Senior Director of Development

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation (LSSTC)
Posted: September 13, 2017
Location: Arizona, United States
Position: Fundraising
Field: Research
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Category: Capital campaigns, Corporate and foundation relations, Donor relations, Fundraising administration, Major gifts
Employment Level: Full-time

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation (LSSTC), headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation formed to initiate the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project and advance the science of astronomy and physics. LSSTC represents a consortium of nearly 40 institutional members, as well as 34 international contributors representing 23 countries. LSSTC will partner with NSF/AURA and DOE/SLAC in LSST Operations and is committed to empower the exploitation of LSST’s data by advocating for and supporting LSST science and education.

LSSTC is seeking a full time Senior Director of Development (SDOD) who will create and execute a fully integrated advancement effort for LSST. He/she will be responsible for overall execution and coordination of philanthropy and engagement for LSST. The SDOD will manage and integrate development and engagement functions, which may include annual fund, campaign and leadership giving, and cultivation of key constituents. The Director will report to and work closely with the Corporation’s Executive Officer (EO), the senior science advisor, and the Board of Directors to advance and execute development plans that support specific research initiatives, science projects, and education programs.

The successful candidate will be a leader and mentor who is ambitious regarding LSSTC’s reach and fundraising potential and who will broaden the number and nature of relationships across the community.

This is an opportunity for a highly motivated senior development professional to build and manage a portfolio of corporate and foundation prospects and donors capable of making six and seven figure investments in LSSTC’s research and education programs.

The candidate will present with strong management competencies and the ability to work with a Board of Directors and staff, and navigate relationships with the partner institutions. The SDOD will be an experienced, talented fundraiser and relationship builder looking for a position in which professional talent and initiative are crucial.

The LSST will enable a vast number of research programs and facilitate new paradigms of discovery and knowledge that will address the most pressing questions in astronomy and physics. The SDOD will have an exciting opportunity to shape and deliver messages to secure and steward private funding to enable the full science potential of the LSST and invest in discovery.

  • Design, implement, and manage LSSTC’s development strategy (1yr, 3yr, 7yr plans).
  • Form and manage the development team to include Board of Directors, Development Committee, staff, contractors, and volunteers; perform outreach to identify and involve key partners in program and fund development efforts.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit gifts from and steward high-value donors and prospects.
  • Develop and sustain a major gift program to promote annual gifts from individual, corporate, and foundation prospects, at the $1M to $10M+ levels.
  • Support all grant writing activities, including development of grant proposals, management of grant matrix, communication with existing funders. Manage the writing and development of capital campaign print and electronic collateral materials, directing their design and production.
  • Manage grant and foundation revenue streams to support strategic goals and initiatives.
  • Create talking points, coach, and support senior leaders to be effective fundraisers.
  • Develop and manage a programmatic evaluation plan and complementary tools to measure both process and outcomes for development programs, to be reported quarterly to the Development Committee.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree and CFRE preferred.
  • A minimum of ten years of professional development experience in increasingly senior roles, including a proven track record of fundraising success with specific experience in grant writing, foundations, capital campaigns, individual giving, and the tracking/monitoring of pledges; proven success at securing major gift support and successful fundraising from multiple donor channels.
  • Must be self-motivated and capable of working proactively and independently with exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively communicate with LSSTC’s management team, Board of Directors, donors, staff, and other key stakeholders.
  • Flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives and inspire others to do so.
  • Excellent planning, organizational, budget management, and follow-up skills are required. The candidate must possess a strong work ethic, be accountable, and reliable. Experience working autonomously within a team and with key leaders, as well as with volunteers, is essential. Proven skills in creating and implementing development strategies for immediate and long-term growth.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders and diverse constituents.
  • Computer proficiency essential: including Microsoft Office, database management and reporting, social media, graphics, website management, email marketing.
  • Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit; willing to try new ideas and able to motivate others to do the same.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume/CV and contact information for 3 professional references (PDF files preferred) to

The position will remain open until filled, applications received by October 12 will be given priority in review