Development Associate

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Santa Barbara Education Foundation

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Development Assistant contributes to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation’s vitality by assisting the development team meet fundraising and organizational goals. This position plays a key role in ensuring that SBEF’s administrative systems and events function optimally.  Essential skills are database management, strong writing skills, event planning and management, proficiency with Microsoft Office, and a friendly but professional demeanor.

Working as part of a team, the Development Associate will:

Fundraising and Donor Relations

  • Maintain accuracy and update donor records in the Donor Perfect database.
  • Collaborate closely with SBEF’s bookkeeper to ensure accurate financial record keeping.
  • Provide the bookkeeper with detailed logs of all weekly transactions.
  • Provide training and support to team members on weekly reporting and logging procedures.
  • Manage the gift acknowledgment process and prepare thank you letters.
  • Organize and promote fundraising opportunities for SBEF (direct mail appeals, business partnerships, etc.).
  • Prepare board thank you notecards.
  • Generate donor reports and mailing lists.
  • Reconcile contributions in the donor database with Quickbooks entries.
  • Update emails on mailing list.
  • Compile fundraising letters with SBEF materials during fundraising drives, package, and mail.
  • Assist in the writing and designing of brochures, flyers, and pamphlets for the foundation as needed.
  • Update and upload website content.
  • Initiate and maintain individual hard copy files on major donors/prospects.
  • Assist with Planned Giving marketing and the stewards of planned giving donors.


Events & Administrative Activities

  • Organize and promote events to increase visibility and recognition in the community (receptions in private homes, fundraisers, appreciation events for higher-level donors, etc.).
  • Help plan and/or staff Foundation-related meetings and small group events.
  • Assist the Executive Director with board, committee, and organizational meetings.
  • Assist with the development of solicitation materials.
  • Assist with sponsorship follow-up calls and emails for events, including the HOPE Awards, State of Our Schools, and Keep the Beat Instrument Drive.
  • Generate routine and specialized reports from SBEF’s database for the executive director and the board.
  • Draft, review, edit, and finalize routine correspondence to donors, including reports, solicitations, thank-you letters, and other follow-ups as needed.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


  • Education
    • Bachelor’s degree preferred, preferably in communications, marketing, public relations or a related field.
  • Experience
    • Minimum 2-3 years of experience in fundraising, donor relations, or nonprofit development work.
    • Proven experience managing donor databases and gift processing systems.
    • Experience in donor stewardship, including writing donor communications like acknowledgment letters, impact reports, etc.
    • Experience planning and executing donor cultivation events and activities.
  • Skills
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills for interacting with donors.
    • Strong organizational and project management abilities to juggle multiple tasks.
    • Proficiency with donor databases like Raiser’s Edge, DonorPerfect, etc., and Microsoft Office suite.
    • Ability to generate reports and analyze data.
    • Creative skills for designing marketing materials and content.
    • Attention to detail in maintaining accurate donor records.
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Additional preferred qualifications could include:
    • Experience with website management and content creation.
    • Knowledge of planned giving and major gift fundraising strategies.
    • Skills in donor prospecting and research.


  • Solid relationship-building skills
  • Personal belief in the mission, goals, and objectives of public education
  • Ethical
  • Articulate
  • Self-motivated & self-starting
  • Passionate & committed to going out and getting gifts
  • Creative
  • Respectful, kind, and a good listener
  • Perseverant
  • Optimistic and positive attitude
  • Attention to detail
  • Spanish fluency is a plus, but not necessary to apply


$35-$40k dependent upon experience. This is an hourly position. Benefits after 30 days and include health, dental and vision insurance, sick/vacation accrual, paid holidays, and a 403(B)-retirement plan.

Location & Hours

Santa Barbara, California


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