Development Manager
Thinkery - Austin, TX
Full Time
4 Year Degree
$42,000.00 - $45,000.00 Salary/year

POSITION TITLE:                  Development Manager

DEPARTMENT:                      Development & Marketing

CLASSIFICATION:                 Full-time, Exempt

REPORTS TO:                        Director of Development & Marketing


Thinkery is where Austin’s children and their families come to enjoy play-based, inquiry-rich, hands-on learning experiences. We believe that innovative, play-based, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) learning experiences are a powerful way for children to develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and curiosity about the world around them.  Our exhibits and programs encourage children—alongside their caregivers—to solve creative challenges, explore a variety of materials, and to develop new ways to complete unfamiliar projects. Through these activities, children gain the tools and confidence to develop and grow into enthusiastic, creative, lifelong STEAM learners and thinkers. 


The Development Manager supports the Thinkery’s strategic fundraising efforts by working directly with the Director of Development and Marketing to design, implement, oversee and evaluate a multi-faceted donor relations program to further the museum’s mission, increase community involvement and generate a consistent source of revenue. This position supports the organization’s capacity to develop offerings that attract donors and community partners. Plans and executes a major annual fundraising gala and identifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards individual donors to increase donor revenue and is responsible for meeting or exceeding the earned revenue goal for the Development Department.


  • Serve as lead project manager responsible for planning, logistics, execution and follow-up for Thinkery’s annual fundraiser gala, IMAGINARIUM. Duties will include but are not limited to event committee and board communication; cross departmental coordination and development of activations, communication, and décor; vendor relations; and budget adherence.
  • Leads and supports the planning of additional donor/fundraising events including Gingerbread Fun Run, Women in STEAM and other cultivation events
  • Ensures that donors experience high-quality interactions with the organization that foster long-term engagement and investment through gift stewardship and donor recognition
  • Implement fundraising strategies to retain, grow and recruit participants for assigned events and achieve fundraising success
  • Collaborates with Director of Development and Marketing, this position executes operational plans that focus on acquisition, retention and cultivation of individual donors
  • Steward top donors along with gala chairs and gala host committee year-round with mission focus and gratitude
  • Manages and oversees Thinkery’s event rental program
  • Serve as a member of the development team influencing and driving relationships and best practices to accomplish revenue goals
  • Identifies, cultivates, and solicits a portfolio of relationships to provide funding for Thinkery’s mission through visits and other forms of direct personal contact in accordance with performance targets
  • Oversee stewardship activities; ensure a high-touch response to partners and donors to deliver high customer service to all constituents
  • Makes effective use of Thinkery’s prospect management database (Tessitura) to ensure appropriate management of donors, members, and prospects in coordination with Thinkery’s fundraising objectives
  • Strong relationship building skills, a positive, can-do attitude and a commitment to working as a team.
  • Ensure direct reports develop themselves professionally by providing opportunities for growth based on individual and organizational goals
  • Represent Thinkery’s key values of inclusion, excellence, respect, innovation, playfulness, cooperation, and creativity
  • Support a culture of cross organization communication, collaboration and information sharing


Event Coordinator and Development Specialist


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or related field or 4 years of equivalent experience
  • 2+ years’ development and fundraising experience; front line fundraising preferred
  • 2+ years’ experience managing and developing staff & volunteers
  • 2+ years’ event planning and execution experience


  • Demonstrated knowledge of donor management; stewardship and cultivation process
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to present effectively to small and large groups and proofreading and editing skills
  • Knowledge of donor stewardship, including donor relations, strategic communications and financial reporting
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and experience in managing events and other complex activities in support of development objectives
  • Exercise good judgment, to demonstrate an understanding of ethics related to development activities, and to use discretion in interactions with donors, prospects, volunteers, and others
  • Establish guidelines and make recommendations to improve process and procedures
  • Work collaboratively within a team and cross-departmentally to develop new ideas, resolve problems and meet deadlines
  • Effectively work under pressure, problem solve, and produce quality work with tight deadlines
  • Handle information with discretion and high level of confidentiality
  • Advanced computing skills including Excel, Word and PowerPoint, and donor database management
  • Conduct research, gather data, analyze information, and prepare effective, accurate, and timely reports and other documents to support development objectives


  • Schedule and availability reflects that the organization is a 7-day-a-week operation. Days and hours of work are largely Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, with flexibility for personal needs and preferences.  Periodic duties outside of/in excess of regular work week schedule during seasonal high-volume times
  • Assist in engaging and sustaining volunteers through introduction, information sharing and oversight. Proactively provide support ensuring each volunteer has a productive, safe and meaningful experience
  • Professional attendance at some museum functions and special events.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

This position is partially active.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to:

  • Observe and react to the needs of guests, staff, volunteers, and community partners
  • Move throughout the museum
  • Manipulate and move exhibit components weighing up to 25 pounds, including those that may be low to the ground or above eye level
  • Communicate and exchange accurate information with guests, staff, volunteers, and community partners in a variety of formats including in-person, electronically, and over the phone  
  • Detect and respond to safety hazards
  • Occasionally work in outdoor environments
  • Operate computer efficiently and accurately


Thinkery offers competitive and affordable benefits for our full-time staff including options for 100% employer sponsored medical coverage. Our benefits package includes:

  • Medical insurance options including HSA, PPO Gold, and PPO Platinum plans with each with 100% co-insurance after deductible
  • Affordable dental and vision
  • 100% employer sponsored EAP, STD, LTD, AD&D, and Life Insurance
  • 2 weeks of paid vacation, 4 weeks of paid sick leave, and 13 paid holidays each year
  • Pet and child friendly offices

This job description should not be construed to imply these requirements are the only duties, responsibilities and qualifications for this job.  Incumbents may be required to follow any additional related instructions, acquire related job skills, and perform other related work as required.  This job description may be updated as needed.

The Thinkery is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not and will not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. Hiring, transferring and promotion practices are performed without regard to the above listed items.  All candidates offered a position will be required to submit to a background and reference checks.