to exercise a high degree of diplomacy, discretion, and collaboration with all levels of customers.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, and database management software.


Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Business or related field
  • 5+ years of related experience, preferably in an arts environment as a fundraiser managing annual giving.
  • Experience with donor database is preferred.
  • Computer proficiency is required.


To apply for this opportunity, please send resume to Elizabeth Baroody, Vice President of Development:

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