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Assistant, Development

PEN America
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Oct 23, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Prospect Research, Special Events, Programs, Program Administration and Management, Administrative, Other Administrative
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression and celebrate the power of writing, seeks a highly organized, skilled, and energetic development and events assistant. This role is a core to PEN America’s fundraising efforts, including special events, cultivation of individual donors, and partnerships with foundations that sustain the organization and fuel its growth. The ideal candidate is a self-starter and highly organized with high attention to detail, strong writing skills, and experience in Raiser’s Edge. This is a full-time position based in New York and reports to the deputy director of development.

The development and events assistant’s primary duties include development database management, donor and prospect research, creating reports, corresponding with donors, and processing acknowledgement letters. Additional duties include assisting with fundraising events, especially the Literary Gala; reconciling donations and coordinating efforts with the finance department; and overseeing our national charity registration. Professionalism, confidentiality, and discretion are fundamental to this role.

The development and events assistant will have the opportunity to make a critical difference in an organization and department that is quickly expanding, and that engages with leading literary figures and important national and international issues. The successful candidate will have exposure to every aspect of nonprofit fundraising, with significant opportunities to develop a portfolio of skills in development and to gain increased responsibilities and advancement over time.

  • Manage Raiser’s Edge database and recordkeeping to carefully track, acknowledge, and report gifts (including data entry and analysis)
  • Create donor and prospect research
  • Create donor correspondence for chief development officer related to invitations, meeting requests, and solicitations
  • Assist with all appeals, including maintaining lists, creating materials, and processing mailings
  • Create donor presentations, research briefings, and materials for donors
  • Assist with all special events, including correspondence, communications, and follow-up
  • Coordinate meetings for development team internally and externally
  • Assist with recruitment, training, and managing interns
  • Support other development functions of a fast-growing team as needs emerge
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • One to two years of development experience in a nonprofit
  • Raiser’s Edge experience
  • Experience in donor and prospect research
  • Strong ability to communicate in writing in a range of forms and contexts
  • Ability to handle relationships with stakeholders with tact and maturity
  • Ambitious work ethic and ability to work both autonomously and as part of departmental or cross-departmental team
  • Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to prioritize multiple tasks, with zealous attention to detail
  • Exemplary capacity to maintain confidentiality and discretion
  • Passion for the mission of PEN America

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to Please use “Development Assistant” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Development Assistant – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

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