The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporate and a leading cultural institution in Northern Illinois, proudly fulfilling its mission through public performances, and education and outreach programs. The Development Director is responsible for the creation, management, implementation, and evaluation of an overall fundraising program consistent with the RSO’s needs and goals. The Development Director manages the process for all annual, sponsorship, endowment, and planned giving programs, as well as fundraising events. The Development Director is responsible for researching and applying for grants to government agencies and corporate and private foundations that provide arts funding. The Development Director will build a strong organizational development culture that demonstrates the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.

Essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Plan, manage, and implement all phases of the Annual Fund campaign; oversee the
    solicitation and acknowledgment process, maintenance of records, and fulfillment of
    donor benefits.
  • Develop and regularly update a comprehensive case statement for support of the RSO.
  • Work with Board to develop and direct a year-round program to cultivate new prospects
    and seek out new funding opportunities.
  • Develop and implement a corporate sponsorship program; research and identify
    potential sponsors; prepare proposals and work with Board to identify matches
    between RSO’s program and each company’s interests.
  • In collaboration with the Education and Community Engagement Director, prepare grant
    applications for corporations, foundations, and government agencies that provide arts
    funding; research all grant possibilities.
  • Work with and nurture volunteers to plan all special fundraising events; participate in
    establishing the budget and oversee the execution of each event.
  • Assist the Executive Director and Board in establishing appropriate goals for the Annual
    Fund and all other fundraising campaigns deemed necessary (endowment, capital,
    planned giving, etc.) each year.
  • Develop a plan for achieving those goals and establish a schedule that outlines all
    fundraising events and campaigns; coordinate all activities with the RSO’s master
  • Develop Board and volunteer leadership through participation in Board committee
    meetings and ongoing donor cultivation efforts; participate in identifying and recruiting
    new leadership.
  • Organize staff and volunteers to carry out all fundraising campaigns and events;
    evaluate effectiveness of each campaign.

Qualifications include, but are not limited to:

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in business, Marketing, Management or Communications
    plus 4 to 5 years fundraising experience; or equivalent combination of education and
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential preferred.
  • Working knowledge of tax laws related to charitable contributions and planned giving
    experience a plus.
  • Willingness to embrace and adhere to the RSO’s mission.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and impeccable oral and written communication skills.
  • Knowledge of Patron Manager/Salesforce (or equivalent CRM) a plus.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Must be able to work evening and weekend as needed based on the RSO concert and
    event calendar.
  • Stand for extended periods of time; push, pull and reach; occasionally bend, sit, stoop, and
    stretch. Occasionally lift and carry up to 20 pounds.

To view the full job description, please visit RSO Development Director March 2024

Starting salary range is $55,000 – $60,000

TO APPLY:  The position will remain open until filled. Application will be reviewed upon receipt and
continue until the appropriate candidate is identified. Please e-mail cover letter and resume to Julie Thomas, Executive Director at

Rockford Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer.