Washington, DC

Vice President Development, Institutional Giving, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Organization

About The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center is the nation’s premier performing arts center, located on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington DC.  The Center is home to the Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as producing or presenting over 2000 performances per year in many genres including ballet and dance, theater, contemporary music, comedy, jazz, hip hop.  The Center has a strong national education program which includes school and community partnerships as well as performances and experiences especially crafted for younger audiences. In 2019, the REACH—the first expansion in the Center’s nearly 50-year history—opened to the community, creating a 21st century arts campus which promotes both formal and informal artistic interactions, and ensures all visitors to the Center can have meaningful artistic interactions, whether on stage or behind the scenes. As the Center activates its vision for the REACH, it also has an eye to the future and the Center’s upcoming year-long 50th Anniversary Season beginning in fall 2021.

The Kennedy Center receives funding from the federal government which covers the operation and maintenance of the building, however all of the artistic programming and administrative costs must be covered by ticket revenue and private donations.

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

The Kennedy Center is a welcoming and inclusive culture where everyone benefits – we do it in a way that honors everyone’s humanity. We are able to advance our mission because of committed and passionate employees. We are fortunate to be able to leverage their diverse perspectives, life experiences and skills to inform how our workplace can be a safe, transparent, and replenishing community. Through honest discussion, our focus on DEI, and the creation of a D&I council, we are committed to always being the best versions of ourselves.

Position Overview

Job Description

Salary: $155-170,000

The Vice President for Development, Institutional Giving leads and coaches a team of at least 16 development staff in the cultivation, acquisition, renewal, and stewardship of Corporate, Foundation, and Government contributed income for the Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra.  This position will play a pivotal role in the fundraising strategy and execution during these rebuilding years, focusing on developing the team structure, workforce talent, and donor cultivation plans that ultimately lead to year-over-year growth in institutional giving.  Success will require creativity and organization to build new and innovative fundraising strategies including expanding and broadening our donor pool, analyzing team structures and evaluating and advancing existing programs. Further, this position will develop and maintain an excellent working relationship with the Government Relations team to fully utilize the unique position the Kennedy Center holds as a non-partisan trust instrumentality of the federal government.

In addition to managing annual fundraising campaigns, this position will play a leadership role in activating institutional donors in the pursuit of fundraising goals for the Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary and future long term fundraising plans. This role reports to the Senior Vice President of Development and works closely with the Kennedy Center Chairman, President, Board of Trustees, senior staff, and programmers to develop and execute long-term strategies for fundraising from a myriad of sources.

The incumbent manages their time, resources, and work load to maximize productivity and financial results; demonstrates exceptional leadership and coaching skills when collaborating with staff at all levels; exercises discretion; evaluates complex internal and external relationships; and regularly takes initiative to advance campaign objectives and goals. In addition to meeting annual fundraising goals, this role is also a key member of the Development Department’s Senior Leadership team, responsible for Department-wide efforts such as cross-team “pillar” initiatives.

Duties and Responsibilities

50%   Empower a dynamic team of 16 talented professionals to identify, secure, and steward institutional contributed income (pre-covid, more than $32million annually from more than 14465 donors) by providing oversight, steady leadership, coaching, appropriate delegation of tasks, and sophisticated strategic planning.

30%   Maintains and expands a portfolio of both local and national six- and seven-figure donors.  Identifies year-over-year growth targets that are aggressive, yet achievable; collaborates across the department and leads team members to meet or exceed those goals in sustainable and innovative ways.

20%   Understand and advocate for the financial management goals and strategic initiatives set for the organization by the Senior Vice President, Kennedy Center President, CFO, and other senior staff.  Integrate and align Institutional Giving fundraising strategies and team culture with the strategic priorities of the Development Office, and serve as a thought partner to the Senior Vice President and departmental leadership in our collective pursuit of these goals.

N/A   Maintains current knowledge of the fundraising industry, specifically current tax laws, statutes, and trends in philanthropy via all available means.

N/A   Serves on the Senior Leadership team of the Development Department and actively participates in and advocates for departmental initiatives regarding professional development, work/life flexibility, gracious hiring and onboarding of new staff, etc.

N/A   Responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner; Adheres to all employer policies and procedures; Other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.  An advanced degree or training in a related field is preferred.
  • 10-15 years of Corporate, Foundation, and Government fundraising experience, with a proven track record of success in closing complex and creative major gifts, achieving goals in a matrixed environment, and setting and implementing multi-faceted campaign strategies for a large team.
  • Experience managing a dynamic and highly competent team.
  • Experience with Tessitura is preferred.
  • Working knowledge of the arts is required and experience in the arts is highly appreciated.
  • Participation in an industry association is appreciated.

Skills & Knowledge Qualifications

This position requires a highly developed entrepreneurial spirit, and proven adaptability along with a high level of interpersonal, organizational, written and oral communications skills, as well as deep understanding and comfort with database management tools.  A desire for continued self-learning is essential. The ability to relate well in a professional and easy manner to Board members, corporate executives, donors of all giving levels, and other staff members is critical.

The incumbent is faced daily with difficult and complicated situations and must be able to react with diplomacy, sensitivity, and a clear understanding of the broad issues relevant to a large performing arts presenter, a national presidential memorial site, and a major performing arts educator. Excellent management and team-building skills are necessary as the position manages board members and other volunteers. The position requires a solid understanding of standard financial principles and program/project budget preparation. The incumbent must have the confidence to work without close supervision and have the ability to foresee (and meet) departmental needs and objectives. The Vice President, Institutional Giving must possess a strong attention to detail, as well as an understanding of the long-term needs of the Kennedy Center.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone.  The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks.  The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms.  This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is minimal. Travel up to 20% may be required. Flexible work arrangements may be considered.


We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Paid Time Off, Paid Sick Leave, and a matching 403(b) Retirement Plan (employees are eligible for organization match after 1 year of employment).

How To Apply


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