Dec 22, 2021

Development Associate

$65,500 - $72,000 yearly
  • Sierra Club Washington State Chapter
  • Seattle, WA, USA
Full-Time Fundraising/Development

Job Description

Reporting to the Chapter Director, this position is with Sierra Club’s Washington State Chapter. Our 30,000 statewide members are passionate about Sierra Club’s mission to Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet. We are a growing chapter looking to expand our visibility and programmatic work; this role will be integral to supporting our efforts in Washington on climate change and mitigation, preserving and protecting Washington’s lands, water, and wildlife, and fighting for equity and environmental justice in our communities.

The Development Associate will work closely with our chapter leadership to develop and implement an effective, comprehensive fundraising program that:

  • Enhances our ability to attract major gifts and foundation support.
  • Optimizes and grows our existing direct mail and sustaining donation programs.
  • Plans and supports regular fundraising events and celebrations.


Job activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Identify and cultivate major donors. You will be tasked with researching new and existing major donor prospects and, working closely with the Chapter Director, developing engagement strategies that may include in-person meetings, calls, programmatic updates, or other donor stewardship tactics. 
  2. Lead and support chapter fundraising events. In this role, you will recruit and/or support volunteers, supporters, donors, or staff teams who are hosting fundraising events such as fundraising-focused outings or peer-to-peer opportunities, house parties, and an annual event/award celebration. This work will consist of developing content and strategies for online and in-person fundraising events, soliciting support from local businesses and donors, and staying closely involved with event details and logistics. 
  3. Build stronger fundraising narratives and campaigns. By working closely with staff and volunteer leaders, you will help us better communicate about our planned and existing programmatic work to donors, potential funders, and supporters. 
  4. Optimize the chapter’s direct mail program. Increase the effectiveness of direct mail solicitation to Sierra Club members and supporters in Washington State by writing compelling fundraising appeals and working with volunteers and staff to make personal contact with more chapter donors. 
  5. Grow the chapter’s monthly donor program. Monthly donors make up an increasing share of chapter revenue, creating a more predictable revenue stream. You will contact annual donors to request they switch to monthly giving, identify monthly donors with the capacity for larger gifts, schedule calls with members to solicit new monthly gifts, and follow up with donors with credit card/payment errors. 
  6. Maintain organizational fundraising best practices. Your role will be to keep on top of the day-to-day details of our fundraising program while working toward our long-term goals; you will work to make sure the chapter is sending its allocation of fundraising emails, help develop fundraising content for chapter newsletters and digital platforms (including information about planned giving opportunities), stay in collaboration with Sierra Club’s national Advancement Department on donor outreach in Washington, and work closely with chapter volunteer leadership and in-state Sierra Club staff to engage them on chapter fundraising work. 

Hiring Organization

Sierra Club Washington State Chapter


The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • Experience in fundraising and donor cultivation. You have experience fundraising in a nonprofit, advocacy, or political campaign environment, including a proven track record of identifying donor prospects and building relationships with donors over time. 
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills. You are an expert communicator with experience writing fundraising appeals, delivering presentations, and soliciting and closing gifts. You have strong interpersonal skills, including an ability to put people at ease in one-on-one or small group settings and a high comfort level for reaching out to donors or prospects on the phone or in person. 
  • Project Management Skills. You’re able to concurrently manage and coordinate multiple projects, consistently meet deadlines, balance competing demands and make decisions about priorities. You understand and appreciate the value of working collaboratively across teams and asking for help when needed. 
  • Event Coordination. You have successfully planned and executed events, ideally related to donor stewardship or fundraising. 
  • Equity Analysis and Practice. You are aware of your group identities and how they have shaped your life and experiences at work. You have an analysis of how racism and other forms of oppression in society impact relationships, systems, and culture. You bring experience and skills for working effectively with colleagues across group identities and positions/roles. 

The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following experience, skills and competencies:

  • Passion for the environment and knowledge of environmental issues facing Washington.
  • Experience in developing donor-specific cultivation strategies, pitches, and fundraising narratives that tell the story of our work and help donors see the value of their contributions.
  • An understanding of nonprofit budgets and financing, including the differences between 501c3 and 501c4 funding. 
  • Demonstrated success in and enthusiasm for working with volunteers (including board members) to achieve successful outcomes on shared projects. 
  • Experience working with Salesforce, or other databases and content management platforms.

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action, Environment




Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $65,500 to $72,000.

This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit and is subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between Sierra Club and Progressive Workers Union

The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

This is a category 5 non-exempt, represented position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club Human Resources in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition.

The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.

Application Instructions

To Apply

This position does not have an undergraduate education requirement. If you choose to include your education history, please remove your schools from your resume. You may leave your degree (e.g., “B.A. Philosophy”), but please remove any undergraduate and graduate school names. 

This anonymous process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates, reviewing applicants on performance assessments and mitigating bias in the decision-making process. 

Lastly, we are intentionally not asking for a cover letter, so please do not send one in with your application.

We are accepting applications until the position is filled.

Apply Now