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Development and Program Associate

Job Location

Occidental, CA


Type of Job



$54,000 annual salary

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jun 16, 2021

About the job

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The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) is an 80-acre demonstration, education and advocacy center and organic farm located in western Sonoma County, California. Now in our 27th year, OAEC's work focuses on cultivating ecological literacy and building the capacity of civic and social movement leaders and organizations to guide their communities toward an ecologically regenerative, economically viable, and socially just future. We offer a diverse and interrelated set of programs and partnerships to achieve our mission, including modeling land-based resiliency, training change makers, building the capacity of communities and organizations, and policy advocacy.



OAEC seeks a talented and enthusiastic individual to join our experienced, highly effective and joyful staff collective, and to support the many fundraising and program activities of the Center’s staff and annual non-profit budget of $2-3 million.

The Development and Program Associate is responsible for all administrative aspects of our donor and grant seeking activities. The Development and Program Associate reports to and assists the Executive Director. They play an important role in all of OAEC’s fundraising activities, including donor relations and appeals, foundation grant proposals and reports, and fundraising events. They also support the development and success of OAEC’s many core programs, partnerships and fiscally sponsored projects.

This is a tremendous opportunity for someone enthusiastic about social justice and protecting and restoring the natural world to join the passionate and highly experienced staff of an internationally celebrated land-based, high-impact organization.



Manage OAEC’s Donation Program:

  • Manage OAEC’s donor budget projections and tracking spreadsheet, reviewing often with the Executive Director and program staff to integrate changes in our donor ask strategies.
  • Manage OAEC’s donor files: hard copy, in the OAEC database, and in our shared Google Drive files.
  • Manage the system for tracking correspondence, in-person meetings, and phone communications between OAEC staff and each current or prospective major donor.
  • Assist in scheduling meetings with prospective donors and the appropriate OAEC staff.
  • Working with the Executive Director and the Communications Manager, help draft and manage the production and distribution of both OAEC’s annual end-of-year Update and our end-of-year appeal letter we send to our donors and email list.
  • Work with the OAEC Bookkeeper to ensure each donation received is accurately recorded in our QuickBooks accounting system as well as our database.
  • Generate donation acknowledgement letters for each donation received and mail in a timely fashion.
  • Generate ‘thank you’ cards for each major donation. Manage the circulation of the cards to OAEC staff for their hand-written notes of appreciation, and mail in a timely fashion.
  • Work with OAEC’s Communications Manager to monitor and maintain the accuracy and integrity of our database.
  • Manage OAEC’s occasional fundraising events. These events can be brunches, dinners, talks, video showings or open houses. The role is to coordinate planning, staffing and execution of the event.
  • In time, with the Executive Director, further develop and launch both a Legacy Giving Campaign and a Planned Giving Program at OAEC.

Support the Pursuit and Management of Foundation Grants to OAEC

  • Manage OAEC’s foundation grants budget projections and tracking spreadsheet, reviewing regularly with the Executive Director and program staff to integrate changes in targeted foundations’ guidelines, staffing and priorities.
  • Manage OAEC’s Grants Calendar, which tracks proposal and report deadlines for each current or prospective foundation grant.
  • Manage OAEC’s foundation files: hard copy, in the OAEC database, and in our shared Google Drive files.
  • Manage the system for tracking correspondence, in-person meetings, and phone communications between OAEC program and development staff and each current and prospective foundation.
  • Research new foundation prospects to support OAEC programs.
  • Copy edit Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) and grant proposals written by program staff and the Executive Director, and take the lead on drafting some LOIs and proposals.
  • Track the compilation of the elements of each grant proposal (narrative, financials, attachments) in preparation for submission before a grant deadline by program staff or the Executive Director.
  • Track, edit and ensure the timely submission of grant reports written by program staff or the Executive Director, including drafting select grant reports.

Support for OAEC Programs and General Activities

  • Participate with the Executive Director, the Communications Manager and other program staff on the conceptualization and making of occasional promotional and educational materials, such as videos and other web content, about OAEC’s work.
  • Assist the Executive Director and the Financial Controller in the recruitment and support of new Fiscally Sponsored Projects well-aligned with OAEC’s mission and capacity.
  • Be available at times to support the Retreat and Office Manager in their role managing the many retreats and workshops held at OAEC each year.
  • Utilize support for Development projects available from the two annual Administrative/Program Interns.
  • Participate in weekly Thursday OAEC staff meetings, and serve on appropriate committees.
  • Participate in the annual staff performance review process, including serving on review committees of staff with whom the Associate will be working most closely.


(Please do not apply if you do not meet the following requirements)

  • Prior office/administration experience, preferably in a mission-based non-profit organization, and strong organizational skills with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills for working with our donors and the highly diverse community of organizations and individuals who come to OAEC.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with a sense of humor and a positive attitude, and an interest in and ability to help resolve conflicts within organizational relationships.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work, and to be self-motivated and self-managing as this role will require both independent work and work with the entire OAEC staff collective.
  • Proficiency working in Microsoft Office (Excel and Word), and in the Google Drive environment (Sheets and Docs). OAEC staff use Apple Mac computers.
  • Experience working with database systems (i.e. Salesforce, Fundly, Salsa, etc), or demonstrable ability to quickly master our database system.
  • Experience in organizing fundraising or other events is preferred, but not required.
  • Have great enthusiasm for OAEC’s broader mission and programs that work to restore and protect biological and cultural diversity, and to create just and sustainable communities.


  • The annual salary for the Development and Program Associate is $54,000 per year at 40 hours/week. Compensation rates and raises for all staff are set by the OAEC Staff Executive Council, which is elected by the staff collective.
  • OAEC offers health benefits as well as an employee only contribution 401(k).
  • OAEC offers generous paid time off: a total of 5 weeks and 3 days per year of vacation and floating holidays combined, as well as paid sick time off.
  • The Development and Program Associate will work in one of the offices at OAEC. They may have some flexibility to work occasional days remotely at home.
  • All staff may enjoy the use of OAEC’s beautiful facilities, including our swimming pond, hot tub and sauna, and wildlands. Staff are invited to harvest from the extraordinary array of organic produce, flowers, and fruit grown in our Mother Garden and orchards.
  • When working on-site, staff may participate in the renowned organic meals prepared for retreats and residents by OAEC’s amazing kitchen staff. Staff may take OAEC courses free of charge, and attend the various theater performances, small concerts, talks and celebrations happening on-site throughout the year. We welcome visits from family and friends.


  • Before applying, please spend some time looking at our website: to better learn about the site, the organization, and to understand what OAEC does in the world. You might also look at a recent Annual Update, and some of the various 3-minute videos on our website, including about our Resilient Community Design Program, our Permaculture for the People project, and a visual tour of our Retreat Center.
  • OAEC actively seeks a diverse applicant pool and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. OAEC does not discriminate based on an individual’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or on any other basis prohibited by law.
  • We are accepting applications until 5:00 pm PDT, Friday, July 2, 2021. Early application is encouraged as applicant screening will begin before the deadline. The Development and Program Associate will start on or after August 1, when the position is filled.
  • Qualified applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and list of three to five references to “Hiring Manager” at with the subject: “Development and Program Associate Position.” Resumes without cover letters will not be considered. Please do not contact OAEC directly with questions or inquiries, but refer to this Job Announcement on the OAEC Jobs web page for information. Thank you!
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