Development Manager, Institutional Giving | Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

CYSO’s mission is to inspire and cultivate personal excellence through music.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has provided music education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946. We currently serve more than 600 students ages 6-18 in on-site ensembles including four full orchestras, three string orchestras, jazz orchestra, multiple steel orchestras, and enrichment opportunities including chamber music, masterclasses, and music composition. CYSO musicians learn from Chicago’s most respected professional musicians, perform in the world’s great concert halls, and gain the self-confidence and discipline necessary for a successful future.

CYSO Community Engagement Programs support instrumental music training and music access for approximately 8,500 young people during the 2017-2018 season. We work with students in underserved neighborhoods through our Ambassador Program and after-school ensembles, present free community and education concerts, and partner with institutions including Chicago Public Schools and The People’s Music School.

CYSO alumni go on to play in the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles, and are also found working as teachers, community leaders, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and business professionals. Whether or not a graduate continues musical studies after their time in CYSO, students leave with a strong sense of discipline, increased self-confidence, and a deep appreciation for music and the arts.

CYSO is investing in the future of music and the next generation of leaders. As an organization, CYSO fosters a culture of excellence and professionalism among its staff.  Staff members value compassion, collegiality, and an on-going desire to continue learning, as individuals and as an organization.  The CYSO staff is passionate about music, youth, and education. 


Duties and Responsibilities

The Development Manager, Institutional Giving, is responsible for establishing and maintaining CYSO relationships with foundations, corporations and government entities that support youth in arts and education.  Specific duties and responsibilities are:

  • With the CYSO Executive Director, Board Development Committee, and Development Manager, Individual Giving, establish the CYSO development budget including expense and revenue
  • Work collaboratively with all staff, especially the Development Manager, Individual Giving, and meet regularly to set goals, prioritize activity, identify problems, and develop solutions
  • Assist in strategic planning with regard to development goals and strategies
  • Create language for CYSO’s Annual Report
  • Oversee the planning and implementation of the annual CYSO gala including coordination with vendors, venue, guest speakers, student performers, and volunteers
  • Research and develop new sources of Foundation, Corporate and Government funding for current and CYSO Programs
  • Ensure that corporate and foundation partners are properly recognized for their support, including web and annual report listings, social media promotion, and sponsorship benefits
  • Maintain a grant calendar and database to ensure timely, accurate tracking and reporting of all corporate, individual, government and foundation donor activity
  • Work in collaboration with operations and administrative staff regarding up to date statistics and information for case statements and proposals
  • Write and submit grant proposals, updates, and final reports to local, state, and national corporate, foundation, and government funders
  • Provide support for board activities, events, meetings
  • Maintain awareness of current trends in fundraising and philanthropy
  • Other duties and special projects as assigned
Skills & Qualifications: 

Experience: At least 1 year of development and fundraising experience required, as well as previous grant-writing or equivalent experience. Candidates should have a proven track record in the achievement of annual fundraising goals, experience working with boards, volunteers and managing fundraising events.  Superior written, verbal, and presentation skills are essential.  Computer proficiency with all Microsoft Office applications is a must.

Education: A BA/BS is required.  Coursework in arts administration or arts education is a plus.  Knowledge of music is helpful.  An advanced degree is a plus, but not a requirement.

The ideal candidate for this position will pay close attention to detail, be organized, and deadline driven.  He/she will be customer service oriented, and will possess superb people skills including the desire and ability to work well with diverse constituencies.  The successful candidate will be able to manage numerous tasks and projects while maintaining a calm, positive attitude and a sense of humor.

Other: Ability and willingness to work irregular hours including evenings and weekends to attend meetings, concerts, and events beyond the framework of the normal working schedule.

Must be comfortable lifting up to 20 pounds.

To Apply: 

Application Procedure:  Please submit résumé and cover letter via email to Susan Lape (  No phone calls please.

Salary and Benefits:  Salary commensurate with experience. A comprehensive benefits package including PTO, Medical, Dental, and the opportunity to participate in a 403B and FSA plan.

Selection Process:  Applications will be paper-screened and those exhibiting superior qualifications will be invited to an in person or phone interview.

CYSO is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact Information
Contact Name: 
Susan Lape
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone Number: