Executive Director, Opera Grand Rapids

Job Title

Executive Director


Opera Grand Rapids

About the Organization

Opera Grand Rapids was founded in 1967 as the Opera Association of Western Michigan.  In its fifty-year history, it has grown to be the leading professional opera company in West Michigan, serving the community with excellent Grand Opera performances and Education and Community Programs.

Opera Grand Rapids is known for its delivery of artistic excellence, a history of outstanding professional leadership, and its commitment to producing both new works of art and the masterpieces of past generations. Opera Grand Rapids is an efficient organization with an annual budget of $1 million, and is governed by a twenty-member Board of Trustees comprised of business and community leaders who are passionate about opera and the arts community of West Michigan.

The 2017/2018 season marked the 50th Anniversary season of Opera Grand Rapids.  The company’s next stage of growth begins with the 2018/2019 season and the continuation of the organization’s commitment to serving the community through the finest in opera.

Opera Grand Rapids is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity of staff.

Job Duties

Direct Report: Board of Trustees
Status: Full-time
Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Opera Grand Rapids seeks an inspiring senior leader to partner with the Board of Trustees, Artistic Director, Staff and Volunteers to lead the organization in the next chapter of Opera Grand Rapids’ fifty-year history.

The Position

The Executive Director will oversee all strategic fundraising programs to achieve stability and expansion of the company’s donor base, while nurturing the existing donor community and inspiring increased philanthropy.  The Director will interact with the community at large, and work to obtain an atmosphere that is positive, forward thinking, welcoming, and inclusive.

As the chief administrative officer, the Director will organize and supervise the administrative staff, including finance, development, marketing, ticketing, facility management and in collaboration with the Board of Trustees and Artistic Director, strategic planning.

The successful candidate will have a proven record of fund raising, exhibit exceptional communication skills, and reflect a dynamism that will elevate the Opera Grand Rapids brand in the region.

Main Responsibilities

The principal duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director will include the following:

  •         Executive leadership of the administrative staff.  Hire, supervise, motivate and evaluate the administrative staff.
  •         Analyze operational and financial data and prepare forecasts and projections.
  •         Work with the Development Director to create annual expense and income budgets for the development department to support the mission and vision of the Company and create detailed plans to:
  •  Develop, implement, and enhance all aspects of annual fundraising programs, including Individual Giving, Major Gifts, Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants, and Planned Giving.
  •         Serve as the lead fundraiser for Opera Grand Rapids – utilizing all board, staff, and opera family members to promote Opera Grand Rapids to the West Michigan community.
  •         Supervise all marketing and community engagement initiatives to ensure that audience development strategies are fully aligned with sales and development strategies.
  •         Financial oversight of revenues and expenses in collaboration with the Treasurer of the Board and company auditors.


The successful candidate will be a development or marketing professional with some or all of the following professional experiences and skills:

  •         A minimum of five years experience in fund raising or marketing in a medium to large nonprofit organization or similar institution. Experience with performing arts or other arts and cultural organizations is desired, but not required.
  •         Broad-based knowledge of and experience with various development activities, including: fund raising campaigns, major gift programs, special events, planned giving, direct solicitations, leveraging fundraising databases and support systems for donor segmentation, research, and volunteer management.
  •         A proven track record of success in prior positions.
  •         Experience working with and engaging Board Members, Volunteers, and Staff.
  •         Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. This must include being a good listener and being comfortable with receiving input from many sources.
  •         A hard worker with a high energy level and willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of activities.
  •         Emotionally mature with a good sense of humor, and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.
  •         Willingness and ability to attend evening and weekend performances, meetings and events on a regular basis.

How to Apply

Please submit all materials and address all questions to:
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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