Employment Opportunity: Development Associate | Oceana
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Development Associate

About Us

Founded in 2001, Oceana is the world’s largest ocean advocacy organization focused solely on restoring the resilience, diversity, and abundance of marine ecosystems to ensure that our oceans are a significant source of wild-caught fish that can help feed the world.

We achieve measurable change by conducting specific, science-based campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals. Our campaigns extend to countries that, combined, govern nearly one-third of the world’s wild-caught fish, including Belize, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, the United States, Canada and the 27 countries in the European Union.  

Oceana uses science, law, economics, grassroots organizing, and communications to win victories using five proven strategies:

  • Protecting habitat
  • Preserving endangered animals
  • Reducing overfishing
  • Increasing transparency
  • Curbing pollution

Oceana has won more than 200 significant policy victories and protected over 4.5 million square miles of ocean.


General Summary

Oceana seeks an energetic and creative Development Associate to join the Major Gifts team in our Washington, DC office.

The Development Associate is a key member of the team and plays a critical role in the success of the team’s efforts to maximize philanthropic investments in Oceana and help the organization and its supporters realize Oceana’s vision of healthy and abundant oceans. The Associate is instrumental in supporting the Department’s frontline fundraisers by coordinating and supporting the moves management of the fundraisers’ respective portfolios to ensure proactive, thoughtful and strategic major gift donor stewardship, cultivation and solicitation that results in sustained and growing financial support for Oceana’s mission.

The Associate has a high aptitude for both strategic and detail-oriented work, facilitates intra-and inter-departmental communication and deliverables, has the tenacity to juggle a number of projects simultaneously, is a critical thinker, and exercises good judgement throughout.


Principal Duties and Essential Functions

The Development Associate will perform essential duties and functions to secure new gifts and renew and grow existing gifts. The associate will:

  • Conduct donor and prospect research to identify and assist in the qualification of major donors and prospects using internal and externally-available information.
  • Use donor and prospect research to develop, coordinate and support moves management strategies (e.g., visits, calls and other actions).
  • Facilitate communications and processes to assist fundraisers with donor cultivation, stewardship and solicitation in support of Oceana initiatives.
  • Facilitate the production of informational packets, proposals, solicitations, reports, updates and gift acknowledgements.
  • Write donor and prospect profiles and call sheets and write or coordinate with the Manager of Development Communications in the creation of high-touch, personalized and other communications to donors.
  • Capture donor and prospect written and oral communications in Salesforce and in e-files.
  • Coordinate with appropriate personnel to ensure major gift revenue tracking and reconciliation is recorded.
  • Maintain donor database (Salesforce) and e-files up to date.
  • Create and generate progress reports and dashboards to assist with fundraisers with projections, planning and monitoring of progress towards goal.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Job Requirements

Skills and Knowledge

The Development Associate should possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Excellent organizational, written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to produce finished products with little supervision.
  • Comfortable managing multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously.
  • Ability to handle sensitive information in a confidential manner.
  • Excel at managing a varied workload and is willing to travel and work outside normal hours.
  • Proficiency in the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Experience with web and mobile business financial management systems (e.g., Nexonia) preferred.
  • Proficiency with mail merges and Internet research.
  • Knowledge of ocean, conservation or environment issues and/or the non-profit community and a passion for the work of Oceana a plus.


Education and Work Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 3 years work experience in a fundraising capacity or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Thorough knowledge of fundraising processes and best practices.
  • Demonstrated experience communicating and interacting with major donors and high net worth individuals in an effort to secure, maintain and increase giving.
  • In-depth knowledge of how to conduct and use donor research tools and CRM systems, including iWave, LexisNexis and Salesforce.


To apply, candidates should submit a resumé and cover letter. 


Oceana values a diverse workforce and welcomes people different from each other in many ways, including characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. Oceana considers all qualified candidates and seeks to recruit from a diverse candidate pool.

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