Senior Vice President of Development, McCallum Theatre



The McCallum Theatre is celebrated by artists and audiences alike as an intimate jewel of a theatre located in Palm Desert, California, with a reputation for bringing the finest international talent to the Palm Springs/Palm Desert community. Founded in 1973 by a dedicated group of business, education and cultural leaders and organized as Friends of the Cultural Center, Inc., the McCallum Theatre’s mission is to entertain and educate the public by offering a variety of performing arts experiences that reflect the diversity of people, interests, and tastes of the communities and constituents served by the Theatre.

Named for a pioneering desert family, the McCallum has gained acclaim as one of the country’s finest presenting theaters by audiences, entertainers and peers alike. Some of the world’s best artists have appeared at the McCallum, ranging from rock and pop icons, classical soloists and orchestras, dance legends, as well as many of the most cherished stars of stage, screen, television and song. The Theatre also is known for its exceptional Broadway Blockbusters and Broadway and Beyond series, bringing the finest direct-from Broadway productions to Coachella Valley audiences. Consistently regarded among California’s most popular venues, most recently the McCallum was rated by Pollstar magazine as the top ticket-selling venue in California and number eight in the world for the first quarter of 2016.

While known for its top flight entertainment, the McCallum is also dedicated to Coachella Valley community. McCallum Education, founded in 1998, offers intensive and enriching arts education experiences annually at no cost for some 40,000 schoolchildren, parents and educators, both at the Theatre and in area classrooms. Over the years, in excess of 640,000 children have been beneficiaries of these donor-funded education programs. The Theatre directs over a million dollars every year to education. Since its inception, the education division has steadily increased participation and this past year partnered with 27 area schools, 303 classrooms and over 8,900 students, representing approximately 70% of Valley schools. 2,300 individual classroom workshops were facilitated by McCallum Education Teaching Artists in 2017-2018. In addition, projects like the Choreography Festival and Open Call Talent Project (a popular local talent competition) serve as powerful vehicles for developing artists and present exciting and affordable performances for the general public.

The McCallum Theatre is governed by a 45-member Board of Trustees led by Chairman Harold Matzner. Mitch Gershenfeld has served as President & CEO since 2012. The McCallum also enjoys considerable advocacy and fundraising assistance of The Muses and Patroness Circle, a women’s leadership council that raises funds and friends earmarked for the Theatre’s educational activities. For the fiscal year ending July 31, 2015, the McCallum reported total revenue of $14.4 million, of which approximately $6.9 million was received from contributions and grants, and total expenses of $12 million.

Sources: The McCallum Theatre;


Located 90 minutes east of Los Angeles, the Coachella Valley is home to Palm Springs, Palm Desert , Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage, often referred to as Hollywood’s playground - as well as six other communities that make up greater Palm Springs. The area was made famous by Presidents, philanthropists and vacationing Hollywood royalty. Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball all had homes here, as did Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford, and Ambassador and Mrs. Walter Annenberg.

The Coachella Valley is a desert community and a highly-desired destination for “snow birds” who flock to its warm climate from November to March. For those who live in the valley or retire here, whether full-time or seasonally, the Coachella Valley offers a plethora of sophisticated and sporty pastimes. Internationally renowned for its golf courses, the desert features several dozen public and private courses, many attached to tennis and country clubs which are a large part of the valley’s social lifestyle. The Valley is ringed by parks and preserves including Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, Joshua Tree National Park and the San Bernardino National Forest. The red rocks of Joshua Tree and the snow dusted mountain peaks of the surrounding mountains in the winter months make for a stunning visual and environmental contrast in the Valley and provide opportunities for hiking, camping, trail riding and other outdoor activities.

Palm Springs’ climate and artistic community welcomes and celebrates a diverse array of residents and visitors. Native American tribes continue to thrive in the Coachella Valley as evidenced by casinos, spas and local businesses owned by the Morongo, Cahuilla and Agua Caliente (as Palm Springs was called in the 1800’s) tribes. Palm Springs also boasts a long-standing, strong and active LGBT community and actively promotes Palm Springs as an LGBT destination. The Coachella Valley also has a significant Hispanic population. The community has a notable visual arts scene with the Palm Springs Art Museum, Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert, the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum among its array of museums and galleries, and Sunnylands, the former home of Ambassador and Mrs. Annenberg, a classic example of mid-century architecture that is now a cultural and conference center.

The Valley is also home to the very popular Modernism Week which showcases midcentury architecture with over 250 events each February, as well as the internationally acclaimed Palm Springs International Film Festival in January which annually attracts the movie industry’s biggest names coming as it does at the beginning of Hollywood’s major awards season. Rounding out the cultural scene are the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals which take place in April in nearby Indio. These festivals bring hundreds of thousands of international and regional contemporary and country music fans to the Valley to hear some of the world’s best-known and emerging musical artists. The City of Palm Desert, in which the McCallum Theatre is located, is also seen as the Coachella Valley’s cultural hub with the Theatre joining the Palm Desert branch of the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens to form an axis of arts and culture surrounding a vibrant restaurant and shopping scene at the El Paseo Shopping District, the Coachella Valley’s “Rodeo Drive.”

The Greater Palm Springs area is often cited among the best places to both live and visit by national media and travel and tourism websites. With a celebrated dining scene, world-class performing arts, exceptional natural spaces, enviable weather (with an average of 350 sunny days per year), Greater Palm Springs is a thriving oasis in the desert, attracting discerning connoisseurs of high quality living from around the globe.



Reporting to the President & CEO, the Senior Vice President of Development is responsible for leading, planning and implementing philanthropic revenue generation channels. He/she will build and fortify new and existing relationships with top-level donors and prospects to achieve philanthropic goals for the McCallum Theatre. The successful incumbent must possess significant sales and personal approach marketing abilities, capitalizing on the Theatre’s unique assets such as premium seating and other donor recognition benefits to encourage increased philanthropic investment.

Serving as the chief fundraiser for the McCallum, the Senior Vice President of Development partners with the President & CEO to expand and diversify total philanthropic support from individuals, foundations and corporations, particularly in the area of major gifts of $50,000 and above. As a member of the Theatre’s senior management staff, the Senior Vice President of Development serves as a visionary player/coach team leader who guides and manages an eleven-member Development team to ensure that fundraising goals and organizational objectives are met in a fast paced, seasonally driven environment.


  • Serves as the face of the McCallum Theatre in philanthropic and cultivation efforts engaging donors in a variety of high-level fundraising initiatives.
  • Plan and oversee all fundraising initiatives such as campaigns, grants, major gifts, and new business. Partner internally with Communications and Marketing for engagement on individual giving, event revenue, foundation grants, and other fundraising vehicles. Grow fundraising efforts with a solid strategy and execution plan.
  • Create fundraising strategies to wrap around appropriate events, initiatives, and programmatic work; develop strong communications and recognition of donors and prospects to maintain and build upon the strong brand of the McCallum.
  • Oversee a “new business” pipeline actively seeking out prospective donors through existing data mining strategies, revenue-generating and prospecting events managed/hosted by Theatre Development staff and current donors and Board members, as well as attending social and charitable events hosted by other civic and cultural organizations.
  • Maintain a significant portfolio of individual, foundation and corporate relationships to support the McCallum’s fundraising goals and objectives.
  • Identify, qualify, solicit and steward past, current and prospective donors, successfully closing major gifts and multi-year pledges of $50,000 and above.
  • Possess the ability to design individualized giving plans for prospective donors taking into account their specific philanthropic interests.
  • Direct and motivate an enthusiastic and effective team that works in cooperation, but independently.
  • Provide monthly revenue and Development activity updates to the 45 member Board of Directors during season (November through April).
  • Establish annual goals and objectives, and be accountable for ensuring that set goals and objectives are met.
  • Support executive staff, Board members, and other volunteers in all aspects of donor stewardship and solicitation; provide training/coaching as needed.
  • Be an exceptional communicator and an articulate, passionate and credible public presence for the Theatre and an effective, strong, inspirational and focused leader within the community.

Board and External Relations

  • Serve as a primary liaison to the Board of Trustees and the primary point of Development contact with the McCallum Theatre’s 45-member Board.
  • Liaise with the Board Chair, President & CEO, individual members of the Board to identify their development and networking capabilities to enhance the McCallum’s fundraising success.
  • Represent the McCallum Theatre to the community and beyond at events and conferences, as appropriate.


  • Outstanding communication skills: an attentive listener, articulate speaker, and clear and persuasive writer.
  • Excellent strategic, organizational and project management skills. A decisive, “roll-up-the sleeves,” results-oriented individual who can keep seemingly diverse projects moving forward within a consistent strategic framework.
  • Must have the ability to motivate and inspire confidence among staff, colleagues, volunteers and donors. A leader whom people want to follow.
  • Responds promptly to shifts in direction or schedules, and maintains effectiveness and calm while managing multiple priorities and tasks. Moves past unforeseen challenges without unnecessary delay.
  • A self-motivated, confident and influential style that is coupled with sensitivity and flexibility. A strong leader with high emotional intelligence and professional standards.
  • Character and substance; a person with the highest ethical standards.


  • At least 10 years with a proven track record of fundraising experience gained in relevant positions of increasing responsibility and scope. At least 5 years of direct leadership with both direct and indirect reports.
  • Demonstrated fundraising success in corporate, foundation, events, planned, individual and major gifts along with additional sources of revenue generation.
  • Change Management experience – training team members and others in the organization to think creatively, and manage through times of organizational transition. Proven success in maintaining the “blocking and tackling” of fundraising while exploring new technologies and methods of connection with donors.
  • Experience in linking fundraising efforts to community impact; good knowledge about community impact work, metrics, and grant-making.
  • Several years’ experience building, developing and retaining strong relationships with donors and volunteers, including board members. A collaborative and communicative work-style that translates into strong results with donors as well as internal partners.
  • Self-motivated and well organized with exceptional computer/software literacy.
  • Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Understanding of and/or a passion for the performing arts is preferred.


The McCallum Theatre offers an extremely competitive compensation package commensurate with experience and ability, including health and dental insurance, life insurance, short- and long-term disability coverage, 401(k) plan with 4% match, vacation, holiday and sick pay.

To apply: send resume to

The McCallum Theatre is an Equal Opportunity Employer.