Director, Development

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Director, Development

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is seeking a creative and energetic individual to serve as its next director, development. Reporting to the president + CEO, the director, development will lead the engagement, identification, cultivation and solicitation of major donors and corporations, leveraging the potential for significant gifts and corporate philanthropic support and sponsorship. The director, development will maintain and expand public and private sector relationships for revenue outcomes to deliver on priorities in optimizing the strategic plan; build other strategic community relationships; and collaborate with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s team to maximize successful fundraising efforts. The director, development will be responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction in all fund development activities which includes sponsorship acquisition, major gifts, annual campaign, donor relations, planned-giving, grant writing, direct mail, community fundraising initiatives and special events.

The director, development will lead a team of development officers, a grant writer, an events coordinator and a data + volunteer coordinator. As an integral member of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s leadership team, they will play an active role as a thought-partner in planning for the organization’s overall advancement. Supporting, assisting and partnering with the president + CEO, staff, board and volunteers, guest artists, production managers and orchestra musicians and chorus, the director, development will operationalize the strategic plan while building a thriving, creative and diverse culture serving artists and the Calgary community.

The director, development will conceptualize and implement a plan to grow Calgary Phil’s philanthropic support and donor base while leading, motivating and keeping engaged a professional development team in devising successful operating fundraising strategies and governance, implementing appropriate delivery and support systems, and evaluating results.

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for a development professional who can bring together their vision, experience and passion for live music in Calgary. The ideal candidate will want to invest their energy into the success and growth of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, will support and thrive within an inclusive culture, and will find personal fulfilment in being part of creating the future.

The Organization

A pillar of Calgary’s vibrant arts community since 1955

The Calgary Philharmonic celebrated 65 years as a pillar of Calgary’s vibrant arts community in 2020 and has grown to be one of Canada’s most celebrated live music ensembles. Calgary Phil presents classical standards, pop favourites, bold collaborations and cutting-edge new works, and attracts world-renowned guest artists and dynamic conductors. In a typical Season, the Orchestra welcomes over 100,000 visitors to the concert hall and reaches audiences around the world through free and accessible digital programming and live-stream initiatives immersive, online concert experiences that launched in 2017.

In addition to 66 orchestra musicians, Calgary Phil is one of two major symphony orchestras in Canada that has its own chorus of over 100 volunteer singers, which celebrates 60 years in 2023.

At the start of the 2017/2018 Season, the Orchestra welcomed Norwegian conductor Rune Bergmann as Music Director. His elegant interpretations and reputation as an inspiring and profound musician continue to attract the attention of orchestras around the world. He has been Principal Guest Conductor of Lithuania’s Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra since 2013 and Artistic Director of Norway’s innovative Fjord Cadenza Festival since its inception in 2010. Maestro Bergmann entered this role with a prominent vision to showcase Calgary Phil on the world stage.

Calgary Phil was created in the 1955 merger of the Alberta Philharmonic and the Calgary Symphony and has its permanent home in Arts Commons’ Jack Singer Concert Hall, one of North America’s most acoustically acclaimed venues.

The Community

Calgary offers all the energy of a large metropolitan city with the warm and welcoming spirit of a connected community. Calgary was ranked the most livable city in North America and the third most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (2009-2019). A city with diverse communities and endless opportunities, Calgary is a city that will surprise you. Calgarians enjoy more days of sunshine than any other major Canadian city — 333 days per year in fact — and it’s home to more than 1.4 million people with a median age of Calgarians of only 37.2 years. Calgary is the third most diverse major city in Canada with more than 120 languages spoken in the city, and Calgarians are community-minded: Albertans hold the 2nd highest national volunteer rate at 55 per cent. The face of Calgary is changing. Walk through any neighbourhood and you will meet people who have moved here from all over the world.

Director, Development Responsibilities

Reporting to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s President + CEO, the Director, Development will be responsible to:

Leadership and Accountability

  • Develop and implement long- and short-term strategies for fundraising with the president + CEO and board of directors.
  • Understand and clearly articulate Calgary Phil’s programs, history, culture, values, strategic plan, season and financial strategy to foster the continuing relevance of sponsorship, philanthropic and grant support.
  • Identify key policy and funding issues of strategic importance and develop a comprehensive approach to address these issues to Calgary Phil’s benefit.
  • Regularly report on development goals and progress to the President + CEO and board of directors.
  • Proactively mobilize the board of directors, volunteers, and in partnership with the President + CEO to drive fundraising activity and personal engagement with top prospects, sponsorships and special events.
  • Develop, cultivate and enhance Calgary Phil’s relationships in the community.
  • Remain current on and adapt to the cultural, economic and political developments that affect goals and strategies in the non-profit sector.
  • Model behaviours that create trust, respect, build confidence and encourage others to follow suggested paths or approaches.

Development Planning and Implementation

  • Develop partnerships with all of Calgary Phil’s departments to support annual giving programs, sponsorships, special projects and events.
  • In conjunction with the President + CEO, plan and coordinate capital campaigns, including the Ad Astra Capital Campaign with Calgary Phil’s board of directors and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra foundation trustees.
  • Support the vision of Calgary Phil with innovative developing funding approaches that support financial health and future sustainability of the organization.
  • Create customized donor stewardship and recognition opportunities to support expanded fundraising activities.
  • Create, implement and manage a strategic development plan designed to significantly increase contributed revenue.
  • Establish solicitation priorities, manage prospect lists and research, and develop and execute targeted cultivation plans and solicitation strategies for a range of prospects. Maintain a portfolio of donors, cultivating and soliciting major gifts for the annual fund, special events, special programs and specific fundraising for the institutional endowment.
  • Ensure that the development area adheres to long-term strategic and operational plan goals, coordinating and presenting regular progress reports to the president + CEO.
  • Direct all aspects of development including stewardship, special events, cultivation, benefits fulfilment, daily donor interaction and volunteer management.
  • Use the organization’s formal and informal social and technical structures to build relationships, negotiate solutions and accomplish goals both internally and externally by building meaningful relationships within the arts including collaboration with Arts Commons and other resident companies.
  • Guide and mentor the development team’s successful achievement of contributed revenue goals for individual, corporate, foundation, special events and institutional endowment, with a personal emphasis on identifying, cultivating and securing new sources of funding.

Administration and Oversight

  • Oversee the development department and supervise the development staff by setting clear expectations and ensuring their continuing growth and professional development.
  • Influence and inspire others to act in an energetic, committed fashion in pursuit of a positive organizational culture.
  • Ensure that the necessary organizational structure, adherence to CRA and Alberta Municipal Affairs’ regulations and guidelines are followed, and that policies, system controls and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
  • Prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets; provide accurate reporting, analysis and integration of data; and oversee the maintenance and integrity of donor, and prospect records.
  • Guide a regular process of staff review and evaluation that ensures the highest ethical standards in all departmental activities.
  • Lead by example and mentor the development staff in utilizing available data and systems to analyze and document fundraising needs and opportunities.
  • Ensure revenue goals are met, proactively identifying potential shortfalls and strategizing creative options that lead to fulfilment.
  • Prepare financial and statistical analysis of development initiatives and use this information to improve fund development activities.
  • Project anticipated revenue and expenses for programs under purview and review progress quarterly with the president + CEO.
  • Assess current technology and refine development practices to ensure maximum efficiency and results.
  • Embrace other administration and oversight roles and responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

Proactive, dynamic, resilient, self-motivated, detail and people-oriented, the director, development will have exceptional social and verbal communication skills and value frequent interaction and collaboration with others. The director, development will be an experienced and entrepreneurial professional with the vision to actively pursue Calgary Phil’s ambitious goals with creativity and determination and will have a high degree of personal accountability and a commitment to exceeding expectations. This individual will balance tasks and manage projects with competing long and short-term goals and priorities with a sense of urgency and possess superlative interpersonal and communication skills that articulate compelling verbal and written messages for support. A self-sufficient and self-managed professional with a highly organized approach, the director, development will have the ability to achieve organizational objectives with staff, board members, volunteers, donors and prospective supporters. This individual will bring an affinity for Calgary Phil’s mission and vision and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success, complemented by highly developed skills and an efficient best practices approach.

Other key competencies of the role include:

  • Leadership and Negotiation – Organizing and influencing people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction while listening to many points of view and facilitating agreements.
  • Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills – Cooperating with others to meet objectives and the ability to effectively communicate to build rapport while relating to many different people.
  • Planning and Organization – Establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively, while utilizing logical, systematic and orderly procedures to meet objectives.
  • External Stakeholder Focus – The dexterity to anticipate, meet and exceed stakeholder needs and expectations.
  • Goal Orientation – The clarity to establish and achieve specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable and time-sensitive goals regardless of obstacles or circumstances and the ability to facilitate agreements between many parties.
  • Flexibility, Time and Priority Management – The acuity to prioritize and complete tasks to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames while readily modifying, responding and adapting to change with minimal resistance.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A bachelor’s degree, post-secondary education, or equivalent work experience is required. Qualified candidates will have at least 7 years of progressive experience at a leadership level with increasing responsibility in a fundraising leadership role, preferably in the performing arts, education or non-profit sector.
  • A strong track record in corporate sponsorship, events, donor identification, cultivation and solicitation at all funding levels, particularly major gifts, is required. Prior experience with endowment campaigns would be an asset.
  • Superior written/verbal communication skills and experience collaborating with high-level, respected volunteers are required.
  • Candidates must possess expertise in and willingness to mentor and develop team members to create a high performing department.
  • A CFRE designation and membership in the Association of Fundraising Professionals is an asset.
  • Strong computer skills are necessary, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), donor database software, media (traditional, electronic, and social media), and the use of advanced tools for donor prospecting and research. Knowledge of Spektrix would be beneficial. The successful candidate must be able to work beyond office hours including attendance at evening/weekend concerts and event throughout the season.

Compensation: A competitive compensation package with a salary range of $125,000 – $150,000 commensurate with experience including supplemental health and wellness plans, vacation and matching RRSP will be provided.

Application Instructions

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Director, Development Search is led by Martin Bragg of Martin Bragg & Associates. To apply in confidence please email your letter of interest and resume in PDF format to Martin Bragg & Associates at

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and will receive an acknowledgement of their application.

No phone calls please.

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Calgary Phil is committed to fostering an anti-racist, equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment and, as such, encourages qualified candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds. Calgary Phil is committed to an open and transparent hiring process and encourages applications from our diverse community. Calgary Phil hires based on merit and is committed to employment equity, diversity, and inclusion. Calgary Phil is unwavering in its pursuit of excellence and recognizes that increasing the diversity of our staff, and especially our leadership, accomplishes this objective.
If you require an accommodation allowance for the recruitment/interview process, please let us know so we can work with you to assist with your needs.

We acknowledge that we come together and create music on land known by the Blackfoot name Mohkinsstsis, which we also call Calgary. This land is on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Piikani, and Kanai First Nations), the Îyâxe Nakoda (Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations), and the Tsuut’ina First Nations, as well as the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. We honour this land and all those who share it in a spirit of peace, friendship and respect.

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