Vice President of Development


Vice President of Development
Position Profile

About the Opportunity

Segerstrom Center for the Arts (“the Center”) seeks a collaborative and experienced leader to join their team as Vice President of Development. This is a fantastic opportunity for a talented and compassionate fundraising professional to advance and support the work of the skilled team that is in place. The VP will bring a mentor’s mindset and a talent for coaching and supporting a team that is successful and committed to the significant impacts the Center has on the community. The successful candidate will be skilled at conceptualizing, organizing, and activating the team to implement a comprehensive fundraising plan to fulfill Segerstrom Center for the Arts’s mission and meet their strategic priorities, while fostering a positive work environment that honors all who participate in this work, from staff to board to audience and donors. Reporting to the CEO/President, the Vice President of Development will work in close partnership with the CEO, the Board of Trustees, members of a 20 person Development department, and across the organization to build a sustainable culture of philanthropy, cultivate transformative gifts, and ultimately expand the Center’s base of support to enable the Center to achieve its financial, cultural, educational, and community impact objectives. The Vice President of Development serves as a member of the Center’s senior leadership team and works collaboratively across all departments to leverage and advance fundraising opportunities.

About Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Since opening in 1986, and originally named the Orange County Performing Arts Center until 2011, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts has presented a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages. This includes international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, and free performances and events on the plaza ranging from outdoor movie screenings and a summer jazz series to dancing lessons and culturally diverse community festivals, and many special events.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region’s major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and Pacific Chorale. In addition to Segerstrom Center for the Arts as a presenting and producing institution, it also identifies the beautiful 14-acre campus that embraces the Center’s own facilities as well as two independently acclaimed organizations: South Coast Repertory and a site designated as the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art.

Explore the full history of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts here. (https://tinyurl.com/3k7npvj9)

The Mission
Segerstrom Center for the Arts believes in the power of performing arts to transform lives and that the shared experience and exploration of the arts will help unite Orange County, creating a more culturally connected and vital community. We will help shape the Orange County of the future through meaningful collaborations with diverse communities, embracing creativity in all its forms and enabling a more inclusive, vibrant performing arts scene at the Center and across the region.

We will maintain the excellence of our core artistic and educational programs while demonstrating the entrepreneurial resolve to extend resources, know-how and creativity into these communities we engage. The Center will be transformed into a cultural center and dynamic town square deeply ingrained in the fabric of our community, artistically ambitious, yet accessible to all, one that shines as the very model of the successful performing arts center of the future. We will show that together we thrive when we make the arts matter.

Read the Center’s commitments to Equity and Inclusion (https://tinyurl.com/3md2p4bd)
Read the 2022-23 Impact Report (https://tinyurl.com/bdsm242w)
Review the financial statements (https://tinyurl.com/yc6k5y2u)

Job Description

Essential Responsibilities

The Vice President will have these primary responsibilities:

• Direct the work of the development team of approximately twenty full and part-time employees.
• Work closely with key members of the Board of Directors and colleagues engaged with programming, marketing, and finance.
• Cultivate and solicit leadership gift prospects.
• Manage the Board Development Committee, Center Fund Committee and Board Orientation.
• Participate in, plan, and evaluate a variety of cultivation activities.
• Create the framework, initiate, and manage an endowment campaign.
• Continually monitor the fundraising support infrastructure, including return on investment.

Organizational Leadership
• Foster a culture of philanthropy that fully engages staff, board members, donors, and other community members in a deep and meaningful way.
• Act as an inspirational team leader to the Development Department, in order to recruit, retain, support, and guide a diverse team of development professionals who are engaged, active in relationship-building, and growing in their roles.
• Serve as a member of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts senior leadership team, collaborating on high-level planning and decision making.
• Understand and uplift the Center’s values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and ensure they are incorporated into the Development team’s operations.
• Communicate and collaborate across departments, about the Development Department’s upcoming projects, events, and goals.
• Be a strong partner to the VP of Marketing and Communications as part of ensuring brand cohesion, integrated patron strategies, and mutual support of healthy community and audience relationships and growth.
• Participate in and attend local and state advocacy and fundraising meetings, events, and roundtables, in order to represent Segerstrom Center for the Arts and maintain valuable strategic relationships.

• Provide strategic and creative leadership in raising approximately $16M in annual contributed revenue through grants, foundation support, corporate sponsorship, individual giving, special events and other fundraising activities that meets the organization’s operational needs and aligns with the Center’s goals for the future.
• Contribute to building and sustaining a positive departmental culture that supports a commitment to team goals and core values, and that fosters the development of individual leadership, accountability, and continuous improvement in project management.
• Support the career goals of the development staff members by providing professional growth opportunities and mentorship that is attentive to their individual needs as well as the department overall.
• Collaborate with the CEO and the CFO to forecast contributed income levels, set strategic goals, and then evaluate progress toward achieving or adjusting those goals.
• Oversee the Development Department’s budget.
• Advise and collaborate with the CEO in their own efforts to cultivate donors and solicit major gifts for the organization.
• Discuss with and motivate Trustees individually in terms of their relationship to giving to the organization.


Key Selection Criteria:

Candidates are expected to have the following type of experience and qualifications:

• Significant nonprofit fundraising experience with a sizable institution.
• Demonstrated management skills in motivating, directing, and managing staff, and in supporting the fundraising activities of others; expertise in mentoring staff, encouraging the best efforts of each member of the team, and modeling active solicitation. Minimum 15 years leadership experience.
• Demonstrated success with Board relationships, annual fundraising, special campaigns, and direct leadership gift solicitations.
• Broad-based knowledge of various development activities including direct mail, proposal and grant writing, planned giving, event planning and management, leveraging fundraising databases and support systems for donor segmentation, and research and volunteer management.

The successful candidate should be:
• An experienced, proven leader with the ability to project confidence, humility, emotional intelligence, high energy, and empathy. A hands-on engaging individual who also possesses the ability to see the entire picture of the organization, its mission, its position in the community and in the arts world.
• A mission-driven individual with a belief in and commitment to the mission of SCFTA; a strong interest in, and passion for, the performing arts and the diverse communities of Orange County.
• A good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into a sound, well-organized plan.
• Determined yet respectful of others’ concerns; someone with the flexibility and creativity needed to find alternative ways to reach funding objectives when barriers arise; a skilled negotiator who does not drive him/her selves or others into a corner.
• A charismatic communicator, able to build enthusiasm for the Center, its performances and programs, and for innovative approaches that advance the reputation of SCFTA as a performing arts leader in Southern California; exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
• A hard worker with a high energy level; a “doer” with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of development and advancement activities.
• Emotionally mature with a very good sense of humor and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.
• Knowledge of the arts, particularly of the performing arts, and the ability to communicate an excitement about the artistic product to donors, are essential.

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that cis men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria, while others tend only to apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. So, whether you’re returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

Please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role.


The salary for this position is $161,500-$205,908. Segerstrom Center for the Arts provides comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, FSA, and elective supplemental plans; generous time off package; and a retirement plan with company match.

This is a full-time on-site role in Costa Mesa, California.

Application Instructions

The Vice President of Development search is being conducted on behalf of Segerstrom Center for the Arts by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries. The search is being led by VP of Executive Search Cynthia Fuhrman.

To apply, visit the online application (https://tinyurl.com/2efk6dv2) and submit your materials. Your cover letter should include any training or experience relevant to the job profile that you would like to highlight, why you consider yourself a good fit for this opportunity, and anything else you’d like us to know about your qualifications that may not be present in your resume.

The priority application deadline for this search is June 21, 2024. Applications received by this date will receive priority consideration. While we will still accept and consider applications after this date, we encourage you to apply as early as possible for the best chance at being considered for the position. Please note that meeting the priority deadline does not guarantee an interview.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an Equal Opportunity Employer where the spirit of inclusion feeds into everything we do. We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates. We strive to create opportunities, access, resources, and rewards that are available to and benefit everyone. Segerstrom Center for the Arts is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, marital status, disability, gender identity, gender expression, and Veteran status.

This job profile does not represent, nor is it intended to be a complete and exhaustive detailed list of all job duties and requirements. Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned and/or changed at the discretion of management, with or without advance notice.


Apply Now


Expires: 2024-06-21


Segerstrom Center for the Arts
(714) 556-2787




600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626




Arts Administration

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