Assistant Director of Philanthropy, Individual Giving and Major Gifts

This job posting expired and applications are no longer accepted.
La Jolla Playhouse
August 13, 2021
2910 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, California, California
Job Type
Type of Pay
Contact Name
Jennifer Boaz
Contact Email


DEPARTMENT:                   Philanthropy

REPORTS TO:                      Director of Philanthropy

LOCATION:                          La Jolla, California on the beautiful campus of the University of California, San Diego

FLSA STATUS:                     This is a full-time, exempt (salary) position, eligible for a full array of benefits including health insurance and 403(b) retirement plan

HOW TO APPLY:                Submit a cover letter and resume to  Please include in the subject line - “Assistant Director of Philanthropy”


La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls.   Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 105 world premieres, commissioning 60 new works, and sending 33 productions to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. These works include the Broadway hits Come From AwayDiana and Memphis, all directed by Ashley; The Who’s Tommy; the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife; and Jersey Boys.


La Jolla Playhouse is committed to diversity in all areas of our work, on and off stage.   We lead with our values and encourage individuals with unique perspectives to apply.  La Jolla Playhouse is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


La Jolla Playhouse is seeking an entrepreneurial, results-driven fundraising professional to fill the position of Assistant Director of Philanthropy, Individual Giving and Major Gifts. This key leadership role within the Philanthropy Department directly supervises two full-time employees and serves as a mentor to the entire team. With a focus on leading the Individual Giving team to raise in excess of $2 million in individual giving annual support for Playhouse productions, programming, and learning and engagement initiatives, this position will also be responsible for carrying a major gifts prospect list. Other fundraising includes supporting special event goals (particularly Gala) and endowment/planned gifts. This includes increasing support from current donors and acquiring new donors. This position also supports the Director of Philanthropy, Managing Director and Board of Trustees in their donor outreach efforts.




  • Work closely with the Director of Philanthropy to develop and execute a comprehensive fundraising plan to meet both short- and long-term revenue goals for Individual Giving income.
  • Actively engage, manage and grow a portfolio of approximately 150 current and prospective individual donors at the mid- and major-gifts levels.
  • Supervise two direct reports to secure nominal and mid-level gifts through campaigns, tele-funding and memberships, to meet the annual Individual Giving goal.
  • Interact with key donor portfolio, while developing potential prospects through traditional and creative solicitation vehicles, including on performance nights and weekends.
  • Partner with the volunteer Board of Trustees to fully amplify their time, talent, and treasure by conducting “rate & review” sessions and engaging meaningfully with their contacts.
  • Design and implement specific individual funding opportunities for La Jolla Playhouse productions and related programming, Learning and Engagement initiatives to maximize giving, including creation and maintenance of membership levels, sponsorship opportunities and benefits packages.
  • Write donor proposals and solicitation letters to develop and increase support.
  • Assist in the marketing of Planned Giving vehicles and coordination of special events to celebrate members of The Revelle Legacy Society.
  • Serve as a public face of the Playhouse by attending and networking at outside functions to heighten visibility in the community.
  • Identify potential Board members to recommend to the Nominating Committee.
  • Initiate collaboration and teamwork within the broader organization to build relationships and nurture an environment supportive of philanthropic endeavors.
  • Oversee the fulfillment of donor benefits on a regular basis and manage donor recognition with support from department members including the Philanthropy Assistant and Philanthropy Coordinator.
  • Orchestrate donor circles and associated events, including the Director’s Circle, Show Sponsors, DNA Series sponsors, The Revelle Legacy Society and others as needed.


  • Supervise the Senior Manager, Individual Giving, with oversight to develop key messages in all fundraising materials, including direct mail, sponsorship proposals, social media and e-philanthropy, the website, tele-funding scripts and impact reports.
  • Supervise the Philanthropy Operations Manager to ensure the Philanthropy Department is trained to maintain institutional best practices of donor information systems, gift processing and gift entry. Additionally, collaborate closely together to regularly review the pipeline of donors, ensuring that portfolios are screened, researched and refreshed periodically to maximize their potential.
  • Work with the Director of Philanthropy and team to maintain the departmental budget including the reconciliation of expenses, forecasting contributed revenue for strategic planning and collaborating as needed with the Finance Department for the annual audit.
  • Provide leadership to Philanthropy Department members in stewardship for individual donors, adhering to the Donor Bill of Rights with oversight of acknowledgments and tax receipts, impact reports, gifts for donors and listings.
  • Collaborate with the Communications Department to synergize the joint vision of increasing donations through all marketing channels.
  • Responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, supervising and evaluating staff. Regularly provide feedback to direct reports to ensure that performance objectives and metrics are met with a focus on professional development to equip direct reports for success and well-being.



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Knowledgeable about all aspects of fundraising principles and techniques with expertise in Major Gift fundraising as well as familiarity with planned giving best practices
  • Proven ability to lead, coach and manage others
  • Experience working successfully with key volunteers, particularly a Board of Trustees
  • Ability to build, cultivate and maintain strong relationships
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including superior composition and proofreading skills
  • Strong organizational and planning skills, with fervent attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and Zoom a plus
  • Understanding of non-profit budgets and financial reporting
  • Ability to multi-task and remain flexible
  • Willingness to adhere to the Donor Bill of Rights and work with highly confidential information in a professional and ethical manner
  • Available to work nights and weekends – many theatrical events take place during those times


  • Passion for the arts – and more specifically, theatre!
  • Eight+ years of experience in fundraising with a portfolio of five- or six-figure donors
  • CFRE designation is a plus
  • Experience with CRM databases; Tessitura Database experience is a plus
  • Professional experience working for a nonprofit cultural organization
  • Keen sense of curiosity and initiative, motivated to succeed

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