Job Opportunity: American Lyric Theater – Director of Institutional Advancement

Job Opportunity: American Lyric Theater Director of Institutional Advancement


Job Title: Director of Institutional Advancement

Compensation: Salary & Bonuses

Job Start Date: 8/1/11

Location: New York, NY



The ideal candidate will be development professional with at least three years of experience in fundraising for a non-profit arts organization, or similar academic and pre-professional experience. S/he will be interested in working as part of a small team to build and fortify a young organization with significant potential for growth. The position is an exceptional opportunity for someone with relevant practical experience to transition into a management role. Qualifications sought include:

  • A graduate or terminal degree in arts administration, business, or a related field. In the absence of a graduate degree, equivalent professional experience will be considered.
  • Demonstrated experience in prospect research, grant writing, and grants management.
  • A track record for success with fundraising, donor solicitation, and donor engagement.
  • A thorough understanding of the challenges facing performing arts organizations, and the creative vision to address these challenges effectively.
  • The ability to be an articulate and persuasive spokesperson to represent ALT
  • Computer literacy (MAC/PC) including Office and fundraising / database applications.
  • Knowledge of and interest in opera, particularly contemporary opera and artist mentorship preferred.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

ALT’s ability to offer its unique services to the field is directly linked to the company’s ability to build meaningful relationships, and to increase fundraising capacity. ALT recently received a multi-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support capacity building, including the creation of a new full-time position beginning in August 2011: Director of Institutional Advancement. This individual will be responsible strategic planning, and the execution and management of fundraising initiatives in partnership with ALT’s Producing Artistic Director and the Board of Directors. The following responsibilities have been established for this new position:

  • Create and implement strategic fundraising campaigns, fortify existing relationships with current donors, and increase private and public support by expanding and diversifying ALT’s donor base
  • Research and identify new major gift prospects in all areas (individual, foundation, corporate, government), and establish solicitation strategies
    Generate fundraising materials, including solicitations and grant applications
  • Develop and execute an Individual Giving Campaign including a membership program; an artist sponsorship program; and a commission underwriting program
  • Manage foundation and government funding relationships to ensure reaching campaign goals, including donor cultivation, solicitation schedules, and reports
  • Manage and build on existing corporate relationships; identify, cultivate and manage new corporate donors with an emphasis on matching gift programs and sponsorship of new works
  • Work with the Board of Directors to assist in the identification and cultivation of new Board prospects
  • Attend the annual OPERA America conference, and monitor industry trends and opportunities
  • Assume responsibility for Development Reports to the Board and other agencies, attend all Board meetings, and act as liaison to committees as directed
  • Manage ALT’s annual online fundraising auction, including solicitation of product donations, updating auction website, payment processing, and reporting
  • Develop new Special Event fundraising opportunities that will also increase ALT’s visibility in the community
  • Produce development copy for fundraising portions of newsletters, website, solicitation letters and presentations, acknowledgment letters, and other written materials

Realistic goals for all areas will be set annually based on the funding needed to execute programs with a balanced budget. In addition, ALT has established the following multi-year goals that are at the core of its capacity building initiative:

  • Incrementally increasing support across all major giving areas to ensure sustainability of programs
  • Over the next three years, increasing the size of ALT’s Board of Directors and establishing revised Board policies regarding the Board’s participation in fundraising appropriate to the organization’s growth
  • Ensuring that ALT continues to maintain a cash reserve to provide liquidity
  • Cultivating streams of support which have the potential to lead to incrementally larger gifts over time based on increased involvement with the organization and ALT artists, including sponsorship of individual composers and librettists while they are members of the CLDP, leading to commissioning support in future seasons
  • Developing new relationships with multiple producing and educational organizations to ensure the best possible chance of future production of works developed at ALT, while also increasing ALT’s earned income through royalty and licensing fees related to those works

Compensation Details:

Compensation offered is competitive with similar positions in comparable organizations, and includes a salary plus performance-based bonuses established by the Board of Directors for meeting and exceeding specific goals. American Lyric Theater is located in New York City. A relocation package is not being offered for this position

About The Company:

American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded in 2005 to build a new body of operatic repertoire for new audiences by nurturing composers and librettists, developing sustainable artistic collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. Many opera companies commission and perform new works; but ALT is the only company in the United States that offers extensive, full time mentorship for emerging operatic writers. While the traditional company model focuses on producing a season, ALT’s programs focus on serving the needs of artists, developing new works, and collaborating with producing companies to help usher those works into the repertoire.

The Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP) is at the heart of all of ALT’s programs. The CLDP is the first full time mentorship program for emerging operatic writers in the United States. The program is tuition free for composers and librettists selected through an open, competitive application process. The CLDP is structured around a core curriculum of classroom training and hands-on workshops with some of the country’s leading working artists, including composer/librettist Mark Adamo (ALT’s Director of Professional Development), composer Anthony Davis, dramaturg Cori Ellison, librettist William M. Hoffmann, librettist Michael Korie, stage director Rhoda Levine, and conductor Lucy Arner. Since launching the CLDP in 2007, ALT has provided intensive personalized mentorship to 24 gifted emerging artists.

In 2006, ALT commissioned its first main stage work: THE GOLDEN TICKET, a new opera based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by American composer Peter Ash. After Ash and his librettist partner, Donald Sturrock, began independent development of this opera, ALT commissioned its completion with Felicity Dahl, and provided a supportive mentorship environment for three years. Under a new collaborative producing model, ALT developed a partnership with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to present the world premiere of THE GOLDEN TICKET, which took place in June 2010 to tremendous critical and audience acclaim. The European Premiere of THE GOLDEN TICKET took place in October 2010 at Ireland’s Wexford Festival Opera, and the production will be presented by The Atlanta Opera in March 2012. In 2009, ALT initiated a second main stage commission, THE POE PROJECT: a trilogy of one-act operas inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe being written by six Resident Artists from the CLDP. ALT is currently developing two additional full-length operas for future fully-staged production, and anticipates commissioning at least one new full-length opera from CLDP Resident Artists and alumni annually.


How To Apply:

Please submit resume or CV to the attention of Lawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic Director, by email:

In addition, please include three work-related references, salary history, and a brief cover letter describing your interest in this position. EOE. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone solicitations please.