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  • Full Time
  • St. Louis County
  • Applications have closed
  • Organization Type: Art/Culture

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Opera Theatre’s Director of Development is a critical member of the company’s management staff and reports to the Managing Director of Advancement.  The Director of Development provides strategic direction and oversight for the company’s fundraising efforts, managing a development staff of four and partnering with the Board of Directors and colleagues to advance OTSL’s annual and long-term philanthropic goals.  Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with the Managing Director of Advancement to develop ambitious but attainable goals for contributed annual operating support, track progress toward goals, report regularly to staff and Board of Directors, and adjust tactics as needed to meet fundraising objectives.
  • Assist with the identification, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift prospects, working in collaboration with OTSL’s Board of Directors, Managing Director of Advancement, and General Director, and accompany these individuals on solicitation and stewardship visits as appropriate.
  • Advance the relationships between OTSL and its mid-level and major donors by sharing information about the art form and OTSL’s impact, introducing donors to artists, staff, and board, and strengthening personal connections between the company and its donors.
  • Collaborate with the Membership & Development Operations Manager to oversee the annual operating support campaign, ensuring that direct mail and digital campaigns are conducted in a timely and effective manner.
  • Supervise corporate and foundation underwriting, working with the Manager of Institutional Giving to identify new prospects, submit compelling and timely grant proposals and reports on deadline, and cultivate corporate and foundation representatives.
  • Oversee solicitation for OTSL’s major fundraising events and collaborate closely with the Manager of Special Events to engage volunteer leadership, meet financial goals, and create a positive guest experience.  Provide similar oversight for OTSL’s season events and cultivate events, ensuring that goals for stewardship and financial management are met.
  • Serve as a staff liaison for Board development committees and work with these committees and the appropriate colleagues to identify prospects, assign appropriate solicitors, and assess progress throughout the year.
  • Oversee Opera Theatre’s planned giving efforts and partner with OTSL’s Planned Giving Advisory Council.
  • Collaborate with Manager of Donor Communications to develop effective development collateral, including solicitation and acknowledgment letters, print materials, and digital media communication. Set the tone for all fundraising communication and interactions with donors to ensure stewardship is timely, appropriate, and consistent in message.
  • Manage a department budget of revenue in excess of $6 million and expenses of more than $1 million to ensure fiscal responsibility relative to OTSL’s fundraising initiatives.
  • Create a culture of philanthropy at Opera Theatre that reflects best practices of solicitation and stewardship and echoes OTSL’s core values, treating donors at all giving levels as valued collaborators.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3-5 years of fundraising experience with demonstrated results.
  • An ability to manage budgets and create revenue projections.
  • Experience hiring, managing, and retaining staff.
  • Strong computer skills including experience with Microsoft Office Suite and a constituent management database (preferably Tessitura).
  • Availability on some nights and weekends, particularly during the festival season in May and June.
  • CFRE and/or advanced degree a plus.


Ideal Candidate Profile

  • Skilled development professional who enjoys building relationships and has a comprehensive understanding of individual, corporate, foundation, and government fundraising with demonstrated results.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • An ability to think strategically while exhibiting a strong attention to detail.
  • A love of the arts and knowledge of opera.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects with overlapping deadlines.


About Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization known for innovative productions featuring outstanding young artists.  The company offers a festival opera season each spring which attracts ticket buyers from zip codes throughout the metropolitan area, as well as visitors from nearly 50 states and multiple countries.  As of 2019, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has presented 28 world premieres and 28 American premieres, which may be the highest percentage of new work in the repertory of any American company. In addition to the spring Festival Season, Opera Theatre operates year-round education and community programs serving nearly 17,000 local children and adults.  The company’s annual budget size is approximately $10.8 million; contributed revenue represents more than 50% of budget.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has a year-round artistic and administrative staff of 35, which increases to approximately 500 during the Festival Season. Several hundred volunteer members of the Opera Theatre Guild provide invaluable service and support for all aspects of Opera Theatre’s work and advocate for the Company throughout the greater St. Louis community.



Applicants for the position are asked to submit a resume along with a letter that describes their interest in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and outlines experience and qualifications for the position.


Please email cover letter and resume to:   

Nicole Ambos Freber, Managing Director of Advancement


Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 210 Hazel Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63119 (no calls, please)


Opera Theatre is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, gender, orientation, veteran or disability status.