Employment Opportunities


Washington Performing Arts employment decisions are made based on the business needs of the organization and qualification of the applicants and employees. It is the policy of Washington Performing Arts to comply with all laws regarding equal employment opportunity for all employees and job applicants. Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission, access or employment. In addition, the District of Columbia adds protection for marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, or political affiliation.


• Assistant Director, Major Gifts

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• Position: Assistant Director, Major Gifts.

• Department: Development

• Status FSLA: Exempt

• Reports to: Director of Development

Position Description:

The Assistant Director, Major Gifts, is a newly created position with a primary goal of expanding the individual donor support base of Washington Performing Arts. Reporting to the Director of Development, this position serves as a front-line solicitor of donors and prospects with capacity to contribute $5,000 or more to the annual fund, special events, and artistic and education initiatives. The position will manage a portfolio of current and prospective major donors, and will be expected to have daily interaction with donors and prospects, including at Washington Performing Arts performances and events.

While this position will have administrative responsibilities, its primary focus is to interact with donors and prospects toward a goal of soliciting their support. It is expected that, over time, this position will spend an increasing amount of time outside of the office on donor visits.


Portfolio Management and Solicitation Activities

  • In consultation with the Director of Development, assemble a portfolio of between 100-150 current major donor accounts and accounts identified to have the capacity to become major donors.

  • Develop strategies to cultivate and solicit each account, using the Tessitura database to track, document, and report on all activities.

  • Provide support in managing the portfolios and solicitation activities of the President & CEO, Chairman, Director of Development, and select Board members.

Prospect Research:

  • Serve as the Development Department lead on prospect research activities, including the staffing of regular meetings to review prospects and assign to portfolios.

  • Provide guidance to Development staff and interns assisting with research activities.

  • Ensure that prospect research activity is being properly documented in the Tessitura database.

Special Initiatives

  • Assist the Director of Development and other staff with special fundraising campaigns and initiatives as assigned. These may include dedicated campaigns for the 50th Anniversary Season, Mars Urban Arts Initiative, and Lawyer’s Committee, among others.

Event Coordination

  • Work closely with appropriate Development staff on the scheduling, planning, and execution of donor cultivation and benefit events, including the Annual Gala.


  • Minimum Bachelor's degree required.

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a development office, with a minimum of 2 years of demonstrable experience cultivating and soliciting donations of $5,000 or more.

  • Strategic, creative, curious, and organized thinker who is enthusiastic about and committed to developing new relationships.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Good judgment and initiative; handles sensitive data with discretion.

  • Maturity and composure, especially under pressure.

  • Experience with prospect research or working with a prospect researcher is desirable.

  • Knowledge of or interest in the performing arts is highly desirable.

  • Available and willing to work outside of regular business hours, including early morning, evening, and weekend hours.

  • Experience with Microsoft Office required, as is experience with Tessitura or other fundraising software.

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resume to Mitch Bassion, Director of Development, at mbassion@washingtonperformingarts.org. No phone calls please.

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