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Development Manager

Company: Lowell Observatory
Date Posted: July 31, 2017

 Position Announcement

Development Manager 

Lowell Observatory seeks an energetic, principled, and creative development professional to join our high-performing, collegial team in raising the funds needed to propel our scientific organization into its next 100 years. Lowell Observatory is in a period of rapid growth following the construction and commissioning of its 4.3-meter, $53M Discovery Channel Telescope. As our research and outreach programs expand to meet demands, we seek support in stewarding and soliciting our growing circle of supporters – dedicated and enthusiastic individuals, corporations, and foundations -- whose support is increasingly important to our success.


We’re looking for a seasoned development professional to propel the steady growth of our membership, annual fund, corporate, foundation, and planned gift support. The successful candidate will be a self-starter with at least ten years of success in development including proven growth in a variety of development positions. The individual holding this position will report to the Deputy Director for Development. The Development Manager will guide the annual development functions while leading our planned giving and stewardship programs. The position will be based at Lowell’s main campus atop Mars Hill overlooking Flagstaff, AZ.


Lowell Observatory’s employees are deeply dedicated to furthering our understanding of the Universe and to communicating that understanding to the public. The new Development Manager has the opportunity to make a lasting impact, as part of a committed and fast-paced development team.



The Development Manager will lead members of the development team to create and implement strategies to grow the planned giving, annual fund, membership, and stewardship programs with the goal of substantially increasing Lowell’s private sector income. Specific components of the Development Manager’s responsibility are:


  • Establishing annual goals for the primary giving categories and planning marketing strategies and programs to meet them.
  • Maintaining and building on the planned giving program including solicitation of planned gifts with particular emphasis on gifts in support of the Observatory’s core mission of scientific research.
  • Building upon our effective stewardship program by engaging the Lowell Observatory Advisory Board, Trustee, and Director where appropriate.
  • Planning and implementing fundraising and stewardship events in Flagstaff and elsewhere in an effort to increase the base of support.
  • Soliciting targeted gifts in support of the Observatory’s research, outreach programs, capital projects, and other efforts as institutional goals and programs warrant.


The Development Manager may perform other duties as assigned by the Deputy Director for Development.





The Development Manager will have at least ten years of an excellent track record of success in the not-for-profit world, preferably for a scientific or technical institution, with proof of professional growth and leadership. The candidate’s background and experience should demonstrate that they can be effective immediately in leading and supporting a high-functioning team while developing their own personal fundraising efforts. Existing familiarity with the philanthropic community within the Southwest in general and in metropolitan Phoenix specifically are a plus.


The Development Manager must bring a team-oriented and collegial spirit to his or her relations with Lowell’s staff, Advisory Board, and Trustee, and must have outstanding communication skills – interpersonal, spoken, and written.


Knowledge of astronomy or planetary science is a plus.

Physical Needs/Requirements


Often working at a computer for extended periods. Frequently moving throughout the campus, on sometimes uneven terrain. Traveling outside of Arizona as required to achieve job goals. Speaking and listening, to Lowell supporters both in person or on a phone, Skype, or other medium. Ability to lift files and office equipment up to ten pounds. Valid driver’s license, ability to drive a car or van.




Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Development and fundraising certifications are a plus.

Status:                                                  Full Time, Benefit Eligible

Location:                                             Flagstaff, AZ

Compensation Type:                      Salary - Exempt


To Apply: Please complete a short form application ( and send it with a resume, letter of interest addressing your qualifications, and phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of three references to  

Applications received by 5pm August 28th will receive full consideration.


Benefits Overview:  In addition to 10 scheduled paid holidays, Lowell Observatory offers a Flexible Paid Time Off policy for all full-time, benefit eligible employees which allows you determine how much time you need to rest and enjoy yourself outside of work.  The cost of premiums for medical, life & Long term disability insurances for benefit eligible employees is 100% paid by the company, and includes a contribution to either an H.S.A or HRA account for first dollar medical expenses.

Lowell Observatory is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and provides equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status.


Lowell Observatory provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. This non- smoking campus is at an elevation of 7,200 ft / 2200 m. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Human Resources office for assistance.