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submitted by
Lynne Sorkin

Major Gifts Officer--Chicago Symphony Orchestra

TITLE: Major Gifts Officer Reviewed: 08/2021


DEPARTMENT: Development


Manage the identification, research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift prospects and donors including restricted, annual, special project funding, tour sponsorship and endowment support for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. The Major Gifts Officer will work closely with a team of frontline fundraisers to design and implement solicitation plans for major gift prospects as well as set and achieve goals for expectancies created and realized. Provide input in other fundraising areas as part of the larger development team.


1. Identify, evaluate, cultivate and solicit major gift donors for restricted, annual, special project funding, tour sponsorship and endowment gifts to the CSOA.

2. Work with (solicit, stewardship, etc.) 150+ major donors ($25,000+) and prospects/upgrade candidates to realize their full philanthropic potential to the CSOA.

3. Develop and execute cultivation plans for major gift prospects. This includes creating opportunities to meet with administrative, artistic and orchestral leadership as well as musicians and visiting artists.

4. Prepare and present a minimum of 30 proposals annually and assist in the preparation of stewardship reports for all major gift donors within his/her portfolio.

5. Work with development colleagues to identify and qualify a minimum of 100 new/discovery major gift prospects annually.

6. Achieve annual revenue goals for areas of responsibilities.

7. Act as secondary account manager on several of the Vice President of Development’s primary accounts and assist with donor engagement and follow-up.

8. Collaborate with the Vice President of Development, senior development staff and campaign counsel on CSOA’s Sempre Always Campaign and coordinated solicitation efforts.

9. Engage the CSOA’s President, Vice President of Development, department heads, trustees, orchestra members and other staff in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors, and actively support their involvement;

10. Maintain accurate, up-to-date tracking of all major gift prospects and donors and appropriate documentation of all gifts.

11. Recruit, train and manage fundraising volunteers, as needed.

12. Manage special projects as assigned by the Vice President of Development and/or Director of Leadership Giving.

13. Attend and assist with development-related events and concerts throughout the year including evenings and weekends.

14. Other duties as assigned.

CSOA is an equal opportunity employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin. We value diversity and inclusion and seek to build and maintain a community and culture that celebrates and values diverse backgrounds, identities, and perspectives. We consider equivalent combinations of experience and education for jobs, and all candidates who believe they possess equivalent experience and education are encouraged to apply.


1. Reports to the Director of Leadership Gifts.

2. Other contacts include: donors, donor prospects, trustees, orchestra members, subscribers and staff.


1. Bachelor’s degree required.

2. A minimum of five years increasingly responsible development experience. Experience in a performing arts organization preferred.

3. Proven track record with personal solicitations and relationship management.

4. The ability to work autonomously while keeping direct supervisory and volunteers apprised of issues, problems, opportunities and progress.

5. Ability to work collaboratively with development colleagues to create a results-driven, team oriented environment.

6. Excellent writing and communication skills.

7. Computer literacy, including word-processing, database, and spreadsheet proficiency. Tessitura experience preferred.

8. Project management skills.


Pleasant office environment. Works primarily in the office with some flexibility allowed.

Contact Info:
Human Resources
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago