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  • Full Time
  • St. Louis County
  • Salary: $70,000 - $90,000
  • Organization Type: Other

Danforth Plant and Science Center

The Development Officer will have primary oversight of our planned giving program, including our Danforth Legacy Society, and will carry a portfolio of individuals who are current and prospective donors.  The primary responsibilities will be relationship building to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors who support the Danforth Center’s work and mission with both outright and deferred commitments.  This position will report to the Executive Director of Development.


  • Live the Danforth Center’s values: Collaboration, Diversity & Inclusion, Innovation, Integrity & Respect, Environmental Sustainability, and Stewardship
  • Develop, manage, and implement cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for individual donors
  • Conduct at least 100 relationship-building donor or prospect meetings per year (may take place in-person, through Zoom, or over the phone)
  • Secure multi-year gift pledges for capital projects and other strategic priorities as well as raise leadership annual gifts through our Danforth Society (gifts of $1,000 – $100,000 per year) from a mix of current donors as well as both newer and well-cultivated prospects
  • Record their donor engagement, including contact reports, using the donor management and tracking system, Raiser’s Edge NXT
  • Manage the Danforth Center’s Legacy Society and planned giving program, including planned giving mailings and events
  • Provide well-informed advice to Center leaders, colleagues, and volunteers regarding the promotion, cultivation, and solicitation of planned gifts
  • Work with the administrative assistant to prepare annuity agreements, written proposals, and related materials to support funding requests
  • Prepare annual work plans and progress reports as requested
  • Assist with the planning and implementation of donor events and volunteer meetings as appropriate
  • Manage special projects, as assigned by the Executive Director of Development
  • Other duties as assigned

Required knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Demonstrated record of success in building relationships and generating commitments from donors
  • Knowledge of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies and techniques, particularly in the area of major and planned giving
  • Demonstrated strong donor communication skills
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and networking skills with large groups as well as with individuals
  • Ability to maintain a high level of poise and professionalism in all circumstances
  • Self-motivation and discipline to regularly set and achieve work goals
  • Ability to initiate and build relationships with individual donors  via telephone, Zoom, and in person meetings with donors and their professional representatives
  • Demonstrated ability to take primary responsibility for diverse number of projects and to complete them in a timely manner with limited supervision
  • Ability to work occasional evening and weekend events as needed
  • Strong work ethic and interpersonal skills, including a demonstrated ability to work collegially and effectively with volunteers, donors, development staff, and other internal colleagues
  • Excellent time management, good attention to detail, and high integrity
  • Frequent local travel is required, with occasional regional or national travel (post-pandemic)
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Five or more years of development experience with donor relationship building, including experience with planned giving and a track record of success in securing at least five and six figure gifts through outright pledges and through deferred commitments
  • Bachelor’s degree, relevant Master’s degree, CFRE, or other development credentials preferred

This is a Hybrid position – flexibility with working in the office and from home.

Application Information


  • Resume detailing relevant work history including successes and achievement along with cover letter
  • Contact information for three (3) professional references

Please apply directly to the Danforth site –

About the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center:

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is an independent, nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Our focus is scientific research at the nexus of food, energy, and the environment to improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. We assemble interactive teams of scientists and develop unique platforms to discover underlying principles about how plants work. We then convert that knowledge into useful crops and products, and partner with organizations that are best positioned to solve problems where they exist around the world. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and from charitable contributions from individuals, companies, and foundations.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is proudly an equal employment opportunity employer. Employment decisions at the Danforth Center are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. It is our policy that the Danforth Center does not discriminate in employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin and status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation to access the information provided on this web site, please contact People & Culture, at 314-587-1033 for assistance.