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Major Gifts Officer


Title: Major Gifts Officer
Reports to: Director of Development
Department: Development
Employment Classification: Exempt (salaried)
Job Description (PDF)

Position Summary

The Major Gifts Officer is an experienced and well-rounded development professional who will secure annual, campaign and planned gifts. The position requires the flexibility for travel.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors capable of making gifts of $10,000 and above.
  • Write funding proposals.
  • Develop strategies for increasing the number of major donors in partnership with the development team and the Board’s Development Committee.
  • Plan cultivation events to connect donors, artists, staff, volunteers, Board leaders and others. Cultivation events make take place in Santa Fe or out of town.
  • Oversee the opera’s planned giving society, including soliciting planned gifts.
  • Visit major donors and prospects where they live, including New York, California, Texas and other locations.
  • Attend donor events throughout the year, and host donors and other guests in the Opera Club during the Season.
  • Make accurate and proficient use of Tessitura, the opera’s constituent relationship management software, to track solicitations and build prospect lists.
  • Support the Director of the Annual Fund to extend donor benefits and stewardship opportunities.
  • Work collaboratively with a team of nine development professionals.
  • Hire and manage seasonal intern.

Traits & Characteristics

  • The individual will have superb interpersonal skills, will be comfortable and confident in making direct contact with individual donors to discuss interest and commitment, and will achieve positive financial results.
  • The individual will exhibit a polished presence, positive attitude, diplomacy, discretion, and a deep respect and understanding of donor and trustee relations.
  • The individual will be goal oriented with an understanding of how to build consensus and with a sense of immediacy in achieving fundraising goals, as well as a great appreciation for teamwork.


The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of specific and progressive experience in fundraising, preferably for an arts organization. Planned giving experience is a plus. A background in music or opera is highly preferred. A proven record of success in securing gifts at this level is expected.

The candidate must be comfortable and experienced working with relational fundraising databases and planned giving software, and competent with PC-based applications. Direct experience with Tessitura is a definite plus.


This position requires excellent organizational, writing and presentation skills, along with the capacity to think strategically and creatively.  Additionally, the candidate should be flexible, adaptable and willing to work extended hours during a fast-paced summer season, and travel during the off-season. The candidate should be a team player who will participate with their colleagues to achieve the department’s overall goals.


Hours will fluctuate due to travel requirements and attendance at performances and special events, including evenings and weekends. No vacation is allowed from June 1 to August 31 of each year.  This is a full-time, year-round, exempt position.

Physical Standards

This position involves light work with occasional lifting or moving of up to 20 pounds.  There is constant standing at receptions and other events.  Manual dexterity for high volume of computer work is required.  Air and car travel is required.


$70,000 – $80,000

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.

The Santa Fe Opera supports employees with its robust safety program, devotion to environmental sustainability and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion while setting the industry standard for stagecraft. The Santa Fe Opera has an industry-wide reputation as an excellent employer, providing rewarding opportunities amid a setting of great natural beauty. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the Santa Fe Opera celebrates diversity and inclusion. We do not discriminate against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, creed, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, age, veteran status, political affiliation or philosophy. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

The Santa Fe Opera has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy, which requires employees/interns to be fully vaccinated against COVID to perform work for the company or have been approved for an accommodation based on disability or sincerely held religious belief. Employees will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the requisite number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and a booster.

Application Process

Submit a completed employment application form, your resume, cover letter and e-mail to Human Resources or by mail to:

The Santa Fe Opera
Attention: Human Resources
Post Office Box 2408
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-2408

Application Form (PDF)