DEPARTMENT: Philanthropy
REPORTS TO: Deputy Director of Philanthropy (co-reports to Corporate Relations Manager)
LOCATION: On-site in La Jolla, California on the beautiful campus of the University of California, San Diego
FLSA STATUS: This is a full-time, non-exempt (hourly) position, eligible for a full array of benefits including health and life insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, paid time off (vacation, sick, holiday), and complimentary tickets to Playhouse performances
COMPENSATION: $28.00 – $30.00 per hour (DOE)
HOW TO APPLY: Submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected].  Please include in the subject line – “Grants Specialist”

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls.   Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 120 world premieres, commissioning more than 70 new works, and sending 36 productions to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. 

La Jolla Playhouse is committed to diversity in all areas of our work, on and off stage.   We lead with our values and encourage individuals with unique perspectives to apply.  La Jolla Playhouse is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

As a member of the Philanthropy team, the Grants Specialist will play a vital role assisting and supporting the Institutional Giving team in managing and enhancing corporate, foundation and government gifts to the Playhouse. Responsibilities will include tracking and assigning grant deadlines and materials; preparing and gathering grant materials; researching and tracking prospects; proofreading, editing, and writing grants; and project managing, compiling, editing, and writing Impact Reports.

The position is full time, non-exempt, and is eligible for overtime and full benefits. The typical schedule for this position will be regular weekday work with some nights and weekends. This position will work in-person at the offices at La Jolla Playhouse and occasionally off-site in greater San Diego for specific events.



  • Compile, track, record, and organize data and materials required for institutional grant submissions including applications, proposals, requests for proposals, letters of inquiry, interim reports, final reports, award letters, etc. 
  • Prepare applications and reports by analyzing what information and materials are required, compiling or writing responses, and requesting information/materials from other staff/departments as needed.
  • Provide administrative and clerical support, including data entry, grant/award tracking, correspondence, and requested reports relative to institutional gifts.
  • Database management (Instrumentl, Tessitura) and filing.
  • Donor and Prospect Research (Internet, Instrumentl, etc.) and tracking.
  • Update online giving websites annually (Guidestar, Charity Navigator,, etc.).
  • Project management of four annual Impact Reports: create and manage timelines, prepare documents and compile information, facilitate design requests and review process, edit and write copy, etc. 
  • Assist Corporate Relations Manager with corporate impact (ROI) reports for sponsors as needed.


  • Thankful Thursday – each Thursday we thank Institutional funders and donors who have helped us in a recent and meaningful way. Maintain a calendar of opportunities, write copy, and compile photos in collaboration with Marketing & Communications Department.
  • Assist team on government advocacy efforts (including occasional attendance at Arts Council or City Council meetings, etc.). 


  • As a member of the Philanthropy team, work the following special events: Gala, Innovation Night, and six VIP Celebration Nights.
  • Work at other special events, including corporate-focused events, as required.
  • Event support may include preparing materials such as name badges, working check-in tables, greeting at parking, shadowing photographer, moving light furniture and bussing/washing select dishes.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Of utmost importance for this role, the selected candidate must have excellent organizational skills with the capacity to work comfortably in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment on multiple, ongoing projects.
  • A high level of attention to detail and the desire to achieve high quality products.
  • Ability to meet firm deadlines, particularly regarding grant submissions.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including superior composition, typing and proofreading skills.
  • Analytical skills to evaluate grant opportunities and parse through details and requirements for grant submissions. 
  • Flexibility and adaptability are core to success in our philanthropy department.
  • A positive attitude and spirit of teamwork.
  • Alignment with the mission and values of La Jolla Playhouse, including a commitment to uphold and support the Playhouse’s Anti-Racism Action Plan.
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Ability to work with highly confidential information in a professional and ethical manner.
  • Ability to interact courteously and productively with all levels of staff and volunteers, from Board of Trustees to middle management to junior levels. 
  • Passion for the arts – and more specifically, theatre!
  • Knowledge of Tessitura fundraising software a plus.


  • Regular and predictable on-site attendance.
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule including select nights and weekends specifically related to Philanthropy events.
  • Occasionally lifts/moves items weighing up to 50 lbs with team assistance.
  • Occasionally moves about throughout Playhouse buildings and event spaces, both indoor and outdoor.