Detroit Symphony Orchestra hiring Advancement Relations & Strategic Initiatives Manager

Job Title

Manager of Advancement Relations & Strategic Initiatives

Company Name

Detroit Symphony Orchestra



Job Type

Full Time

Job Summary

The Manager of Advancement Relations and Strategic Initiatives fulfills critical communication and project management needs of the DSO and consists of two primary areas of responsibility -- relationship management and project management. The position supports volunteer leadership (Board of Directors, Trustees, Governing Members and related committees) and the planning, administration and follow-up of all related meetings and projects. In addition, the Manager will assist with the solicitation process through the development of supporting materials and communications and the tracking of progress against specific goals. 

Additionally, the Manager will handle a broad and diverse range of responsibilities and assignments to support the Organization's needs, both internally and externally. As a newly-created position, the Manager of Advancement Relations and Strategic Initiatives will embrace attributes of adaptability and flexibility as the specific duties and responsibilities will evolve based on both the skills of the incumbent and the changing circumstances of the organization. Current and upcoming projects include the Annual Meeting, the Orchestra Hall Centennial as well as other critical anniversary projects over the next couple of years. The Manager will also serve as a critical member of the Advancement team and will support other efforts and events as needed. 

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Provide administrative support to plenary and committee meetings of the DSO Board of Directors, Board of Trustees and Governing Members. Prepare agendas, manage logistics and record minutes as needed. 
  • Support volunteer and staff solicitors through preparation of solicitation letters, prospect lists, profile and research materials, and follow-up correspondence and proposals. 
  • Manage special projects for the organization by building cross-functional teams, creating project timelines and managing to deadlines. 
  • Regularly attend DSO concerts and events, assist with planning, logistics, donor needs and events as needed. 

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience required. 
  • Three to five years of experience in development, executive support or project management role. 
  • Superior administrative, organizational, and communication skills. 
  • Strong computer skills, including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 
  • Familiarity with fundraising databases, particularly Tessitura, the database utilized by the DSO. 

Personal Attributes and Competencies 

  • Self-directed with the ability to manage tasks with a sense of urgency 
  • Attention to detail and professionalism 
  • Confidence in dealing with senior-level executives, volunteers and donors in-person and via phone, email, and mail 
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and work well under pressure 
  • Action-oriented and decisive with the ability to accurately analyze information and act accordingly 
  • Team player who enjoys working in a collaborative environment 
  • Able to provide superior customer service internally and externally 
  • Ability to act with integrity and maintain confidentiality 


This position reports to the VP and Chief Development Officer 

The Organization 

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros and collaborations with the world's foremost musical artists. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called "America's Music Director" by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season. The DSO offers a year-round performance schedule that includes classical, pops, jazz, young people's concerts and festivals. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America's most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music.

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