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1101 North Market Street
Suite 100
Milwaukee, WI 53202


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The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra currently has the following employment opportunities available:

Vice President, Development

Vice President, Development

Job Overview

Reporting to the President of the MSO, the Vice President, Development serves as the chief institutional advancement officer. The Vice President is responsible for both the strategic planning and the operational execution of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s philanthropic mission. S/he will direct all fundraising activities of the MSO, including but not limited to individual giving, institutional giving, volunteer programs, donor events, campaign planning, and development resources.

The MSO Development Team is the arm of the MSO that is chiefly responsible for all cultivation and solicitation of personal, corporate, foundation, and government entities for the purpose of engaging our community, building relationships and securing necessary funding that works to support the current and future needs of the organization.

The Development Team interacts with all artistic and administrative segments of the MSO. Therefore, the work of the team is highly collaborative and involves working with MSO musicians, administrative staff/departments, patrons and members of the MSO Board of Directors.

Job Description

  • Chief philanthropic strategist for the MSO, working closely with the President and CEO, Board of Directors, and senior management team in the creation, articulation, and implementation of organizational goals and objectives.
  • Maximize contributed revenue by creating and implementing operating plans and identifying opportunities that maintain, increase, and diversify fundraising.
  • Develop, cultivate, and nurture deep and lasting relationships and partnerships with key constituents in order to maximize philanthropic engagement.
  • Develop strategic plans that will lead to the growth of contributed revenue through the key functions of major gifts, institutional gifts, planned gifts and special events.
  • Cultivate donors, board members, volunteers, and community leaders for the future well-being of the institution.
  • Work with the President and CEO, Board of Directors, Foundation and Endowment Trustees, and key staff in the implementation and tracking of Development’s strategic plan.
  • Solicit gifts from prospective donors using researched and thoughtful strategies to persuade targeted individuals, corporations, and foundations to contribute cash, grants, matching funds, and in-kind equipment and services.
  • Prepare and administer the annual budget for the operation of the Development Department as approved by the President and CEO and Board of Directors.
  • Act as an effective ambassador for the MSO at donor and public events.
  • Work with other Vice Presidents and the President and CEO to identify opportunities and to strategize and prioritize funding needs and initiatives.
  • Develop, oversee and analyze systems, policies, and procedures designed to maximize effectiveness and efficiency of development activities.
  • Recruit, mentor, and retain high-performing staff.
  • Work closely with MSO’s Marketing Department to develop clear and direct messaging around support to best represent the MSO brand.
  • Prepare and implement strategies for a planned giving program.
  • Establish clear expectations for Directors to provide leadership funding for Annual Operations, Endowment and other special initiatives.
  • Attend frequent evening and weekend events and concerts to meet prospective new donors and to cultivate and steward existing donors.
  •  Report progress to Directors and work with Development Committees and volunteer groups to increase funds raised through events and peer solicitation.

Supervisory Responsibilities

This position supervises the Director, Annual Fund; Forte Director; Development Communications Manager; and Special Events Manager.

Job Qualifications

This position requires seven to ten years of progressive development experience and a comprehensive knowledge of all major advancement functions. A proven track record of success in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship at the major and principal gift levels is required. The ability to assess and hire talent, set the vision, get buy-in on goals and create strong teams based on high individual accountability are traits we seek. A leader who is capable of coaching and mentoring staff in a changing environment is required. The ideal candidate will have experience effectively managing a multi-functional department, including budget administration; developing, writing and executing development plans; planning/overseeing major projects, strategic planning experience; proven skills in working effectively and positively across functional areas within an organization; excellent and effective written and verbal communication skills; proven ability to build positive, professional relationships with internal and external contacts. He or She will promote a culture of collaboration within and between departments. Perception and adaptability to the levity or gravity of a given situation, the desire to work as part of a team, and a sense of humor are all desirable. A Bachelor’s degree and ease in working with donor databases is required. He or she will also have a keen appreciation for the organization’s history, mission and contributions to the arts. The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to attend evening and weekend concerts on a regular basis, to participate in special events, and to become a visible and active member of the Milwaukee community.

How to Apply

Send your resume and writing sample as Word or PDF attachments to

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer.



For orchestra auditions, please see the MSO Auditions page.

For chorus auditions, please see the Chorus Auditions page.