Development and Planning Manager

The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute (BI), on the Lawrence campus, is one of the premier research and education institutes in the U.S. in biodiversity science, biodiversity informatics, paleobiology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology. The BI, one of the University’s designated research centers, reports to the KU Office of Research and comprises three units:

  • Natural History Museum (NHM), in Dyche Hall, provides informal science education, science outreach and engagement through its public programming and 50,000 sq. ft. of exhibits.
  • Research and Collections in Dyche, Lippincott, Lindley, Haworth, Spooner and Bridwell halls and the Public Safety Building, includes 14 scientific research divisions and departments, ~10.5 million specimens and cultural objects in research collections with associated biotic and archaeological data that document the life and past cultures of the planet, and research laboratories, offices and equipment.
  • Paleontological Institute, in Lindley Hall, is the global hub for production of the Treatise of Invertebrate Paleontology, an encyclopedic compendium on fossil invertebrate animals.

The BI and its three units are housed in seven buildings on Main and West Campus. The BI is home to 55 staff members and 60+ graduate and undergraduate students who work in its research and public programming divisions and departments.

Staff members and students are engaged in scientific research, education and service in archaeology and in the faunistics, floristics, biogeography, history, paleobiology, ecology, phylogenetics, systematics, genomics, conservation biology, behavior, and morphology of the world’s plants and animals.  Taxonomic foci include mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects, corals, sea anemones, parasites, and plants, as well as fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants.  Archaeological foci include Great Plains cultures, European and Middle Eastern rock art, and horse cultures of the Eurasian steppe peoples.

The BI acquires, manages, and stewards collections of recent and extinct plants and animals, and of past cultural objects, along with their associated data.  The BI serves the worldwide biodiversity science and archaeology communities through free and open access to collection-based data, and through extensive loans of specimens and tissues of animal and plants, and of cultural objects.  In addition to graduate and undergraduate educational opportunities, the BI provides a wide variety of public programs to approximately 50,000 visitors including 10,000 K-12 students, youth and families annually onsite and through science outreach to local and regional communities.  The BI has an annual state operating budget approaching $3 million, which is approximately doubled or tripled through extramural grants and contracts.

Working with the director, advisory board, the KU Endowment Association development officer, and the Public Programs staff, the Development and Planning Manager is responsible for planning, advancing and implementing development activities and events of the Biodiversity Institute/Museum, and coordinating with museum staff on programming activities.  Specifically, this position: manages museum memberships and organizes donor and prospective donor contacts; participates in development solicitations; organizes fund-raising activities, including events for donors and prospective donors and public engagement in the museum; is the liaison with the BI’s Board of Advisors and its committees/activities, and plans meetings of the board four times annually; seeks out and applies for grant funding that support the mission of the BI; works closely with the museum’s Public Programs staff to ensure alignment of planned programs with mission, goals and development; serves as a spokesperson for the BI at events.

Job Description

35% – Resource Development

  1. Work with the BI Director to plan and implement fundraising priorities.
  2. Identify funding opportunities; write and work with KU units (e.g. KU Center for Research, KU Endowment Association) to submit proposals to federal, state, local, and private agencies and foundations to support museum and institute programs.
  3. Manage current and prospective donor relations and participate in solicitations along with the BI Director and the KU Endowment Association development officer.
  4. Administer current fundraising campaigns, such as the Grotesques Renew Project, and plan and implement new campaigns in collaboration with the director, advisory board, and endowment development officer.
  5. Develop and coordinate donor-focused events for solicitation and stewardship.
  6. With assistance from BI and museum faculty, staff and students, and the Board of Advisors, plan and hold an annual or biannual public fundraising event.

20% – Board Relations

  1. Under the direction of the BI Director, work with the BI’s Board of Advisors to identify board projects, such as fundraising, that support the mission of the BI.
  2. Provide administrative support to the board, including: coordinating meetings; setting agendas; maintaining records of meeting minutes, operating procedures, handbooks and board memberships; providing orientation to new board members.
  3. Keep the board apprised of Biodiversity Institute news.

30% – Visitor Services/Science Engagement, Membership, and Events

  1. With assistance from the KU Endowment Association and the Visitor Services Manager, manage and advance the BI’s museum membership program, including membership renewals and recruitment.
  2. Develop and implement events that will increase museum membership and patronage.
  3. With the Communications and Events Coordinator, plan and implement special events to promote BI research and strengthen engagement of KU students in museum.
  4. Work with the Communications and Events Coordinator to promote programming and disseminate news about BI units and museum.

15% – Administration, Management, Service, and Other Duties

  1. Coordinate with Public Programs to ensure the timeliness, suitability, feasibility and management of museum activities.
  2. As a member of senior administration, participate in weekly planning meetings, consulting as needed.
  3. Advise the BI Director in all matters related to development and associated public affairs.
  4. Participate on BI committees as assigned.
  5. Be a spokesperson for the BI at events, both public and private.
  6. Promote museum programming during fundraising events.
  7. Supervise the Visitor Services Manager and the Communications and Events Coordinator, holding regularly planning meetings and providing regular feedback.

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or a relevant field.
  2. At least one year related professional experience.
  3. Experience writing proposals to seek external funding as demonstrated by application materials.
  4. Experience with event planning as demonstrated by application materials.
  5. Strong writing skills as evidenced by application materials.
  6. Excellent organizational skills as evidenced by application materials and work and educational history.
  7. At least one year supervisory experience.
  8. At least one year experience in project management or leading a team.
  9. Excellent oral communication skills as evidenced by work history and application materials.
  10. Experience working with diverse groups.


  • Ability to work evening and weekend events, as needed.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Master’s degree in communications, marketing, or a relevant field.
  2. Five years related professional experience.
  3. Strong interpersonal skills as needed for maintaining good donor relations.
  4. Knowledge and interest in natural history.
  5. Strong interest in and familiarity with museums.
  6. Familiarity with non-profit fundraising.
  7. Professional experience at a large, public research institution or museum/cultural institution.
  8. Familiarity with customer relationship management software (e.g. Patron Manager).

Contact Information to Applicants

Teresa MacDonald

Additional Candidate Instruction

The following will be required during the online application submission:

  1. Cover letter that summarizes your interest in this position, experience and qualifications
  2. CV/resume with details of your experience (e.g. projects, role)
  3. Names and contact details for three professional references
  4. A writing sample of proposal seeking funding (uploaded in the attachments section of the online application)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications must be submitted through the KU website.

  • Initial review date is October 29, 2018 and will continue until a qualified pool of applicants is received.
  • For best consideration apply by the review date above.

Advertised Salary Range

Starts at $47,500

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


Work Location

University of Kansas – Lawrence





FLSA Status

Nonexempt (Hourly)

Employee Class

U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Work Schedule

40 hours per week, 8a.m. – 5p.m. Monday – Friday, with occasional evening and weekend work required.

Job Family

Public Affairs-KUL


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information and retaliation in the University’s programs and activities. Access to information regarding equal opportunity and diversity worksite posters is available at or you may contact 785-864-4946 or for alternate access options.  Any  inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies should be directed to: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY

To apply visit Review begins 10/29/2018. KU is an EO/AAE, full policy