Assistant, WNO Prospect Development

Washington, DC
Aug 09, 2019
Sep 08, 2019
Full Time
About the Organization:

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ("The Kennedy Center") is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation's cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion.

Mission Statement: As the nation's performing arts center, and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, we are a leader for the arts across America and around the world, reaching and connecting with artists, inspiring and educating communities. We welcome all to create, experience, learn about, and engage with the arts.

The Kennedy Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, is located on 17 acres overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The Center continues its efforts to fulfill President Kennedy's vision by producing and presenting an unmatched variety of theater and musicals, dance and ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, world, and folk music, and multimedia performances for all ages.

Founded in 1956, the Washington National Opera ("WNO") has been an artistic affiliate of The Kennedy Center since 1956. WNO has a storied legacy of more than 100 new productions, plus world premieres, international tours, live recordings and radio broadcasts, as well as innovative education and community-engagement programs.

Job Description:

The Assistant, WNO Prospect Development, will assist the Chief Development Officer, two Managers of WNO Development, and the Assistant Manager, WNO Prospect Development in various support aspects of WNO's prospect strategy for Circles Campaign (donors $1,200 - $24,999), the WNO Major Gifts Campaign (donors $25,000 and above), the WNO Council (donors $25,000), WNO Board (donors $35K+) , WNO Corporate and Foundation Campaign ($5,000 - $500,000), and WNO's Ancillary groups. This position primarily assists with the research and qualification of new and current donors while also maintaining the donor pipeline system for the department in partnership with the Assistant Manager. This role is crucial to the organization's success in its ability to identify, cultivate and steward relationships to engage donor support.

The Assistant will assist in generating briefings, solicitations, and donor correspondence on behalf of WNO senior staff, ensure fulfillment of new donor benefits by liaising with contributors via phone and email, track giving levels and renewal schedules, research funding prospects, and utilize departmental systems with regards to gift processing, ticket exchanges, solicitation tracking, and the storing/maintenance of donor information.

The Assistant must be able to exercise discretion in order to prioritize assignments and work under significant pressure, as many projects are time sensitive and involve concurrent deadlines and donor interaction. An eagerness to communicate and problem-solve with a positive attitude is essential.

Duties and Responsibilities:

60% Assists with donor prospect identification, research and cultivation processes with Assistant Manager, WNO Development staff, Senior Leadership and the Board of Trustees.
  • Research prospects through a variety of data sources, prospective donor giving interests, capacity, and inclination both from national and international prospects; works collaboratively with colleagues in Development
  • Work with Assistant Manager to implement and maintain donor/prospect management system.
  • In coordination with the Assistant Manager, prepare prospecting documents including wealth assessments, research profiles, meeting briefings, and event briefings for senior leadership and Development staff.
  • Actively stewards donors through direct contact via telephone, email, and written communication;
  • Maintains accurate donor records in hardcopy and electronic formats and in Tessitura.
  • Prepares timely and accurate written communication with prospects:
    • Organizes, develops, and executes solicitation and acknowledgment materials.
    • Prepares new donor and strategy research briefings and presentations

20% Assists in the current donor pipeline management for WNO Individual Giving, Corporate, and Foundation Campaigns.
  • Identify opportunities for gift increases from current donor pool in coordination with the Assistant Manager
  • Research and prepare detailed briefings on prospective donors, as identified by (Assistant Manager, Manager, and Chief Development Officer to be presented to team leadership.
  • Maintain current donor pipeline management system

20% Assist select donor cultivation efforts for WNO Board, Circles, and Major Gift Donors in addition to WNO's Ancillary Groups: BravO, Women's Committee, and Women Who Opera
  • Assist with cultivation efforts, specifically around auxiliary events (For example: Dress Rehearsals, Opening Nights, Prospecting events, Women's Committee, etc…)
    • Prepare invitations and take responses
    • Coordinate scheduling with WNO administrative staff and artists
    • Coordinate event check-in and event flow
    • Complete appropriate follow-up following each event

N/A Responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner; Adheres to all employer policies and procedures; Other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree required. An advanced degree in a related field is beneficial.
  • Working knowledge of the performing arts is preferred.
  • Development or related experience desired.
  • You have a clear understanding of the Kennedy Center mission, and an understanding of the ways in which a fundraising operation works within a large and complex institution.
  • Experience with Tessitura is a plus!

Who You Are:
  • You have superior organizational, written, and verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
  • You have careful attention to detail and awareness of standard accounting procedures.
  • You have the ability and confidence to work without close supervision, to foresee development needs, and to proactively generate work for this position as well as an Assistant and an intern.
  • Ability to multitask.
  • You have a professional and cordial demeanor, tact, and diplomacy. These are imperative as the incumbent is regularly in contact with people at all levels of society and business including Kennedy Center leadership, high level volunteers, major donors and prospects, and other Center personnel.
  • You have creativity and an excellent command of the English language. These are critical to identifying funding sources, matching their interests to projects, and communicating persuasively, both in person and in writing, the need for funding.
  • You have the ability to deftly manage many relationships and personality types; both internally among staff members, and externally among constituents.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks. The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms. This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment:

Large, vibrant, fast-paced office that values initiative, efficiency, diversity, and teamwork. Office culture encourages professional growth through internal promotion whenever possible.

Working outside of normal business hours (nights and weekends) can be expected from time to time

The noise level in the work environment is minimal, however attendance at major fundraising events and performances is required. In those conditions, the noise level is very loud.

Travel is not expected.


We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Paid Time Off, Paid Sick Leave, and a matching 403(b) Retirement Plan.

Additional benefits include: Commuter Programs, Education Assistance Programs, Social Activities, and other employee discounts and specials.

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