Development Director via Idealist

Los Angeles Waterkeeper

Los Angeles, CA, US

Los Angeles Waterkeeper (LAW), a dynamic nonprofit organization founded in 1993 (as Santa Monica BayKeeper), safeguards LA’s inland and coastal waters by enforcing laws and empowering communities. We are seeking a highly motivated individual to join our staff as Development Director. The Development Director will lead a team responsible for raising the organization’s $2 million budget annually, with projected growth each year. The Development Director provides strategic direction and oversees Waterkeeper’s advancement team in implementing fundraising and communication activities, including: grant writing and management, corporate and major donor outreach, planned giving, membership development, special events, social and traditional media, and public relations efforts. This position reports to the Executive Director.



·        Manage Advancement team, which includes supervising one full-time staff as well as grant writers, communications and event consultants. Oversee work plans, conduct annual reviews, and ensure progress toward overarching departmental goals.

·        In collaboration with Executive Director, develop annual Advancement Plan that includes clear goals, objectives, and action plans to achieve desired fundraising and communications outcomes.

·        Set quarterly/annual fundraising goals and have systems in place to benchmark and track activities and progress.

·        Coordinate LAW’s Development Committee, a subcommittee of the Board. Serve as primary liaison to Board on all development, communications and events activities.

·        In collaboration with the ED, Board, and Advancement team members, lead efforts to engage supporters in expanding the organization’s development, branding and outreach efforts.


·        Manage LAW’s overall fundraising program by ensuring that the appropriate systems, staffing and procedures are in place to meet all fundraising goals.

·        Work with LAW’s grant writer(s) and appropriate staff to develop cases for support and/or template grant requests for all LAW campaigns. Put systems in place to ensure consistent submittals.

·        Oversee LAW’s grant writer(s) to ensure adequate research is being done on foundation, corporate and government grants; a funder database and calendar is maintained and followed; and all planned grant requests and reports are submitted in a timely and professional fashion and followed-up on accordingly.

·        Manage key foundation relationships, including building connections with new targets.

·        Lead efforts to develop and execute solicitation strategies for major donors and corporate prospects; manage key corporate and major donor relationships.

·        Work with the advancement team to develop and execute solicitation of membership activities, including upgrading LAW’s member benefits package, overseeing direct mail appeals, and undertaking other membership activities as appropriate.


·        Streamline communications efforts to align with broader fundraising, networking, and outreach goals.

·        Oversee LAW’s traditional media outreach, including building relationships with key outlets and ensuring regular coverage of LAW activities and policy priorities.



·        Oversee LAW’s special events consultant(s), and other members of the LAW advancement team in developing and executing an annual event plan that meets all fundraising and other goals for the organization (e.g., cultivating donors, broadening relationships, building power, and furthering LAW’s policy and programmatic goals).

Qualifications & Requirements:

Applicants must have a college degree and at least five years of development and/or communications experience, preferably in the nonprofit arena, including managing staff and campaigns. The ideal candidate will be a results-oriented fundraising professional with excellent interpersonal skills and will be able to represent the organization’s interests to a wide spectrum of constituent groups. Candidates should have experience in corporate and major donor outreach, grant development, and membership and planned giving campaigns. They must also possess familiarity with a CRM database (ideally Salesforce), social and emerging media platforms as well as traditional media and public relations. Applicants must have excellent communication skills, and the ability to interact regularly with major donors, foundations, corporate partners, and Board of Directors. They must be hard working, extremely organized, self-motivated, enjoy working in a team setting, and demonstrate a deep commitment and passion for conservation and environmental protection.

Physical Requirements

Mobility to work in a standard office environment using standard office equipment and attend off-site meetings. Must be able to sit for long periods of time, and engage in basic movements such as bending, standing, and lifting weight up to 20 pounds. Must have reliable transportation for travel to various meetings and sites throughout the county.

Salary, Benefits & Terms

Salary: $75,000-$90,000, based on qualifications

Schedule: Full-Time Exempt position; some evening and weekend work required

Benefits: Paid health and dental insurance, vacation and sick leave

Start Date: Target start date is June 2020, or earlier if position can be filled

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to [email protected] by Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

An Equal Opportunity Employer

Los Angeles Waterkeeper is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity. LAW maintains a policy of non-discrimination in regard to age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other class protected by applicable state or federal law. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

About Los Angeles Waterkeeper

Founded in 1993, Los Angeles Waterkeeper safeguards LA’s inland and coastal waters by enforcing laws and empowering communities. Our 10-member team of lawyers, scientists, outreach, advancement and support staff work tirelessly to achieve our vision of a Los Angeles region that is an international leader on integrated, sustainable and equitable water management; a region that is water self-sufficient, and where all waterways throughout the county are safe, healthy and accessible to the public. A locally-based and directed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, LA Waterkeeper is a proud member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance (that advocates for CA Waterkeepers in Sacramento), and is one of nearly 350 members of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, led by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., working to safeguard the world’s waterways. 





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