Development Associate

Development Associate

Location: Savannah, Georgia
Term: Full-time position, exempt
Reports to: Executive Director

The Development Associate is a critical member of the Development team. This is a proactive fundraising role that cultivates, solicits, and stewards Savannah Music Festival’s Festival Society individual donors (under $5,000) and corporate sponsors and ensures that they receive their benefits by producing special events and fulfilling festival ticketing requests.

This position works together with other Development and SMF staff to coordinate fundraising activities including direct mail appeals, sponsorship benefit packages, and fulfillment of Festival Society benefits.

Donors & Sponsors

  • Manage a portfolio of individual donors at giving levels of $4,999 and below (“Festival Society”) and corporate sponsors at all levels, including research and cultivation of prospective support at this level, both cash and in-kind, and on-boarding of new donors
  • Communicate with donors via phone, email and letters on matters such as stewardship calls and pledge gift reminders
  • Assist in benefit fulfillment respective of giving level including reserved seating, recognition at sponsored concert(s) and personalized ticketing assistance throughout the season
  • Coordinate the tracking systems and electronic files for Festival Society gifts, corporate sponsors, and special events
  • Update and maintain development-related information on SMF website and assist with development-related information in organizational documents


  • Produce all donor appreciation, cultivation and fundraising events, under the direction of the Executive and Artistic Directors
  • Maintain an events calendar, prepare event budgets designed to meet/exceed goals, secure in-kind donations for special events, handle event logistics, sponsor packets, RSVPs and registration, and recruit volunteers, where applicable


  • Assist with creation and implementation of the annual development plan that incorporates a range of strategies including annual appeals, major donors, grants, corporate and individual appeals, and special events


  • Together with Development staff, manage CRM database (DonorPerfect) including gift/pledge history, contact information and donor preferences
  • Track expenditures for department needs, and process invoices
  • Attend networking events with Executive Director to increase professional network, refine relationship management skills and enhance SMF’s outreach and capacity
  • Perform other duties as assigned to ensure the effective operation of the organization


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 2-3 years of experience in fundraising and/or special events
  • Working knowledge of nonprofit organizations and the performing arts
  • Ability to interact with high-level donors, executives, and board members with grace, tact, accuracy, and professionalism
  • Strong writing and speaking skills required
  • Must be extremely organized when handling multiple details and have the ability to multitask
  • Attention to detail is essential
  • Collaborative working style with a hands-on approach to teamwork
  • Demonstrates and supports SMF’s culture of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Willingness to work long hours during annual 17-day Festival and donor-specific special events throughout the year
  • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs
  • Proficient in the use of Google Suite, Microsoft Office, and Mac OS
  • Familiar with CRM/donor databases and ticketing software specific to the performing arts; experience with DonorPerfect a plus
  • All applicants must have a valid driver’s license and submit to a criminal background check and drug test



Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to

Benefits package for the full-time, exempt position includes paid time off, and employer contribution to medical, dental, and vision care, life, short-term, and long-term disability insurance, simple IRA plan, and parking. 

Savannah Music Festival is an equal opportunity employer. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and business needs. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical​​​ condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or ​expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.


The Organization

The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting world-class celebrations of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. SMF started as Savannah OnStage International Arts Festival in 1989 with the vision of bringing high-quality artists from around the world to perform in Savannah’s Historic District. The organization operates year-round to plan and produce an annual multi-day, multi-venue music festival, off-season concerts, broadcast programs and free music education programming focused on youth.

The annual springtime festival presents a diverse selection of music genres, including classical, jazz, American, and international roots music. The festival features original productions, cross-genre collaborations, free artistic lectures and Q&As, and commissioned works that are staged at various venues throughout Savannah. With its performances and education programming, SMF serves annually, on average, more than 40,000 music enthusiasts from many backgrounds, locations, and age ranges. In 2019, SMF attracted patrons from more than 40 states.

SMF’s local education programs, Musical Explorers and SMF Jazz Academy, serve the Savannah community, reaching students and teachers at more than 50 public, private, and home schools in urban and rural settings across Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh (GA), Beaufort, and Jasper (SC) counties. On average, more than 80% of participants attend Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools (SCCPSS).