Development Director

North Santa Barbara County, Mid Santa Barbara County, South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Environmental Defense Center

The Environmental Defense Center (EDC), one of the nation’s longest running non-profit environmental law firms, is seeking a full time Development Director to support the organization’s mission to protect California’s Central Coast, conserve natural spaces and wildlife, and preserve the earth’s climate.

This is a full-time position located in Santa Barbara.
The compensation range is $90,000-105,000.


The Environmental Defense Center is a non-profit, public interest law firm that has worked to protect and restore California’s environment and natural resources for more than 45 years. EDC is headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, and our work focuses primarily within San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, including the northern Channel Islands and the ocean waters seaward of this region’s shores. Our mission is to protect and enhance the local environment through education, advocacy, and legal action. Since 1977, we have empowered community-based organizations to advance environmental protection. Our program areas include climate and energy, protecting open space and wildlife, clean water, and the Santa Barbara Channel.


The Development Director works closely with the Executive Director, Assistant Director, Event Coordinator, and Board Development Committee in efforts to establish and execute an effective fundraising plan to ensure the long-term financial viability of EDC. The position supports the mission of the organization by developing and overseeing diverse fundraising strategies, growing our planned giving program, managing the grants program and relationships with foundation staff, cultivating donors and community partnerships, producing fundraising events, and providing effective and accurate management of the donor database. The position reports to the Executive Director and will work out of EDC’s office in Santa Barbara with the opportunity to work a hybrid schedule.

An ideal candidate should be passionate about environmental protection in California, be highly organized, and have proven success in developing and implementing overall fundraising strategies and tactics, grant writing, donor cultivation, database administration, and event management.

Essential functions of the job include but are not limited to:

  • Work with Executive Director to manage and expand EDC’s comprehensive and diverse development program. Develop, coordinate, and implement fundraising strategies and activities for direct mail solicitations, grants, major donors, membership, corporate giving, planned giving, fundraising events, and endowment campaigns.
  • Supervise staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Prepare Annual Development Plan in collaboration with Executive Director, Assistant Director, and Board Development Committee.
  • Manage and grow grants program including completion of all grant writing and reporting, management of calendar to ensure timely and effective completion of deliverables, cultivation of relationships with foundation staff, and researching new grant opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain a portfolio of major donors and actively lead identification and engagement of new donor prospects.
  • Serve as primary administrator of donor database and files; ensure accurate, clean data and generation of reports for development analysis, major donor meetings, events, and mailings; generate timely and accurate donor acknowledgment letters.
  • With the Executive Director, manage and coordinate donor cultivation and fundraising events to increase community visibility, including annual fundraiser.
  • Identify strategic business partnerships and expand corporate sponsorship program.
  • Coordinate successful major donor appreciation and planned giving events annually.
  • Oversee and execute direct mail solicitation, working closely with communications team on effective storytelling and production of creative and inspiring mail pieces.


  • Serve as staff liaison to Board Development Committee, including updates on fundraising opportunities and strategies.
  • Work with Executive Director to report development plans and progress for Board meetings.
  • Work with Executive Director and Development Committee to ensure implementation of Annual Development Plan.


  • Assist with preparation and implementation of the strategic planning process with Board and staff members.
  • Ensure all activities conform to all company policies and financial accounting practices affecting a 501(3)(c) organization.
  • Assist with annual budget preparation, manage development budget, and monitor progress toward organizational development goals.
  • Like all EDC employees, the Development Director may occasionally be called upon to perform tasks outside the scope of his/her/their usual job duties.


  • A background in nonprofit development with 4+ years of hands-on fundraising experience in a mission-driven organization(s).
  • A deep understanding of environmental and socio-economic issues facing California’s central coast region, and a passion for EDC’s work as a community-serving organization advancing environmental protection and human health through education, advocacy, and legal action.
  • A proven track record of developing a comprehensive and diverse fundraising program that sets and achieves ambitious goals.
  • A high level of technological and organizational skill, with experience using cloud-based collaboration tools, spreadsheets, CRM software (Salesforce), donor databases, and other fundraising platforms.
  • Experience in event planning and execution.
  • Skilled storyteller with clear written and spoken communication skills, research skills, and meticulous attention to detail.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the environmental movement.
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English a plus.
  • Valid California driver’s license.
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds comfortably.


EDC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive work culture. We believe that a diverse workforce that includes historically marginalized and excluded groups of people improves our ability to assist our clients; enhances intellectual engagement; inspires innovation and creativity; and promotes critical thinking and solution-finding. EDC is devoted to hiring a diverse team of qualified people with respect to gender identity (including gender expression), race, sexual orientation, family status, religion, ethnicity, age, physical abilities, and other factors. EDC will also make reasonable accommodations for qualified people with disabilities.



EDC offers a generous benefit package including health, dental, vision, long-term disability, life insurance, and retirement matching contribution for employees, plus contributions toward health insurance coverage for dependents and spouses. Paid vacation and sick leave are provided, plus 10 holidays. In addition, employees are paid during EDC’s Winter Break, from December 24 through December 31, when our office is closed.


Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and professional references to EDC Executive Director Alex Katz at Please indicate “Development Director Application” in the subject line. Only complete applications that follow all instructions will be reviewed.  We kindly request no telephone inquiries regarding this position.

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