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Development Associate

Landscape Architecture Foundation
District of Columbia, United States
$54,000.00 - $60,000.00
Closing date
Mar 22, 2023

About LAF

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1966 with the mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment. With the support of our donors, LAF invests in research, scholarships, and leadership initiatives to increase the influence and impact of landscape architects. Through leadership and philanthropic activities, LAF advances the body of knowledge and supports innovative projects and initiatives to strengthen designers of the environment to take on the defining issues of our time: climate change, inequity, and biodiversity.

Position Overview

LAF seeks a results-oriented Development Associate to join our dynamic and collaborative team. The Development Associate reports to the Director of Development and supports a variety of fundraising and stewardship functions to help secure the resources necessary for LAF to meet the needs of its mission, programs, and its ambitious growth plans. An integral part of a small organization, the Development Associate serves as part of an integrated team and provides input and support to LAF’s programs, events, outreach, and partnership initiatives, as well as operations.

As a non-member organization, LAF depends on fundraising for its core financial support. Through a mix of individual and corporate giving, events, and grants, LAF’s annual fund contributes upwards of $1M to support programs and operations. This amount will exceed $1M this year and in the next 3 years, will need to grow to exceed $1.5M. In addition to securing the resources for LAF’s annual fund, LAF is currently running a $2.5M campaign to support the launch of a new program designed to address the underrepresentation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) landscape architects. 

The ideal candidate possesses strong technical and data management skills, is an effective written communicator with excellent interpersonal skills, and has demonstrated success in a fundraising role or an interest in fundraising and administrative experience gained at a nonprofit or membership organization. The ideal candidate will also have an affinity for LAF’s mission, sustainability, and the potential of a well-designed built environment to create a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world.

This position offers a unique opportunity to learn all aspects of a non-profit organization’s development operations, demonstrate leadership skills, and help implement a comprehensive development program. The full-time, non-exempt position is located in Washington, D.C., and requires occasional travel within the U.S. LAF staff work a hybrid schedule with at least two fixed days per week in LAF’s downtown DC office.

Primary Responsibilities

The Development Associate is responsible for supporting the planning and implementation of LAF’s annual fundraising initiatives. Core responsibilities include maintaining LAF’s donor database; monitoring, recording, and reporting on fundraising targets; drafting fundraising campaign messages; coordinating the implementation of donor recognition activities; and supporting the Director of Development and CEO in their fundraising responsibilities. The Development Associate will have the following responsibilities:  

Data Management, Reporting, and Analysis

  • Review, update, clean-up, and upload data files to maintain LAF’s donor and contact database and effectively manage and track donor cultivation activities and event and program participants
  • Generate reports from LAF’s Salesforce CRM database and manipulate data in Excel to create charts, graphs, and tailored spreadsheets
  • Provide reporting and analysis as needed to support data-driven strategies and decision making across the organization
  • Identify and support opportunities for improved data management practices across the organization

Donor Relations, Communication, and Recognition

  • Establish best practices to ensure accurate and timely acknowledgment of all donations (by mail and/or email)
  • Develop the ability to write in LAF’s voice to draft thoughtful and accurate donation acknowledgments and receipts, writing personalized acknowledgments for major donors
  • Ensure donors are properly recognized across all channels (events, LAF’s website, on social media, etc.)
  • Develop a working familiarity with key donors, including their general giving and engagement history
  • Work closely with the Director of Development to identify ways to improve the efficiency, efficacy, and donor centricity of our work to increase donor support and retention

Direct Mail Appeals and E-appeals

  • Assist with semi-annual direct mail and quarterly digital giving campaigns, including:
    • drafting messages for both direct mail appeals and e-appeals, working with the Director of Development, communications staff, and (if applicable) any featured individuals to finalize the messages
    • providing the data for agreed-upon segmentation of constituents
    • executing mail merges and printing and assembling the components for the direct mail appeals


  • Support activities related to LAF’s annual events (Symposium, Awards Dinner, Sponsor Reception event, and Annual Benefit), including:
  • managing online registrations and serving as the primary contact for event registrants
  • coordinating and communicating pertinent information to event volunteers and sponsors
  • managing the schedule of stewardship and donor recognition activities for event sponsors
  • maintaining accurate guest lists
  • acting as the point person for pre-event and day-of-event activities

Leadership and Staff Support

  • Support the CEO in her development role by preparing her for meetings and gift requests with prospect briefs and call/meeting objectives and supporting appropriate follow-up
  • Work with the Director of Development to support the fundraising responsibilities of the Board of Directors
  • Identify, research, and qualify new prospects (individuals, organizations, and granting foundations)
  • Effectively promote and represent LAF in all activities, inspiring support from a variety of donors, and practicing a strong sense of fundraising ethics and respect for the confidentiality of donor information and resources
  • Special projects and other responsibilities as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

  • Experience working with CRM platforms; Salesforce database proficiency preferred
  • Relationship management and a customer service mindset
  • Superior organizational skills, exceptional attention to detail, and ability to complete tasks in a systematic manner
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and established writing and editing skills including the ability to adjust your writing style to match the organization’s voice
  • Strong technical skills, including demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (and exceptionally strong proficiency in Excel) and familiarity with mail merge functionality
  • Experience with email marketing platforms (e.g., MailChimp), and event registration platforms (e.g., Eventbrite)
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently as well as within a collaborative environment and with diverse internal and donor constituencies
  • Flexibility and the ability to prioritize assignments to meet deadlines
  • Ability to represent LAF professionally and positively at all times, bringing the highest quality service and professionalism to everything you do 
  • Affinity for LAF’s mission

 Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

  • 1-2 years of experience in philanthropy or donor relations and stewardship or equivalent experience and exposure gained through administrative experience at a nonprofit or membership organization
  • A Bachelor’s Degree is preferred but not required; equivalent professional experience will be considered
  • Comfort and professionalism conversing with high-level donors/CEOs of organizations

Compensation and Benefits

Starting salary range is $54,000-$60,000, commensurate with experience, with the opportunity for a 3% performance bonus. LAF offers opportunities for growth based on employee performance. LAF provides a comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, life, and disability insurance, vacation/sick pay, and an employer-matching 401(k) program.

LAF offers a hybrid schedule: Mondays and Tuesdays in the office, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays remote. LAF’s office is located in downtown Washington, D.C., is easily accessible by multiple public transit options, and has an onsite fitness facility, showers, secure bike parking, a roof deck, and additional amenities.

Application Instructions

Submit a letter of interest, resume, and three references to with the subject line “Development Associate position.” Please indicate how you found this opportunity. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


LAF is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees.

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