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Grants and Appeals Specialist

Posted: 11/15/2023


The Grants & Appeals Specialist oversees a comprehensive grants program at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, conducting the full range of activities needed to prepare, compose and submit timely, accurate, compelling and polished proposals to foundation, corporate and government sources. This includes tracking the organization’s funding needs and strategies; prospect research; maintaining a calendar of grant applications; and conducting all aspects of grant preparation, submission and reporting.
In addition, the Specialist is responsible for two donor/gift appeal campaigns annually. Key duties include strategic direct-mail campaign management, developing content and creative components, copy review/editing, and post-campaign analysis and reporting.
This position is a key member of the Kauffman Center’s Development team and is responsible for a goal of $1 million annually.


  • Generates revenue for Kauffman Center programs through timely submission of well-researched, well-written and well-documented grant proposals. This includes letters of inquiry, concept papers and high-quality proposals, including goals, outcomes, supporting documents and budgets. Assures that applications are consistent with all policies and procedures of the Kauffman Center and the requirements and guidelines of funding organizations.
  • Responsible for reporting on deliverables to internal and external sources. This includes assembling documents and program information for funders and maintaining grant tracking, filing and database entries.
  • Develops and fosters relationships with public and private grant makers. Serves as a liaison to funding agencies and organizations. Builds and nurtures relationships with foundation and corporate donors.
  • Analyzes and reports on the performance of funded activities by managing the reporting process for all awarded grants, ensuring timely compliance with grant terms and conditions. This includes working with other Kauffman Center departments to collect necessary data and information related to grant use. 
  • Keeps current with organizational goals and objectives to effectively align grant-seeking efforts; works with other staff to determine funding needs, programs and approaches.
  • Maintains an organized database of all grant submissions, including dates, deadlines, outcomes and feedback. Responsible for grant schedules and tracking grants.
  • Maintains and regularly updates Kauffman Center listings in grant-making directories.
  • Provides support to the Development team for fundraising initiatives and activities. Supports sponsorship and business membership teams to prepare written requests through formal application processes required by sponsors and businesses.
  • Manages and coordinates annual donor/gift appeals twice a year through direct mail, social media and other communications. Builds a strategic marketing and communications plan for successful annual giving and other mass appeals.
  • Prepares all aspects of each campaign, which includes writing and creative elements, such as donor lists, appeal letters, response devices and other collateral.
  • Oversees materials inventory (stationery, envelopes), works with printer/mail house to oversee production and manage distribution logistics. Serves as the primary troubleshooter and relationship manager with third-party providers and vendors.
  • Monitors key performance indicators. Tracks and analyzes results and trends to recommend improvements to increase campaign and program performance.
  • Manages direct mail project budget. Reports on direct mail expenditures and relationship to donations. Assists in developing annual expense budget required to execute the department’s fundraising plans and reach annual donation revenue goal.

  • Excellent knowledge of proposal submission and fundraising processes
  • Ability to study and understand Kauffman Center programs and funding requirements
  • Highly organized with the ability to implement systems and follow-up processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Results driven and a strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Strong research skills and knowledge of information sources
  • Strong knowledge of and ability to collaborate with key donors and community leaders.
  • Ability to handle confidential matters with utmost integrity.
  • Collegial, collaborative and professional work style with internal staff and outside clients
  • Ability to be flexible, work independently, prioritize and multitask effectively with a varying, evolving and occasionally intense workload.
  • Performs other duties as required.

  • Previous grant writing and gift appeal fundraising experience.
  • Record of securing major grants.
  • Knowledge of grant application processes, criteria and funding cycles.
  • Previous grant budget development and management.
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, creative writing, fundraising and/or related areas.
  • Strong knowledge and experience with MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Experience with Tessitura or other data management systems.

Adheres to and promotes the organization’s values (see below):

Own it, get it solved
  • Integrity
  • Honest communication
  • Transparency
  • Trustworthy
  • Responsible
Aim for Excellence
  • Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence
  • Motivated
Be Enthusiastic
  • Flexible
  • Fun
  • Embraces new ideas
Act with Respect
  • Service
  • Considerate of others
  • Treat others with dignity and care
  • Work toward shared goals

Please send a cover letter with salary requirements, a resume, and the names of three professional references to Incomplete applications will not be considered. 
  • Excellent Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision, FSA, HRA, Disability Insurance, EAP & more)
  • 401K Retirement Plan with Employer Match
  • Paid Vacation, PTO, Holidays and Discretionary Days
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Tuition Reimbursement

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts seeks a diverse talent pool affording equal opportunity to all candidates without regard to race, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Job descriptions assist organizations in ensuring that the hiring process is fairly administered and that qualified employees are selected.  They are also essential to an effective appraisal system and related promotion, transfer, layoff, and termination decisions.  Well-constructed job descriptions are an integral part of any effective compensation system. 

All descriptions have been reviewed to ensure that only essential functions and basic duties have been included.  Peripheral tasks, only incidentally related to each position, have been excluded.  Requirements, skills, and abilities included have been determined to be the minimal standards required to successfully perform the positions.  In no instance, however, should the duties, responsibilities, and requirements delineated be interpreted as all-inclusive.  Additional functions and requirements may be assigned by supervisors as deemed appropriate.  

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals.  However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or which impose undue hardships on the organization.  

Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts.  The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer.  Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.   

Job Type: Full Time