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Director of Development


This position is responsible for developing and executing the organization’s comprehensive fundraising efforts and fostering a sustainable culture of philanthropy. The position leads all fundraising activities including donor identification and cultivation, annual fund development, grant writing, sponsorship, online giving, fundraising events, major gift solicitation, capital campaign execution, and planned giving program. It also oversees the organization’s membership and volunteer programs, both considered early donor cultivation opportunities. This position reports to the Executive Director, is part of the senior leadership team, and must demonstrate a high degree of professionalism, leadership, collaboration, stewardship, sound judgment, and discretion. Major assignments are received from the Executive Director; however, the position is expected to act proactively and collaboratively with staff of all departments.


  • Develops and implements a comprehensive fundraising program aligned with the organization’s mission and goals, including strategies for growth across all areas of fundraising
  • Sets and achieves annual fundraising goals based on the organization’s annual operating budget and capital project plans
  • Participates in annual budget development process
  • Develops and implements plans and materials such as case statements and sponsorship packages to obtain support for exhibits, special events, programs, and educational and nature related activities
  • Cultivates and stewards relationships with philanthropic partners, patrons, sponsors, and donors; maintains knowledge of prospect and grant-maker interests
  • Identifies and cultivates individual, corporate, and foundation prospects
  • Researches and pursues grant opportunities from government agencies, foundations, and other grant-making organizations
  • Plans, executes, attends, and evaluates fundraising events
  • Develops sponsorship opportunities, identifies prospects, and presents proposals
  • Makes presentations to civic groups, professional organizations, and others
  • Documents and details contacts with prospects, donors, and sponsors in development software
  • Oversees development and execution of strategic plans for membership and volunteer programs
  • Supervises Membership and Volunteer Coordinators
  • Prepares relevant progress reports and maintains detailed financial documentation
  • Works collaboratively with the Executive Director and Board of Trustees on Capital Campaigns
  • Maintains active membership in Downtown Rotary Club and the local chapter of NSFRE
  • Attends all major events
  • These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive.
  • Other related duties may be assigned as needed.


  • Ability to use a computer to access, interpret, and record information
  • Proficiency in the use of applicable donor/membership database software (CRM system)
  • Ability to effectively plan, organize and provide instructions for the work of others
  • Ability to authentically engage and inspire others
  • Knowledge of and fundamental adherence to the principles, ethics, and best practices of fundraising
  • Ability to document and maintain detailed prospect and donor records and prepare reports
  • Ability to follow verbal and written instructions
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with associates, representatives of other organizations, and the public
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to work extended and/or irregular hours including nights, weekends and holidays, as needed
  • Ability to work outdoors when inclement weather conditions exist
  • Ability to safely operate a golf cart
  • Ability to tolerate airborne nuisances associated with open grounds and windy conditions
  • Ability to acquire and maintain a valid Kansas Driver's License
  • Ability to work without posing a threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace


  • A minimum of 3 years of experience working in a comparative position working in development and with a proven track record of success in major gifts and grants. An equivalent combination of education, experience and training may be considered.
  • Graduation from a 4-year college with a bachelor's degree in non-profit management administration, education, business or other related field
  • Proven track record of excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Knowledge of fundraising best practices, ethical standards, and regulatory requirements
  • Familiarity with donor management software, CRM systems and online fundraising platforms
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States without the need of sponsorship


  • Graduate degree from an accredited institution
  • Experience working on capital campaigns
  • Previous experience in a museum, zoo, attraction, or arts related not-for-profit is a plus.

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