Science and Technology

Job Details

Number: 1721

Title: Vice President for Development

Type: Full time

Location: GMT Project Office, Pasadena CA

This exciting job opportunity is with the GMTO (Giant Magellan Telescope Organization) located in Pasadena, California. The GMT is being developed by a group of leading university and research centers from across the globe. The GMTO Corporation has been formed to design, construct and operate the GMT Observatory which will be located in the Andean mountains at Las Campanas Peak in Chile. The GMT is the next generation astronomical observatory with the capability to have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is entering the formal construction phase with scientific operations expected to begin in 2021-2022.


The successful candidate will be an employee of the GMTO Corporation and must be able to meet pre-employment requirements including any background and reference checks and the successful candidate must be a US citizen or eligible to work in the United States and at least 18 years of age. GMTO provides competitive salaries and a generous benefits package.

Job Summary:
Reporting to the President, the VP serves as a key member of the executive leadership team and an active participant in making GMTO strategic decisions. In partnership with the President, Board Chair, and Development Committee Chair, this position is responsible for all fund development activities at the central GMT Organization.

This position will be responsible for creating, managing, planning, directing and executing a successful donor development and fundraising program. This comprehensive program should include, but not be limited to, the development and establishment of a strategic fundraising and development plan, infrastructure and operational plan, the build-up and generation of an annual multi-million dollar donations pipeline and cultivation of a related donor base, the creation and management of signature events to increase GMTO’s donations base, and continued development of donor recognition.

The position requires a self-starter who is a visionary and strategic thinker, yet also hands on and tactical. The ideal candidate will be articulate, poised, have business acumen, and be able to interact with high net worth individuals on a peer-to-peer level. She or he must possess excellent communication skills and be able to understand and translate complex scientific subjects into an exciting scientific message to which donors at all levels can easily relate. Strong team work skills and a flexible and positive attitude are a must. Direct experience in the physical sciences arena is a plus.

This position will have primary responsibility for developing and implementing strategies to raise over $500 million through the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

This position plans, coordinates, and assures implementation of strategies to develop donors and contributions to support the organization. Additionally, he or she will assure development and maintenance of appropriate systems to fund development including but not limited to research and cultivation, gift processing, and recognition.

Job Duties:
• Participate with the President, staff, and Board of Directors in charting the organization’s course in fund development.
• Collaborate and coordinate with member institutions’ development staff to identify and maximize fundraising opportunities.
• Establish performance measures, monitors results and help the President, development committee, and Board of Directors evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s fund development program.
• Provide general oversight of the organization’s fund development activities at the central GMT Organization, manage the day-to-day operations of the development function, and monitor adequacy of activities through coordination with staff, Development Committee, and Board of Directors.
• Appropriately represent GMTO, its Board of Directors and President to donors, prospects, regulators, and the development committee.
• Develop agendas for development committee meetings, with the development committee chair, so that the committees can fulfill its responsibilities effectively.
• Inform the President and Board of Directors on the condition of the organization’s fund development program and on all important factors influencing it.
• Work with the President and Board of Directors to assist the development committee and the board to function effectively in fund development.
• Design and assure implementation of cost-effective fund development programs, employing economy while maintaining an acceptable level of quality and solid return on investment.
• Assure development and writing of foundation, corporate and government proposals and solicitation materials.
• Assure design and maintenance of donor and prospect records, gift management systems, and informational reports.
• Assure appropriate prospect research.
• Assure design and implementation of cultivation, acknowledgment and recognition programs.

Performance Expectations:
• Meet fundraising expectations, including closing gifts of $5,000,000+ from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
• Plan and meet deadlines.
• Demonstrate initiative and work as a team player.
• Adhere to the highest ethical standards in management, governance, and fund development.
• Demonstrate commitment to continued professional growth and development.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Exhibit strong planning and organizational skills.
• Have the capacity to take full advantage of existing organizational assets in marketing, communications, and engagement towards the objectives of building the base of private sector prospect involvement and financial support.
• Personal characteristics associated with successful fundraising professionals, including a vigorous work ethic, sound judgment, impeccable integrity, demonstrated initiative, appropriate professional appearance, and attitude and personality to work effectively and productively with colleagues and donors.

Essential Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
• Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 years fundraising experience in a professional position; Master’s degree preferred.
• Proven track record in personally identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and closing seven-figure and higher gift commitments from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
• Comprehensive management skills and experience are required including but not limited to short and long-term planning, evaluation, directing and motivating staff, oral and written communication skills, marketing and financial management, values clarification, organizational behavior and development, and governance.
• The position requires demonstrated experience in managing and implementing a comprehensive fund development program and producing charitable contributions.
• The individual is expected to have demonstrated experience and confidence in asking people to support a project of this magnitude.

Applicants should send a Letter of Interest and a Resume to
Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Please refer to the Job Number in the letter and in the email subject line.

GMTO is an equal opportunity employer.