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Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Seeks Director of Institutional Giving

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Seeks Director of Institutional Giving


Under the direction of the Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement, the Director of Institutional Giving serves as a key member of the senior advancement team, improving and executing strategies regarding corporate, foundation and government funders in support of the $9 million annual fund and advance approaches for special project funding. The Director is to meet or exceed institutional giving goals by renewing, identifying, rating, cultivating, soliciting and securing supporters. The position serves as the leading advocate in the business community, representing the MSO at key events and networking opportunities and supervises the Development Communications Manager. This individual must manage a portfolio which includes researching and writing formal grant applications and corporate sponsorship proposals. The Director of Institutional Giving must be an independent, fast-paced self-starter with exceptional communication and written skills and a proven track-record for securing and increasing corporate and foundation support.


  • Create and implement the overall strategic direction to identify and solicit sources of private and public institutional support;
  • Broaden prospect pool through relationship management and directing research;
  • Increase the proposal pipeline and size of corporate gifts through critical analysis of research findings leading to the development of strategic cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship approaches;
  • Ensure the timely completion of all corporate, foundation and government  grant proposals, applications, required reporting and stewardship activities;
  • Ensure the proper acknowledgement of all corporate and foundation supporters through deliverables as agreed upon in proposals;
  • Steward existing donors including one-on-one meetings, invitations to events, participation in events and thoughtful cultivation with the goal to open new opportunities for funding and to deepen existing relationships;
  • Manage all deadlines for submission and reporting within portfolio through Tessitura database with plan steps, status updates, contact information updates, prospect research, and reports;
  • Utilize the Board of Directors, the Chairman’s Council and other members of the Advancement Team and senior management in the work of institutional giving;
  • Lead the fundraising efforts to secure corporate and foundation support for special projects including but not limited to the capital campaign and Symphony Soiree, MSO’s signature annual fundraising event;
  • Lead the strategic oversight of corporate sponsorships and partnerships for additional fundraising events as identified by senior management;
  • Attend events throughout the season encouraging the development of relationships with the MSO’s institutional donors; serve as an Advancement representative at MSO concerts as needed (i.e. Maestro’s Club).


  • Meet aggressive foundation and government giving goals by actively developing new and existing relationships with key stakeholders at foundations, city officials and agencies;
  • Work in close collaboration with the Development Communications Manager to develop proposal strategies and oversee the gathering of necessary information to execute and submit grants in a timely manner;
  • Advance the MSO’s goal to secure support from national funders, including increasing the MSO’s profile with the National Endowment for Arts;
  • With the Development Communications Manager and the Director of Communications, serve as staff liaison to the Advocacy Committee.


The Director of Institutional Giving supervises the Development Communications Manager.


  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management or Arts Administration preferred.
  • 5-7 years of direct fundraising experience, preferably with a performing arts organization.
  • Strong interest in the mission and vision of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Strong self-starter with superior organizational, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Must have demonstrated ability to successfully build, retain and renew support.
  • Must be a collaborative team member with known leadership and management skills.
  • Previous experience preferred with using database management software—knowledge of Tessitura preferred.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and handle a wide variety of responsibilities.
  • Strong analytical and strategic planning skills.
  • Must be able to work in a team-oriented environment.


Salary is commensurate with experience. The Milwaukee Symphony offers a competitive benefits package, which includes medical, disability, life insurance, 403b retirement plan, and paid time off.

To apply, please send a cover letter, salary requirements, resume and references to Susan Loris, Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement, at Candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. Position will be opened until filled. No phone calls please.

The MSO is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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