Director Special Events and Stewardship

Advancement · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Department Advancement
Employment Type Full-Time Regular
Minimum Experience Experienced

The Director, Special Events & Stewardship, is a senior leader on Philadelphia Ballet’s Advancement Team and reports to the Chief Advancement Officer. As a member of the Advancement team leadership, the Director will contribute to overall division planning and strategy as well as provide fundraising counsel to senior leadership and the Board. The position  is directly responsible for Stewardship, and Special Events. and for managing a portfolio of 30+ major gift donors and prospects through all stages of the gift cycle. The ideal candidate is highly organized, deeply collaborative, and able to balance numerous competing priorities. They must be strategic, optimistic, team-oriented, possess a can-do attitude and have excellent attention to detail.  They need to be committed to the success of the ballet artform and  able to communicate thoughtfully and enthusiastically about the work of the Philadelphia Ballet, its opportunities, and its challenges.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Responsible for managing a portfolio of 30+ major gift donors and prospects through all stages of the gift cycle, with a focus on donors who are supportive of special events.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with other members of the Development Team in achievement of special events, annual, and Campaign and Planned Giving goals.
  • Supervise, mentor, and guide the (position title) for job performance success and continued professional development.
  • Lead the Special Events Committee (not yet established) and, along with the CAO and Director of Marketing, is part of the staff leadership for the Philadelphia Ballet’s 60th Anniversary Season (2023-2024).
  • Attend board and committee meetings including Development, Campaign, etc. as needed.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends throughout performance season.
  • Perform additional duties as required by the Philadelphia Ballet.


  • Partner with gift officers on stewardship of Philadelphia Ballet generous donors, including individuals, foundations, corporations, and government entities.
  • Ensure the stewardship program follows industry best practices and successfully strengthen relationship-building to lead donors to their highest and best possible gifts to support the Ballet.
  • In collaboration with gift officers, oversee and lead stewardship efforts from general thank you efforts to custom strategies for major and principal gift donors, in collaboration with the major gifts team.
  • Oversees the coordinator of donor benefit fulfillment and in collaboration with Development Team leadership creates meaningful donor benefit levels.
  • Ensure sponsorship fulfillment in collaboration with the Campaign, Institutional, and Individual Giving Teams.
  • Oversee all stewardship print, and digital collateral that strategically engage and deepen relationships with existing and potential donors.
  • Oversee and guide donor annual reporting on endowment and endowment funds.


  • Create strategy and guide execution for all Donor and Special Events.
  • Ensure Special Events, successfully secure gross contributed revenue goals.
  • Oversee and manage all Special Event Committees and Volunteer Leadership, including the pipeline of future event leadership and honorees.
  • Oversee the execution for special events for the Campaign and ensure all are executed successfully.
  • Provide oversight for all event correspondence including invitations, RSVP’s, menus, presentations and all other printed materials, ensuring strategic objectives are met.
  • Work collaboratively across the Advancement department on the coordination and development of all cultivation and stewardship events, including implementation and execution.
  • Collaborates with Development Committee and Special Events Committee to involve them in Event strategy and execution of plans.


  • Bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience in fundraising and/or event management, preferably in the performing arts.
  • Proven experience in major gift and event fundraising, preferably in performing arts organizations, and in cultivating and soliciting prospects capable of gifts at the $100K+ level.
  • Management experience and success in a sophisticated and complex fundraising environment.
  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal. Good strategic/critical thinker; ability to organize and prioritize work.
  • Experience with Tessitura or other fundraising database platform (i.e. Raisers Edge, Millennium) preferred; Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint required.
  • Accounting and budgetary management experience.
  • Experience leading and inspiring a group of ambitious and goal-oriented professionals.


  • Understands of the needs and interests of major donors in order to develop relationships between them and the Philadelphia Ballet
  • Broad knowledge of the principles of fundraising – able to participate in all aspects of the gift cycle: (1) to initiate contacts with potential donors; (2) to develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with volunteers and senior leadership; (3) to move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward solicitation and closure; (4) to make solicitations when appropriate; (5) to maintain stewardship contacts with donors.
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated capacity to develop and implement practical strategies, plans, and solutions to identified issues and problems.
  • Demonstrated leadership and management success.
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal skills required.
  • Problem-solving, research and analytical skills.
  • Solid relationship-building skills, able to interface with external constituents, Staff, Artists, the Board of Trustees and Emeritus Trustees.
  • Able to see and understand the objectives of Events and Stewardship, and the Development Department, and to integrate their goals with those objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to think conceptually and master complex subject matter quickly.
  • Is deeply collaborative and can partner well with people both in and outside of the organization.
  • Professional demeanor, detail oriented.
  • Creativity, flexibility and a wonderful sense of humor.
  • Able to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and advance strategic advancement plans.
  • Able to articulate the case for support so that individuals "buy in" to the vision/mission/goals of the Ballet and with sufficient effectiveness to secure gifts at assigned donor giving levels
  • Possess a deep love and appreciation of ballet and dance.

Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required as a condition of employment

Organizational Diversity

The Philadelphia Ballet is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are deeply committed to cultivating and sustaining an organization that is equitable, fair, and inclusive in artistic expression and organizational behavior, policy, and practice.  We embrace multicultural diversity both on and off stage and strive to be an organization where all communities feel a sense of belonging.  We hold each other and ourselves accountable to these intentions every day.



Philadelphia Ballet is one of the nation’s premier ballet companies and one of Philadelphia's cultural treasures. Internationally renowned dancer Angel Corella took the reigns as Artistic Director at the start of the 2014/2015 season, bringing the company to a new level of excellence with 45 dancers from around the world and an ever-changing repertoire of works. In addition to its performances on Philadelphia’s famed Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia Ballet serves more than 40,000 individuals across the Philadelphia region every year with hands-on, high quality arts education activities brought to children and adults alike regardless of socioeconomic background or abilities. For more information visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for a behind the scenes look at our dancers in the studio and onstage. 


Philadelphia Ballet is supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development and receives support from The Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  

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  • Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time Regular
  • Minimum Experience