The Cadets in Search of a Cadet (or Fan of The Cadets) to Raise Funds

Hello from the world of The Cadets and Youth Education in the Arts

If you follow our operations, you know that we have been searching for what we called a director of development.

We have had a number of applicants and a good many interviews. We even offered the position to one person. Alas, here we sit with the chair open.

After discussions with the team, we have come to the conclusion that what we need, what we want, is a Cadet! Or someone who sure the heck loves The Cadets!

Why? Well, 95 percent of our donations come from friends and alumni of The Cadets. Someday, we hope to solicit support from band parents and friends of our Urban Arts Center, but those days may be off in the future a bit. As of today, we can see the pathway to a better economic future, and such is through The Cadets and our many fans and supporters.

Recently, we have been updating our databases and we have identified 10,000 people who are ticket buyers, fans, alumni, or friends of The Cadets. Of that amount, less than 10 percent donate or have donated to the Corps and its successful efforts.

We can do better. We need to do better. So there is a change in direction here.

We had been looking for a professional fundraiser and we hoped there would be a connection to the cause of youth and marching music. Well, we are now looking for someone who has a passion for the cause and yes, we would love that the person chosen have a professional background in fundraising. But if not, and you are willing to learn and perhaps have experience in marketing or sales or other related fields, you might be just what the doctor ordered.

What does a day in the life of a YEA! fundraiser look like?

1.  Process donations that arrived in the mail

2.  Process quarterly credit card charges

3.  Meet with office team about the YEA! Wine Tasting

4.  Call five donors to touch base

5.  Create a short update to donor on the past Cadets' rehearsal

6.  Clean data base ... 10 returns

7.  Investigate premiums for the upcoming campaign

8. Take a look at what is needed for a reception at the DCI show this summer

9.  Make four more calls to donors

10. Make a call to The Cadets' rep in Boston about an upcoming alumni event

As you can see, the job consists of a little of this and a little of that.

In fact if you are interested or you know of someone who might be interested, please take a look at the more formal job description below, and get back to us as soon as possible. Bill Speakman will be assembling the responses and we hope to have some interviews underway shortly.

We look forward to locating that one person who can bring life, growth and excitement to the world of donor and alumni relations. The Cadets are the oldest corps in the world, the USBands program is the best in the business, and the Urban Arts Center cares for more and more city youth with each passing day. NOW, we need to add to the team, so that we have the funds to do all we need to do.

Take a look and thank you,

George J. Hopkins 


Job Description — Director of Donor and Alumni Relations 

The director of donor and alumni relations is responsible for developing and implementing the fundraising strategy for Youth Education in the Arts and all related programs. Reporting to the director of operations, the director of donor and alumni relations will be charged with achieving the organization's fundraising goals. This includes managing donor relationships, alumni relations, direct mail and annual campaigns as well as Web- and email-based fundraising and fundraising events.

In essence, at this time of our existence, much of the philanthropic money comes from The Cadets fans and alumni. For that reason, we are now looking for someone associated with The Cadets. A past alumnus would be perfect but also a fan, a parent or someone who has a connection!  In addition, please note that the fundraising department at YEA! is a two-person operation! With that in mind, know that this is very hands-on. Attending events, alumni gatherings, phone calls, data entry and event management are a crucial part of the position.

There IS the need for expansion. YEA! will move to bequests, capital campaigns and we hope for major gifts but, with an eye to the next few years, this position is about direct mail, phone calls, events, and all forms of solicitation that will enhance our position within the potential support community.


  • Support and partner with the CEO and board members on all fundraising initiatives
  • Collaborate with the chief operating officer (COO) to develop and implement YEA’s financial strategy
  • Manage and implement all direct mail campaigns including the annual, holiday and special campaigns
  • Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to board and senior leaders. Much of the data entry will be hands-on. It is possible to grow and develop a volunteer team to support this effort?
  • Develop and implement a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors, particularly Cadets fans and alumni.
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the development program
  • Identify, develop and mentor a development team. There will be an assistant to the director of this department. Also, there will be support added as needed. Working with the marketing department will be key to success.


  • A relationship to the Cadets; alumni, fan, parent?
  • 5–7 years of experience in fund raising, sales, or positions that required interaction and support of a base of customers
  • A high level of comfort with communication via phone and email, especially phone 
  • Experience with a data management system or customer relations software would be helpful 
  • A bachelor's degree in a related field  
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player that will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside YEA!

NOTE: We are willing to train the appropriate individual in the methodology of annual campaigns and other fundraising technology. We are looking for someone who can speak to the cause of Youth Education in the Arts and the Cadets; someone not afraid to ask others for support, and someone who can and will devote the hours and effort necessary to build the donor base by 100 percent over the coming 2–3 years. Today, we have close to 1,000 friends who provide assistance to the cause. There is a firm belief that this number can move to 2,000 in just a few years with the right leader, and much effort.


YEA! Offers medical insurance, a contributory 401K plan, vacation and holiday time off. The fee for this position is probably in the lower-middle five figures depending on experience and other variables.

Programs and activity many times run on weekends. As a member of the YEA! team, the development director could have activity on 15–20 Saturdays per year. These include band events, corps events, fundraising activities and even rehearsals that might be important to fans and alumni

To Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter to Bill Speakman, the COO for Youth Education in the Arts at

Interviews for the position will be conducted over the week of Jan. 23.

This position is available immediately.


All active news articles