Assistant, WNO Board Relations

  • The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
Full Time Arts Fundraising

Job Description

About The Kennedy Center

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” – President John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy Center is the nation’s cultural center and living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Located on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., the Center presents performances across all genres, and is also home to artistic affiliates Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra. 

Mission Statement: As the nation's performing arts center, and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, we are a leader for the arts across America and around the world, reaching and connecting with artists, inspiring and educating communities. We welcome all to create, experience, learn about, and engage with the arts. 

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion. The Kennedy Center's Diversity & Inclusion Council, composed of staff members from various departments across the organization, is committed to guiding and holding the Center accountable in the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

Job Description

The Assistant, WNO Board Relations, will work with the Assistant Manager, Board Relations, the Manager of WNO Individual Giving, and the Chief Development Officer in the support, management, and long-term development of the WNO Board, inclusive of the $3M+ annual Board Fundraising Campaign.

The Assistant will generate solicitations and donor correspondence on behalf of WNO senior staff, ensure fulfillment of donor benefits by liaising with Board Members via phone and email, track giving levels and renewal schedules, maintain proper donor crediting, research Board Member prospects, and utilize departmental systems with regards to gift processing, gift acknowledgment, solicitation tracking, and the storing/maintenance of donor information. 

The Assistant must be able to exercise discretion in order to prioritize assignments and work under significant pressure, as many projects are time sensitive and involve concurrent deadlines and donor interaction. An eagerness to communicate and problem-solve with a positive attitude is essential.

Duties & Responsibilities

70%   Assist in the management of the WNO Board Campaign ($3M+goal) including:

  • Preparing timely and accurate written communication with 30-60 donors & prospects:
    • Organizing, developing, and executing standardized solicitation and acknowledgment materials;
    • Drafting and coordinating multiple types of correspondence (solicitations, acknowledgments, notes, research briefings, proposals, tax receipts, etc.) of varying length and complexity;
    • Preparing donor and strategy research projects in support of Campaign goals;
    • Completing timely gift entry forms and ensure accuracy of all billing and contributions;
  • Identifying opportunities for gift increases in coordination with the Assistant Manager;
  • Actively working with the Chief Development Officer and WNO General Director in stewarding and soliciting Board members through direct contact via telephone, email, and written communication;
  • Maintaining accurate donor records in hardcopy and electronic formats and in Tessitura;
  • Participating in fundraising and general stewardship:
    • Responding to donor requests for Membership logistics and details;
    • Ensuring proper donor recognition across several mediums;
    • Managing donor ticketing needs
  • Assisting with donor benefit, cultivation, and auxiliary events:
    • Preparing invitations and taking responses;
    • Coordinating scheduling with WNO administrative staff and artists;
    • Coordinating event check-in and event flow; and
    • Completing appropriate follow-up following each event.
  • Coordinating the inventory of WNO Board collateral materials, including: art revisions; new orders; proofing/editing; and vendor communications.

30%   Assist in the management of Board, Executive Committee, and other various committees of the Board (Nominating & Governance, Finance, Corporate Development etc…)

  • Serving as support staff in preparation of Board Materials in a timely accurate manner.  Support is needed for a series of 4 Board Meetings, 4 Executive Committee Meetings, and various Committees of the Board throughout the year
  • Researching and identifying prospective Board Members in consultation, including the preparation of individually tailored research briefings, solicitations, proposals, and presentations.

N/A   Responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner; Adheres to all employer policies and procedures.

N/A   Other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required. 
  • Minimum one year of development or related experience required.

Skills & Knowledge Qualifications

  • Superior organizational, written, and verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Careful attention to detail, ability to multitask, and awareness of standard accounting procedures.
  • Ability to work without close supervision and foresee development needs.
  • A professional and cordial demeanor, tact, and diplomacy are imperative as the incumbent is regularly in contact with people at all levels of society and business including Kennedy Center leadership, high level volunteers, major donors and prospects, and other Center personnel.
  • Creativity is critical to identifying funding sources, matching their interests to projects, and communicating persuasively, both in person and in writing, the need for funding.
  • Ability to deftly manage many relationships and personality types; both internally among staff members, and externally among constituents.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone.  The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks.  The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms.  This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Large, vibrant, fast-paced office that values initiative, efficiency, diversity, and teamwork. Office culture encourages professional growth through internal promotion whenever possible.

Working outside of normal business hours (nights and weekends) can be expected from time to time

The noise level in the work environment is minimal, however attendance at major fundraising events and performances is required.  In those conditions, the noise level is very loud.

Travel is not expected.


We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Paid Time Off, Paid Sick Leave, and a 403(b) Retirement Plan



Requisition Number