San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Vice President of Advancement


The San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s (SFCM) mission is to transform our students: artistically, intellectually, professionally, and individually. Through the study of music at the highest level, our students learn to seek achievement in every endeavor, to convert challenges into opportunities, to understand the nature of excellence, and to pursue their dreams with vigor and determination. We believe that inspiring the imagination, cultivating the artist, honing the intellect, and developing the professional are the keys to launching innovative graduates who excel in any field. SFCM is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields.

SFCM offers studies in undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs, as well as pre-college and continuing education programs. Serving close to 500 collegiate students, the student body is diverse, representing 21 countries and 38 U.S. States. The Collegiate faculty includes 28 full-time and 145 part-time members. Students benefit from a 3:1 student-teacher ratio and the opportunity to study with world-renowned artists, including 39 members of the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet orchestras as well as the SFJAZZ Collective. Serving close to 300 pre-college students, the SFCM Pre-College Program integrates private lessons with musicianship courses, small and large ensemble experiences, master classes, jury assessments, and performance opportunities with the goal of making music a core part of children’s lives. SFCM’s Continuing Education division offers a variety of musical opportunities designed to suit all levels of interest and aspiration in both private instruction and group study for those who wish to learn a new instrument, dust off an old one, or hone their vocal technique. Each year SFCM presents almost 600 free student concerts and other live events at its campus in San Francisco.

The Conservatory’s Civic Center campus consists of the Ann Getty Center for Education at 50 Oak Street and the state-of-the-art Ute and William K. Bowes Jr. Center for Performing Arts nearby. This vertical campus, which opened in 2021, reimagines the model for a modern conservatory following the incorporation of a unique curriculum designed to equip students for lifelong success in any endeavor. The $200 million Bowes Center project was launched with a named gift of $46.4 million, the largest gift in history to a music school in support of a building project.

Following the celebrated completion of the Bowes Center campaign and exceptional fundraising for endowment, partnerships, innovative music programs continue unabated, guided, and strongly supported by the President and Board of Trustees and with the support of the SFCM staff. In the last three years SFCM has acquired Opus 3 Artists Askonas Holt, and Pentatone, establishing the conservatory as the only institution paired with two leading artist management companies and a legendary recording label. The new initiatives of this network created the Artist Apprentice Program as well as numerous artist-led residencies and campus engagements providing innovative and distinctive programs for today’s top global artists and the SFCM students and faculty. In addition to its novel programs in Technology and Applied Composition (TAC), and Roots, Jazz, and American Music (RJAM), the school forged educational alliances with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, Ballet, SFJAZZ, Skywalker Studios, SONY, and numerous Silicon Valley companies.

SFCM also works to increase representation in the arts, including a collaboration with the SF Symphony for the Emerging Black Composers Project—a ten-year engagement program to spotlight early-career Black American composers and their music—and the Denis de Coteau Fellowship with SF Ballet which provides funding, instruction, and performance opportunities for musicians with diverse backgrounds.

SFCM is guided by a 29 member board led by Chair Timothy W. Foo. President David Stull was appointed in 2013.


Situated on the ancestral lands of the Ramaytush people, San Francisco is home to 875,000 residents and one of the world’s most distinctive and innovative metropolitan cities. The San Francisco Bay Area is a popular destination for those seeking gorgeous landscapes, some of the world’s finest wines, waterfront towns, nightlife, and diverse cuisines, coupled with top-tiered educational institutions, distinguished arts and culture organizations, and innovative workforce options. The 9-County Bay Area is home to approximately 7.8 million ethnically diverse residents; approximately three-fifths of the region’s residents are Latinx/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African American.

SFCM’s campus is in the heart of San Francisco’s arts and culture district and is within walking distance of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, SFJAZZ, Asian Art Museum, and Herbst Theater. The area has the largest aggregation of research universities and federal research institutions in the nation. The University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley, and Stanford University among others, are key drivers of innovation and entrepreneurship. San Francisco is home to more than 900 IT and Software, Social and Digital Media, and Life Sciences and Biotech firms, and serves as the financial service epicenter of the West Coast.


Position Summary

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music seeks a Vice President of Advancement (VPA) reporting to the President and serving as a key member of its senior leadership team to support the mission, vision, and growth of SFCM within an inspiring and dynamic organization. As the lead strategic fundraiser and liaison to the President and Board, the VPA directs, recruits, and mentors an outstanding team of 11 development professionals while overseeing all aspects of Advancement at SFCM. Building on the momentum of the successful capital campaign for the Bowes Center, planning is underway for a comprehensive effort to grow annual fund, endowment, and special project support. The VPA will direct and lead annual fundraising of $8 million, as well as demonstrate progress toward the longer-term funding plans for SFCM. The direct reports for the VPA are the Associate Vice President of Advancement, the Associate Vice President of Advancement Operations, and the Director of Donor Engagement and Special Events. The ability to travel as needed to represent SFCM and to be present at evening and weekend events is required.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Develop and leads goal-driven, short and long-term fundraising plans to support contributed revenue for SFCM.
  • Direct individual giving, major gifts, alumni support, corporate and individual support, fundraising events, planned gifts, and stewardship activities for annual and endowment support. Advises and assists the President and key Trustees on principal gift strategy and solicitation.
  • Collaborate with the President and key trustees to ensure strong momentum for partnerships, special initiatives, and opportunities available through the alliance of Opus 3 Artists, Askonas Holt, and Pentatone.
  • Strategize with key members of SFCM’s senior leadership team to align operational priorities and maximize engagement with the donor, alumni, student, and faculty communities.
  • Cultivate and solicits a portfolio of high-net-worth donors for major and planned gifts.
  • Partner with volunteers and SFCM’s event leaders to conceive, implement, and evaluate contemporary and compelling events that drive donor engagement and fundraising for SFCM.
  • Maximize the opportunities to engage alumni in support and leadership of SFCM.
  • Maintain a strategic knowledge of best practices and significant trends in philanthropy and adapt fundraising strategies as necessary.
  • Embrace other strategic leadership and comprehensive implementation responsibilities as needed.

Board and Donor Engagement

  • Act as primary liaison to the Advancement Committee, Campaign Cabinet, and Governance & Nominating Committee.
  • Collaborate with the President and Nominating Committee to identify, cultivate, and recruit prospective board members.
  • Create strategies with the Advancement Committee that build meaningful paths for the Bay Area’s diverse community to engage in supporting SFCM as donors, partners, advisors, and community ambassadors.
  • Advise board members, both individually and collectively, on best practices in community ambassadorship and donor cultivation.
  • Embrace other board and donor engagement responsibilities as needed.

Team and Organizational Oversight

  • Shape the strategic development plan for Advancement operations.
  • Manage the Advancement leadership team to ensure there are established performance metrics and that Advancement staff are accountable for and reach their fundraising goals.
  • Ensure that the Advancement department structure and staffing are optimized to support SFCM’s fundraising goals and that Advancement staff have the supervisory support and administrative resources they need to be successful. Recruits and mentors new team members.
  • Oversee the strategic use of the database and other development communication tools, coordinating communications with existing and potential donors to ensure the highest level of donor engagement, satisfaction, and expressions of appreciation.
  • Model the continued development and maintenance of effective communications and record management programs for donor engagement and data collection/tracking, coordinating closely with colleagues in Marketing and Communications.
  • Guide and oversees spending for Advancement operations and ensures budget adherence.
  • Create a supportive, collaborative, productive, and healthy work environment based on respect, teamwork, and the equity, diversity, and inclusion values of the SFCM.
  • Embrace other team leadership responsibilities as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The Vice President of Advancement will have the willingness to engage and work with different perspectives and demonstrate an openness to new ideas, complemented by outstanding interpersonal skills. Demonstrating an ability to engage donors at all levels, trustees, senior leadership, staff, and other key members of the SFCM community, the VPA will model accountability and diplomacy as foundational skills in the role. Characteristics of the VPA include:

  • Team Leadership and Diplomacy – The dexterity to anticipate, meet, and exceed a variety of stakeholder needs and expectations, inspiring others in effectively handling difficult or sensitive issues.
  • Personal Accountability and Interpersonal Skills – The capability to accept responsibility for actions and results, reevaluate, and develop long-term relationships with people across the organization and throughout the community.
  • Time and Priority Management – The acuity to develop initiatives and demonstrate self-control in time and priority management while identifying and overseeing resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.
  • Stakeholder Focus – The sensitivity to anticipate, meet, and/or exceed stakeholder needs, wants, and expectations.
  • Goal Orientation – The capacity to set, pursue, and attain goals regardless of obstacles or circumstances.


A minimum of seven years of proven organizational, supervisory, and fundraising leadership experience is required. A successful record of conceptualizing and executing fundraising plans, particularly in a performing arts or higher education context is desired. Excellent oral and written communication skills, with an ability to sincerely advocate for and promote SFCM, are needed.

Compensation and Benefits

San Francisco Conservatory of Music provides a competitive salary depending on experience in a range that starts at $300,000/year, with generous health and welfare benefits

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Nan Keeton, Senior Vice President

Arts Consulting Group logo.

268 Bush Street, Suite 4100
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel       (888) 234.4236 Ext. 203

San Francisco Conservatory of Music is a fully committed equal employment opportunity institution and welcomes applications from all qualified persons, including those who consider themselves to be of a race, national origin, or ancestry that is not fully represented in musical arts programs in the United States. Personnel decisions regarding applicants for employment are made without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran, age, citizenship, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

Scroll to Top