Associate Director of Development

Kentucky Opera - Louisville, Kentucky

Job Category: Development

Job Type: Paid

Job Term: Full Time

Compensation: $54000 - $60000

About Our Organization

Kentucky Opera enriches and engages our community through spectacular music, creative storytelling and the thrill of the human voice.

As the Commonwealth’s official opera company, Kentucky Opera seeks to reach and reflect our entire region through our art form. We believe that the arts should be accessible to everyone and that opera has a significant role to play in promoting a more empathetic, compassionate, and just community. Kentucky Opera is dedicated to providing opportunities for inclusion and equitable representation throughout all levels of our organization, realizing that equity among all peoples requires a continual evaluation of leadership decisions, employment practices, programming choices, and methods of engaging with the community. We are committed to promoting varied perspectives so as to continually foster a company that reflects, celebrates, and serves the diversity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky through opera. 

Job Summary


The Associate Director of Development plays a critical role in the growth of fundraising efforts at Kentucky Opera and works collaboratively and strategically to advance the mission of the organization. This key position reports directly to the Chief Revenue and Advancement Officer and is primarily responsible for individual giving, with a special focus on major gifts. In partnership with the Chief Revenue and Advancement Officer, the Associate Director of Development will oversee the Annual Fund and also assist with all unrestricted and restricted grants and reports for corporations, foundations, and government agencies. This position manages forecasting and reporting for individual giving and institutional funding, oversees grants management, and works with a grant writer to identify and secure new sources of support, including national foundations. The Associate Director of Development creates and oversees donor and recognition benefits and develops relationships with key funding partners. This position reports to the Chief Revenue and Advancement Officer and works closely with the Finance, Community/Education, Artistic, and Marketing departments.



  • Build passion and excitement for the mission of Kentucky Opera among current and prospective patrons.
  • Steward giving relationships utilizing artistic, programmatic, education, community, and audience development initiatives to design cultivation programs that generate and motivate patron enthusiasm and support for Kentucky Opera’s programs.
  • Work closely with the Chief Revenue and Advancement Officer, Marketing, and Patron Services on all aspects of the Annual Fund, including design, content, timeline, segments, social media, telefunding, direct mail, and other grass roots efforts.
  • Maintain and manage a portfolio of approximately 200 individual donors, including conducting regular in person/virtual meetings and other communications.
  • Monitor and support the portfolio management of other key staff, including the General Director/CEO, Community Engagement, and Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Develop and manage a prospect pool using the database and research tools to identify and cultivate new leads, and design and implement strategies to attract new donors, support major gift efforts, and to build a robust donor pipeline.
  • Oversee messaging for annual fund appeal efforts, including but not limited to appeal letters, emails, social media, and additional communications, and ensure coordination of fundraising messages throughout the organization.
  • Track and report solicitation and fundraising progress.
  • Analyze results of programs and efforts to make informed goals, plans and adjustments to best utilize resources and improve subsequent efforts.
  • Maintain database records and e-files with all donor transactions and related development material.
  • Serve as Kentucky Opera’s liaison with volunteer and affinity groups.
  • Write proposals and create supplementary materials as necessary.
  • Oversee donor strategy for special initiatives and events such as annual fundraisers, community concerts, family and student programs, and donor events to achieve maximum success.
  • Participate in networking opportunities to broaden Kentucky Opera’s scope of engagement.
  • Serve as a resource and support for the Board of Trustees, Kentucky Opera leadership, donor community and staff.
  • Staff and represent Kentucky Opera at performances, programs and events, and serve as an ambassador for Kentucky Opera.
  • Other job related duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications & Requirements


  • A deep enthusiasm for and commitment to the mission of Kentucky Opera.
  • Commitment to building and fostering an anti-racist environment in the fields of Philanthropy and the Arts.
  • Excellent verbal, written communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of team.
  • Experience with database management, preferably in Tessitura or similar.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams.
  • Must be available to work and attend evening and weekend events and performances.
  • Access to personal transportation and a valid driver license.

Additional Details


  • Minimum 5 years of fund-raising experience, including direct solicitation of contributions, volunteer leadership support, written and verbal presentations. 
  • Knowledge of the performing arts industry.
  • Familiarity with opera a plus, but not required.
  • Bachelor's degree in related field, or equivalent experience.


  • Ability to work some nights and weekends
  • Position requires the ability to lift 40 lbs. or more on an occasional basis – with or without assistance.

Other Information


Salary is $54k- $60k Depending on experience and demonstrated prior successes in fundraising. Kentucky Opera offers a generous benefit package, including medical insurance, IRA contributions, as well as paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave. Compare cost of living in the vibrant city of Louisville.

Kentucky Opera is an equal opportunity employer that values a varied and diverse staff. BIPOC individuals and women are encouraged to apply. 

How to Apply


Email your CV/résumé and cover letter expressing interest to with the subject “Associate Director of Development Position”. No phone calls, please.