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Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Director of Annual Giving

Posted On: November 13, 2023
Closing On: December 4, 2023

Location: Toronto
Effective: Immediately
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: senior
Salary Range: $85,000 - $100,000

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Toronto Symphony Orchestra 

Employment Opportunity: Director of Annual Giving 

About the TSO

For over a century, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has played a fundamental role in shaping and celebrating Canadian culture. Now in our 101st year, the TSO’s commitment to musical excellence and ability to spark connection remain as strong as ever. With a storied history of acclaimed concerts and recordings, Canadian and international tours, and impactful community partnerships, we are dedicated to engaging and enriching local and national communities through vibrant musical experiences.

Music Director Gustavo Gimeno brings an expansive artistic vision, intellectual curiosity, and sense of adventure to programming the 93-musician Orchestra that serves Toronto—one of the world’s most diverse cities. The TSO performs over 100 concerts annually, offering a variety of programming from the classical to music composed in our time. As well, the 2023/24 season marks the 50th anniversary of the TSO-affiliated Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra—a tuition-free training program dedicated to cultivating the next generation of Canadian artists.

Music has the power to heal, inspire, and connect people from all walks of life. The TSO is privileged to also engage audiences of all ages through an array of education, community access and health and wellness initiatives, primarily funded by philanthropy.

Join us for a concert at Roy Thomson Hall, or experience the TSO in your neighbourhood.   Visit TSO.CA or

About the Opportunity

Title: Director of Annual Giving

Reports To: Associate Vice-President, Development

Status: Permanent Full-time

Compensation:  $85,000 to $100,000, competitive benefits and vacation

Position Summary: 

The Director of Annual Giving provides strategic direction for all fundraising direct marketing activities at the TSO, including mail, phone, and digital campaigns, to meet annual fundraising targets.  The Director of Annual Giving leads the design and execution of high-impact fundraising campaigns and digital philanthropy to achieve annual revenue targets of $1 million+ in support of the annual operating budget of the TSO.

The Director of Annual Giving is also responsible for annual donor communications: from fundraising appeals to stewardship reports to digital content, including oversight of copywriting and editing for the Annual Giving team.

Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

Direct Marketing Strategy & Analysis (40%)

  • Lead the conceptualization and production of fundraising campaigns that amplify the organization’s philanthropic efforts using established and evolving direct and digital marketing strategies.
  • Understand and harness data analytics to inform and shape campaigns: leverage patron attributes and demographic analysis to tailor communications, segment strategically, and target prospects by generation, socio-economic indicators, programming interests, and other data points.
  • Implement and oversee fundraising techniques through direct mail & email, digital and print marketing, monthly giving, social media, and telemarketing that builds the TSO’s base of donors. Act as a subject matter expert on integrated giving campaigns, lead generation, donor acquisition, and conversion from one-time donor to monthly donor.
  • Drive initiatives that lead to higher donor conversion rates and increased contributions. Enhance the monthly giving strategy to maximize net income and stabilize contributed revenue growth.
  • Manage tele-fundraising agency relationship and campaign strategy; attend weekly meetings to review campaign reporting and coordinate tele-fundraising efforts with direct mail and email campaigns.
  • Manage Annual Giving expense budgets, maintaining and refining the cost-effectiveness of fundraising activities. Oversee expense budget of approximately $200,000.
  • Engage and manage work with fundraising consultants, vendors (direct response, digital platforms), and agencies (creative, etc) as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Development Operations to ensure comprehensive donor data capture, effective lead segmentation and dynamic and insightful campaign response reporting to improve performance.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in Development and Marketing to ensure integrated messaging across all donor and patron communications and a consistent and strategic giving journey from concert ticket buyer to annual donor.
  • Collaborate with the TSO Communications team to leverage digital channels, including social media, email campaigns, and online donation platforms.
  • Set and measure campaign performance against established goals and KPIs; share reports with AVP & CDO.
  • Monitor donor/participant behaviour, opportunities, and conversions within digital channels. Work with the TSO Marketing team and/or external vendors for supplementary reporting of digital fundraising campaigns.
  • With CDO & AVP, lead the annual business planning for the Annual Giving team and contribute to decision-making on revenue and expense budgeting.
  • Stay ahead of the curve regarding fundraising trends, ensuring the organization benefits from the latest strategies and best practices.

Donor Communications (35%)

  • Lead the creative direction of fundraising direct response campaigns (appeal letters and emails, telemarketing scripts, digital and print advertising, social storytelling), including content curation, copywriting, and copy editing, ensuring quality, relevance, and strategic messaging that will increase engagement at each stage of the donor journey.
  • Raise awareness of giving to the TSO through traditional and digital channels and formats (print brochures, print ads, lobby signs).
  • Map and continually refine the donor journey, focusing on optimizing engagement and enhancing donor loyalty. Employ a myriad of marketing tools (surveys, focus groups) to gauge donor motivation and satisfaction.
  • Direct the development of stewardship communications (thank you letters and emails, annual donor impact reports, stakeholder newsletters and magazines, donor surveys, annual giving promotional videos) ensuring compelling and strategic messaging. Create and evaluate an annual donor stewardship strategy that supports revenue growth.
  • Partner with Marketing & Communications to integrate philanthropic messaging in patron marketing and communications (print & digital, point of sale) to drive greater philanthropic support, and to align marketing and development ticket sales and fundraising activity.
  • Collaborate with programming departments to gather content for fundraising appeals, storytelling, and digital stewardship.
  • Direct the optimization of web landing pages/donation pages, web banners, and digital giving paths to maximize site visits to grow philanthropic revenue.
  • Develop and monitor A/B testing strategy across digital channels to ensure continuous optimization of TSO’s digital properties.
  • Oversee approvals process of annual donor communications (copy editing, departmental sign-off). Edit content to ensure messaging is compelling, donor-centric, and meets TSO brand messaging guidelines.

People Leadership (25%)

  • Provide consistent and compassionate leadership, mentorship, and support to a team of 1 – 2 direct reports.
  • Recruit, train, motivate, retain, and evaluate staff; develop annual performance and development plans, provide ongoing coaching and feedback.
  • Delegate and monitor team’s productivity against assigned projects and goals.
  • With senior team members, inspire a results-oriented and donor-centric environment with and for the Development team.

Experience & Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of fundraising experience in the non-profit sector with a focus on direct marketing and annual giving.
  • University Degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • Superior attention to detail, demonstrating a high level of accuracy, consistency, and diligence.
  • Superior writing & copy-editing skills; demonstrated experience producing fundraising appeals, print and digital collateral in support of campaign activities, and donor stewardship communications
  • Proven history of meeting revenue targets and managing giving programs towards high-retention and growth.
  • Strong analytical and data segmentation skills and deep knowledge of direct marketing best practices, including telemarketing, digital fundraising, and new fundraising technologies.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; ability to build relationships with both internal and external stakeholders to tailor and direct effective communications and appeals.
  • Confident and patient staff manager and coach; commitment to professionalism and a growth mindset.
  • Experience managing expense budgets and working with external vendors and services to support fundraising programs.
  • Ability to work independently, move projects from conceptual stages to launch, and handle multiple and often competing deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce program and project documentation, such as strategy documents, creative briefs, project plans, KPI reports.
  • Highly professional, tactful, mature, conscientious, and donor-centric; demonstrates a high degree of personal integrity and adheres to the AFP Fundraising Code of Ethics and the Donor Bill of Rights.
  • Advanced PC skills (MS Office: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, G-Suite).
  • Experience with Tessitura or similar fundraising CRMs (e.g., Raiser’s Edge) and project management platforms (e.g., Asana).
  • Knowledge of classical music is an advantage to succeeding in this role.

How to Apply: 

Please email your cover letter and resumé to Esther Lee, Director of Human Resources, at by Monday, November 27, 2023. While the TSO thanks all applicants for their interest, only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is committed to having a workforce that is reflective of the diversity of the City of Toronto and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals, especially those who can provide different perspectives and contribute to further diversification of ideas.

The TSO is committed to providing accommodations for people with disabilities. If you require accommodation, the TSO will work with you to meet your needs.

Working Conditions/Physical Demands:

  • Regular, scheduled evening and weekend work for donor events and concert attendance (2-3 times per month).
  • Option to work from home, as well as in office, and typically in the office at least 2 days per week.
  • Daily computer/on screen work (periods of up to 8 hours, with breaks).
  • Occasional minimal lifting/physical exertion at events (i.e., assembling signs, carrying boxes).
  • Concert duty includes standing for minimum 1.5 hours; could be longer at other events (3 – 4 hrs).

The TSO requires all employees to provide proof of fully-vaccinated status, with vaccines approved by Health Canada. A person is considered fully-vaccinated if they have completed the required regime for a COVID-19 vaccine and 14 days have passed since their final dose.