Major Gift Officer

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Music Academy of the West

Position Description

Title:                          Major Gift Officer

Department:           Advancement

Location:                  Santa Barbara

Status:                       Full Time, Exempt

Start Date:               January 15, 2024

Position Summary:

The Major Gift Officer manages a robust portfolio of current donors and prospects to meet annual goals for individual giving. Building a pipeline of individual major donors, this position will be responsible for developing a sustainable prospect research tracking system to grow the donor data base. This position will also secure individual ticket and table sponsors for the annual gala. This position reports to the Chief Advancement Officer.

Position Responsibilities:

Individual Giving

  • Personally manage a portfolio of 100 individual major gift donors for annual renewal or increased giving.
  • Build a pipeline of new donors with capacity to give a minimum annual gift of $5,000.
  • Build and steward key relationships with individual donors who have capacity and a propensity for increased giving in alignment with escalating benefits.
  • Work with the Advancement team to develop blended solicitations to maximize the impact and ROI of the Academy’s annual Gala, Auxiliary events, and legacy giving opportunities.

Prospect Identification and Qualification

  • Liaising with the finance department, build and manage a prospect research tracking system for timely new prospect identification and qualification
  • Expand the donor base with first-time donors from ticket buyers, lower-level annual donors, Auxiliary members, and other community connectors

Other duties as assigned.

Candidate Profile:

The Music Academy values diverse colleagues who thrive in a collaborative, highly communicative workplace. Our administration collectively informs and agrees upon the organization’s expectations for teamwork, including a positive, goal-oriented environment that positions every employee for success.

The ideal candidate will ideally demonstrate some, if not all:

  • A minimum of five years of fundraising experience with documented success in personal solicitations towards exceeding growing fundraising goals
  • A passion for classical music or other performing arts and a demonstrated commitment to non-profit arts culture
  • Experience working in a relational database, Raisers Edge / NXT
  • Effective written and verbal communications
  • Strong social and interpersonal skills
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Experience with planned giving
  • Critical thinking and conflict-resolution skills
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule include evenings and weekends, especially during the Summer Festival
  • Ability to work on a team collaboratively with minimal supervision and adapt to changing work priorities and schedules

Benefits and Compensation:

This is an exempt, full-time position. Salary is $80,000 to $110,000, commensurate with experience. Music Academy provides a comprehensive benefit package for full-time employees, which includes health and dental coverage, life insurance, paid vacation, and sick leave, and a 403(b) plan.

Application Process

Please email a letter of interest and current resume to, using the subject header Major Gift Officer. PDF format only. No phone calls, please. A background screening will be performed as a condition of employment.

The Music Academy is an equal opportunity employer. We aim to create a diverse and inclusive work environment and we value each employee’s unique experiences and perspectives.

About the Music Academy

Located in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy creates a space where exceptional talent can thrive by encouraging artists to stretch, experiment, improvise, and play. The Music Academy provides artists with the tools they need to become not just great musicians but great leaders. The Music Academy’s programs are: the annual eight-week Summer School & Festival which trains up to 140 fellows ages 18-34 and presents more than 120 performances and events, competitions, and a fully staged opera; Sing!, a children’s choir free of charge for all participants that performs with local, national, and international partners; the MAX (Music Academy Exchange) partnership with international orchestras; the Innovation Institute’s Alumni Enterprise Awards; and the Mariposa Series of concerts by Academy-affiliated artists.

For more information, please visit

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