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Director of Development

Grand Opera House


A multidisciplinary presenter of national and international touring artists, The Grand Opera House – familiarly known as The Grand – offers more than 125 performances of its own each year, and annually hosts more than 300 total events with several tenant organizations, community users, and renters. Changes in recent years have effectively repositioned The Grand as a focal point for live performance and a reliable partner for artistic and civic collaborations. The Grand has also had success in attracting corporate, foundation, and government support. The next phase of development at The Grand will be a campaign-oriented annual fund effort to significantly increase the number of individual givers as a path to increasing the total dollar amount of giving. The successful candidate for this position will be someone with a demonstrable understanding of best practices in converting patrons into donors and a track record of securing support from small- and medium-sized businesses.

Position Description

The Director of Development will oversee the ongoing implementation and growth of a comprehensive program to establish a diverse contributed income base that will ensure The Grand’s long-term sustainability.

In collaboration with the Executive Director, s/he is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive fund development effort to achieve The Grand’s financial goals. S/he guides a 5-person department that manages vital funding relationships and implements cultivation and stewardship strategies for all donors and all types of funding sources – with an emphasis on individual and small business giving. The current staff configuration, which is open to restructuring, includes dedicated positions for donor relations, events and small business, grantwriting, and administrative support.

The director has primary responsibility for major gifts, planned giving, and community relationship building. S/he also liaisons with two groups of community volunteer leadership: the Board of Directors (governance) and the Grand Trustees (advocacy).

The ideal candidate will have a broad fundraising background and experience in similar non-profit performing arts organizations. S/he will be highly organized, personable, creative, and determined. S/he will have a deep interest in The Grand’s mission and possess the enthusiasm and tenacity needed to enhance the capacity of this vital community resource.

--Bachelors degree, advanced degree preferred
--Five years or more of nonprofit fundraising experience, showing increasing responsibility, preferably for similar cultural organizations

--Demonstrable success in building an individual donor base
--Diverse background in development field and successful track record of soliciting major gifts with foundations, corporations, and individuals; capital, endowment, and planned giving experience preferred
--Ability to coordinate and motivate the efforts of a development team and volunteers
--Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
--Experience with budgets and financial documents
--Ability to work equally well independently and collaboratively

--Strong organizational and multi-tasking skills
--Superior computer skills, including familiarity with integrated fundraising management applications (Tessitura)

--Dynamic and ambitious attitude about fundraising and institutional success

Application Process

This is a full-time position with occasional evening and weekend hours required. Compensation commensurate with experience, and includes health benefits. Position currently open. To apply, submit resumé, cover letter, development writing sample, and salary expectations to tcrawford@grandopera.org

Institutional Background

The Grand Opera House is a beautifully restored, 1200-seat opera house built in 1871 located within the business district of downtown Wilmington. In addition to the opulent Victorian opera house venue, The Grand also programs a contemporary 300-seat theater within the same complex called the baby grand. In 2015, The Grand assumed operation of another historic downtown performance venue, The Playhouse on Rodney Square, a 1240-seat Broadway-style proscenium theater that hosts an annual season of touring musical theater. Now with three active venues serving an annual audience of more than 200,000 patrons and visitors, The Grand has diversified its programming and community partnerships in an aggressive expansion strategy that mirrors ambitious efforts by local business and government to further revitalize Market Street Wilmington.

Box Office Manager – Playhouse (full-time)

Position Description

The Box Office Manager oversees the operation of The Playhouse box office, and manages all aspects of ticketing and customer service in support of Playhouse subscribers and other patrons. The Manager supervises all full-time and part-time ticketing representatives, and reports to the Director of Marketing.

The Box Office Manager is directly responsible for:

  • Managing and directing all aspects of ticket office operations, including patron service and satisfaction, financial and other sales reporting, and staff supervision
  • Monitoring ongoing box office operation to ensure efficiency, credibility, and exceptional customer service with special attention to retaining and building crucial subscriber base
  • Managing, programming, and training on Tessitura ticketing system, including the building and pricing of all Broadway, other stand-alone Playhouse performances, and ticketed events and rentals
  • Scheduling, training, and supervising all box office personnel, addressing performance issues as they arise, and providing coaching, counseling, and encouragement to staff
  • [Mentor and counsel other shift supervisors as needed]
  • Serving as the primary box office contact with subscribers, patrons, company managers, house management staff and volunteer ushering staff, other Grand-Playhouse department heads, always maintaining an exceptional level of service and cooperation
  • Monitoring ongoing performance of Tessitura ticketing system and Playhouse web functions, liaising with Tessitura technical support staff when necessary
  • Coordinating with Marketing staff on special promotions, discounts, and other public communication efforts
  • Representing The Grand-Playhouse to the public professionally and persuasively
  • Performing other related duties as needed.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field (finance, business, system management), or equivalent experience
  • Specific experience managing the Tessitura ticketing platform
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrable ability to manage both employees and patrons
  • Clear understanding of and commitment to providing exceptional customer service
  • Flexibility, good humor, ability to multi-task, detail to attention, creative problem-solving
  • Availability for evening and weekend work
  • Desire to excel in fast-paced, entrepreneurial, and team-oriented work environment

Compensation commensurate with experience. Health care benefits. Generous vacation and comp time policy.

To apply, send cover letter, resume, salary expectations, and three references to: Teresa Crawford, Payroll and Benefits Manager, tcrawford@grandopera.org Please, no phone calls.

Box Office


Administrative Offices

818 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801