LA Opera (LAO) is a mission-driven, non-profit organization that plays a significant role in the cultural life of Southern California. Hundreds of LAO employees and artists help bring to life world-class opera that preserves, promotes, and advances the art form while embodying the diversity, pioneering spirit and artistic sensibility unique to Los Angeles.

Our productions are experienced by more than 100,000 audience members each year at our home at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. We reach many more through our community and school programs, Off Grand performances in venues across Los Angeles, and  On Now digital content.

About the opportunity
Contributed revenue is a primary and critical source of LA Opera’s income, and LA Opera is looking for a Prospect Research Manager to join our Development team and oversee and execute prospect research, which is a critical component of our fundraising strategy.

Reporting to the Director of Major Gifts, this role is responsible for prospect identification, research, and reporting, as well as timely data analysis and hygiene to support key fundraising initiatives.

This is a full-time administrative staff position based out of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. Presently there is some hybrid work flexibility, with the possibility of working remotely up to two days a week in many weeks. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required, in addition to regular office hours.

The anticipated annual salary range for this role is $67,000 to $72,000. This position is eligible to participate in LA Opera benefit programs, including medical, dental, and vision insurance; life and long-term disability insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan with a company match; cell phone stipend; Employee Assistance Program; subsidized parking or public transit reimbursement; and complimentary and discounted tickets.

Key responsibilities

  • Proactively identify and qualify new prospects from various constituencies, including ticket buyers, subscribers, telefunding, and new/existing donors.
  • Utilize LA Opera’s database (Tessitura) including subscriber and ticket history, lifetime giving trends, etc. to develop strategies for different fundraising priorities such as major giving, planned giving, annual giving, and donor reacquisition.
  • Utilize public information including known assets; demonstrated philanthropy; philanthropic, financial, and business data; and giving patterns to evaluate a prospect’s capacity, inclination, and target gift range.
  • Streamline research and prospect management policies and procedures, including organizing and prioritizing the prospect pool.
  • Lead prospect meetings with major gift officers and recommend portfolio assignments and solicitation strategies.
  • Conduct quarterly prospect reviews with the Senior Director of Development and Director of Major Gifts to evaluate the current prospect pool and ensure ongoing cultivation.
  • Prepare detailed research briefings for executive leadership and development staff for the purposes of donor cultivation and solicitation, including for special events, galas, board committee meetings, and donor meetings.
  • Review various publications to obtain timely information about prospects, performing arts, philanthropy, and business trends, and prepare current news alerts.
  • Identify new fundraising opportunities by keeping abreast of current news and industry trends.
  • Maintain Tessitura database records and monitor data hygiene of prospect management, including duplicate records, deceased donors, and household merges.
  • Maintain LAO Board information in Tessitura, including board and committee lists, board membership and tenure, and project support.
  • Seek out professional development opportunities and network with peers to maintain awareness of new resources and best practices in development research.
  • Collaborate with Director of Major Gifts to manage research budget, including electronic resources, publications, and memberships.
  • Assist with additional projects, as needed.

Who we are looking for:
We are seeking an individual with at least five years of research experience at a non-profit, university, hospital, or similar setting.

A successful candidate also will:

  • be familiar with donor databases (preferably Tessitura, Raiser’s Edge, or Salesforce) and possess excellent data entry and data mining skills.
  • have strong administrative skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office, as well as the ability to quickly learn new workplace applications.
  • be highly organized and detail oriented.
  • be creative and a strong and compelling writer.
  • have demonstrated ability to handle confidential information sensitively and discreetly.
  • be a self-starter and able to work both independently and collaboratively on multiple ongoing projects.

Existing knowledge of the Los Angeles philanthropic community is a plus.

Our Development team members are highly collaborative and work in a hands-on way to support one another and the organization, and the right person for this role will thrive in such an environment.

We are committed to a workplace in which everyone has equitable opportunities and support and experiences a sense of belonging, and we are seeking an individual who champions and demonstrates this commitment. 

To apply:
Apply here through our online candidate portal. If you don’t meet all the criteria listed above but you believe you have what it takes to excel in this role, we encourage you to apply and tell us about yourself in your cover letter.

Individuals of identities that are underrepresented in the fields of fundraising and arts administration are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications received by Sunday, February 25, will receive full consideration.