Position Description

Position Description

Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

(Los Angeles, CA)

Title: Director, Gift Planning

View Position Brochure Here


One of the nation’s most dynamic performing arts organizations, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association represents the people and venues of the LA Phil. Anchored by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the staff and administration work to support performance in its four iconic venues: Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center, and The Ford. Under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the internationally renowned orchestra harnesses the transformative power of live music to build community, foster intellectual and artistic growth, and nurture the creative spirit. Having celebrated its 100th anniversary of performance in 2019 and with the Centennial of the Hollywood Bowl in 2022, the LA Phil has a rich history as one of the world’s outstanding orchestras leading the way in groundbreaking and diverse programming, on stage and in the community. The robust array of programs includes classical, jazz, pop, world music and more, as well as numerous and often unique community education programs in the greater Los Angeles area and beyond. 

The LA Phil each year provides a wide range of unique local, regional and national educational offerings, including in-school teaching artist residencies, after-school instrumental training programs, mentorships, and specially designed youth concerts. Foremost among these is Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA), Gustavo Dudamel’s signature initiative. Inspired by El Sistema (the Venezuelan music education system that nurtured Gustavo Dudamel), YOLA is a national model, providing children with free music instruction and ensemble performance opportunities in a safe after-school environment. In addition to YOLA’s local programs, YOLA National provides an ever-growing number of opportunities for young musicians, teaching artists, program administrators, and other stakeholders to learn from and create community with one another. Other educational initiatives include the Composer Fellowship Program and National Composer Intensive. 

For more information, please visit www.laphil.com.


The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association seeks an experienced gift planning professional to further develop and direct a robust fundraising program to promote, cultivate, solicit, and steward deferred gifts.  Reporting to the Chief Philanthropy Officer, the Director, Gift Planning is a senior member of the Philanthropy team.  The Director, Gift Planning coordinates with senior members of the LA Phil staff, LA Phil volunteers, board members, and outside counsel.  This position will supervise directly the Associate Director, Gift Planning, the Gift Planning Officer and the Senior Coordinator, Gift Planning, as part of the overall supervision of the gift planning program for the LA Phil. 


Personal solicitation

  • Manage a personal portfolio of at least 150 prospects with 6-8 figure planned gift potential.  Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual donors and, as required, their families.
  • Develop and maintain personal contact with individual prospects for deferred gifts and provide information and reports concerning gift utilization and impact.  Coordinate activities with donors’ attorneys and financial advisors to determine appropriate methods of deferred giving and ensure necessary arrangements for collection of gifts.
  • In partnership with the Chief Philanthropy Officer, identify and leverage opportunities to cultivate estate gifts from board members and other volunteers.
  • Work closely with the staff and volunteer leadership of the LA Phil Affiliates Program to design and implement a strategic plan with measurable objectives to cultivate and solicit planned gifts from its 900-member network.
  • Educate potential prospects, professional advisors, and past donors about gift planning opportunities at LA Phil.  Work alongside donors’ attorneys to review and complete documentation.  Through supervision and working with the Manager, Gift Planning, track wills in probate, monitor settlement costs, and follow up with executors and lawyers.
  • Respond to requests through LA Phil’s website and proactively identify new giving potential, in conjunction with the Philanthropy Department Senior Research and Prospect Manager and other staff. 

Program Management

  • Create and execute a comprehensive gift planning program at LA Phil with a goal to increase the overall number of gift planning donors and the total amount of their gifts. Monitor and analyze the gift planning work of other development officers to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward planned gifts.  Devise an action plan, corresponding budget, and set of goals, and report on progress to internal and external constituents.
  • Manage as direct reports: the Associate Director, Gift Planning, the Gift Planning Officer, and the Senior Coordinator, Gift Planning. 
  • Create a gift planning case statement and accompanying collateral.  Work alongside the Chief Philanthropy Officer to incorporate gift planning messages during a campaign.  With Marketing and other LA Phil departments, promote deferred giving opportunities across various platforms and programs.  Oversee the online presence for gift planning. 
  • In coordination with the Chief Philanthropy Officer, the General Counsel, the Chief Financial Officer, and outside counsel, administer and monitor compliance with policies and guidelines for long-term pledges, estate gift commitments, and recognition for donors of planned gifts.  Improve systems for maintaining and monitoring donor and prospect information regarding gift planning.
  • In partnership with the events team and other Philanthropy staff, design and execute gift planning events, mailings, and PR for key constituencies.  Leverage opportunities for gift solicitation.
  • Enhance recognition and solicitation opportunities through the William Andrews Clark Society of donors who have included LA Phil in their estate.
  • Provide ongoing gift planning training to Major Gift Officers and other LA Phil staff.
  • Manage communications with the Music Center Foundation, which oversees the investment of some of LA Phil’s endowment, regarding donors of endowment and planned gifts.  Manage the work of outside vendors that provide gift planning resources to LA Phil.
  • Assist with other fundraising projects as assigned.


The Director, Gift Planning will have a high level of integrity, initiative, creativity, and energy.  Political, analytical and negotiation skills are required to manage in a complex, energetic and changing environment.  Sound judgment and a superior ability to solve problems creatively and effectively are essential.  The successful candidate will have demonstrated the ability to think strategically and creatively through donor engagement, and to develop plans of action and follow through. They will bring an entrepreneurial attitude and the proven ability to deepen existing relationships and to forge new ones on behalf of an institution.  This individual will have a customer-service orientation with an ease in dealing with board members and volunteers and a facility in conversations around end-of-life issues. Candidates should have a collaborative, supportive and team-oriented management style. Strong organizational and strategic planning skills are essential, as is the ability to effectively and proactively multi-task, meet deadlines and deliver results. The Director, Gift Planning will have exceptional interpersonal skills and judgment, along with a commitment to promote the LA Phil by developing productive relationships with donors, volunteers, and staff.  They will have high ethical standards and must maintain confidentiality and accuracy with respect to all donors and prospect information. With a strong work ethic, the Director, Gift Planning must be comfortable working in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment and be willing and able to work some nights and weekends. 


A minimum of ten years of substantial, progressively responsible and successful gift planning experience is expected. Sound technical knowledge must be combined with sensitivity, compassion and empathy. This individual will have proven success and personal experience in the formation, presentation, and negotiation of high-level gift arrangements, including a track record of cultivating, soliciting, and closing six-figure and higher deferred gifts.  The successful candidate will have significant experience managing gifts of tangible personal property and real estate, unitrusts, annuity trusts, bequests, and other deferred giving vehicles. Experience in planning, leading, and managing projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking progress to senior staff and volunteer leaders is expected. The Director, Gift Planning will be willing to advocate forcefully and to take responsibility for outcomes. Candidates should have the ability to create powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising, and experience presenting materials to external audiences.  This individual should have experience with strategic planning, budget preparation, and resource management. Knowledge of the Los Angeles philanthropic community, although not required, is helpful.  An interest in or passion for music, particularly classical music, is important. 


A Bachelor’s degree is required. JD, other advanced degree, and/or CSPG/CAP certification is preferred. 

COVID Workplace Safety Requirements 

This position will require you to interact with employees, patrons, vendors, and others who may or may not be vaccinated or recently tested.  You will be required to wear personal protection equipment (PPE) required by the LA County Department of Public Health protocols and the LA Phil.  You agree to comply at all times with the LA Phil’s COVID-19 Prevention Plan, including testing and vaccination requirements. 

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association will consider for employment qualified Applicants with Criminal Histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the FCIHO.


The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association embraces and is committed to diversity and inclusion within our staff, musicians, guest artists, audiences, and surrounding communities.  The Association does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and religious grooming), sex (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, legally protected medical condition or information, genetic information, marital status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military status, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law.  Consistent with the law, the Association also provides reasonable accommodation for disabled applicants and employees in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, for pregnant employees who request an accommodation with the advice of their health care providers, for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions; for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; and for applicants and employees based on their religious beliefs and practices.


To apply for this position, visit www.morrisberger.com/searches.php

Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203-1923

1 (818) 507-1234