Oregon Symphony


About Oregon Symphony

Employment Opportunities

The Oregon Symphony is the sixth oldest major orchestra in the United States and one of the largest arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest, performing over 70 concerts per year at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland and providing a wide array of musical educational offerings for all ages.

The orchestra is recognized as one of the most successful and innovative symphony orchestras in the nation. On May 12, 2011 the Oregon Symphony made its debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring for Music festival. Writing in the June 6th issue of the New Yorker, critic Alex Ross called our performance "the highlight of the festival and one of the most gripping events of the current season."

Grant Writer

Position Title: Grant Writer
Department: Development
Reports To: VP for Development
Supervision Exercised: None
FLSA Status: Full time, exempt         

SUMMARY: The grant writer reports to the Vice President for Development and works in close collaboration with the development, education/community, artistic operations and marketing departments. The grant writer is responsible for identifying, researching, and writing grant applications/proposals and grant reports with private and corporate foundations and government funding agencies.

The grant writer will also be responsible for managing and helping to produce project budgets, finance and governing attachments for grant applications/proposals. The position also serves as a proposal writer in support of solicitations/proposals to major gift prospects/individuals and provides other development writing and editing support.

This position serves as an integral part of the development team and also works in close collaboration with the Vice President for Development.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Research and identify foundation, corporate and government grant opportunities that are compatible with the mission and programs of the Oregon Symphony.
  • Prepare, write and edit grant applications, proposals and reports to foundations, corporate, government and individual funders.
  • Compile, organize and maintain information and supporting documentation related to grant applications, proposals, and reports.
  • Maintain a calendar of and meet all internal and external deadlines related to grants—letters of inquiry, proposals/applications; revised budgets; payment requests; interim and final reports.
  • Maintain current records for all grant-making organizations and record grant activity and related communications in the Tessitura database.
  • Conduct ongoing and relevant research of public and private funding sources to support the efforts of the Development Department.
  • Identify and maintain research tools (online sources, directories, etc.) necessary for facilitating comprehensive prospect research on foundations, corporations, and government agencies.
  • Support and provide writing as needed for print materials and appeals that the development department produces.
  • Write proposals for major gift prospects/individuals as needed.
  • Participates in OSA functions as requested on occasional weekends and evenings.
  • Additional assignments and job functions, as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or: Bachelor's degree (B. A.) from a four-year college or university with a minimum of 2 to 4 years’ experience in grant management and proposal writing.
  • Industry/Practice Skills: Strong knowledge of key Oregon grant-making organizations. Experience with federal grants, including NEA, a plus.
  • Language Skill: Ability to read, analyze and interpret complex documents. Ability to write articulate and focused proposals in lucid and grammatically correct prose. Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations on complex topics to funding decision-making bodies.
  • Mathematical Skills: Ability to budget with accuracy and to present numerical information effectively.
  • Reasoning Ability: Ability to define problems, collect information, establish facts and draw valid conclusions. Ability to see connections between internal institutional needs and external funding opportunities. Ability to organize data in graphic and/or written formats that can be easily understood by the reader.
  • Computer Skills: An excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office Word, Excel and Outlook is mandatory; familiarity with or ability to quickly learn PowerPoint and Tessitura database software.
  • Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: None required

OTHER SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Exceptional organizational and communication skills; superb written communication skills; strong analytical skills; ability to manage competing deadlines and track reports; collaborative team player with excellent interpersonal skills managing internal and external relationships. Preference will be given to candidates with successful track record of foundation grants.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS: Available to work and/or participate in OSA functions on weekends and evenings on an occasional basis. Appreciation for live symphonic music a plus. Sense of humor.

COMPETENCIES: To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Ethics – Treats everyone with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values; Maintains confidentiality.
  • Customer Service – Displays courtesy and sensitivity; Meets commitments; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service.
  • Teamwork – Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed; Shares expertise with others.
  • Analytical – Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data; Designs work flows and procedures.
  • Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Communication – Speaks and writes informatively, clearly and persuasively; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings; Varies writing style to meet needs; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Change Management and Adaptability – Develops workable implementation plans; Monitors transition and evaluates results; Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Business Acumen and Fiscal Management – Understands business implications of decisions; Displays orientation to profitability; Demonstrates knowledge of market and competition; Aligns work with strategic goals; Works within approved budget; Contributes to profits and revenue; Develops and implements cost saving measures; Conserves organizational resources.
  • Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization's goals and values; observes safety and security procedures; Respects diversity.
  • Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time effectively and efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Quality and Quantity – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality; Meets productivity standards; Completes work in timely manner; Strives to increase productivity; Works quickly.
  • Dependability – Is consistently at work and on time; Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan; Plans in advance for time off.
  • Motivation and Initiative – Requires minimal supervision; Sets and achieves challenging goals; Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; Measures self against standard of excellence; Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals; Volunteers readily; Undertakes self-development activities; Seeks increased responsibilities; Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.

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 position, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus for use of computer monitor.

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.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts such as printers. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

To Inquire: Please email careers@orsymphony.org including your cover letter, resume and 2 to 3 writing samples along with a list of references. Position is open until filled. No phone calls please.

Oregon Symphony Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Founded in 1896, the Oregon Symphony is recognized for its internationally-acclaimed conductors, skilled musicians, diverse performances and outstanding education and community engagement programs. Our mission is sharing live performances with the people in our region.