Vice President of Development

Cosmosphere Inc   Hutchinson, KS   Full-time     Business Development
Posted on November 10, 2023

Job Posting: Vice President of Development


Founded in 1962, the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center’s mission is to “Inspiring Innovation Through Science Education and Honoring the History of Space Exploration.” The Cosmosphere is home to the largest collection of U.S. space artifacts outside the Smithsonian and the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside Moscow.  One of the first affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution, the Cosmosphere hosts over 100,000 visitors per year, including over 12,000 schoolchildren. The Cosmosphere’s visitor and education venues include the Hall of Space Museum, Carey Digital Dome Theatre, Justice Planetarium and Dr. Goddard’s Lab. The Cosmosphere provides leading edge STEM programming both in-person at the Cosmosphere and virtually through the proprietary LaunchNext platform. SpaceWorks, a division of the Cosmosphere, provides restoration and replication of space artifacts, as well as museum and exhibit design and production services. SpaceWorks has been utilized by museums, private collectors, and numerous film and TV productions including the movie Apollo 13.

Revenues:  $0 to $5 million

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The Vice President of Development is responsible for cultivating, soliciting, and closing charitable gift contributions from foundation, individual, and corporate sponsors. The VP of Development will plan, direct, and coordinate all development and fundraising activities, including annual giving, major-gift contributions, capital campaigns, and special projects as needed. The VP of Development will collaborate with subordinates, colleagues including the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Marketing, outside support agencies, the Board of Directors, and the Foundation Board. The VP of Development will report to the Chief Executive Officer.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Development and Project Management

  • Create and implement a multi-million dollar fundraising strategy including an emphasis on major giving from foundations, individuals and corporate partnerships
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with donors, the Cosmosphere’s Board of Directors, and the Foundation Board to increase awareness and level of interaction among the donor network
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward new and existing donors, prospects, foundations, and companies with an emphasis on multi-year, major-gift ($25K+) contributions
  • Produce grant strategy and lead development of grant proposals, secure funding, and ensure the organization maintains compliance with grant requirements
  • Oversee the successful execution of the annual giving and membership program
  • Coordinate activities and goals with the fundraising committee and board members on annual and targeted campaigns
  • Work with the Marketing Department to develop publications that raise awareness of philanthropic resources necessary to support and grow Cosmosphere programs and initiatives; e.g., Annual Report, CosmoNews, alumni publications, annual appeals, etc.
  • In collaboration with subordinate staff and approval of the CEO, prepare the annual fundraising plan for presentation to the Board of Directors and the Foundation Board; provide detailed reports about fundraising progress on a regular basis
  • Participate in meetings with companies, individuals, and other potential donor sources
  • Appropriately represent the Cosmosphere, serving as public spokesperson on museum needs and fundraising activities
  • Stay current on new federal, state, and local grant opportunities
  • Maintain high ethical standard for fundraising activities and train new board members and committee members on those standards
  • Train and lead other staff to support fundraising and marketing efforts


  • Bachelors’ degree required; Advanced degree preferred with 5-7 years of nonprofit fundraising experience; Equivalent experience will be considered in lieu of advanced degree
  • Demonstrated success identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gift donors
  • Proven track record of achieving revenue targets with an exception track record of leading, developing, and executing fundraising and business development initiatives in a complex, multi-disciplinary organization
  • Proven management and leadership capabilities, and sound independent judgement
  • Outstanding ability to network and build rapport with corporate executives and private donors
  • High energy, positive, “can-do” attitude, flexibility, teamwork, and attention to detail; high degree of initiative
  • Strong verbal communications skills and demonstrated ability to write clearly and persuasively
  • Experience in fundraising event planning and executing
  • Exhibit strong database management for retention of donor and prospect records
  • Demonstrated excellence in organizational, managerial, and communication skills with the ability to work effectively in a dynamic work environment.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently

To Apply

Send resume and job history to the Sheila Harmony, Executive Assistant

Mail:    Sheila Harmony

            Executive Assistant

            1100 North Plum

            Hutchinson, KS 67501


Cosmosphere Inc

1100 N Plum
Hutchinson , KS