Development Manager - part-time, Opera Maine

  • January 29, 2021

                 Opera Maine is a non-profit performing arts organization led by a volunteer Board of Trustees. Based in Portland, it is the only professional opera company in the state of Maine. OM's mission is to produce creative and professional opera performances of artistic excellence. A Studio Artist Program is also an integral part of our mission.
                 Opera Maine operates on an annual budget of approximately $400,000.  Besides the part-time Artistic Director, the Company employs a part-time Executive Director and a part-time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper. There are currently seventeen members of the Board of Trustees. 


Job title

Development Manager

Reports to

Executive Director


Job Summary

  • Opera Maine is seeking a Development Manager to join its dynamic team. The Development Manager will be responsible for managing the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual donors with attention to driving growth and retention. The Development Manager will also organize/oversee such activities as scheduling meetings and coordinating communications with donors. He/she/they will manage OM's efforts to increase and maintain funding from foundation, corporate, and government sources in support of Opera Maine’s artistic, educational, and strategic initiatives. The focus of the position will include the duties and responsibilities that follow, but will not all be part of daily work. This is a ten hour a week position for $20-$30 per hour commensurate with experience.

Duties and responsibilities

Institutional and Corporate Giving

  • Work with the Executive Director to expand and renew support from foundations through preparing letters of intention, grant applications, proposals, presentations, budgets, and reports for a robust portfolio of foundation prospects and donors.
  • Edit and personalize acknowledgment letters for institutional funders
  • Work with the Executive Director and Trustees to secure and renew corporate sponsorships
  • Manage all components and requirements associated with giving from the city, state, and national governments, such as Maine Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts
  • Devise cultivation and stewardship strategies for foundation, corporate, and government prospects and funders
  • Maintain all grant activity in grant tracking program
  • Conduct prospect research to identify potential/new foundation, corporate, and government funders
  • Monitor terms and agreements of grant awards for compliance

 Annual Fund

  • Work with the Executive Director, Artistic Director, and Trustees to craft content for appeal materials both for existing donors and potential new donors
  • Manage the annual fund process including sending letters, emails, and making phone calls
  • Work with the Executive Director to develop strategies to increase annual fund revenue and donor retention
  • Participate in donor prospecting to move annual fund donors to greater levels of giving
  • Monitor annual fund results; create and generate regular reports with detailed financial information and statistics
  • Ensure annual fund donor benefits are fulfilled
  • Ensure that all annual fund donors are recognized accurately in performance programs

Prospect Research

  • Prepare prospect research profiles
  • Ensure accurate and comprehensive donor and prospect records incorporating research profiles into database
  • Analyze OM's ticket buyer lists and event attendee lists to inform approaches to fundraising

Major Giving

  • Recommend prospects for cultivation and work with ED and Trustees to turn prospects into donors
  • Participate in developing solicitation strategies for major donors and Trustees
  • Coordinate an effective program for recognition, involvement, and stewardship of major donors including underwriting opportunities
  • Prepare prospect research, donor history, and meeting materials for ED and Trustees for solicitation meetings; coordinate Trustee role in solicitation efforts
  • Record action steps in database

Planned Giving

  • Work with the Executive Director to coordinate, implement, and track planned giving program
  • Plan targeted solicitations for planned giving
  • Ensure planned giving commitments are recognized in programs and reports as appropriate

Annual Gala Fundraiser

  • Work with the Gala Committee to set and achieve fundraising goals.
  • Assist in managing guest lists, RSVPs, seating arrangements, and auction item fulfillment


  • Coordinate the distribution of all donor communications via direct mail and email including stewardship pieces, event invitations, and appeals, and record these communications on donor accounts in database
  • Serve as a Constant Contact user, designing and disseminating development emails
  • Proof all development-related communications for accuracy
  • Assist the Executive Director with calendar management related to Trustee and donor relations


  • Provide general administrative support to the Executive Director and Bookkeeper in development areas
  • Process VIP ticket requests and corporate sponsor benefits
  • Create, update, and maintain development events and event attendance in database
  • Attend events and performances, programs, and Gala and participate in donor and patron cultivation


  • Minimum of two years of development experience
  • Familiarity with and enthusiasm for opera and the performing arts
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to work under pressure, to adapt easily to changing situations and priorities, and to meet multiple deadlines and goals simultaneously
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and customer relationship management software.
  • Strong work ethic, professional manner, high standards, and the ability to work independently as well as in a team environment
  • Outstanding interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills
  • Ability to build relationships with a variety of stakeholders (staff, volunteers, patrons)
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Passion for systems and analysis


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Contact Information

Caroline Koelker

225 Commercial Street
PO Box 7733
Portland  ME  04112