Grants and Research Coordinator

The Des Moines Art Center is a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest. With a focus on contemporary art, it has amassed an important collection exhibited in three major buildings, on the grounds, and downtown in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. In addition, the Art Center presents thought-provoking exhibitions and educational programs.

Position Summary
The Grants and Research Coordinator implements the Art Center’s grant program. This position is responsible for prospect research, compiling statistical data, managing the grant calendar, effectively communicating important deadlines to staff, writing grant applications, and preparing associated reports.

Essential Functions

  • Complete grant applications that faithfully adhere to funders’ proposal guidelines to produce complete and compelling proposals and reports that communicate the organization’s mission and tell the Art Center’s story to potential funders
  • Work closely with the Communications and Grants Associate to maintain a master calendar of dates established and announced by corporations, foundations, and government agencies, including proposal deadline dates, report deadlines;
  • Collaborate with colleagues in all departments, especially Education, Curatorial, Finance, and Human Resources, to ensure well-informed grant proposals and accurate financial forecasting and data reporting; work cross-departmentally on employee committee for planning purposes and to identify upcoming projects and needed funding;
  • Create and continually update renewal and acknowledgment letters for corporate gifts and sponsorship benefits;
  • Research potential funding sources for specific projects and determine compatibility with Art Center programming.

Other Responsibilities

  • Thoroughly understand the Art Center’s history, culture, collection, programs, constituencies, facilities, governance, base of financial support, and short- and long-term funding requirements of all segments of the organization;
  • Act in ways that reflect favorably on the Art Center and maintains professional standards in the quality of performance and demonstration of concern for the Art Center’s collection, programs, and facilities.  Adhere to Des Moines Art Center Code of Ethics, Employee Handbook and other organizational policies.


  • Passionate about, and committed to, the Art Center’s mission, with a capacity for inspiring enthusiasm for arts-related programming;
  • Able to organize and prioritize work to meet deadlines;
  • Able to efficiently research and gather information from a variety of sources for fundraising prospect research;
  • Detail oriented with a high level of accuracy;
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills; adept at writing and editing quality proposals, letters and other correspondence;
  • A general understanding of the philanthropic funding landscape, fundraising techniques, strategies, and information sources;
  • A strong contributor in a team environment;
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office programs and fundraising databases;
  • Minimum 2 years experience in fundraising, grant writing, or other business writing preferred.

Decision Making

  • Participate in day-to-day operational decision making under the guidance of the Director of Development


  • This position reports to the Director of Development and has frequent contact with Communications and Grants Associate, and colleagues in Development, Education, Curatorial and Finance.

Special Considerations

  • Work is performed largely in an office environment during normal business hours;
  • Evening and weekend hours are not required, however, attendance at after-hours events, programs and lectures is often encouraged


Starting wage based on skill and experience.

Equal Employment Statement

The Art Center is dedicated to equal employment and advancement opportunities. It is the Art Center’s policy to hire and promote qualified individuals on the basis of their qualifications, interest and aptitude, without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected group under applicable state, federal or local law.

To be considered for this position, please fill out the application below.

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Personal Information


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Application Materials


Unless otherwise stated, I voluntarily give the Des Moines Art Center the right to make a thorough investigation of my past employment and activities. I agree to cooperate in such investigation, and release from all liability all persons, companies, or corporations supplying such information. If an offer of employment is given, I understand I must successfully complete a pre-employment criminal background check. I am also aware that I will be required to provide proof/identification that I am eligible to work in the United States. I certify that information given in this application is accurate and complete, and understand that inaccurate information may be cause for termination if discovered after employment begins.

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