Careers at Opera San Jose

Open Positions

Opera San José is an opera company located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Maintaining a resident company of artists, OSJ presents four mainstage productions annually in San Jose’s historic California Theatre, while regularly broadcasting fully-produced productions from its state-of-the-art Heiman Digital Media Studio. Entering its 40th season, OSJ specializes in role debuts, serving as an artistic incubator for established and emerging artists alike, producing world-class operatic performances for diverse audiences throughout the Bay Area and around the globe.

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Major Gifts Officer

Opera San José seeks a passionate and focused fundraising professional to join its expanding patron-facing team and lead the major gifts efforts of the Development department. Working closely with the General Director and Managing Director of Institutional Strategy & Patron Experience, this position’s responsibilities will include developing strategies to help significantly expand the organization’s fund-raising activities through the cultivation and solicitation of major and planned gifts.

Your skill set includes:

  • Being a long-range planner who is creative and adept at tactics
  • Being a supportive, caring, and kind leader with the ability to motivate others
  • Being a great listener and a people person
  • Being a strong strategist who is goal oriented
  • Being self-disciplined, a self-starter
  • Being articulate, persuasive, and convincing with the ability to inspire action

Now entering its 40th season, Opera San José is one of the leading cultural institutions in Silicon Valley and is distinctive in maintaining a Resident Company of artists.  With a $5M budget and an annual fundraising goal of $3.5M, the company’s mission is to incubate talent and innovation across the field.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement a major gifts strategy in collaboration with the board and staff.
  • Plan and lead major gift appreciation, cultivation, and solicitation events, including but not limited to virtual events, in-person events, and on-site volunteer events.
  • Initiate and cultivate one-to-one relationships with a portfolio of 100 supporters (current donors and new prospects) to increase overall giving levels.
  • Design highly customized donor engagement plans for a portfolio of supporters in collaboration with other Development team members.
  • Annually increase the number of individual donors giving at major gift levels, building a pipeline from current and past donors and volunteers, as well as new prospects.
  • Utilize CRM (Tessitura) to track activities and stages of the donor cycle (Identification, Research, Cultivation, Solicitation, Stewardship) for each donor in the Major Gifts Program (including Board Member portfolios) and report results to leadership on a monthly basis.  Document call/meeting notes and other data promptly.
  • Work with the Board of Directors to identify opportunities for them to cultivate, steward, and solicit donors in their networks.
  • Provide support to the General Director & CEO in solicitation and stewardship efforts.
  • Work with the Managing Director of Institutional Strategy to plan and implement a planned giving program.
  • Work with the Marketing department to design, print, and digital collateral in support of major or planned giving efforts.
  • Collaborate with the Patron Operations Manager to ensure the ongoing maintenance of the fundraising database.

Requirements for Consideration

  • 3+ years of development experience, including gift cultivation and solicitation.
  • Experience making asks and closing major and planned gifts.
  • Understanding of and commitment to professional fundraising ethical standards.
  • Exceptional customer service and relationship-building skills.
  • Strategic thinking, planning, and timely execution skills.
  • Strong written and verbal skills with the ability to communicate clearly, calmly, and efficiently with company members, donors and patrons, guest artists, musicians, and trustees.
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to manage multiple projects independently and simultaneously in a busy environment. Maintain strong judgment, discretion, and integrity under stressful circumstances.
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekend hours and to travel around the Bay Area as needed.
  • Passion for and knowledge of the performing arts.
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize complex data.
  • Working knowledge of Word and Excel, Google Suite, CRMs/Donor Databases.
  • The ability to assert influence in ensuring deadlines are met, and leadership stays on track to critical deliverables or communication timelines.
  • Demonstrated track record of handling a variety of constituencies and multiple priorities simultaneously.
  • Contribute to the overall success of the organization by working together to achieve the mission. Develop and maintain a sensitivity to employee diversity, and demonstrate cultural competence in the workplace.


Salary Range- $80,000-$90,000.

This position is classified as salaried exempt, which will be paid an annual salary and is not eligible for overtime pay.  This position is eligible for company benefits, which currently include paid time off, health plans, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, and 403b savings with employer match. Benefits may change from time to time as Management determines.

Work Location

This position has the flexibility to work a hybrid schedule with work being done both remotely and on-site at Opera San José’s offices at 2149 Paragon Drive, San Jose, CA, and on performance days, at the California Theatre Box Office at 345 S 1st Street, San Jose CA. There are 24 performances annually, which are evenings or weekend matinees.  Travel around the Bay Area for additional donor events will also be expected.

Company Culture

Opera San José, in desiring a more equitable world, is committed to fostering equity in our art form.  Opera in the twenty-first century can and should demonstrate today’s values of equity and inclusion. We believe in building, fostering and sustaining a company that reflects, celebrates and serves the diverse communities of the Bay Area. Opera San José cultivates a work environment that encourages fairness, teamwork and respect among all employees. We are firmly committed to maintaining a work atmosphere in which people of diverse backgrounds may grow personally and professionally.

Opera San José is an equal opportunity employer.  It is our strong belief that equal opportunity for all employees is central to the continuing success of our organization. We will not discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment because of race, religion, gender, national origin, ethnicity, age, physical disabilities, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, or veteran status in hiring, promoting, training, benefits, recommendations, rate of pay or other forms of compensation. Opportunity is provided to all employees based on qualifications and job requirements.

To Apply

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Please include “Major Gift Officer” in the subject line of your email.


Opera is an art form that takes hundreds of people to produce – artists, musicians, artisans, and patrons like you.

Thank you for your support!

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