Development Strategist

Mid Santa Barbara County
Full Time
The Starfish Connections


The Starfish Connection is a startup nonprofit in our second year of operations. We provide crisis funding to individuals and families with emergent financial needs that cannot be met by other organizations or government support. We issue one time gap grants up to $1500 in direct support, usually within 24 hours of receiving the application from a partnering organization.

Through our partnerships with NPO’s in Santa Barbara, we provide essential financial support to people in our community who are out of options. It is our vision to affect change in the world – one life at a time.

Helping our neighbors is heart work. When hiring team members we look not only at job qualifications but value alignment, enthusiasm for the work, trustworthiness, vision, cultural inclusion, and a belief that helping an individual has ripple effects that can uplift a community.

We value a healthy, sustainable work/life balance that supports and invests in people over product. We believe in a culture that first considers the well being of the people doing the work so that we can better serve others.

Folks who are/have been system-impacted, are immigrants, queer, trans, non-binary, Black, Indigenous, people of color, parents, and anyone who has experienced systemic oppression and/or gender-based violence are encouraged to apply.


We are filling this position for the first time and are looking for an experienced nonprofit development professional, a creative, collaborative thinker who is motivated to help us shape the organization. This is a grass roots opportunity to co-create our fundraising strategy and bring their own initiatives, energy, and ideas to the position making this a highly personal and impactful experience.

  • Position will need to work closely with the executive team and board to develop and implement fundraising strategies and campaigns and build critical relationships with a diverse sector of donors and allies.
  • The Development Strategist will help create and execute the organization’s endowments, annual giving, grants, major gifts, and short and long-range fundraising goals.
  • Plan and oversee public and private events and develop and guide volunteers to support these events.
  • Work with the Executive Director and Community Engagement Coordinator to create a calendar of philanthropic events.
  • Help the executive team develop grassroots fundraising concepts that speak to middle class, ongoing donors, creating an ‘inclusive, neighborhood’ feel to our community fundraising approach.
  • Work with the Executive Director on marketing and public outreach to promote fundraising campaigns.
    Develop marketing materials for relationship building with donors (letters, thank you/engagement postcards, invitations, and surveys)


  • Requires 3-5 years of experience in nonprofit fund development
  • Knowledge of grant writing
  • Event planning capabilities and experience
  • High school diploma or equivalent required; Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Must be able to lead teams, read financial statements, collaborate, inspire, organize, and plan.
  • Time-management, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail required
  • Must be a quick learner, self motivated, energized by the work, and trustworthy
  • Must be comfortable with face to face interactions, virtual interactions, phone communication, speaking to small and large groups, all forms of electronic communication
  • Must live locally in the Santa Barbara/Goleta/Summerland/Carpinteria area
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and an insured and functioning vehicle
  • Spanish/English speaking preferred


Employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the position satisfactorily and, if requested, reasonable accommodation may be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job, absent undue hardship.

  • This position is responsible for creating and maintaining fundraising campaigns with both long and short term goals
  • Outstanding written and oral communication and interpersonal skills required
  • Write content to earn grants, new audiences, and build relationships with donors and corporations while maintaining ongoing ones
  • Help develop donor strategy, donor pyramid, fundraising goals, and community engagement
  • Analyze giving and spending cycles to guide fundraising campaign decisions
  • Construct graphs and reports to convey their strategies and needs
  • Knowledge of Donor Perfect or general data base management skills required
  • Present new ideas for process and systems improvements
  • Cultivate fundraising opportunities that include BIPOC communities
  • Compliance with all company policies
  • Other related duties as assigned
    The Employer retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.


Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
Must be able to set up for tabling at community events which requires both sitting and standing for prolonged periods and carrying items from a distance.
Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.

FLSA status: Full time, salaried, and exempt.
Location: Hybrid position eligible, must be able to work a minimum of 80% in office in Goleta
Reports to: Executive Director
Pay Range: $85,000 to $90,000 annually, depending on experience.
Benefits: Health insurance covered at 100% by employer, ongoing professional development opportunities, all reasonable vacation requests considered.
Standard workweek: Monday – Thursday
Standard work hours: eight hours over four days per week or equal to 32 hours per week

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