Vice President of Development

Vice President of Development

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Costa Mesa, CA   |   July 9, 2021

About Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Founded in 1986 as the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is among the nation’s premier cultural institutions, presenting a broad range of world-class performances and innovative education programs to an increasingly diverse, enthusiastic and growing audience. The Center engages new and existing audiences with one of the most eclectic performing arts programs in the country, including an internationally acclaimed dance series, top Broadway shows, intimate performances of jazz and cabaret, leading artists from classical music, family entertainment, up-and-coming indie bands, contemporary theatre and performance artists, and many more. World premieres, free performances, festivals, workshops and other innovative programs invite audiences to explore the arts in new ways.

Each year, the Center impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of students through engaging education programs that enhance their creative development, excite their imaginations and improve their academic performance. The Center welcomes all to explore dynamic, multi-faceted productions, performances and programs that are at the heart of Segerstrom Center for the Arts—a place of innovation and tradition where creativity, culture and community connect.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is a premier performing arts complex comprised of several multi-functional performing arts venues and event spaces including:

Segerstrom Hall – A 3,000 seat continental-style theater for Broadway musicals, ballet, and large productions.

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall – A 2,000-seat traditional concert hall designed by César Pelli with state-of-the-art acoustics and a 4,322-piece C.B. Fisk organ.

Samueli Theater – A multi-functional facility (300-seat and 600 general admission) for cabaret, comedy, chamber music, and family performances.

Judy Morr Theater – A 250-seat versatile facility used for rehearsals by ballet companies and dance studios, as well as for performances, rehearsals, cocktail events, meetings, seminars, etc.

Julianne and George Argyros Plaza – A 46,000 square-foot open area with a capacity of up to 2,000 with a restaurant and permanent stage, perfect for public programs, picnics, alfresco dining, concerts, and performances.

For more information on Segerstrom Center for the Arts, please visit the official website.

The Opportunity

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts (“The Center” or “SCFTA”) is seeking a hands-on and deeply engaged fundraiser as the next Vice President of Development (“Vice President”). Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President of Development will work with the Center’s President, Board, and Senior Management team to lead the Center’s annual fund campaigns including all individual, corporate, and foundation efforts for both annual operations and designated programming needs. The Vice President will be a collaborative and inspiring manager and will oversee a team of fundraising professionals including: Associate Vice President of Development; Director, Support Groups; Director, Special Events; Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations; Director, Development Operations and Prospect Research; and Director, Major Gifts.

The Vice President will have the exciting opportunity to serve as partner to the new and visionary President, Casey Reitz, who assumed his new role in December 2019. The Vice President will harness the excitement surrounding President Reitz’ arrival and be inspired and motivated to serve as a critical member of the leadership team. In particular, the Vice President will be responsible for developing the vision, strategies, and tactics for all fundraising initiatives, including laying the groundwork and providing bold leadership for an endowment campaign. The Vice President of Development will be active in the community, building relationships with top donors and community leaders as they build excitement for growing the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ strategic reserves and restricted funds. In addition to the endowment campaign, the Vice President will promote long-term sustainable growth in the Annual Fund with the objective of growing the fund from $10 million to $14 million in five years.

Immediate Priorities

The Vice President of Development’s immediate priorities are to:

  • Thoroughly understand the Segerstrom Center for the Arts – its history, culture, traditions, programs, performances, personalities, constituencies and governance structure; understand its base of financial support and the short and long-term funding requirements of all segments of the organization; master knowledge of the nature, scope and impact on the community of SCFTA performances and programs, as well as their funding requirements.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the annual Center Fund plans and working with the President, leadership of the development team, and key volunteers to create the plan for FY 2020-21.
  • Set objectives for individual and institutional fundraising; assign targets to development team members and collaborate with them to help the organization reach its fundraising goals, with primary emphasis on the Center Fun.
  • Collaborate with the President, the Executive Vice President, and the CFO to begin preparing the institution for a potential endowment campaign that may include a focus on key physical plant updates.
  • Learn about staff and board leaders that are (or can become) actively involved in fundraising and refine the roles of each; develop a strong relationship with the President of SCFTA, various members of the Board, members of the senior staff, and with the Associate Vice-President and the other staff in the development department. Come to know each person’s strengths, as well as areas where their strengths may be complemented by the strengths of others; identify and bring personal attention to improving areas of weakness; support others within the development group as they build on strengths that are already embedded within the organization.
  • Establish clear standards for stewardship, donor recognition, and institutional sponsorship, with particular emphasis on the proper use of logos, brands, naming and other recognition opportunities; ensure successful adherence to grant and restricted giving agreements.
Key Responsibilities

The Vice President’s primary responsibilities will be to collaborate, mentor and develop the talents of their department staff that raises funds through:

  • Business and corporate sponsorships
  • Philanthropic grant proposal development
  • Major gifts from individuals
  • Various fees or ticketing associated with SCFTA events
  • Restricted giving campaigns (e.g., capital and/or endowment)
  • Planned giving
  • Extensive support group and membership contributions, matching gifts, direct mail and web-based giving

Key factors contributing to the success of the Vice President will be the ability to collaborate with the Vice President of Marketing and the Vice President of Programming to raise public awareness of SCFTA and its programs, and to develop effective outreach and campaign strategies that connect with individual and institutional donors. As part of that effort, the Vice President will work with their team to continually improve fundraising support infrastructure and ensure that the organization can respond quickly, effectively, creatively and contextually to long term financial requirements, short term operating needs and to donor interests and opportunities. Long term cultivation of individual and institutional donors, ensuring that investment in fundraising infrastructure and events has a high return on investment, and capture and reuse of donor information, will be important to the overall success of the fundraising effort.

Additional responsibilities of the Vice President of Development include:

  • In collaboration with the President and the other staff in the development department, define and continually upgrade a systematic fundraising plan that addresses the needs and concerns of each prospective donor, segmented by type (individual, business, nonprofit), level (subscription levels, various major gift levels, planned giving), and restricted for specific purposes, including education initiatives, programming and endowment);
  • Participate in long-range strategic planning for SCFTA as part of the senior management team – the department must be creative and responsive in crafting focused fundraising plans to raise adequate support for an increasingly ambitious artistic agenda;
  • Evaluate current processes and systems that support fundraising initiatives and donor recognition; ensure that information systems are scaled to need and are properly maintained and used, including a continued high-level use of the Tessitura data management system;
  • Provide support of Board Development Committee; working with President, help to set governance policies and practices, and help attract and train new board members;
  • Evolve, recruit, retain and manage a team of development professionals and consultants with appropriate donor cultivation, marketing/sponsorship, individual giving and institutional giving skills and experiences;
  • Establish work plans, performance objectives, and goals for team members and regularly review performance, professional development and training to achieve those goals;
  • Oversee the involvement, identification, training and support of fundraising volunteers; guide the efforts and strategies for volunteers, Board members, community advisors and committees in the solicitation process;
  • Aggressively implement a structured program for fostering strong relationships with targeted individual and institutional donor constituencies, involving where appropriate the President, Board members, SCFTA personnel, artists and performers;
  • Assist in the development of materials that tell the SCFTA story to donors and individual prospects, ensuring that these materials are segmented and distributed in a targeted, regular, timely and consistent fashion;
  • Collaborate with the President, the financial staff of SCFTA and key staff members of the development group in the preparation of annual operating plans and budgets, incorporating fundraising projections into the budget of the organization;
  • Advance a unified view of donors and potential donors that incorporates information on ticket-buying and giving habits for all SCFTA constituents, and share this view with other members of the management team. Strengthen the stewardship and donor recognition program for individual donors, with the objective of establishing life-long, planned giving and even intergenerational relationships between donors, their families and SCFTA;
  • Establish long range institutional giving programs for national sponsorships, corporate gifts and regional sponsorships; develop annual special events that boost institutional and individual fundraising efforts;
  • Develop and implement basic guidelines for sponsorship that will preserve the integrity of the SCFTA brand and enhance its institutional identity as one of the leading performing arts venues in North America.
  • Engage in direct donor solicitations as appropriate and most effective with the support of other SCFTA staff, the President, and members of the Board;
  • In conjunction with the Associate Vice President and other development staff, and the programming, production, education and marketing teams as appropriate, develop a comprehensive, strategic plan for all annual special events.
Core Competencies

The Vice President of Development will be a strategic leader and strong and effective communicator to assist the President and Board of Directors of the Center to expand and augment its major giving efforts and build a more robust annual fund. As a member of the executive team, the Vice President of Development will have deep expertise in fundraising leadership coupled with a deep passion for the arts.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies and personal characteristics:

Fundraising Expertise:  The Vice President of Development will have a successful track record of personal success in leading fundraising efforts for a sizeable institution and raising money through major gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations, corporations or the public sector. Given the Center’s desire to embark on an endowment campaign, the Vice President should be ready to work with various stakeholders to determine the roadmap for success and to assess the feasibility of size and scope. The successful candidate will also have broad-based knowledge of various development activities including direct mail, proposal and grant development, planned giving, event planning and management, direct solicitations, leveraging fundraising databases and support systems for donor segmentation, research and volunteer management. Equivalent experience as a Board member (e.g., as an actively involved chair of a development, capital campaign or endowment committee) will also be considered. The Vice President will have broad knowledge of brand marketing, advertising and public relations with specific experience in structuring sponsorships, including experience with stewardship and donor recognition programs that sustain long-term relationships.

Relationship Building: The Vice President of Development will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels with various constituencies including the Board of Directors, its various subcommittees, donors, executive team, development team, and SCFTA staff. In particular, the Vice President must have an innate ability to navigate a complex fundraising environment with nuanced strategies and initiatives, while building an effective group of volunteer fundraisers through board development and annual fund committee activity, as well as gaining the respect of the board, community and business leaders. Additionally, the Vice President will develop strong working relationships within the executive management team.

Management Skills and Operational Acumen: The Vice President of Development must have demonstrated management skills in motivating, directing and supervising staff and consultants, and in coordinating and supporting the fundraising activities of others. In particular, the Vice President must be passionate about mentoring others, encouraging the best efforts of each member of the development team, and in modeling active solicitation. The Vice President will be a hard worker with a high energy level and must be willing to be “hands-on” in developing and executing a variety of development and advancement activities. The ideal candidate will be comfortable receiving input from many sources and subsequently analyzing and formulating disparate information into a sound and well-organized plan. In short, the Vice President must be both a good listener and strategist.

Strong Interpersonal Communication Skills: The Vice President of Development will be a confident and charismatic communicator with the ability 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. The Vice President will be determined yet respectful of other’s concerns and will have the flexibility and creativity needed to find alternative ways to reach funding objectives when barriers arise. Strong negotiation skills will be important to ensure the Vice President is able to maneuver and adapt to changing circumstances and various audiences. Lastly, the Vice President must be emotionally mature with a very good sense of humor and will be excited about working in a diverse working environment.

Passion for the Mission: The Vice President of Development will embrace, believe and be committed to the mission of Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Vice President must exhibit interest in and a passion for the performing arts and translate that interest into how they engage others in inspiring conversations about The Center and its programs. Moreover, the Vice President must be able to authentically communicate the values of the organization and effortlessly embody the importance of strengthening the civic and cultural bonds of the Center and its diverse communities of Orange County.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Michelle Bonoan, West Coast Managing Director and Christy Farrell, Vice President and Senior Search Associate, are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link and/or email Michelle & Christy. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit