Development Manager

Great Plains Institute
Organization Summary


A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) is accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon emissions for the benefit of people, the economy, and the environment. Increased demand for GPI’s unique blend of energy expertise and consensus-derived solutions has driven organizational and programmatic growth. With headquarters in Minnesota, GPI’s operations are national in scope while retaining a core competency in the Midcontinent region. GPI is powered by more than 50 professionals and is supported by some of the nation’s most respected philanthropies.

The following values inform the way we work both inside and outside of GPI. It is important to us to be trusted, inclusive, equitable, pragmatic, and transformative:

Trusted. We base our approach and actions on trust, mutual respect, and accountability.

Inclusive. We achieve impact through inclusive and deliberate collaboration with a diversity of interests.

Equitable. We strive for equity in our approach and outcomes.

Pragmatic. We take a clear-eyed view of the world as it is, even as we seek to improve it.

Transformative. We are a bold and passionate catalyst for change.

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
work remotely
Job type

Salary range: $85k-$110k, commensurate with experience. Benefits include a health plan, 401(k) retirement plan, LTD, STD, life, vision, dental, FSA/HSA, paid time off, professional development allowance, and a communication stipend. 

Primary Duties


The Development Manager will work with the EVP, CEO, and CFO to prioritize from among the tasks described below as the priorities may change over time based on organizational needs. The goal of this position is to make the highest and best use of each colleague’s time and talents in the fundraising enterprise. In practice, this means ensuring that all aspects of the fundraising process are handled and well-coordinated even if the Development Manager is not the person performing each task.

Fundraising Management & Coordination

  • Minimize the amount of time that GPI colleagues with specific program content knowledge need to spend in getting funding proposals from concept to submission by developing and implementing internal processes that systematize and optimize GPI’s fundraising efforts—including our fee-for-service work. 
  • Work closely with Communications, Research, and Finance & Administration colleagues to ensure that GPI’s Development efforts are well integrated and coordinated with these other functions.
  • Monitor and work with Communications and Finance & Administration, to maintain up-to-date information on relevant websites (GPI websites and other donor-related sites such as Charity Navigator, GuideStar, etc.)
  • Develop and maintain an understanding of GPI’s programs and the evolving portfolio of work 
  • Work with Program VPs, Program Managers, the EVP, and CEO to identify fundraising priorities
  • Develop and oversee a new corporate giving program at GPI and organically grow support from individuals.
  • Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of GPI’s fundraising and recommend any improvements needed.
  • Coach and train GPI colleagues on fundraising best grant practices to “build our bench.”

Funder Prospecting Research:

  • Support program VPs and managers in prospecting to match potential funders with program priorities, with an emphasis on foundations, government grants, corporations, and individuals
  • Provide program Teams with profiles of qualified funders and coordinate outreach across teams where a prospective funder may be interested in more than one GPI area of work.
  • Work with Finance & Administration colleagues to ensure that these written funder summaries are accurately recorded and tracked in GPI’s CRM.

Funder Cultivation

  • Support and sometimes lead the funder cultivation process, depending on the funder
  • Help identify the right program officer(s) with whom GPI staff and CEO should develop relationships.
  • Develop agendas for and lead monthly Fundraising Team meetings
  • Help produce compelling grant proposals, coordinating the proposal development process and engaging program colleagues when their content expertise is required.
  • Work with the Finance Team to ensure that grant proposal budgets and other materials are developed for timely submission of grant proposals and grant reports.
  • Work with Program colleagues, the CFO, EVP, and CEO to systematize the grant-seeking process.

Funder Stewardship

  • Ensure, and track, appropriate acknowledgement once grants and donations are made
  • Develop and maintain a calendar of grant-making cycles by funder
  • Manage annual grants calendar, including timely actions to secure funds and communicate with funders. 
  • Write, maintain, and regularly update a catalog of short program and project descriptions, in coordination with Communications, which can be inserted into grants and other materials as needed.
  • Work with Program and Communications colleagues to regularly summarize program accomplishments for sharing with funders, demonstrating the impact of GPI’s work.

Grant Tracking and Reporting:

  • Work with Finance & Administration and Program colleagues to ensure that GPI is recording and tracking appropriately throughout the fundraising process, including proposals in process, submitted, awarded, and declined. 
  • Ensure that appropriate colleagues are notified about upcoming reporting deadlines, and coordinate grant reporting process
  • Work with staff to ensure that GPI is maintaining meticulous historical records including up-to-date contact information for funders
  • Work with staff to organize and report relevant data for GPI’s annual “Impact Report.”

Other job functions: Perform other duties as are obvious or assigned. The above position description is intended to describe the general content, identify the essential job functions, and set forth the requirements for the performance of the position. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of job functions or requirements. The employee may be required to perform other job-related duties as requested. Position responsibilities are subject to change over time to accommodate changing organizational needs. 




  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • 5-10 years of fundraising/development experience
  • Educational or professional background related to clean energy and climate
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and adapt to multiple work styles to build strong professional relationships
  • Excellent research, writing, typing and verbal communication skills. 
  • Proactive problem-solver
  • Experience managing multiple projects with competing deadlines
  • High attention to detail and ability to work independently.
  • Excellent time, deadline, and project management skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite
  • Commitment to the vision, mission, and values of the Great Plains Institute

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of fundraising prospecting research methods, practices, and procedures
  • Experience writing foundation grants
  • Experience writing federal and state grants
  • Experience with corporate philanthropy
  • Experience with fee-for-service revenue models
  • Experience writing grants related to clean energy and/or climate
  • Experience working in a Constituent Relationship Software (CRM), particularly Salesforce


This position involves use of a desktop computer and/or laptop, copier, fax machine, calculator, printer, and telephone.


This position requires working at a desk (either sitting or standing) for extended periods and extensive use of devices (e.g., keyboard, mouse), as well as usage of telephone/headset. 

How to Apply

Apply online. Required application materials include a resume and one-page cover letter. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.


GPI has a fast-paced entrepreneurial culture in which people enjoy both great freedom and great responsibility. People who thrive in this culture take personal responsibility for seeing what needs doing and getting it done. They are initiative-takers, problem-solvers, and quick to help others. They work hard because they believe in the mission and get to spend most of their time at the intersection of what they love to do and are good at. It’s a working environment in which performance is judged more on results than on time spent in a chair. We aspire to make this the best job anyone has ever had. 


The Great Plains Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes a wide diversity of applicants. 

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