Lyric Opera of Chicago

Assistant Director of Development – Donor Services and Special Events

Position: Assistant Director of Development – Donor Services and Special Events
Reports to: Deputy Director of Development

Lyric Opera of Chicago exists to provide a broad, deep and relevant cultural service to the Chicago region and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form of opera.


William B. and Catherine Graham Room: • Provide professional leadership for the administration and promotion of Lyric Opera’s private dining room, the William B. and Catherine Graham Room. Oversee Graham Room operations during performance nights and special events throughout the season. Monitor maintenance of the Graham Room’s physical plan and completion of any necessary improvements/renovations.
• Assist in vendor selection, organize menu tastings as requested by the Women’s Board Committee, and manage the Graham Room catering contract on an ongoing basis to insure desired quality and service standards. Plan Graham Room budget and track related expenses.

Special Events:
• Provide primary leadership for planning/implementation of Lyric Signature Events donor benefit events, cast parties, and other donor special events as assigned. Create project plans for each event, and implement according to internal and external deadlines.
• Provide secondary leadership for all other major events within the Development Department, as assigned, working with vendors as part of collaborative, department-wide efforts.
• Assist the Deputy Director of Development and the President of the Board of Directors with planning of the President’s dinner and Aria Society Dinner, and implement all event details.
• Develop, coordinate, and manage the Development Department’s master calendar of events for company-wide distribution. Initiate and facilitate all party calendar meetings with supervisor.

Donor Services:
• Oversee successful use of Tessitura software for all event-related tasks within the department, including invitation list generation and mailing deployment, and tracking rsvps.
• Provide high level customer service to assigned donor accounts, including VIP ticket service, and planning of future fundraising solicitations.
• Work with supervisor to explore and recommend additional ways to recognize existing donors and increase the number of new contributors to Lyric Opera by enhancing membership benefits and related services.
• Other duties as assigned as business needs change.

Minimum 2 years professional experience in the Development field, to include demonstrated practical skills in: special events planning and implementation, supervision of staff and 3rd party contractors, and successful handling of multiple, overlapping deadlines. Excellent organizational, problem-solving, communications, and human relations skills all required, as is a basic understanding of business/fiscal principles. Knowledge of catering/food operations would be very desirable. Arts or other cultural institutional experience preferred, Tessitura software skills and knowledge required.

Please forward a resume and cover letter denoting the position of interest to or mail to:  Lyric Opera of Chicago, Attention: Human Resources, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 860, Chicago, IL 60606.