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Development Specialist or Senior Development Specialist

Western Center on Law & Poverty Inc.,
California, United States
$65,000.00 - $85,000.00
Closing date
Jun 6, 2023

Position Summary

Western Center on Law & Poverty is seeking a Development Specialist to lead event coordination, support annual fundraising campaigns, and provide related administrative support. Reporting to the Director of Philanthropy, the Development Specialist will play an integral role in mobilizing the Western Center community through engaging fundraising events and creative fundraising campaigns that drive mission impact and increase philanthropic revenue. We seek a team member who will thrive in a collegial environment and bring expertise in donor engagement including increasing current donor gifts, conducting research, and performing donor outreach.

Primary responsibilities include creating and implementing detailed event production schedules, agendas, and run of shows, measuring event results (attendance, venue accessibility, post-event survey data), and convening post-event debriefs to determine successes and areas for improvement. Working collaboratively with the Director of Philanthropy, the Specialist will build, facilitate, and steward new and existing relationships with major gift prospects and donors (individuals, corporations, and foundations), support major donor communication, and develop related collateral. The Development Specialist will also co-create direct mail, social media, and email campaigns that represent the full scope of Western Center’s vision to end poverty and ensure economic and racial justice for all Californians.

As the Western Center development team is committed to integrating community-centric fundraising principles, the Development Specialist will conduct prospect research to grow Western Center’s donor portfolio and support the expansion of a donor community that aligns with our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice. The Specialist will champion equity and justice in external relationships and internal policies and procedures.

The successful candidate will be an efficient collaborator with strong written and verbal communication skills, and expertise in annual fund development and event coordination.


Special Events

  • Assist in the development and execution of event work plans for all virtual and in-person events including WCLP’s annual Garden Party, Meet the Advocates program series, comedy event, donor receptions, and other WCLP network events.
  • Maintain event software, tracking event RSVPs, sponsorships, and tickets sales and updating event websites with sponsor logos and other key information.
  • Work with sponsors on their guest lists and all related event communications; track and prepare name tags and seating charts for in-person events.
  • Lead day-of event logistics including volunteer assignments, guest registration table management, set-up and tear-down, and liaise with venue staff, personnel for parking/valet, security, etc.
  • Manage event budgets, tracking expenditures and revenue to support post-event reconciliation in partnership with the Director of Philanthropy and Director of Finance.
  • Execute rental and vendor agreements for production, catering, audio/visual support, etc.
  • Draft copy for event related solicitations: sponsorship decks, sponsor cover letters, honoree and speaker
  • Prepare pre- and post-event communications for email, website, and social media.
  • Work with Director of Philanthropy to manage Advisory Board Committee communications and event
  • Work in partnership with Senior Communications Strategist to finalize any scripts and format for production teams.

Annual Fund

  • In partnership with the Director of Philanthropy, support the creation and implementation of all annual fundraising campaigns.
  • Provide comprehensive assistance with writing annual appeals, identifying stewardship materials, pulling and strategically segmenting mailing lists, writing and crafting compelling acknowledgements and thank you letters, and working with mail and print vendors to get appeals out on time.
  • Work closely with the Director of Philanthropy to grow portfolio of individual donors.
  • Write copy for fundraising campaign emails and collateral materials.
  • Coordinate and support the development of corporate partnership opportunities.
  • Promote and manage employee giving campaigns with corporate and community partners.
  • Perform prospect research to cultivate and steward expansion of donor pipeline.

General Responsibilities

  • Actively participate in the creation of the annual development plan and follow through on its successful completion.
  • Remain up to date on the latest fundraising and stewardship trends that impact philanthropic support for WCLP’s mission.
  • Understand the strategic direction and vision of the organization to support fundraising and event strategies aligned with WCLP’s values.
  • Contribute to the healthy maintenance of the department’s donor database system.
  • Assist, as needed, in gift processing and preparation of donation acknowledgement letters.
  • Recommend internal process and policy modifications to increase department efficiency.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Deep commitment to economic, social, and racial justice, and the mission of the Western Center.
  • Bachelor's degree (or combination of equivalent education and work experience).
  • A minimum of 2–5 years’ experience (for the Development Specialist position) or a minimum of 6 – 8 years’ experience (for Senior Specialist position) in donor cultivation, event planning, nonprofit fundraising, or demonstrated experience in related field.
  • Experience coordinating all aspects of large and small-scale events for diverse constituencies, including knowledge producing hybrid and virtual events with various technology.
  • Experience with nonprofit fundraising databases or CRM systems (proficiency in GiveSmart, eTapestry or similar nonprofit fundraising/donor management software a plus).
  • High degree of creativity and up-to-date knowledge of community engagement and event trends.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience working with vendors and consultants including mail house on bulk mailings.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint).
  • Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to effectively prioritize among competing tasks while maintaining attention to detail.
  • Proven stakeholder management skills and demonstrated ability to establish positive rapport with all levels of staff, volunteers, funders and donors.
  • Demonstrated experience working independently, but within a collaborative team environment, and ability to establish priorities and follow-up in a timely manner.


The full-time, salaried position is located in Los Angeles, Oakland, or Sacramento. While Western Center on Law & Poverty’s physical offices are open for employee use, team members work primarily remotely and establish their own hybrid work schedule.

The salary range for the Development Specialist position is $65,000 - $75,000, commensurate with experience. The salary range for the Senior Development Specialist position is $75,000 - $85,000, commensurate with experience.

Western Center provides a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental and vision coverage, life insurance, retirement plan with ER contributions and a modest match, leave policies, vacation, and December holiday office closure at full pay. We also provide opportunities and support to ensure our staff can grow and develop their professional skills.

To Apply

Please email cover letter, writing sample, and resume to Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, with priority given to applications submitted by June 15, 2023.

In your cover letter, please explain how you think your personal and/or professional experience and background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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