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Director, Institutional Relations


Maryland’s largest arts organization; the only American orchestra established by its local municipality; and the only orchestra to perform its full season in two homes across two distinct markets, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has a long and rich history of recording, commissioning, and leading the industry in milestones and achievements; and, plays a leading role in Maryland’s culture, economy, and quality of life.

In the 2019-2020 season – even before COVID-19 – the BSO set out on a tremendous journey. We developed a five-year strategic plan to energize the institution and secured extraordinary philanthropy to seed the turnaround now well underway from a position of strength. In keeping with this plan, we reached in Summer 2020 an extraordinary 5-year contract with our musicians, paving the runway for expansive artistic innovation, digital accessibility, and ADEI and community engagement – work that began in earnest despite an all virtual 2020-21 season. In parallel, we re-organized our staff to break down silos, increase communication, and stoke creativity, and have begun to implement strategic systems and infrastructure investments. Looking ahead, the BSO’s 2021-22 Season of Discovery (beginning September 2021) will mark: a full return to our concert halls and a new post-pandemic era of hybrid accessibility for audiences; year two of our five-year strategic plan; and the first year of a multi-year, international Music Director Search. The BSO will also welcome a new President & CEO.

The BSO is actively developing an expanded advancement team and program to achieve and sustain the incremental giving called for in our long-ranging plans. As part of these efforts, the BSO seeks a dynamic Director of Institutional Relations to serve as a thought leader, front-line fundraiser, and lead advocate.


The Director of Institutional Relations is a senior gift officer responsible for driving critical relationships and philanthropic support from an expanding base of institutional funders in support of the BSO’s musical presentations, education, and outreach programs as well as special initiatives. A program currently represented by 125-150+ entities and more than $5M in annual grants and sponsorships, the Director will manage a dynamic portfolio of foundation and corporate partners and prospects with an emphasis on Montgomery County, the State of Maryland and national funders of significance with the capacity to give annual or special gifts at the $50,000+ level. In addition to managing targeted government grants and funding relationships, the Director will be closely involved in the development, implementation and tracking of a proactive advocacy strategy that engages local, state, and national elected officials in the mission and work of the BSO.

An excellent communicator and trusted face of the BSO, the Director will be comfortable working with a high degree of autonomy as well as being a team player, working closely with the Manager of Institutional Partnerships to develop dynamic strategies and written materials that communicate the BSO’s story while also ensuring continuity in institutional voice.

The Director is part of a team of gift officers/portfolio managers that coordinates regularly in solicitation strategy and lead generation; gives direction to and receives moves management, research, and activation support from a dedicated Coordinator for institutional gift officers; and is part of an Advancement team including specialists in gift processing, events, engagement, membership, audience development, and communications. The Director will liaise regularly with colleagues in Education/OrchKids, Marketing, Artistic Operations, and Finance, as well as the Executive/Senior Management Teams. And, the Director will have regular connections with board members, corporate leaders, program officers, and donors.


  • Managing a dynamic portfolio of 75+ institutional funders of strategic importance (regionally and nationally) and/or with established or prospective annual or special project giving at the $50,000+ level:
    • Holding primary responsibility for the qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of all portfolio accounts, deploying executive/artistic/volunteer leadership to advance relationships or solicit gifts where necessary.
    • Preparing letters of inquiry, sponsorship proposals, grant requests and reports, MOUs, etc.
    • Providing regular metrics and reports on portfolio activity and successes.
    • Supporting standardized operating procedures and data integrity to ensure grant compliance, providing updates to donor records and research notes in the BSO’s Tessitura database for funder reporting, moves management and communications.
  • Providing thought leadership and direction for the dual-market Institutional Giving program and team:
    • Working with the Manager of Institutional Partnerships to refine core language and institutional voice; and, review sponsorship proposals, grant requests and reports for consistency of institutional voice, a compelling narrative, clear financials, and a thorough qualitative/quantitative impact analysis.
    • Activating and managing the BSO Corporate Council as part of an expanded corporate relations program.
    • Designing and implementing creative, long-term strategies with donors/prospects and with BSO colleagues, such as affinity groups, multi-year and blended giving, employee volunteerism, in-kind partnerships, etc.
    • Reviewing, identifying opportunities, and supporting best practice policies and procedures for prospecting, crediting and recognition, benefit programs, etc.
  • Support the VP and Chief Advancement Officer in the development, implementation, and tracking of an annual advocacy and engagement strategy for local, state, and national elected officials:
    • Creating an annual calendar inclusive of e/written communications, timely update meetings, thoughtful engagement at BSO events, and strategy for offsite activities (e.g. runouts, Session, etc.) that strengthens the BSO’s position, builds informed advocates, and advances the BSO’s annual and special (including capital or bond) funding from government and public partners.
    • Working collaboratively with the President & CEO, VP of the BSO at Strathmore and lobbyist(s) to ensure and track a cohesive and coordinated approach inclusive of multiple staff, jurisdictions, and priorities.
    • Preparing testimony and briefing materials for budget hearings and meetings.
  • Represent the BSO externally, generally having a pulse on the corporate/philanthropic community through attendance at advocacy and networking events, and generally interacting with all levels of the organization and donors.
  • Work concerts and special events in both markets to entertain existing partners and prospects.
  • Ability to work effectively across departmental lines in an open and collaborative manner.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required or equivalent certification
  • Comprehensive knowledge of fundraising practices, with a minimum of five to seven years of experience in the non-profit field, preferably in the arts, or equivalent experience (e.g. advocacy and government relations, corporate and business relations, grant management, etc.)
  • Exceptional communication, interpersonal, and negotiation skills with the ability to edit others work, and to develop clear and compelling written and verbal case statements, proposals, reports, etc.
  • Expert organizational skills with a track record for meeting deadlines, keeping excellent records, and overall displaying a high degree of dependability and reliability
  • Tessitura CRM, or other development technology for constituent management, and Microsoft Office usage is strongly preferred; training will be provided as needed
  • The BSO is a statewide organization of national/international importance, but also with two year-round homes; knowledge of either the Baltimore and/or Montgomery County markets or the State of Maryland is a plus.
  • Ability to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends on occasion


Please send resume, cover letter, and two (2) writing samples to Allison Burr-Livingstone, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer with salary requirements to [email protected]. No phone calls. Please apply before Friday, August 13, 2021.


The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and OrchKids do not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, differing abilities, genetic information, age, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.


Founded in 1916, the Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives. Organized in 1916, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is the only major American orchestra originally established as a branch of the municipal government. Reorganized as a private institution in 1942, it maintains close relationships with the governments and communities of the city and surrounding counties, as well as with the State of Maryland. The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra’s 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop’s directorship has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences. In addition to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the BSO’s status as a founding partner and the resident orchestra at the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore, just outside of Washington, D.C., makes it the only major American orchestra to perform full seasons in two venues. For more information, visit

Salary Range
$50,000 - $60,000 $60,000 - $70,000 $70,000 - $80,000
Employer Name:
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Job Title:
Director, Institutional Relations
Employer Website:
Employer Contact Information:
[email protected]
Job Submission Requirements:
Please send resume, cover letter, and two (2) writing samples to Allison Burr-Livingstone, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer with salary requirements to [email protected]. No phone calls. Please apply before Friday, August 13, 2021.
Benefit Package
Health insurance - three options to choose from; all at low cost to the employee · Dental, Life, and Long-Term Disability Insurance, paid entirely by the BSO · Generous paid time off, including annual, personal, and sick leave ·403(b) plan options · Health Savings Account & Flexible Spending Accounts, including Medical and Dependent Care · Employee Assistance Program · Free and / or discounted tickets to BSO concerts

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