Director of Major and Planned Gifts

Reports to Deputy Director of Advancement
Work Schedule Full-Time
Status Exempt, Benefits Eligible

About The Company

Center Theatre Group is one of the largest, most influential theatre companies in the country by virtually every measure. Over the past 50 years, we have entertained millions of audience members and produced some of the most important shows of our time, many of which have been World premieres and have gone on to award-winning Broadway runs and beyond. At the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, and Kirk Douglas Theatre, we produce and present the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country. Over the past decade, we have commissioned 65 shows and produced 40 World premieres, making us one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works. And our robust education and community programs have long embedded us in the rich culture of Los Angeles. Center Theatre Group strives to make Los Angeles a theatre destination for audiences and artists from around the world—and to make a major impact on the city.

The 180+ full- and part-time staff members who make all this possible are passionate about this place and their work. Whether it's pre-show gatherings and Staff Nights at our theatres, meet-and-greets with cast and crew, or our annual holiday party, our staff is engaged with the art and one another. Center Theatre Group commits to creating a safe space where the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion permeate all levels and all aspects of our work. We aim to attract, nurture and retain staff in a supportive home where we can be our best selves. We celebrate our commonalities and embrace our differences in order to ensure that everyone has access to our work onstage, behind the scenes, and in the community.

The Institutional Advancement Department (IA) is crucial to the success of Center Theatre Group, with responsibility for raising 35% of the revenues each year and supporting the work of the Board of Directors. As such the IA Department is at the core of communicating the Company's mission and building a broad base of community support. Under the 18-year leadership of its Director, Yvonne Bell, the department has a remarkable track record of success. Center Theatre Group is now in the quiet phase of a Capital Campaign, which includes a new building to house all operational and rehearsal activities.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Deputy Director of Advancement, the Director of Major and Planned Gifts is responsible for the management of the major and planned gifts program, which is charged with developing and strengthening relationships and securing support from donors who are capable of making gifts of $20,000 and above. This individual will manage a portfolio of 50–75 higher end ($100,000 plus) prospects and donors. The Director of Major and Planned Gifts works closely with the Director of Institutional Advancement and the Deputy Director of Advancement to distinguish appropriate major gift initiatives and programs and provides fundraising counsel to Center Theatre Group staff and Board members. Liaises with Board on screening and rating major and planned gift prospects. Works closely with the President of The Music Center Foundation and cultivates relationships with attorneys, trust officers, CPA's and other estate planning professionals to generate gift opportunities for their clients.

Primary Responsibilities

  1. Mentors and leads major gift officers and donor relations manager in achieving individual goals.
  2. Creates budget goals for the department, develops and executes engagement plans and revenue forecasts in Tessitura, and tracks actions and performance metrics (personal and team’s) progress towards set revenue goals.
  3. Qualifies and cultivates prospective donors and develops and proposes strategies for solicitation of major gifts. Determines ongoing relationships with prospects and donors, recommends specific purpose and gift levels, participates in identifying those to be involved in the cultivation and solicitation and ensures that solicitations are carried out in a timely and effective fashion.
  4. Coordinates with Major Gift Officers to develop and implement an effective program for recognition and stewardship of major donors.
  5. Ensures appropriate processing and tracking of major and planned gifts, gift acknowledgments and recognition.
  6. Participates in development and revision of policies and procedures relating to major and planned gifts including marketing materials, cultivation and stewardship activities.
  7. Responsible for oversight of Center Theatre Group's planned giving program, including management of The Ovation Society. Promotes planned giving opportunities and solicitation by networking with Planned Giving Professionals.
  8. Ensures that Center Theatre Group events are appropriately staffed and works with Major Gift Officers on creating cultivation and follow up strategies.

Secondary Responsibilities

  1. Professionally represent and share the mission of Center Theatre Group at city, business, government, and volunteer events and activities.
  2. Communicate recognition of major and planned gifts with Center Theatre Group community and the broader constituency.
  3. Attend Center Theatre Group Events to build and maintain relationships with prospects and donors.
  4. Serve as an integral member of the IA team, participating in overall goals, policies and budgets while establishing a culture of working together to achieve the mission of the Theatre.
  5. Ensures that all printed materials are well-written and proofed including but not limited to letters, proposals, invites, mailing lists, reports.
  6. Evidence good work habits including but not limited to being on time, following Center Theatre Group workplace policies, arriving prepared for meetings and events, being responsive and following through on all donor, supervisor and staff requests.
  7. Exhibits appropriate phone, email and in-person etiquette, and responds to phone and email messages in a timely fashion.
  8. Exhibits a positive attitude in relation with donors and fellow staff.
  9. Works as a team member with the entire IA staff on all department events and activities, working a minimum of 12 events each year.
  10. Other duties as assigned.


  1. Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible fundraising, major gift, marketing, sales experience or experience working in a major gift setting.
  3. Demonstrated ability to raise funds from individuals, private foundations and government agencies with a proven track record of asking for gifts of $100,000 and above through face-to-face solicitations.
  4. Strong interpersonal and verbal skills with ability to establish in-person appointments with potential donors by phone, email, and letters.
  5. Must be able to socialize with and solicit donors in a sophisticated and professional manner in a variety of locations including private homes, offices, and fundraising events.
  6. Experience in articulating an organization's mission and programs and project information and tailoring to interest of donors.
  7. Passion for and understanding of the theatre.
  8. Excellent written and oral communication skills including proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Power Point, and/or other presentation tools.
  9. Must be able to use a Windows-based computer, including keyboard and mouse operation and be computer savvy—knowledge of MS Office, internet research skills, etc.
  10. Prior experience working with databases. Preference will be given to candidates who have worked with fundraising databases (i.e. Raiser’s Edge, Tessitura, etc.).
  11. Valid CA Driver's license and must have own car and be able to drive to locations throughout Southern California to attend meetings and/or events. Preference will be given to candidates who have previously worked and developed donor relationships in the Southern California area.
  12. Must be able to carry 20 pounds (i.e. brochures, gifts, etc.) for a distance of at least 50 feet.
  13. Must be able to type a minimum of 60 wpm.
  14. Ability to work well with people from a variety of backgrounds.
  15. Ability to work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  16. Must be comfortable with a flexible work schedule, including travel for major donor cultivation, opening nights for performances, and some evening and weekend work as needed.

All employees are required to pass a background check.


The position will receive a competitive compensation.

Center Theatre Group also offers a comprehensive benefits package including retirement plan options; escalating vacation, paid sick, personal days and holidays; and health benefits including medical, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance program, and life and long-term disability insurance.

To Apply

Introduce yourself by telling us your story and why you are the ideal person for this position. Please e-mail your resume and cover letter along with salary requirements to: Please be sure to include the position title in the subject line of your email. Due to the high volume of submissions received, emails without all of the above information may not be considered.

In your cover letter, please indicate how you became aware of this job opportunity, e.g. name of website, current employee, other source.

NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. We will contact qualified candidates to set up interviews.

Center Theatre Group is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, color, ancestry, disability, age, national origin, pregnancy, veteran/military status, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by law. Center Theatre Group will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance. We support, promote, and embrace a diverse workforce.