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Development Specialist

Company: The Wooden Floor
Date Posted: March 1, 2018



Organization Profile: Founded in 1983, The Wooden Floor is one of the foremost creative youth development nonprofit organizations in the country. We transform the lives of young people in low-income communities through the power of dance and access to higher education. In Orange County and through national licensed partners, we use a long-term approach grounded in exploratory dance education to foster the confidence and gifts within each child to innovate, communicate, and collaborate – skills necessary for success in school and in life. 100 percent of students who graduate from The Wooden Floor immediately enroll in higher education. Our students become change agents and beacons of hope within their own families, their neighborhoods, our community, and our world.


In 2016, The Wooden Floor launched a four-year Comprehensive Campaign (2016-2019),
Lift: The Campaign for The Wooden Floor. Significant funding is being raised comprehensively for the following three strategic initiatives: 1) Growth and excellence of existing programs, 2) Extension of The Wooden Floor’s campus, 3) Growth and sustainability of The Wooden Floor Endowment Fund.


Position Summary:

The Development Specialist is a key position as part of Development Department of four FTE, working closely with Development Operations Coordinator, Development Manager, and contract Grants Consultant, all reporting to Chief Development Officer (CDO). Under the direction of the CDO, the Development Specialist executes the organization’s fundraising and donor stewardship strategies, with a focus on corporate/foundation relations ($1,000 - $5,000), individual donor proposals, stewardship reports, and direct mail and digital donor acquisition strategies as part of the organization’s 2018 launch of public phase of Comprehensive Campaign. 


The ideal candidate equally enjoys building new donor relationships along with fundraising strategies to advance organization’s overall Comprehensive Campaign Plan. This position requires a high level of proposal and report writing, direct mail appeal management, attention to detail, discretion, and mature independent judgment in working with donors and handling sensitive and confidential information.  In addition, s/he is flexible in performing a wide variety of special projects at the request of the CDO.


Reports To:         Chief Development Officer (CDO)

Classification:    Exempt

Status:                 Full-time (Monday – Friday, 9:00am to 6:00pm)


Essential Job Functions:

  • Research, identify, and draft corporate and foundation event sponsorship and grant proposals
  • Manage and execute donor acquisition strategies and direct mail/digital appeals
  • Manage donor stewardship calendar and draft quarterly/annual update reports
  • Collaborate with Development Manager on donor upgrade strategies for new and  annual Neighbors supporters to Dance Partner program
  • Create and manage welcome series for prospective donors and first-time visitors
  • Collaborate with Marketing Department on the execution of annual fund and special appeals collateral, in alignment with comprehensive annual marketing/development calendar
  • Execute Campaign “public phase” acquisition strategies to align with Comprehensive Campaign plan
  • Draft monthly email and mail acknowledgements letters
  • Assist in drafting appeal messaging and development articles for newsletter and digital appeals
  • Support planning and execution of fundraising and donor cultivation events
  • Lead prospective donor campus visits, tours, and cultivation meetings in support of Campaign activities
  • Regularly assess and prepare reports and presentations on fundraising activity and outcomes to inform future strategies and progress towards goals


Required Education, Skills, & Competencies:

  • Bachelor’s or advance academic degree
  • 2+ years of professional fundraising experience
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Knowledge of fundraising fundamentals and continuous learner in fundraising best practices
  • Demonstrated success in proposal writing, direct mail, and digital solicitation strategies
  • High-energy professional with strong initiative to build new relationships
  • Professional demeanor and experience working with high level community/business volunteers
  • Passion for youth, arts, and education
  • Mission driven; business minded
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced, complex environment with the skills to establish priorities, set objectives, and achieve stated goals
  • Proficient in MS Office, donor database CRM (preferably Raiser’s Edge), and web research
  • Handle and produce data and fiscal analysis for reporting purposes; consistently demonstrate high attention to detail
  • Ability to pass criminal background check
  • Possess a valid California Driver’s License and maintain a clean driving record


Compensation: Commensurate salary based upon demonstrated experience and qualifications. 


To Apply: Send a copy of your cover letter, resume and two writing samples to:, Subject: Development Specialist



American With Disabilities Act Assessment:  Below are general guidelines on the position's physical, mental, and environmental working conditions


Bend: Frequently
Squat: Frequently
Crawl: Occasionally
Climb: Occasionally
Kneel: Not applicable
Handle Objects: Frequently
Push/Pull: Frequently
Reach Above Shoulder Level: Frequently
Sit: Frequently
Stand: Frequently
Walk: Frequently
Use Fine Finger Movements: Frequently
Carry/Lift Loads up to 25 Pounds: Frequently
Carry/Lift loads between 25-50 Pounds: Frequently
Carry/Lift Loads over 50 Pounds: Occasionally
Read/Comprehend: Frequently
Write: Frequently
Perform Calculations: Frequently 
Communicate Orally: Frequently
Reason and Analyze: Frequently
Chemical/Biological Agent: Not applicable
Construction Activities: Frequently
Contact with Water/Liquids: Occasionally
Drive Motorized Equipment: Occasionally
Confined Spaces: Occasionally
Elevated Work Location: Not applicable
Radioactive Materials: Not applicable
Temperature Variations: Occasionally
Gas System: Not applicable