Bold. Brave. Brilliant.

Major Gifts Officer

Since 1971, Arizona Opera has produced over 170 fully-staged operas and concerts. As one of the only companies in the country to perform in two major metropolitan cities, Arizona Opera presents artists of both international stature and emerging talent, and each season balances debut artists and the return of favorite performers. In addition to producing five operatic main stage offerings each year in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona Opera offers in-school touring productions and numerous outreach events for children and adults of all ages.


Arizona Opera has recently reshaped its strategy around creating the most dynamic artistic program possible, based on a community-centric approach, as an essential tool in garnering the philanthropic growth necessary to properly support a company of our scale. This strategy shift has resulted in the company’s adoption of a new season model beginning in the 2018/19 Season, with the new Arizona Opera RED Series in the Fall, and the Arizona Opera Main Stage Series in the Winter & Spring. This transformational shift has not only inspired greater excitement in the work on our stage, but has also encouraged greater community investment in the form of contributed income.


The Major Gifts Officer is a motivated, goal-driven, enthusiastic relationship builder who works closely with the Director of Development and Senior Individual Giving Officer to advance the philanthropic goals of Arizona Opera through a blended portfolio of highly-qualified individuals (~90%) and institutional partners (~10%) to support the company’s full array of programmatic, educational, and strategic initiatives.


The Major Gifts Officer is responsible for achieving specific contributed revenue goals through the management of a portfolio of current and prospective donors giving between $2,500 – $25,000+ annually, with a strategic focus on portfolio upgrades and acquisition in a high-growth environment. The Major Gifts Officer also provides staff support to key volunteer committees and attends all Arizona Opera performances and special events for donor cultivation and logistical support.


Essential Job Functions:

  • Manage a portfolio of current and prospective donors giving $2,500 to $25,000+ annually through all phases of the moves management cycle, with a strategic focus on portfolio growth to meet or exceed yearly revenue goals. Specific responsibilities include identification, cultivation, and stewardship of donors, development of personalized fundraising strategies, preparation of proposals, correspondence and other written and financial materials.
  • Meet or exceed revenue and other performance objectives, including the completion of 12-15 personal visits with assigned prospects/donors each month.
  • Build increasing levels of involvement and support among individual donors and prospects through regular engagement.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of donor contacts and ongoing communications with current donors and prospects.
  • Collaborate with Director of Development to set and review annual, quarterly, and monthly revenue targets and other performance goals.
  • Work with the development team to create new gift strategies, communications plans, and production of development collateral.
  • Meet or exceed annual fundraising and special event goals by extending personalized invitations, soliciting event sponsorship and participation, providing concierge-quality service to donors, and cultivating individual donor relationships.
  • Along with the Senior Individual Giving Officer, serve as primary staff liaison to the Phoenix Bravo and Tucson Bravo Committees.
  • With the Director of Development and Senior Individual Giving Officer, work with individual key volunteers (Development Chair, Phoenix Bravo Committee members, Tucson Bravo Committee members) to identify prospects, leverage cultivation opportunities, and support fundraising and event goals.
  • Identify relevant studies and statistics to support Arizona Opera programs.
  • Represent Arizona Opera at community events, as needed.
  • Create written program materials on behalf of the Director of Development or President and General Director in conjunction with marketing, community engagement, and development colleagues.
  • Work collaboratively with development, finance, accounting, community engagement, and marketing staff to develop program descriptions, budgets and other materials as required for proposals and reports.
Reports To: 
Director of Development
Job Category: 


The Successful Candidate Will:

  • Have the desire to get out of the office and build external relationships
  • Demonstrate comfort in a high growth, high output environment
  • Be a self-starter and goal-driven to initiate donor visits and fundraising calls
  • Be organized and exhibit “follow through” on tasks and goals
  • Demonstrate leadership initiative, an attitude of service, show concern for people and community, demonstrate presence, self-confidence, common sense and good listening ability
  • Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, with demonstrated ability to motivate and inspire through written word


  • 3-5 years of development, sales, or related nonprofit experience; opera or performing arts background preferred.
  • Knowledge of basic fundraising principles and the funding process for both individual and institutional funders
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of experience and education required.

Computer Skills:

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel & PowerPoint
  • Proficient with Tessitura or other donor database software
  • Proficient in web-based research tools

Physical Demands:  

Extended periods at work station, using a keyboard, viewing a computer screen and communicating by telephone and in person. Some special event set up and break down may be required.

Work Environment:

Work environment is generally quiet, and in an office setting, but intensifies during periods when the company is in production. Also, see Physical Demands section above re: special events.

Travel/Other Requirements:

Reliable transportation required and must be able to travel statewide. Flexible schedule that will require working some nights and weekends to attend events, performances, rehearsals, etc.


The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the position change.

The Arizona Opera is an Equal Opportunity employer.  The Arizona Opera does not discriminate against an Employee or candidate for employment because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or nationality, age, disability, veteran status, marital status or any other legally protected status.  We prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits, engagements, assignments, training, discipline, termination, promotions or other conditions of employment or career development.  We offer Reasonable Accommodations where necessary to candidates for employment and to our qualified employees with disabilities.

Interested and qualified applicants may send a cover letter and resume to