Director of Development

Job Description


General Director


Full-time, year-round


The Director of Development oversees an annual development program with a $9.5 million goal. S/he leads a team of ten year-round professionals and three seasonal staff members. Direct reports include: Director of Individual Giving; Director of Institutional Giving; two Senior Major Gifts Officers; Manager of Special Events; Manager of Business Fund; Manager of Prospect Research; Donor Records Administrator; and External Affairs Coordinator. S/he will also be responsible for a portfolio of major donors and prospects and also supports the General Director and the Board of Directors in their fundraising efforts. S/he will also play a key role in planning and executing future special campaigns such as for the endowment.

  • Provide leadership of a highly collaborative fundraising team including major and planned gifts, annual fund, foundation and corporation giving, prospect research and stewardship.
  • Manage a portfolio of board members, major gift donors and prospects with a special focus on and responsibility for Production Underwriting gifts of $250,000+.
  • Work closely with the General Director to provide careful stewardship and meaningful cultivation opportunities for the opera’s major donors.
  • Provide strategic guidance to support ongoing identification, cultivation and solicitation of new prospects.
  • In collaboration with the Manager of Special Events, design and execute two major annual Galas, Opening Weekend activities, Opening Night Dinners, all board events, and numerous donor cultivation events both locally and nationally; develop and implement strategic geographic cultivation opportunities in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Denver and other major cities.
  • Provide leadership and support to the Development Committee and its Chairs, and present quarterly to the Committee during board week gatherings.
  • Serve as the staff liaison to the Nominating Committee and manage a pipeline of prospective new board members.
  • Participate in the work of other key committees such as Endowment Investment, Finance, Governance, Arts Advocacy, Education, Buildings & Properties, among others.
  • Oversee preparation of fundraising materials and work with Marketing and other departments to ensure timely preparation of donor lists and collateral materials.
  • Manage revenue and expense budgets and provide quarterly updates to the Finance Department; build financial projections for revenue and expenses on a three-year forward rolling basis.
  • Oversee departmental processes and procedures for tracking and reporting all fundraising activities in Tessitura database.
  • Ensure that all gifts are appropriately acknowledged in a timely manner.
  • Manage Development expense budget and continually monitor return on investment of departmental resources.
  • Collaborate with the Leadership Team in furthering the strategic and financial goals of the organization.
  • Work closely with Marketing, Public Relations and Media teams to coordinate appropriate communication strategies.
  • Plan and execute future campaign efforts, including endowment campaign.

  • A minimum of seven to ten years of senior-level experience developing and implementing strategic fundraising plans while managing successful fundraising teams.
  • Demonstrated success securing support that includes major gifts, individual giving, annual giving, planned giving, foundation relations and special events.
  • Experience leading major capital or endowment campaigns with a proven track record of success.
  • Proven experience as a member of the executive management team of a complex organization, including working closely with engaged boards, volunteers and development committees.
  • Experience cultivating high-level donors and developing strategies for complex donor engagements.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with a diverse spectrum of people including the Music Director, musicians, staff, board members, donors and prospects in a complex variety of institutional and cultural settings.
  • Excellent financial management skills and experience in budget analysis, forecasting and planning.
  • Superb social skills and a desire to engage with current and potential donors and maintain a presence in the community.
  • A collaborative leadership style that encourages strategic thinking, innovation, and integrity.
  • Excellent communication skills, including strong written, verbal and presentation skills.
  • Technological proficiency, including experience with donor management and fundraising software applications, particularly Tessitura.
  • An enthusiastic commitment to the mission of The Santa Fe Opera.
  • Ability to travel, regularly attend performances and special events, including evenings and weekends.
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university; an advanced degree would be preferred.

Application Process

Submit completed employment application, along with resume and cover letter, by e-mail to Human Resources ( or by mail to:

The Santa Fe Opera
Attention: Human Resources
P.O. Box 2408
Santa Fe, NM 87504


This is a full-time, year-round position based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pay is salaried with benefits including health, dental, vision, and paid vacation. 

This job description in no way implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee occupying this position. The fundamental job requirements are included and these are the essential job functions. Employees will be required to perform any other job-related duties assigned by their supervisor. All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer The Santa Fe Opera celebrates diversity and inclusion. We do not discriminate against any employee or job applicant because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or age. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.