The Grand Opera House is looking for people to join our team!

Development Director

The Grand Opera House seeks a dedicated development professional for the role of Director of Development (DOD) to support the next chapter of the organization’s life.


The Grand is seeking a dynamic, creative, and experienced development professional to lead the company’s fundraising efforts as Director of Development. Reporting directly to and working alongside the Executive Director, the ideal candidate will play an active and dynamic role in implementing the mission and vision for the company. The Director of Development is responsible for planning, developing, organizing, and directing all of the Grand Opera House’s fundraising. This responsibility includes major gifts programs, annual fund, planned giving, special events, and capital campaigns (depending on size and scope of said capital campaign). Above all, the Director of Development is charged with developing and executing a financial plan that ensures The Grand Opera House continues to meet its core mission and evolving artistic goals. The Director of Development is a leading role, working closely with the Board, Executive Director, and other staff to help develop and articulate the strategic direction of the Grand, and to implement the resulting strategies and initiatives.


Strategic Leadership and Outreach

  • Creates a fresh approach to fundraising and developing relationships with donors and supporters of the Grand Opera House.
  • Develops and implements fundraising strategy with a focus on individual, institutional, and corporate donors and sponsors.
  • Collaborates with executive leadership to prioritize artistic and institutional goals to align with fundraising objectives.
  • Serves as the primary liaison to the Board of Directors, the Development Committee, and Executive Director for all fundraising activities.
  • Facilitate, engage, and support the Development Committee of the Board of Directors to meet fundraising goals.
  • Work with and aid the Board on methodologies, resources, and tools for the Board’s own fundraising efforts, particularly on capital and special projects.
  • Represent and advocate for the organization externally in partnership with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to government agencies and community and business groups for funding-related matters.
  • Collaborates with the Marketing Department to ensure alignment between development and marketing.
  • Provide relevant feedback regarding programmatic enhancements and contribute to the organization’s planning processes.
  • Participate in professional development, mentoring, and training as much as time and resources allow.

Cultivation and Stewardship

  • Use innovative strategies and creative ideas to identify, cultivate, and diversify GOH’s donor base over time (corporate, individual, foundation, government).
  • Identifies and strategizes the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts ($1,000+).
  • Tracks the progress of fundraising support and is accountable for fundraising tracking and benchmarks.
  • Leads the development of all written materials related to fundraising including grants, solicitations, acknowledgements, and reports.
  • Creates a fresh approach to stewardship strategies for Grand supporters.

Fundraising and Development

  • Build and oversee the implementation of an aspirational, achievable annual development plan.
  • Meet and exceed fundraising goals, as determined annually during organizational budgeting.
  • Craft strategies to leverage The Grand Opera House’s current programs, activities, and events to promote greater donor/sponsor and volunteer participation.
  • Manage public and private grant writing and reporting initiatives.
  • Build and implement an effective corporate development strategy.
  • Oversee effective strategies for annual fund: direct mail, online giving, events, and new initiatives.
  • Plan and execute annual fundraising/thank you events.

Operations and Communications

  • Plans for the successful implementation and maintenance of systems and policies for fundraising including donor recognition, fundraising events, direct mail and online solicitations, reporting requirements, and prospect research and management.
  • Maintain effective development systems and record-keeping procedures to track current and prospective donors and accurately report all fundraising income.
  • In consultation with the Executive Director, develop and manage the departmental budget and associated contributed revenue goals.
  • Align development-related communications with the organizational brand and provide ongoing evaluation of key messaging as it relates to development activity.


The successful candidate will have:

  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in relevant field (or equivalent combination of experience/training which allows individual to perform key duties).
  • Deep appreciation for theatre is imperative, as is the ability to convey that appreciation in an engaging and conversational manner as it relates to the mission and programming of the Grand Opera House.
  • Demonstrated experience in creating, implementing, and evaluating successful fundraising campaigns for a nonprofit institution.
  • Success in securing major gifts, grants, and sponsorships, as well as achieving fundraising goals.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and professionally in oral and written forms.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively with all constituents.
  • Astute awareness in prioritizing the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as anti-racism in their professional work and development practices
  • Willingness and ability to attend evening and weekend performances, as well as to attend meetings and events offsite and outside the regular workday.
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office and Google applications


The successful candidate will have:

  • 5+ years in non-profit fundraising.
  • Experience producing large-scale donor events (galas, silent auctions, etc.).
  • The ability to develop, understand, and meet contributed revenue budgets and departmental expense budgets; the ability to analyze trends and make practical projections.
  • Knowledge about current giving trends as well as legal and tax-related requirements concerning charitable giving.
  • Experience using donor management CRM databases, such as Theatre Manager, Tessitura, Blackbaud, Donor Perfect, or similar software, as well as emerging technologies related to fundraising.


This position also requires an individual who is:

  • Self-motivated, honest, thoughtful, and composed
  • Strategic thinker and persuasive communicator who understands the value of relationships.
  • Highly organized, flexible, collaborative, motivated, and a fast learner.
  • While exceptionally detail-oriented, can also focus on large concepts and strategic issues
  • Able to navigate through diverse and sometimes competing priorities
  • Collaborative and collegial in work relationships


This is an exempt position, and the Grand Opera House offers a competitive salary commensurate with candidate qualifications and comparable organizations.


The Grand Opera House, now celebrating our 50th Season, is Dubuque’s largest community theater. Located in the heart of downtown Dubuque, the Grand is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Grand Opera House as a venue for community theater performance, dance, music, and film, to contribute to the economy and inspire the Tri-State Area through support of the arts. The Grand Opera House annually produces a season of 8 community productions, as well as additional special events. Our season consists of plays and musicals, as well as ballets produced by the Dubuque City Youth Ballet. All of our productions feature local volunteer talent both on and offstage.

The Grand Opera House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural organization that resides in a 131-year-old “national treasure” opera house that is on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about the Grand, visit our web site: www.thegrandoperahouse.com.


To apply, please upload a résumé and cover letter stating how your qualifications, experience, and goals are a match for this position, as well as contact information for three professional references to Access Dubuque.

This position is open until filled with an immediate start date available.

No phone calls, drop-ins, or physical mailings please.

The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of this position. It is not a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and objectives required of employees assigned to this job.

The Grand is an equal opportunity employer, and we are especially interested in applicants who contribute to the

diversity of our organization and who embrace our core values. We aim to be an organization where a mix of talented people want to come,to stay and create their best work.

The Grand recruits, employs, trains, and compensates regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law.

Costumers, Props, Set, Sound, & Lights

The Grand is looking for individuals interested in creating theater to become part of the Grand Opera House family. The bulk of our assistance comes from a dedicated team of volunteers who do everything from acting to building sets and costumes, and working backstage during productions. These teams of volunteers are led by individuals who take on more responsibility in the production and as such we offer these key positions a stipend. We are currently looking for more people to fill these positions of responsibility. Each of these positions requires a commitment of time and a dedication to the production.

For additional information please contact Executive Director Nick Halder at director@thegrandoperahouse.com