Vice President of Philanthropy


“Every single note is dedicated to transmitting the joy and hope of music, because let’s not forget this is what we do – we inspire, we give hope and we give something bigger than ourselves.”

—José Luis Gomez

Founded in 1928, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is the first professional symphony in the southwest and the longest, continuously performing arts organization in Arizona. The TSO’s mission is to engage, educate and transform diverse audiences throughout Southern Arizona with live musical experiences of the highest quality. About to embark on its 94th season, the TSO is poised to return to the Music Hall with a full schedule of performances, under its inspiring music director José Luis Gomez. Winner of the 2010 Sir Georg Solti Conductors’ Competition, Maestro Gomez has led an artistic resurgence with performances of imaginative repertoire including by Latin-American composers and performers. The 2021-22 Season presents the most wide-ranging selection of music in the TSO’s history.

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is also nationally renowned for its educational offerings. Started over 70 years ago, they now engage 35,000 annually in one or more of TSO’s seven unique programs, including the award-winning ‘Young Composers Project’ in its 29th year.

The TSO has a bold vision for bringing the people of our richly diverse community together through the joy and hope of music. Under the leadership of its newly appointed President & CEO, Paul Meecham, the TSO will seek to attract new and younger audiences in innovative ways and strengthen its fiscal ability to further deepen the reach, impact and relevance of its artistic and educational programming for the growing population of Southern Arizona.

The Opportunity

As the orchestra field is rapidly responding to the changing world, the opportunity presents itself for an experienced, creative and sophisticated individual to serve as the TSO’s Vice President of Philanthropy. The Vice President will oversee the planning, implementation and management of all fundraising programs and campaigns. A true leader, the VP will collaborate with the senior management team and board of directors to develop annual fundraising goals and establish initiatives to reach these goals. S/he will create and execute a strategy to increase individual and institutional giving year-over-year, and will have experience of endowment and planned giving. This is a chance for someone with a deep and demonstrated appreciation for the power and value of the arts and orchestral music to enhance the work of the TSO and its musicians, staff, stakeholders and audiences. A positive, results-oriented and passionate individual will thrive in this exciting opportunity and leave a lasting mark on Tucson’s arts community.


  • Work closely and collaboratively with CEO, Director of Finance, Music Director and the Board of Trustees to develop and implement a strategic fundraising plan to enhance and increase individual and institutional giving and high-level volunteer participation.
  • Build a fundraising staff to meet financial goals and work cross-departmentally to leverage operational and IT resources to support those goals.
  • Provide leadership in all TSO’s fundraising and inspire staff accountability to ensure department operates efficiently.
  • Work with Board including its Development Committee to make it an effective fundraising arm of the organization; give guidance and support to inspire board members to own and achieve the TSO’s fundraising goals.
  • Create specific strategies for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of key prospects through face-to-face visits, site visits, events, the utilization of the newly acquired mobile stage and by other means. This includes, but not limited to, annual giving, peer-to-peer giving, digital/online campaigns, planned/legacy and major individual giving.
  • Work closely with the Director of Finance to plan and prepare the fundraising expense budget to maximize resources using best practices in the field.
  • At the appropriate time, and working with CEO and the Board, develop a strategy to grow the TSO’s endowment funds.
  • Reinvigorate and expand the Juliani Society, the TSO’s planned giving program.
  • Establish performance metrics, monitor results and evaluate the efficacy of the development program.
  • Assure sound fiscal and ethical operation of development functions including timely, accurate and comprehensive reporting on philanthropic contributions.
  • Ensure excellence in all development communications including the writing, review, editing and production of online and printed materials related to philanthropy.
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships with all TSO staff, including orchestra members, to ensure collaborative relationships between the development department and all functional areas of TSO’s operations.
  • Oversee donor database management and prospect research, including actively working to increase the acquisition of donors, wealth screening and segmenting information to advance all giving.


  • Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degree and CFRE certification preferred.
  • Seven to ten years of direct experience in philanthropic fundraising, specific and proven success with individual major giving required, ability to thrive on setting and scaling ambitious fundraising goals through collaboration in strategic and creative decision making with senior leadership and board of directors.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of all areas of nonprofit development, including major gifts, individual, institutional, planned, endowment and annual giving, special events, donor acquisition, on-line and digital and peer-to-peer fundraising.
  • Ability to quickly understand the philanthropic landscape in Tucson, particularly long-term, newly arrived and part-time residents with high net worth.
  • Experience working with, motivating and growing a nonprofit, philanthropic board is a must.
  • Excellent written, verbal, editing and people skills. Must be able to speak and write credibly and convincingly about TSO’s programs and possess the ability to articulate the organization’s mission, programs and its uniqueness in a creative, compelling, and effective manner.
  • Passion for classical music is a plus.
  • A deep commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and access.
  • Experience using Microsoft Office, wealth screening, survey and data segmentation software, as well as experience using CRM databases. (TSO has ArchTics, developed by Ticketmaster).
  • Demonstrated experience optimizing data to meet fundraising goals.
  • Friendly and collegial people skills, comfortable and willing to work collaboratively across the organization.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment and demonstrate an understanding of ethics related to development activities, and to handle confidential and privileged information with discretion.

Position Details

Vice President of Philanthropy
Reports to:
President and CEO
VP to hire staff (currently there is a Foundation and Corporate Relations consultant)
Full-time, exempt
Minimum 40 hours/week. Availability for evening performances, events and meetings required.
Range of $90,000 – $100,000 with required qualifications and experience
Comprehensive benefits and 403(b) plan
Current fundraising goal:
$2,000,000 annually (not including planned and endowment giving)

For information on Tucson as a community in which to live, visit

Data USA – Tucson, Arizona

An Equal Opportunity Employer

Tucson Symphony Orchestra is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and pregnancy-related conditions), gender identity or expression (including transgender status), sexual orientation, marital status, military service and veteran status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws and ordinances. TSO’s management team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities, access to facilities and programs and general treatment during employment.

COVID-19 Response

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the TSO has been a safe refuge. The TSO follows the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and the Pima County Health Department. As of August 2, 2021, the administrative staff will return to working full-time from the Symphony Center offices. Candidates are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to hire.

Background Checks

Prior to submitting your application package for this position, please review it carefully for accuracy. TSO does verify academic credentials and references for its candidates, and frequently conducts background checks including work history before finalizing an offer.

To Apply

Please send cover letter and professional resume with three references to:


VP of Philanthropy Search
Tucson Symphony Orchestra
2175 North Sixth Avenue
Tucson AZ 85705