Grants & Research Manager - Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

AFP SE WI Administrator
September 3, 2019


Position Title:                Grants & Research Manager
Department:                 Advancement
Reports to:                   Director of Institutional Giving
FLSA Status:                 Exempt
Revised:                       August 2019

JOB PURPOSE AND REPORTING STRUCTURE:  Under the direction of the Director of Institutional Giving, the Grants & Research Manager will research, write and monitor grant applications, foundation and sponsorship proposals and reports to help meet or exceed the $2 million annual Institutional Giving goal. The Grants & Research Manager will also be responsible for conducting research on individuals to support the Individual Giving team as well as the Capital Campaign team and volunteer solicitors.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.

Under the direction of the Director of Institutional Giving, assist in the overall planning, fundraising goal- setting and implementation of corporate, foundation, and government fundraising strategy.  With the assistance of the advancement staff— prepare a comprehensive funding strategy for acquiring, maintaining and upgrading corporate and foundation donations for general operations, sponsorships, educational programs and other special projects.


Manage a portfolio of 100-150 corporate and foundation prospects targeted for gifts of $5,000-$250,000+ to the MSO’s annual campaign, with the goal of increasing support from this division.

  • Develop and maintain a thorough understanding of all current and past grant relationships.
  • Write letters of intent and corporate, foundation, and government grant proposals; prepare supporting documents in response to requests for proposals; adapt existing proposals as necessary; and delivers all submission ahead of deadlines.
  • Create individualized Moves Management plans for each prospect, which will include personal visits, written communication, volunteer/board contacts, fulfillment of funder benefits, and other stewardship efforts.
  • Ensure effective solicitation of all prospects. Solicitation activities can occur both on your own and with other staff and volunteer leadership.
  • Utilize research, data analysis, personal contacts, board members, volunteers and staff to identify new corporate and foundation prospects and create lasting relationships with funders.
  • Maintain records in the development database to ensure all contact personnel and other information relative to cultivation and solicitation is up to date and accurate.
  • Ensure effective ongoing communication of MSO mission, goals and achievements to these prospects.
  • Write all corporate presentation materials, proposals, solicitation letters and reports; and maintain an effective calendar that ensures all proposal and report deadlines are met.

Maintain and cultivate good working relationships with volunteers, prospects, and donors by responding to their needs and fulfilling special requests.


Lead research strategy and procedures, including support for prospecting for individuals, corporate and foundation leads, with a specific focus on major gifts efforts.

  • Prepares research profiles as necessary for colleagues and volunteer leadership.
  • Together with Development Systems Manager, manages research information integration in Tessitura.


Act as liaison with colleagues on program goals, evaluation systems and results, and changes to program content and delivery.

  • Assist Education Department in analyzing and presenting student and evaluation data in ways that are appropriate for funders as well as other advancement or communications needs.
  • Ensures reporting compliance for all grants and provides writing and editing support to the Advancement Department when needed.


Serve as an Advancement representative at MSO concerts and events as needed.


CONTACTS WITH OTHERS:  This position is highly visible and has contact with MSO Board members, campaign volunteers, MSO staff and orchestra members, and prominent people in the community. 

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE:  Successful candidates will have a Bachelors’ Degree in a related discipline—English, Communications or Journalism preferred—and a minimum of five years work experience in a writing-oriented position. Successful experience in obtaining government grants and corporation/foundation support preferred.

LANGUAGE SKILLS:  This position requires excellent verbal and written communication skills. Grant/proposal writing experience preferred.

MATHEMATICAL SKILLS:  Experience in managing a budget, forecasting revenue and campaign analysis skills are preferred.

REASONING ABILITY: This position requires the ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.


TO APPLY: Please submit cover letter and resume to Tina Itson at No phone calls, please.

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