This job is no longer active.

TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineApril 20, 2019
College Degree Required?Yes


Position Summary The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is currently seeking its first Development Director. The Development Director will focus on establishing the development office, while planning, managing, and coordinating all fundraising activities including, the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, special events and capital campaigns. The Director works closely with the Observatory Director and the Assistant Director for Education and Public Outreach in all development and fund raising endeavors. The first project will be embarking on a capital campaign to reinvent our existing visitor’s center as a modern interpretive center, to better serve our many visitors and enhance an understanding of the Observatory’s work. The NRAO has enabled forefront research into the Universe at radio wavelengths for more than sixty years. We provide state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the international scientific community. The position will be based at either our headquarters in Charlottesville, VA on the grounds of the University of Virginia ( or at our Science Operations Center in Socorro, New Mexico on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.

Job Duties

Key responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
  • Work closely with the Observatory Director to establish annual fund raising goals.
  • Develop, plan, manage and coordinate all fundraising program activities, including but not limited to: major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, special events and capital campaigns, to meet annual goals.
  • Identify and evaluate giving potential of prospects; develop cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Actively solicit, cultivate, qualify a portfolio of giving prospects (individual and corporate donors) and strategically manage relationships through face-to-face visits and bring gift solicitations to closure. Provides advice on specific devices for giving, both current and deferred to maximize gift and tax benefits.
  • Work proactively to ensure successful prospect and pipeline management.
  • Responsible for effective prospect tracking, record keeping, reporting and administration aligned with established metrics and periodic and ad hoc reporting requirements.
  • Build relationships with community stakeholders to advance the mission and fundraising goals of the organization.
  • Schedule and arrange on-site and off-site meetings and cultivation/recognition events such as research presentations, center dedications, cultivation and stewardship visits with organization leaders and the major gift donors and prospects; develop agendas and coordinate the participation of leaders and volunteers.
  • Craft development communication to promote the organization to its donors and maximize public awareness of the fundraising activities of the organization.
  • Prepare and direct preparation of leadership, principal and major gift proposals, solicitation letters, and other cultivation materials and stewardship information for major gift prospects and donors.
  • Identify, enlist, motivate, guide, and support volunteers for participation in major solicitations.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations as they relate to fundraising.
  • Provide education and training to staff and volunteer about the dynamics of fundraising and foster an understanding of philanthropy within the organization.
  • Coordinate the design, printing and distribution of marketing and communication materials for development efforts that is synergistic with other organizational communications (press releases, social media and website).
  • Work with consultants as needed in prospect research.

Skills Required

Minimum Education A bachelor’s degree is required; preference is for a bachelor’s in communications, business administration, or related field. Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) highly preferred. Minimum Experience Five years of progressive fundraising experience with some experience in major gift fundraising. Competency Summary
  • Must have knowledge and experience in fundraising techniques, particularly major gift fundraising.
  • Experience with or interest in science, engineering, mathematics and education highly preferred.
  • Knowledge of federal and state legislation affecting charities.
  • Knowledge of special events planning and management.
  • Knowledge of the management of volunteer resources.
  • Strong personal ethics to ensure own behavior and the behavior of other are consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization.
  • High level of competency in Microsoft software products and web-based systems, such as visio and Sharepoint.
  • Excellent written, interpersonal, and verbal communication skills.
  • Possess the skills to work with and motivate staff and volunteers.

Additional Info

Application Instructions: Please apply online at the NRAO careers webpage ( As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit the following materials:
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
For full consideration, applications must be submitted by April 4, 2019; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.