Development and Communication Director

We recognize that diverse teams make the strongest teams, and we encourage people of all backgrounds to apply.



Full Time. Salaried. At-will employment. 



Plexpod Westport Building, Kansas City, MO 



Executive Artistic Director



The ideal candidate for “Development and Communication Director” will be an empathetic and fun loving leader, excited to cultivate and steward a community of donors, partners, and funders with a shared vision of the importance of arts for the very young. In addition to fundraising duties, this role will lead communication efforts including public relations and digital marketing. This role will report to the Executive Artistic Director and will collaborate with program staff on achieving strategic and financial goals. This is a new role for MPT, so the hired candidate needs to be a self-starter eager to help shape this role and build a department.



After 34 years of producing mainstage puppetry productions and facilitating camps and afterschool programs, Mesner Puppet Theater is experiencing an artistic and educational rebirth. We are pivoting to  use our expertise in puppetry, arts integration, and early childhood development to impact our youngest community members through facilitating in-school arts integrated residences for 0-8 year olds, producing professional pop up productions in classrooms, and touring shows for family engagement at schools and libraries in the Midwest region. The MPT team currently includes: 4 Full Time and 1 Part Time Staff and  numerous contractors, interns and volunteers with a current annual budget of $650,000.


Leadership, Planning, Strategy:

  • Leadership: Work in tandem with the Executive Director to develop new funding opportunities to support programmatic growth. 

  • Annual Planning: Develop annual fundraising plans and goals; secure stakeholder feedback and investment; and execute, measure, report on goals while also re-directing efforts as needed.

  • Strategy: participate in the development, execution, and monitoring of  3-year strategic plan.

  • Relationship Management: Develop and maintain relationships with board, funders, corporations, individual donors, marketing interns, contract grant writer, and program staff. Develop reports to keep stakeholders informed.


Foundation and Corporate Giving: 

  • Manage strategic relationships for MPT’s existing and potential institutional funders.  

  • Design and launch a corporate giving strategy and support Board Members and close supporters in implementing the strategy.  

  • Work with schools and community partners  to explore joint funding opportunities.

  • Manage contract grant writer and participate in providing narrative and edits for grants.

  • Coordinate funder site visits.

  • Plan events to engage corporate donors.


Individual Giving: 

  • Lead efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit, and acknowledge current and prospective donors. 

  • Plan and oversee the execution of an annual giving campaign.  

  • Facilitate board involvement in the fundraising process and track progress toward fundraising goals.

  • Manage and Track Donor Data.

  • Assess the feasibility of event and/or major gift programs based on staff capacity, volunteer engagement, and return on investment.



  • Design and implement brand-conscious campaigns to increase awareness about the mission of MPT through social media, website, and print

  • Develop communication plan to ensure MPT audiences and partners are engaged.

  • Develop ongoing relationships with media to ensure consistent news coverage of MPTs impact in the community.

  • Serve as a credible and compelling spokesperson on behalf of the organization. 

  • Develop and maintain relationships with arts, cultural, and educational institutions.  

  • Oversee and sometimes execute basic graphic design and layout tasks for collateral.


Managerial and General Responsibilities:  

  • Manage and oversee the work of a Marketing Intern.

  • Provide regular progress reports covering all aspects of organizational fundraising.  

  • Collect, maintain, and analyze data from the program directors, teaching artists, and external arts education industry sources to assist with solicitation.  

  • Act as a staff liaison to the Board of Directors in regards to marketing, communication, and events. 

  • Maintain marketing and communication folders on google drive

  • Schedule photographers and videographers as needed for campaigns.

  • Support office administrative activities as necessary.



  • Ability to build multiple, individualized internal and external relationships; 

  • Ability to plan, facilitate, and approach meetings with clearly defined goals; 

  • Ability to work closely with people from diverse and various backgrounds; 

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; 

  • Manage projects from conception through completion and evaluation;

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and solve problems;

  • Record of creating engaging donor cultivation strategies; 

  • Ability to create and implement integrated communications plans;

  • Comfort with using fundraising software and updating website templates; 

  • Superior responsiveness and strong verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills;

  • Self-motivation, accuracy, attention to detail, and ability to manage and meet multiple deadlines; 

  • Exceptional computer skills.



  • Bachelor’s degree  

  • Four or more years of progressive leadership as a dedicated fundraising professional, ideally with experience building a major gifts or corporate giving program within a small organization; 

  • Track record of successful fundraising campaigns or grant writing;

  • Ability and willingness to lift 25 pounds is preferred;  

  • Valid Driver’s License.



40-45 hours per week M-F. Occasional nights and weekends. 






Flexible schedule and some remote work possible

QSEHRA (Health Reimbursement)

Simple IRA

Paid PTO and holidays



June-July 2022



Email cover letter and  resume to meghann@mesnerpuppets.org. Review of applications will begin on March, 20 2022.

Mesner Puppet Theater’s mission is to  “inspire play and cultive connections through puppetry”.