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Sr. Vice President of Development
McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California
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Date Posted 08/11/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled


Reporting to the President & CEO, the Senior Vice President of Development is responsible for leading, planning and implementing philanthropic revenue generation channels.  He/she will build and fortify new and existing relationships with top-level donors and prospects to achieve philanthropic goals for the McCallum Theatre. The successful incumbent must possess significant sales and personal approach marketing abilities, capitalizing on the Theatre’s unique assets such as premium seating and other donor recognition benefits to encourage increased philanthropic investment.

Serving as the chief fundraiser for the McCallum, the Senior Vice President of Development partners with the President & CEO to expand and diversify total philanthropic support from individuals, foundations and corporations, particularly in the area of major gifts of $50,000 and above. As a member of the Theatre’s senior management staff, the Senior Vice President of Development serves as a visionary player/coach team leader who guides and manages an eleven-member Development team to ensure that fundraising goals and organizational objectives are met in a fast paced, seasonally driven environment.


 Serves as the face of the McCallum Theatre in philanthropic and cultivation efforts engaging donors in a variety of high-level fundraising initiatives.

  • Plan and oversee all fundraising initiatives such as campaigns, grants, major gifts, and new business.  Partner internally with Communications and Marketing for engagement on individual giving, event revenue, foundation grants, and other fundraising vehicles.  Grow fundraising efforts with a solid strategy and execution plan.

  • Create fundraising strategies to wrap around appropriate events, initiatives, and programmatic work; develop strong communications and recognition of donors and prospects to maintain and build upon the strong brand of the McCallum.

  • Oversee a “new business” pipeline actively seeking out prospective donors through existing data mining strategies, revenue-generating and prospecting events managed/hosted by Theatre Development staff and current donors and Board members, as well as attending social and charitable events hosted by other civic and cultural organizations.

  • Maintain a significant portfolio of individual, foundation and corporate relationships to support the McCallum’s fundraising goals and objectives.

  • Identify, qualify, solicit and steward past, current and prospective donors, successfully closing major gifts and multi-year pledges of $50,000 and above.

  • Possess the ability to design individualized giving plans for prospective donors taking into account their specific philanthropic interests.

  • Direct and motivate an enthusiastic and effective team that works in cooperation, but independently. 

  • Provide monthly revenue and Development activity updates to the 45 member Board of Directors during season (November through April).

  • Establish annual goals and objectives, and be accountable for ensuring that set goals and objectives are met.

  • Support executive staff, Board members, and other volunteers in all aspects of donor stewardship and solicitation; provide training/coaching as needed.

  • Be an exceptional communicator and an articulate, passionate and credible public presence for the Theatre and an effective, strong, inspirational and focused leader within the community.

Board and External Relations

 Serve as a primary liaison to the Board of Trustees and the primary point of Development contact with the McCallum Theatre’s 45-member Board.

  • Liaise with the Board Chair, President & CEO, individual members of the Board to identify their development and networking capabilities to enhance the McCallum’s fundraising success.

  • Represent the McCallum Theatre to the community and beyond at events and conferences, as appropriate.


  • Outstanding communication skills: an attentive listener, articulate speaker, and clear and persuasive writer.

  • Excellent strategic, organizational and project management skills. A decisive, “roll-up-the sleeves,” results-oriented individual who can keep seemingly diverse projects moving forward within a consistent strategic framework.

  • Must have the ability to motivate and inspire confidence among staff, colleagues, volunteers and donors. A leader whom people want to follow.

  • Responds promptly to shifts in direction or schedules, and maintains effectiveness and calm while managing multiple priorities and tasks. Moves past unforeseen challenges without unnecessary delay.

  • A self-motivated, confident and influential style that is coupled with sensitivity and flexibility. A strong leader with high emotional intelligence and professional standards.

  • Character and substance; a person with the highest ethical standards.


  • At least 10 years with a proven track record of fundraising experience gained in relevant positions of increasing responsibility and scope.  At least 5 years of direct leadership with both direct and indirect reports.

  • Demonstrated fundraising success in corporate, foundation, events, planned, individual and major gifts along with additional sources of revenue generation.

  • Change Management experience – training team members and others in the organization to think creatively, and manage through times of organizational transition.  Proven success in maintaining the “blocking and tackling” of fundraising while exploring new technologies and methods of connection with donors.

  • Experience in linking fundraising efforts to community impact; good knowledge about community impact work, metrics, and grant-making.

  • Several years’ experience building, developing and retaining strong relationships with donors and volunteers, including board members.  A collaborative and communicative work-style that translates into strong results with donors as well as internal partners.

  • Self-motivated and well organized with exceptional computer/software literacy.

  • Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.

  • Understanding of and/or a passion for the performing arts is preferred.


 The McCallum Theatre offers an extremely competitive compensation package commensurate with experience and ability, including health and dental insurance, life insurance, short- and long-term disability coverage, 401(k) plan with 4% match, vacation, holiday and sick pay. 

The McCallum Theatre is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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