Boston Symphony Orchestra Taps Lindauer to Find Development Chief

April 15, 2019 – Boston-based recruitment firm Lindauer has been selected by the Boston Symphony Orchestra to find a new chief development officer. Vice president Libby Roberts is leading the assignment.

Now in its 138th season, the organization wants someone with a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience and demonstrated success setting and exceeding ambitious philanthropic goals, said the search firm. As an integral part of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s senior management team, the CDO is responsible for development of overall strategic contributed revenue goals and is the executive directly responsible for operational execution of the organization’s philanthropic efforts in support of the organization’s mission and vision for the future. The CDO leads a team of about 36 individuals, which currently includes seven direct reports.

Extensive knowledge of best practices in institutional advancement functions, including all contributed revenue streams, stewardship and development operations, is essential. “They should have strong management skills with demonstrated success in building, managing, leading and motivating development professionals toward achieving team goals and implementing best practices,” said the firm.

In 2018, the Boston Symphony Orchestra raised $50 million total from all sources. In a typical year, the development office is responsible for raising about 25 percent of the overall operating budget. The development team recently completed an unconventional, 10-year quiet campaign raising more than $425 million, and is currently working toward completing the $64 million “Tanglewood Forever” campaign.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is the world’s largest orchestral organization in terms of its scope of offerings and is among the finest in the art form worldwide. Its range of performance, educational and community programs engage more than 1.2 million people each year. It reaches listeners, not only through its concert performances in Boston and at Tanglewood, but also via the internet, radio, television, educational programs, recordings and tours.

Serving Non-Profits

Lindauer serves higher and secondary education, hospitals and academic research centers, think tanks, research facilities and foundations, as well as advocacy, public service, social justice and other mission-driven non-profits. It has led searches for the Boston YMCA, Center for Applied Special Technology, Healthy Minds Innovations/Center for Healthy Minds, the University of Texas at Austin and the Cockrell School of Engineering, among others.

Ms. Roberts has extensive philanthropic experience at blue-ribbon organizations establishing relationships with diverse constituents, focusing on strategic planning, executive search, team-building and board development. Her signature clients at Lindauer since 2014 have included: Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Berea College, Brookings Institution, Cranbrook Educational Community, Emerson College, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mind Springs Health, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Museum of Arts and Design and University of Technology Sydney.

Chief Development Officers

Virtually every industry needs top-drawer chief development officers. CDOs play a key role in planning, coordinating and administering capital campaigns, corporate giving and galvanizing new donors while keeping previous funders content. Implementing funding strategies that “keep the lights on,” according to recruiters specializing in the function, is job one.

Recruiters continue to report that CDOs are in high demand. Fundraising prowess and having an ability to drive growth are essential parts of the job in nearly every competitive organization today.

Recruiters generally say that the best training for these positions is experience, noting that there are many industry conferences and summits that are beneficial for benchmarking and sharing of best practices.

Here is a sampling of recent search for chief development officer form the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Aspen Leadership Group, an executive search firm that specializes in recruiting top talent for philanthropic organizations, placed fundraising veteran Noelle DeLage as chief development officer for the Denver Zoological Foundation. Aspen Leadership Group, established in 2013, conducts searches for board members, presidents, executive directors, chief development and advancement officers, and development and advancement professionals.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based PFM Executive Search placed Cynthia Kinsella as chief development officer of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Most recently, Ms. Kinsella was vice president of employee support solutions for Morneau Shepell’s Western region.

Development Resources inc. (DRi) has placed Emily Tracy as the new chief development officer of Polaris, an anti-human-trafficking organization. Ms. Tracy most recently served as national director of development for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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