Position Description

Corporate Relations Officer
Location Washington DC
Employment Duration Full Time Regular
Job Code 1621
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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. 

At the Kennedy Center, we strive to foster belonging and empowerment at work. We are able to advance our mission because of our committed and passionate employees. We are fortunate to be able to leverage their diverse perspectives, life experiences and skills to inform how our workplace can be a safe, transparent, and replenishing community. The Kennedy Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant based on race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy or related condition, or any other basis protected by law. 

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. 

Why Join Us

We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: 

  • Staff offers for discount tickets
  • Retirement plan with organization matching (after 1 year of employment)
  • Qualifying employer for the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)
  • Commuter programs including pre-tax options for discounted parking and SmartBenefits (WMATA)
  • Annual Leave, Sick Leave, and Personal Days available immediately upon hire
  • 11 paid holidays per year 
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits with FSA and HSA options, and paid FMLA
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • We like to have fun! Check out the Kennedy Center National Dance Day 2023 staff video!

Job Description

The Corporate Relations Officer is an opportunity for an experienced professional to support donor strategy and relationship management to grow corporate support for the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera. This position reports to the Manager of Corporate Relations and will work collaboratively with other development leadership and staff to plan, develop, and implement the solicitation of corporate sponsorships—both restricted and unrestricted—for a broad array of donors.

The Officer will coordinate with the Manager of Corporate Relations to organize and drive solicitation campaigns to cultivate, activate and engage new and existing donors across our Kennedy Center programming. The officer will hold primary responsibility for understanding an industry specific portfolio designed to cover entire genres of funding. The Officer will work directly with donors to identify interests and liaise with internal staff throughout the Kennedy Center, the WNO and NSO to identify opportunities for corporate engagement.

The Officer must be able to exercise discretion in order to prioritize assignments and work under significant pressure, as many projects are time sensitive involving concurrent deadlines and donor interaction. A proactive working style and an eagerness to communicate and problem-solve with a positive attitude is essential. She/he supervises a staff of one fundraising professional, the Assistant for Corporate Relations.

Key Responsibilities


  • Identify, cultivate, and solicit current and prospective donors/sponsors at all levels.
  • Work with Manager/Director to engage board members within their assigned affiliate organization and/or the Kennedy Center to leverage board networks and activate board deployment and training to bring in new corporate contacts and donors.
  • Coordinate with the Manager and the Special Projects team to establish long and short term plans for fundraising initiatives.
  • Initiate and build ongoing relationships with current and prospective donors to meet established fundraising goals.
  • Draft/edit proposals, final reports, solicitation letters and other written materials as needed. Includes the submission of budget and financial information.
  • Serve as a knowledge center to identified priority program areas within the KC: understand program/project/festival plans as they are developed; evaluate current programs for funding potential and develop proposals based on known interests of funders; seek out new funders based on existing programs and a donor focused strategy of matching programming with funder interests; report out updates to the rest of institutional relations staff, including resources and opportunities for engagement by other KC funders.
  • Develop and supervise the preparation of creative, individually tailored written and/or alternative media presentations for proposals and reports.
  • Serve as point person for corporate benefits standards across team and department.

Special Events/Gala

  • Function as the internal point of contact for event fundraising for your donors, working closely with the special events team and Major Gift’s fundraising professionals.
  • Actively work on fundraising for multiple events across the Center in various stages at the same time.
  • Steward portfolio through all events related activation opportunities and work directly with corporate contacts to fulfill benefits.

Other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications

  • B.A. degree or applicable professional experience
  • Minimum of 5-7 years development experience required
  • Working knowledge of the performing arts is preferred
  • Strong communication skills are imperative, as are interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • 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 corporate executives, volunteers, major donors and prospects, and other personnel.
  • Basic knowledge of fundraising and/or relationship management software required (e.g. Tessitura).
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