Development Director

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Explore Ecology

Explore Ecology’s (EE) Development Director will play a major role raising funds in order to maintain and expand our programming, support our staff, and ensure the long term financial stability of the organization.  The Development Director will collaborate with the Board of Directors and Executive Director to create a fund development plan that encompasses individual donor campaigns, grant writing, events, donor recognition, corporate partnerships/sponsorships, and major gifts campaigns. They will work with the Fund Development Committee of the Board to develop strategies to initiate and meet ambitious fundraising goals. The Development Director reports to the Executive Director.

Roles and Responsibilities

Major Gifts Program/Donor Cultivation:

  • Develop and implement a major gifts program and a moves management program that moves lower-level givers to major givers
  • Assist the Executive Director, appropriate staff and Board members in educating, cultivating and soliciting major donors
  • Ensure that major givers are invited to special recognition events and agency happenings and  receive special reports and information
  • Develop and nurture a planned giving program and an endowment fund to support Explore Ecology’s long-term operations

Fundraising Events:

  • Oversee the planning and execution of at least one major fundraising event per year 
  • Work in conjunction with PR Director to implement event marketing plans and to develop solicitation materials, letters, packets, and presentations
  • Work in conjunction with event vendors, committee members, donors, and volunteers to execute events of the highest quality and profitability
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to develop compelling event programs

Data Management:

  • Maintain an accurate and updated donor database and oversee the management of all records, files, and gift processing in a way that respects the privacy and confidentiality of donor information
  • Prepare regular reports for the Board and other development personnel relating to donors, their levels of giving, giving histories, income reports, etc.
  • Maintain and update a Foundation and Corporate grant tracking system 

Research and Donor Acknowledgment:

  • Research potential donors and compile donor ratings as to levels of potential giving
  • Research Foundation and Corporate grants for programs and general proposals
  • Prepare acknowledgments of all donations received, and ensure that all donors are acknowledged in newsletters, annual reports, etc

Public Relations and Direct Mail Campaign:

  • Work in conjunction with the Executive Director and PR staff to develop an outreach strategy to increase visibility in the community
  • Prepare content for monthly newsletters and semi annual giving newsletters  with organizational information, stories and “asks”.
  • Prepare two annual donor solicitation mailings

Work Environment

  • Office and computer work 
  • Off site and remote work permitted upon approval from supervisor 


  • Three years of experience raising funds for a non-profit organization(s).  Experience must include individual solicitations as well as developing important contacts in the community of service. 
  • Experience with grant writing for corporations, government entities and foundations. 
  • Experience with planning and executing fundraising events. 
  • Experience with fundraising software and graphic design software is highly desirable.
  • Must be proficient in Google Suite, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree in relevant fields such as business administration, fundraising, marketing or non-profit administration preferred. 


  • Highly skilled communicator with strong writing skills; exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Highly skilled at project management; proven success working in a fast-paced environment and delivering against multiple work streams
  • Data-driven and results-oriented; proven ability to manage data/metrics and make data- informed decisions


  • Team player who enjoys building, creating, and executing new strategies
  • Trustworthy in managing sensitive situations and information; you are discrete, professional, and possess excellent judgment
  • Collaborative; you enjoy gathering stakeholder input to create innovative shared solutions that meet the needs of the organization
  • Detail-oriented and compliance-minded; you enjoy dotting i’s and crossing t’s
  • Comfort with the uncertain; you are motivated to move forward, make decisions, and finalize details quickly once information is available
  • Committed to equitable and inclusive practices in all phases of your work


  • Shift Work Exclusively.
    • Full Time: 30-40 hours per week / 5 shifts
  • Must be able to work on occasional evenings and weekends as scheduled

Pay and Benefits

  • Pay Range: $70-78,000 per year, DOE
  • 2 weeks per year of paid vacation
  • 9 days per year of sick time off
  • 8 Paid Holidays per year 
  • Health benefits include: Medical, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance

About Explore Ecology

Explore Ecology is a Santa Barbara based non-profit organization and a leader in environmental education. We educate over 41,000 children and community members a year through hands-on experiences. Our mission is to inspire children to engage with the natural world, think critically, and experience the value of environmental stewardship. Explore Ecology programs include the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store, Environmental Education, Watershed Resource Center, and School Gardens. 

Explore Ecology actively promotes an environment of respect, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We support all employees regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age, race, ethnic origin, color, religion, national origin, creed, marital status, disabled veteran status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, and/or physical disability that does not inhibit the performance of the specific core tasks of this position.

Underrepresented people are less likely to apply unless they meet 100% of a job’s requirements. We believe in hiring people, not checklists, and encourage you to apply even if you do not check all of the boxes. 

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Linsday Johnson, Executive director,

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