Company Name
San Diego Symphony
Job Title
Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, like so many performing arts institutions around the world, the San Diego Symphony has canceled its current season of performances and programs. During this temporary scale-down, the Symphony is proactively designing innovative strategies, including an ambitious fundraising goal, to restore the Symphony to full capacity as soon as possible. In the meantime, the Symphony and its talented musicians invite us to virtually engage with them at

The San Diego Symphony Orchestra has become one of the leading orchestras in the United States. It is committed to providing musical experiences of superior quality for the greater San Diego community and beyond. Through a rich mixture of innovative and educational programming for all ages and cultures, the Orchestra makes music an integral part of the cultural and intellectual fabric of Southern California.

Music Director Rafael Payare is one of the most sought-after young conductors. Under the leadership of CEO Martha A. Gilmer the Symphony is at the forefront of bold and innovative programming and initiatives.

The home of Orchestra, the historic Copley Symphony Hall is regarded as one of the finest classical music venues on the West Coast. The complex—consisting of Copley Symphony Hall, the Grosvenor Family Musicians’ Center, and the Symphony administrative offices—was officially named the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center in 2013.

The Shell is a complete experience, both entertaining and enriching, elevated by the synergy of music, sound, architecture, and food. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the original July 2020 opening has been postponed until summer 2021. At that time, The Shell will activate Embarcadero Marina Park South year-round as a community gathering space and a landmark waterfront attraction.

THE OPPORTUNITY: The Vice President, Institutional Advancement (VPIA) is a member of the Symphony executive team and serves as a strategic partner to the CEO on resource development. The VPIA will design and execute a multi-faceted, robust advancement strategy and manage an active major gift portfolio to meet the Symphony’s current and future financial resource needs and ambitions.

FUNDING: San Diego Symphony has grown dramatically, and in FY2019 had annual operating budget of approximately $28M. The Symphony is in an active campaign to raise $90M for capital, programmatic and endowment needs. Nearly $65M has been pledged toward the initial goal.


  • Outstanding advancement professional with a successful track record of leadership.
  • Demonstrated success cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding relationships with major and principal gift donors.
  • Success leading, managing, and inspiring staff and colleagues in a complex, high-performing, fast-paced setting.
  • Commitment to building and supporting a diverse team and the ability to expand the diversity of the donor pool.
  • Experience working with an engaged Board of Directors.
  • An innovator-willing to take risks and try new approaches.
  • Excellent communicator and relationship manager.
  • Genuine interest in the cultural community and in music in particular.
  • Ability and willingness to attend evening and weekend Symphony events on a regular basis and to travel as needed.
  • Cultural sensitivity to serve as an ambassador for the Symphony in the San Diego community and beyond.