Open Positions:

Development Officer

The American Youth Symphony is currently seeking an experienced Development Officer to serve as the primary fundraising professional on our small team, responsible for the management, implementation, and evaluation of a fundraising program consistent with AYS needs and goals.

About AYS

The American Youth Symphony (AYS) is a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which has provided tuition free orchestral training to virtuosic young professional musicians for over 50 years. The mission of AYS is to inspire the future of classical music, through our landmark fellowship program, and exceptional, innovative, free concerts to the Los Angeles community.

Founded in 1964 by Mehli Mehta, the AYS orchestra provides paid Fellowships to approximately 100 musicians who are selected through a highly competitive audition process and represent extraordinary talent from all over the world. To-date AYS has prepared over 2,500 musicians for successful careers in music, with many alumni joining the finest orchestras in the world.

Concerts feature world-class guest artists (Sarah Chang, Johannes Moser, Midori); classical masterworks, cutting-edge contemporary music and innovative film scores; and are held across Los Angeles, in prestigious venues like the Royce and Walt Disney Concert Halls, as well as non-traditional and community spaces, like Union Rescue Mission, Children’s Hospital LA, and downtown LA’s Viaduct. Not only that, the majority of AYS concerts offered at no charge to the community, out of a longstanding commitment to community engagement, cultural equity, and inclusiveness. Additionally, as part of that commitment, AYS operates a highly effective in-school program, providing mentorship, music education, and tickets and transportation to concerts for students in Title-I middle schools in underserved areas across LA County.

By removing all barriers to participation, AYS works to increase opportunities for careers in symphonic music, while making it accessible to new audiences. With a young, diverse, and ever-growing community, and thriving alumni inspiring audiences across the globe, the American Youth Symphony proves that classical music is alive, vibrant, and relevant to people from all walks of life.

For more information, please visit https://www.aysymphony.org.

Position Responsibilities

Institutional Giving:

  • Maintain the Grant Calendar (30-40 applications per-season). Track application and reporting deadlines and schedule all related activities.
  • Under the supervision of the Executive Director, execute the majority of LOIs, grant applications, and reports. Craft clear and compelling original narrative, and compile all necessary attachments.
  • When working with grant writing consultants (3-5 projects per-year), ensure they are provided with all necessary information and materials, and track the progress of their work against the deadlines set in the grant calendar.
  • Acknowledge the receipt of all grant payments, and ensure compliance with funding requirements.
  • Seek out and research new institutional giving and corporate sponsorship prospects.

Annual Giving:

  • Send monthly reminders to individual donors due for renewal
  • Process and acknowledge all gifts
  • Write original, inspiring solicitations for annual membership and year-end campaigns. Work with mailing house to oversee production and distribution
  • Attend to donor inquiries and requests in a timely and gracious manner (whether by phone, email, or in person); maintain a helpful, professional, and friendly demeanor with donors at all times
  • Manage scanning, filing and general organization of all development documents and materials

Concerts and Special Events:

  • Oversee the disbursement of invitations to donors and prospects for all concerts and special events. Track and acknowledge RSVPs
  • Manage concert seating requests and pre-event ticket distribution (by mail or email) for donors and prospects
  • Prior to concerts and events, prepare all fundraising and donor related materials, including: donor tickets, up-to-date lists of attendees, donor seating maps, fundraising collateral, and a donor acknowledgement powerpoint slideshow
  • Be present at all concerts and fundraising events (a total of 10-12 events per-year); assist with any donor needs, and help to oversee event execution
  • Work with the Executive Director, Catering/Event Management contractor, and venue staff to plan, coordinate, and execute two annual fundraising dinners, as well as any smaller fundraising or “friendraising” events that may be scheduled

Evaluation & Planning:

  • Work within the donor database to create donation reports and dashboards. Track and analyze donation trends.
  • Present a written and verbal report on fundraising efforts and results at 3-4 annual Board Meetings (and take minutes at meetings)
  • Work with the Executive Director to evaluate the success of various fundraising initiatives, develop strategies for future campaigns and events, and identify new or increased funding prospects.
  • Keep abreast of current best practices and trends in fundraising, both broadly and for classical music in particular.
  • Recommend fundraising policies and procedures to the Executive Director and Board of Directors with the goal of increasing revenue in all categories, while demonstrating the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.
Qualifications and Requirements

Skills & Abilities
The ideal candidate will be:

  • An excellent communicator who enjoys working with the public, and possesses strong interpersonal skills
  • A highly-skilled writer with the ability to tell the story of AYS and inspire donors and partners in every sector
  • Experienced with donor relations and event management
  • Confident and comfortable with technology, able to use Microsoft Word/Excel/Powerpoint and the donor database at a high level, without need of assistance (experience with the Adobe Creative Suite, Salesforce, and WordPress would be beneficial)
  • Passionate about music, arts education, and cultural equity
  • Knowledgeable about orchestral music, as both an artform and an industry
  • Familiar with the fundraising and arts landscape of Los Angeles
  • Organized and efficient, with a good memory and great attention to detail
  • Skilled at managing deadlines and calendars, and keeping track of multiple projects at once


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of two years of experience in non-profit fundraising
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed, for the preparation and execution of AYS concerts and events
  • Legal authorization to work in the United States
  • Ability maintain seated and standing positions for extended periods, ability to lift and carry up to 20 lbs.
  • Ability to work regular business hours at our Los Angeles office, with or without accommodation.
Position Details and Compensation

This is a full time, salaried, exempt position. Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include: 100% coverage of medical/vision/dental insurance; paid vacation/sick days/holidays; and IRA retirement contributions after completing 12 months continuous service to AYS.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please submit the following items:

Cover letter, including salary expectations
Writing Sample (grant proposal or solicitation preferred)

Submit application via email, with the subject: Development Officer
Only qualified applicants will be contacted.
Please direct all submissions to: applications@aysymphonyorg.dream.press