The California Symphony seeks a part-time contract Grant Writer to join what the Mercury News calls “the most forward-thinking music organization around.” Working closely with the Director of Education & Operations and Executive Director, the Grant Writer manages a growing portfolio of institutional funders across foundations, corporations, and government support. Over the last five years, the California Symphony has defied the trends of the industry under the leadership of Executive Director Aubrey Bergauer and Music Director Donato Cabrera, doubling its annual audience and nearly quadrupling the donor base. This in addition to balanced budgets the last four out of five years and nationally recognized education programs for students, emerging composers, and adults makes for a strong case for support. If you are a skilled writer who knows how to paint this picture to funders, understands how to adapt the narrative and messaging to each specific application, and are smart with project budgets and organizational financials, we definitely want to hear from you.
Core duties include:
• Manage a portfolio of institutional funders across foundations, corporations, and government support. This includes writing grant narratives, preparing project budgets to accompany funding applications, gathering and preparing supporting materials, and timely submission of applications and grant reporting requirements.
• Seek out new funding opportunities via new and existing funders
• Meet or exceed institutional fundraising annual goal as set by Executive Director in Board-approved budget.
• Develop and maintain personal relationships with foundation executives, program officers, and other institutional funding personnel and decisionmakers: meet with them in person, send them brief updates/photos from our programs throughout the year (in addition to reporting requirements), and keep these important funders up-to-date with the impact of their support
• Maintain calendar of submission deadlines and decision dates for grants
• Develop case for concert sponsorship; in partnership with Board of Directors, submit sponsorship proposals to corporate contacts and decisionmakers
• Maintain comprehensive and accurate digital records relating to this scope of work
Qualifications/requirements to be successful:
• Excellent writing skills: can tell a story according to what each funder wants, in as few words as each funder wants, and can be your own editor
• Strong financial and budget skills: must be able to read company financial statements as well as prepare project-specific budgets specific to each funding opportunity
• Technologically savvy: knows Dropbox, can compile basic reports as funders need, create project budgets in Excel, access and compile photos and other supporting materials and can present these assets in a professional way to accompany grant proposals. Can work with staff members as needed to assimilate information and learn more about CSO programs; if working remotely this requires tech savvy with electronic communications and video conferencing.
• Autonomous and resourceful: with minimal oversight, must be able to independently mine past files to get up to speed on institutional history with funders, past applications and asks, budget documents, and program impacts
• Strong time management: Must be organized and manage time in order to meet deadlines, even when multiple grant applications and reports are due at about the same time.
Additional qualifications (encouraged but not required)
• Undergraduate degree plus at least two years experience managing institutional relationships
• Previous experience at a performing arts organization
• Background in classical music or other performing arts discipline
• Competitive rate for this part-time contract work
• Option to work remotely – do not have to live in the Bay Area
• Flexible schedule and hours
An Equal Opportunity Employer:
It is the policy of the California Symphony to provide all persons with equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, veteran status, marital status or any characteristic protected by federal, state, and local law. Candidates of ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) communities are encouraged to apply.
• Send cover letter, resume, and two (2) past grant applications and respective award amounts to firstname.lastname@example.org
• No phone calls or email inquiries, please
About California Symphony
The California Symphony, now closing its sixth season under the leadership of Music Director Donato Cabrera, is a world-class, professional orchestra based in Walnut Creek, in the heart of the San Francisco East Bay since 1990. Our vibrant concert series is renowned for featuring classics alongside American repertoire and works by living composers. The Orchestra is comprised of musicians who have performed with the orchestras of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others, and many of its musicians have been performing with the California Symphony for nearly all its existence.
Outside of the concert hall, the symphony actively supports music education for social change through its El Sistema-inspired Sound Minds program at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo, CA, which brings intensive music instruction and academic enrichment to Contra Costa County schoolchildren for free. We also host the highly competitive Young American Composer-in-Residence program, where Katherine Balch is entering her third year of residency. The Orchestra performs at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
Over the last five years, the CSO has defied the trends of the industry under the leadership of Music Director Donato Cabrera and Executive Director Aubrey Bergauer, doubling its annual audience and nearly quadrupling the donor base. Many orchestras talk about attracting new audiences and developing new and different programming—we are actually doing it. We have built a team of smart, driven, and forward-thinking individuals who work together to redefine what a modern American orchestra can achieve and how it can serve and remain relevant to its constituents. For more information on how CSO is defying trends and activating a new model for orchestras, read our blogs at https://www.californiasymphony.org/blog/ and https://medium.com/@AubreyBergauer.