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Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO)

Senior Development Officer, Philanthropy

Posted On: February 13, 2024
Closing On: February 26, 2024

Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: senior
Salary Range: $70,000 - $80,000

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Senior Development Officer, Philanthropy (Development Department)

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: Senior Development Officer, Philanthropy

Reports To: Senior Director, Philanthropy

Status: Permanent Full-time

Compensation:  $70,000 – $80,000, competitive benefits and vacation

Position Summary: 

The Senior Development Officer, Philanthropy generates major gifts revenue (annual gifts of $20,000 and above, and multi-year pledges of $100,000 and above) to support the Toronto Symphony. This role oversees and executes the cultivation of new donors, the stewardship of current donors, renews annual and multi-year support, and solicits new gifts within the major gift portfolio.

Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Leads strategy for Major Gift donors to secure annual gifts of $20,000 and above, preferably multi-year pledges of $100,000 and up.
  • Demonstrate best practice in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift donors.
  • Manage a personal portfolio of approximately 75 potential donors annually. This will involve planning, developing, and overseeing cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for individuals, and working collaboratively to plan and execute targeted cultivation of face-to-face visits.
  • Develop tailored cultivation programs and personalized stewardship activities, including identifying, evaluating and recommending the strategic steps necessary to bring the prospect closer to making a major financial commitment.
  • Support the Senior Director Philanthropy in budget management for the Major Gifts portfolio. Participate in the department budgeting process, establishing annual revenue goals for giving and monitoring progress against goals, analyzing monthly results and developing periodic forecasts.
  • Develop strong relationships with principals, executives, and musicians. Liaise with staff in other departments to remain current with existing and planned TSO initiatives and priorities to promote opportunities for philanthropic support.
  • Providing strategic leadership to, and working closely with senior volunteers and leadership, to secure significant philanthropy.
  • Oversee the identification, monitoring, and evaluation of a prospect’s giving capacity and readiness.
  • Prepare written materials, including case statements, tailored proposals, stewardship reports, and prospect/donor correspondence.
  • Provide strong and effective leadership towards achieving the targets of the major gifts portfolio, contributing to the overall strategic direction and successful execution of the Development team’s annual and multi-year plans, and offering mentorship to other members of the Philanthropy team.
  • Remain current on fundraising policies, best practices, and development trends (including but not limited to tax issues and planned giving vehicles), by updating job knowledge, participating in educational opportunities, reading professional publications, maintaining personal networks, and participating in professional association activities.

Nature and Scope of Responsibility:

  • This position is part of a team of three working at different levels within the major gifts portfolio and works closely with the Senior Director, Philanthropy and the Chief Development Officer to ensure all donor strategies, asks, and relationships are well managed.
  • Work closely with the Senior Development Officer, Maestro’s Club to offer support towards the cultivation and solicitation of mid-level donors, as well as identifying major gift donors.
  • Work closely with the Senior Development Officer, Stewardship to advise and offer support towards tailored recognition of major gift donors

Experience & Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (minimum), CFRE optional
  • A minimum of seven years of fundraising and related experience
  • Exceptional strengths in major gift fundraising, including comprehensive knowledge of fundraising best practices and strategy.
  • Ability to build strong relationships with prospective and current donors.
  • Required to work with a high degree of independence, initiative, and responsibility.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across the Development department and the entire TSO.
  • Strong analytical skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Highly professional; conscientious with a high degree of personal integrity.
  • Interest in and knowledge of orchestral music is highly desirable.
  • A high degree of organization and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work with confidential information.
  • Demonstrated experience in Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and Tessitura (or similar donor database).

How to Apply: 

Please email your cover letter and resumé to Esther Lee, Director of Human Resources, at by 9:00 am on Monday, February 26th, 2024. 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 a 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:
  • Routine office environment, with key activity occurring at rehearsals, concerts, and special events, which may take place during evenings and weekends. The majority of the TSO’s concerts take place in Roy Thomson Hall.
  • Taking external meetings in various parts of the city as requested by donors or prospects.
  • The TSO is currently working in a hybrid model of in-office and remote work. As TSO continues to evaluate the situation, the balance of time in the office and remote work is guided by departmental needs, as determined by the Senior Director, Philanthropy.
  • Long periods (more than one hour) of sitting and typing at desk and on screen.
  • Long periods (more than one hour) of standing during events and concert duty.

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.