Career Opportunities with Sundance Institute

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Major Gifts Officer

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Department: Advancement

Considerations: Position works full time from our Los Angeles, CA office. Must be able to work extended hours, including weekends, holidays and evenings at key points throughout the year. Position will be required to travel and be lodged during off site festivals and to work from other Institute offices and events throughout the year. Travel estimated around 10-15%.

Position General Summary: The Major Gifts Officer is our lead fundraiser for the west coast region who is specifically responsible for raising $1.5 million of a $7+ million contributed revenue department goal primarily through new and increased contributions. Additionally, the Major Gifts Officer will be charged with supporting our Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director in engaging and stewarding their donor portfolios and networks. 


Essential Job Functions and Duties: 

Frontline Fundraising:

  • Serves as lead individual giving (IG) officer for the west coast region, managing a portfolio of 150+ major donors and prospects, which includes meeting with donors to cultivate, steward, solicit, and ascertain capacity to support Sundance. 

  • Solicits renewals and new contributions from assigned Sundance Circle donors and prospects.

  • With Director of Individual Giving and Senior Advancement Officer, develops tailored cultivation and solicitation strategies for current and prospective donors, specifically identifying major giving prospects for direct programmatic support.


Leadership Support:

  • Tracks and manages moves management for donors for whom Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director is lead point of contact, and partners with IG Director as appropriate.

  • Prepares meeting prep documents and ensures proper research is complete in advance of Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director donor meetings.

  • Drafts donor communications for Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director as directed.

  • Identifies and coordinates key individual donor meetings with Executive Director, Chief Advancement Officer, IG Director, and programmatic leadership when appropriate.


Donor Affinity Engagement:

  • Partners with Women at Sundance program leadership to create and implement Women at Sundance Leadership Council engagement strategy.

  • Partners with programmatic department staff to identify communication opportunities to interested donors about our programs and to engage donors directly with the work. 

  • Drafts program specific communications and sends to donors with affinity for a particular program.

  • Partners with IG Director to determine areas that require formalized affinity groups and works to create and implement these groups as needed. 

  • Ensures all information regarding opportunities is shared with full individual giving team. 


Donor Programs:

  • Partners with Membership Manager to create and implement a strategy for encouraging west coast based individuals to join Sundance Institute’s membership program.

  • Develops thorough understanding of donor programs including Sundance Circle and associated Festival benefits and act as Individual Giving representative when needed.

  • Reviews donor correspondences, including reports, proposals, acknowledgment letters, etc.


Festival Experience & Special Events:

  • With Director of Individual Giving and Senior Advancement Officer creates and implements strategy. 

  • Supports Sundance Circle office during annual Sundance Film Festival.

  • Supports development-related events on the west coast and during the annual Sundance Film Festival.



  • Leads proposal writing and year-end report writing for major gift acquisitions and renewals outside of Sundance Circle patron program.

  • Tracks year end proposals and reports along with anticipated deadlines.

  • Supports leadership on Individual Giving components of Annual Report and is team lead during the Annual Report strategy process.

Other duties as assigned. 


Position Requirements:

  • Legal authorization to work in the United States.

  • Bachelor’s degree in arts administration or similar program. 

  • 4 years experience with direct fundraising, preferably within an arts nonprofit organization. 

  • Able to meet the needs of internal and/or external customers and acts with customers in mind.

  • Strong skills and abilities to inspire action, able to convince, inspire or motivate people to behave in a desired manner by using an appropriate mixture of facts, logic, emotion, and enthusiasm to persuade and engage others.

  • Strong ability to initiate and cultivate strong relationships that are beneficial to all parties. 

  • Able to build rapport and develop alliances with a broad range of people and is able to adjust communication style and approach to best meet the needs of individuals in various constituent groups.

  • Excellent at figuring out the processes necessary to get things done and knows how to organize people and activities. 

  • Able to separate and combine tasks into efficient workflows, can simplify complex processes and get more out of fewer resources.

  • Completes work with high accuracy and attention to detail. 

  • Ability to work early mornings, nights, weekends and holidays as necessary. 


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