Director of Major Gifts: Curtis Institute of Music

Posted January 9th, 2019 at 11:01 am.

About Curtis:  The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. One of the world’s leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective, with an enrollment of about 165. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis’s distinctive “learn by doing” approach, which has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school’s founding in Philadelphia in 1924. Grounded in this rich heritage, Curtis is looking to the future in a flexible and forward-thinking way, evolving strategically to serve its time-honored mission.

Position Description:

The Director of Major Gifts is responsible for developing and executing strategies to identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit major gift prospects ­ nationally and internationally – with the capacity to make commitments of $50,000 or more. This position’s priority is to manage their portfolio in a manner that fosters relationships leading an understanding of a donor’s philanthropic intentions and to major philanthropic commitments.  Additionally, the position is charged with overseeing the management of institutional prospects and the development and application of moves management strategies.

The position, reporting to the Vice President of Institutional Advancement, will be responsible for raising endowment, capital, and annual support to meet priority needs of Curtis. The position will work closely with Curtis’s Director of Principal Gifts and Planned Giving, Associate Director of Annual Giving for Alumni and Friends, members of the senior management team, members of the Board of Trustees, alumni, and other key constituents.  The position will supervise the Manager of Major Gifts and the Manager of Institutional Giving.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Actively manage a prospect portfolio of 120+ or more individuals rated with capacity to give $50,000 or more
  • Conduct a minimum of 80 meaningful donor encounters per year, in person, working closely with the Manager of Major Gifts to maximize travel within portfolio geographies
  • Generate at least 2 proposals per month for gifts over $25K (minimum 24/yr)
  • Develop and oversee the implementation of strategies to secure major individual gifts funding for endowment, capital projects, key programs, and special projects.
  • Leverage Curtis On Tour, the President’s performance schedule, other artistic and program initiatives and visits with the President and Board Chair to maximize their impact in cultivating and stewarding major gifts prospects and donors
  • Work with the Manager of Major Gifts and other Advancement colleagues to develop and track stewardship plans for major gift and institutional prospects.
  • Engage volunteers locally, nationally, and internationally in the cultivation and solicitation process.
  • Supervise the Manager of Major Gifts and the Manager of Institutional Giving, ensuring they reach their annual targets and coaching them along their professional development targets.
  • Meet or exceed targeted goals


  • Minimum of five (5) years demonstrated major gifts experience, ideally within the context of a major campaign and with a proven track record of successful fundraising results; national and international experience highly desirable (particularly in New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, or major European cities)
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced study or additional degree is helpful.
  • At least 2 years of supervisory experience.
  • Knowledge of classical music and ability to communicate the mission, goals, and activities of the school with credibility, passion, and enthusiasm; familiarity with a conservatory environment highly desirable.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, and analytical skills; evidence of leadership and initiative, tact, diplomacy, attention to detail, creativity, and cultural sensitivity
  • Excellent oral, written, and communication skills
  • Ability to develop trust and collaborative working relationships with colleagues in Advancement and across the School.
  • Must be available to travel outside greater Philadelphia area (10%, including internationally), work evenings and weekends and over the winter school holiday break
  • Computer skills, including the proficient use of Microsoft Office and experience with donor databases; familiarity with Raiser’s Edge a plus
  • Knowledge of planned giving concepts desirable
  • Multi-lingual skills a plus

Required Core Values:

The ideal candidate will exhibit the following core values:

  • a positive, “can-do” attitude
  • devotion and dedication to Curtis and its community
  • passion for his/her work, and contribution to the field and greater good
  • commitment and accountability for his/her work, and his/her ability to affect change
  • desire and willingness to collaborate, think creatively, and make data-driven decisions
  • respect, courtesy, and patience for all members of the Curtis community
  • an eagerness to make Curtis a more diverse and inclusive institution

Working Conditions/Physical Demands:

  • Night and weekend work required
  • Some travel (national and international) required
  • Holiday break work hours required
  • Driver’s License and Passport required
  • Basic office environment
To Apply

For best consideration, interested and qualified applicants should electronically submit a cover letter, resume, three professional references, a writing sample, and salary requirements to: Curtis offers a competitive compensation and benefits package. Hire is contingent upon the successful passing of criminal (ADP) background screenings. The position is open until filled. No phone calls, please. EOE. URL:

Filed under: Management Level by Margie DuBrow

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