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Development Officer

The Land Institute is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from women and people of all ethnic and national origins and sexual orientations. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to enable you to perform essential functions.

About the Organization

The Land Institute is working to develop an agricultural system that can produce ample food, reduce or eliminate impacts from the disruptions and dependencies of industrial agriculture, and inform cultural change through education. The Land Institute’s core activity is research to create a “natural systems agriculture” that mimics the processes and structure of natural ecosystems, like the prairie. This research is focused on creating an ensemble of perennial high-seed-yielding grain, legume, and oilseed plants that can be grown in various combinations, that is, an agriculture of perennial polycultures that can meet human needs into the future. The Land Institute is dedicated to the idea that perennial polyculture agriculture can significantly reduce or reverse soil erosion, use water more efficiently, improve soil quality, greatly reduce reliance on harmful fertilizers and pesticides, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased carbon sequestration in soils.

Founded in 1976, The Land Institute is located in Salina, Kansas, along the banks of the Smoky Hill River at the border of medium and tall grass prairies, making it an ideal location for its research mission. The Institute now employs about 35 people on site, including nine Ph.D. scientists and numerous graduate students and post-doctorate fellows. For more information, please visit www.landinstitute.org

Position Summary:  

As a Development Officer, you play a key role in fulfilling our mission by supporting the organization in raising funds. You achieve this through cultivating relationships with potential donors, current donors, strategic partners and others to ensure the success of The Land Institute mission. 

What you bring to the position: 

  • You have zeal for the organization’s mission and understand that developing relationships and educating constituents on the mission is the key to raising funds.
  • You understand the importance of setting goals and you consistently achieve or exceed your goals.
  • You can take initiative to carry out your job duties and see what needs to be done.
  • You embody and align with our vision and mission and appreciate the strength and stability that comes from working with a values-based company. 
  • You embrace change and have the resilience required to continually improve yourself. You can think creatively and can adapt to evolving situations.
  • You understand the need to collaborate with your team members and other departments and that synergy comes from everyone rowing in the same direction. 
  • You do your work with a courteous, cooperative and helpful mindset, with a positive attitude and in the spirit of teamwork to ensure the success of our organization.

You successfully fulfill the following essential duties and responsibilities:


  • Meet with prospective and current donors to the organization, both private family and corporate. 
  • Research potential partners for TLI and strategize appropriate communications plans for those partners.
  • Make necessary calls to steward, cultivate and discover potential and current donors.
  • Create, assist and execute on social media storytelling.
  • Assist with periodic all-staff social functions and assist with hosting responsibilities for special guests as needed.

You will utilize your ADMINISTRATIVE SKILLS to efficiently:

  • Manage the fundraising database and enter and utilize data to create profiles and prepare for donor visits.
  • Assist in and participate in event planning for national meetings and special events.
  • Schedule and coordinate travel and meetings with constituents.
  • Track and maintain notes on meetings with partners.
  • Ensure accuracy and carry out your work with careful attention to detail and thoroughness.

You will use your COLLABORATIVE SKILLS to:

  • Work with development team to ensure success of team goals, including raising funds for general operating expenses.
  • Actively work with development team in providing the appropriate stewardship pieces to donors.
  • Work well with others throughout the organization to build positive teamwork.
  • Fill in for co-workers and embrace cross training to create bench strength in the department.
  • Fulfill other duties as requested, even if they are outside of the normal scope of your job.

As a successful employee, you demonstrate the following professional skills as you carry out your position:

  • Ethics – Treat people with respect; keep commitments; inspire the trust of others; work with integrity and ethically; uphold company values.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Maintain confidentiality; keep emotions under control; listen well.
  • Organizational Support – Follow company policies and procedures and complete other duties as assigned.
  • Professionalism – Approach others in a tactful manner; react well under pressure; treat others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accept responsibility for your own actions; follow through on commitments. 
  • Oral Communications – Above average oral communication skills; speak clearly and persuasively in positive and negative situations; respond well to questions; demonstrate group presentation skills and participate in meetings.
  • Written Communications – Above average written communication skills; write clearly and informatively, edit work for spelling and grammar; present numerical and statistical data effectively and read and interpret written information.
  • Planning and organization – Prioritize and plan work activities; use time efficiently; plan for additional resources; set and achieve goals and objectives; meet deadlines.
  • Attendance – Arrive at work, meetings and appointments on time; meet expectations for attendance.
  • Flexibility – Flexible attitude toward scheduling when needed to meet the needs of the department and organization.

You will meet the following educational, licensing, certification and work experience requirements:  

  • Associate’s degree required; bachelor’s degree preferred. A combination of education and professional experience may be considered.
  • Two or more years of related work experience.
  • Hold and maintain a valid driver’s license; driving record must meet the criteria of ISG’s insurance carrier for acceptance of coverage. 
  • General computer literacy including proficiency in Microsoft Office products and data base management software.
  • Experience using equipment found in a normal office environment.

You are able to work in the following environmental and working conditions:

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer and phone.
  • Work in a general office environment.
  • Travel, including overnight travel, in varying conditions,

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The Land Institute