The Director of Development helps to build the orchestra’s capacity for the future through the planning and implementation of all fund-raising activities, including annual fund drives, corporate sponsorships, endowment, planned giving, capital campaigns, grant applications, and new initiatives. In this capacity, the Director of Development works closely with the music director/manager, board of directors, and various committees to determine goals and budgets for fund-raising activities and to seek out additional funding opportunities. S/he establishes relationships with grant-making foundations and corporations, local and federal government agencies that provide arts funding, interacts with donors, business and community leaders in cultivation of new prospects, and coordinates with staff and volunteers in the execution of fund-raising initiatives.

Specific Duties

Foundation and Government Relations

This aspect of the job focuses on identifying foundation and government grant opportunities for the orchestra. The Director of Development makes grant applications and requests, supervises the acknowledgement of gifts, and the tendering of required reports. The director works to cultivate positive relationships with foundations and government agencies that support the arts, interacts with senior management and board members to identify prospects, and with civic leaders to forge positive partnerships.

Major Gifts

This aspect of the job regards all major gift programs ($50,000 or more), identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual donors, foundations, and corporations. As this involves developing relationships with prospects, there is considerable personal interaction with major donors and board members, and participation in fund-raising events. The director works with senior management, the board, and committees to establish objectives and set goals.

Corporate Gifts

In this role, the Director of Development cultivates corporate and foundation donors, increasing the orchestra’s potential to raise revenue through gifts and sponsorship of concerts, series, and special events. The high-level, high-profile nature of these donors calls for an ability to forge positive relationships that build a commitment to the orchestra. Works with senior management and board members to identify and solicit prospects, with marketing to develop sponsorship packages, and with all committees to guarantee compliance with sponsorship agreements and recognition in materials or at events.

Special Events

In this role, the Director of Development helps plan all of the orchestra’s special events, such as galas, pre- and post-concert receptions, sponsored events, and special luncheons or dinners. The director is responsible for supervising the many and varied details involved in executing events and acts as a liaison between special committees, orchestra volunteer groups, and staff involved. The director also assists committees with fund-raising and sponsorship aspects of events.

Planned Giving

In this role, the Director of Development focuses on deferred, planned, and endowed gifts to the Orchestra Kentucky Foundation, Inc., a sister organization to Orchestra Kentucky. The director helps expand the range of planned giving opportunities, while identifying and cultivating prospects. This aspect of the position involves considerable personal interaction with donors, helping them to set and meet income goals for endowed gifts, to design gift opportunities such as endowed orchestra chairs, or to educate them on how to incorporate gifts to the orchestra into estate planning. The director works with the Orchestra Kentucky Foundation board, and Orchestra Kentucky senior management and staff to establish goals and manage planned giving programs, including maintaining regular contact with donors.

Donor Cultivation/Stewardship

Underlying all fundraising duties, and perhaps most important of all, is the Director of Development’s ability to cultivate donor relationships that will last for the lifetime of the organization. To that end, the Director of Development will create a cultivation/stewardship plan that identifies donor prospects, strategies for donor interactions/engagement/stewardship, and a method of tracking all interactions and the results. The Director of Development will work closely with the orchestra’s development, Elm Street Society, and stewardship committees.

The Organization


Recognized for its superb playing and out-of-the-box programming, Orchestra Kentucky is quickly becoming one of the leading orchestras of the South. The orchestra presents 12 performances annually: a five-concert Variety Series (which combines classical and popular music) and a five-concert Retro Series (featuring music from the ‘50s through the ‘80s, often with The Rewinders, the orchestra’s rock band). In addition, the orchestra performs one special concert and one school day performance. The orchestra is in residence at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, which houses a 1,650 seat concert hall.

Orchestra Kentucky oversees a youth orchestra, in partnership with Western Kentucky University, and the Orchestra Kentucky Chorale, which performs with the orchestra one to two times per season.

Orchestra Kentucky is governed by an 24-member Board of Directors and has an administrative staff of four full-time and four part-time workers. The annual operating budget exceeds $1,000,000.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

South Central Kentucky is enjoying a renaissance and explosion of growth. Vital regional players in industry, education, health care and culture have come together to create an atmosphere of revitalization that’s drawing residents and businesses from around the world.

A major hub of the area is Bowling Green – the third largest city in Kentucky. Bowling Green serves as the center of business, education, industry and health care for approximately 10 counties in South Central Kentucky. Located one hour north of Nashville and within a day’s travel of nearly 60 percent of the U.S. population, Bowling Green has experienced tremendous population growth and is home to people from around the world.

South Central Kentucky offers amenities usually found in larger cities, while providing the family atmosphere offered by this scenic and relaxed region of Kentucky. Recently recognized as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, and by Forbes magazine as one of the 25 best cities to retire, Bowling Green is firmly rooted in its historic past.

South Central Kentucky is home to some of the country’s biggest names in industry. The only location to manufacture the Chevrolet Corvette, Bowling Green is home to headquarters operations for Houchens Industries, Fruit of the Loom, Holley Performance Products, Trace Die Cast and more.


Candidate Profile

  • The successful candidate will combine proven fundraising ability with three to five years of successful experience in fundraising.
  • The position requires familiarity with resources and current research in fund-raising, excellent interpersonal skills, and an ability to lead the orchestra toward budgetary goals.
  • S/he will be familiar with foundations, government agencies that support the arts, and knowledge of the grant-making process.
  • S/he will demonstrate knowledge of laws related to donations, and knowledge of financial planning and IRS regulations.
  • S/he will demonstrate success in fundraising and familiarity with corporate marketing/sponsorship trends at local and national levels.
  • S/he will demonstrate experience in managing special events.
  • S/he will demonstrate fine-tuned organizational skills and the ability to communicate effectively with both professional staff and volunteers.
  • S/he will demonstrate familiarity with database management tools, preferably Bloomerang.
  • S/he will demonstrate a track record for achieving fundraising goals.
  • S/he will have the ability to speak and write persuasively about Orchestra Kentucky and its value to the community. S/he will have the ability to build productive relationships with a board range of internal and external stakeholders.

The successful candidate will have excellent management skills. S/he will be a self-starter with high energy, maturity, and self-confidence. S/he will be a person of integrity and high ethical standards. S/he will welcome the opportunity to lead the future development of Orchestra Kentucky as a significant musical and cultural asset for Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky.


Please send a cover letter outlining interest and qualifications with resume, salary history or requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are preferred. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement.

Please submit materials prior to August 3, 2020. The organization reserves the right to end the search process at any time, if a desirable candidate is found. Electronic applications are preferred.

Orchestra Kentucky – Director of Development Search

c/o Jennay Keelin, General Manager

1046 Elm Street

Bowling Green, KY 42101