Development Associate

Company Name: 

Whatcom Museum Foundation



Contact Name: 

Tatiana Beiting




Job Description: 



JOB TITLE:              Development Associate

DEPARTMENTS:    Development

CLASSIFICATION:  Non-exempt; Full-time (40 hours weekly); Hourly

RATE OF PAY:        $22 to $28 per hour DOE

BENEFITS:               Medical, Dental, Vision, 12 Holidays, 4 Weeks PTO, Simple IRA Savings Plan


The Whatcom Museum, located in Bellingham, Wa., in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, is currently accepting applications for a Museum Development Associate.  We are an accredited, multi-disciplinary Museum, with a focus on Art, Natural History, and Pacific Northwest History. 


This full-time position will focus primarily on the Museum’s diverse fundraising streams, including grants, special events, personal and corporate sponsorships, and annual drives. Work includes assisting with creating and maintaining relationships with current and prospective donors. The role collaborates with Membership and Visitor Experience and Marketing departments to design and implement membership campaigns and programs as well as to ensure that external communications support development efforts.


The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor degree or combined experience/education in the fields of Development, Business, Marketing or Communications as well as a minimum of two years’ experience working on the various aspects of grants, events, fundraising, and membership programs, as well as managing data bases or a combination. A special focus or certification in philanthropy or development is preferred.


An excellent full benefit package is offered, including four weeks Paid-Time-Off (PTO) and twelve paid holidays per year, Medical and Dental insurance, and a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan.


If you are qualified, interested in joining our team, and dedicated to engaging with the community to support Whatcom Museum, we encourage you to apply! 



Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to: Attn:  Museum Development Position at


Whatcom Museum Foundation is a 501©(3) organization and an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating a diverse work environment that fosters inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility.



The Whatcom Museum provides innovative and interactive educational programs and exhibitions about art, nature, and Northwest history. We seek to stimulate curiosity about our changing cultural, natural, and historical landscapes, for the youngest to the oldest minds, and to inspire preservation of and creative contributions to our region and beyond.



Professional Museum position administrating and managing all aspects of the Museum's Development program, Annual Fund drive, grants, and special fundraising events. Works closely with the Executive Director to develop and track prospects and donors, donor communications, and events. Works with the Marketing and Public Relations Manager to ensure that external communications support the Museum's development efforts. Works with and provides support to Membership and Visitor Experience Manager regarding Membership fulfillment and communications.



Reports to the Whatcom Museum Controller and works closely with the Executive Director.  Works independently under department, city, state, and federal rules, regulations, and guidelines.  Provides indirect supervision to volunteers and interns.



In conjunction with the Executive Director, Controller, and /or Development Committee, assists in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive fundraising program that aligns with the Museum's philanthropic goals. This includes setting the fundraising goals and objectives and developing strategies for cultivating and soliciting major gifts, planned gifts, and corporate/foundation gifts. Assists in the creation of a compelling case for philanthropic support for the Museum on an annual basis.



  • Proactively researches and identifies grant opportunities, generating new proposals, and maintaining effective communication ties with funder prospects to actively grow the Museum’s pipeline of foundation, government, and corporate grant prospects.
  • Analyzes grant application requirements and guidance from funders and work closely with colleagues in curatorial, education, collections, finance, and senior leadership to develop project goals, objectives, performance measures, work plans, and project budgets.
  • Write compelling letters of inquiry, concept papers, and grant proposals that exhibit strong writing skills and that align funders’ interests with the Museum’s strategic goals and needs.
  • Coordinate proposal development meetings with relevant staff to ensure proper buy-in and engagement during the application preparation and proposal-writing process.
  • Compile and submit application/proposal materials in alignment with funder requirements and deadlines.
  • Work across teams to gather data to support reporting requirements, including financial data, documentation and supplementary materials related to grant-funded activities for reporting and stewardship purposes.
  • Write engaging grant reports that reflect the conditions of the grant agreement.
  • Oversees all aspects of grants in support of exhibitions, education, programs, and capital projects in conjunction with other members of the Museum's Leadership Team. Responsibilities include oversight of all ongoing grant calendars, ensuring the on-time submission of high-quality grant packages and reports, benefits and recognition, correspondence, data collection and tracking of deliverables, and ongoing stewardship.


  • Works closely with various Museum departments to identify and engage potential funders.
  • Manages Annual Fund campaigns, along with other offers, benefits, and unique Member experiences to increase engagement and raise funds for the Museum.
  • Accurately administers and maintains the database for all gifts and grants housed in the Donor Perfect software including processing payments for donations and preparation of tax acknowledgments.
  • Ensure accurate data input for unrestricted and restricted giving, ensuring timely, thorough, and transparent tracking and reporting of all gift and revenue data.
  • Provides analytical and tracking reports to monitor the success of all fundraising campaigns.


  • Handles escalated Museum Membership issues and supports Membership and Visitor Experience Manager in providing professional and responsive support for all Membership concerns.
  • Supports the design and implementation of Membership retention campaigns to ensure a satisfactory renewal rate for existing members.
  • Supports the creation and execution of Membership acquisition campaigns to obtain new Members.
  • Develop analytical and tracking reports to monitor the success of Membership campaigns.
  • Evaluate impact of benefits and incentives on Member acquisition and retention, adapting methods as necessary.
  • Assists with the development of Member communications and collateral for print, onsite, and online distributions including appeals, web copy, brochures, and forms; contribute to the Member social media, e-news, and e-mail campaigns.


  • Collaborates with staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers, and vendors to host Museum Member and fundraising events which enrich the visitor experience, increase community engagement, and support the institutional relevance for the future.
  • Plan and proactively organize fundraising events to ensure maximum turnout and smooth operations, including invitations and other preliminary activities, the events themselves, and all post-event cleaning and analysis of success.
  • Manages auction software including securing the software licenses, testing of system and data preparation for the event, ensures accurate data input during the event, provides reports during event, involved in the audit of the various data to ensure accurate statements for attendees and balanced financial reports.


  • Maintains routine communication and support for Whatcom Museum volunteers.
  • Assists Controller and Executive Director in the preparation of annual budget for Development, Annual Appeal campaigns, and Member events; implements and monitors approved budget; submits reports and other information to Controller and Executive Director as requested.
  • Implement and maintain reliable and organized electronic and physical filing systems for all grants and other Development documentation.



  • Acts as resource to management and employees regarding Development and Membership programs; keeps current in new developments in the field through professional memberships, attending conferences and networking with professionals.
  • Assists the Executive Director with communication, fund development, marketing, and other responsibilities as assigned.
  • Works with digital images and design. 
  • May perform physical activities to include moving, lifting, pushing, carrying equipment or supplies.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by Controller and/or the Executive Director of the Museum.

PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities):

  • A working knowledge of non-profit fundraising, preferably in the museum field with a focus on development and membership.
  • Understanding of fundraising principles and current trends in membership.
  • Strong written communication skills for developing reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and organizational communications.
  • Ability to gain a working knowledge of basic Museum functions and current thinking and best practices in the field.
  • Ability to be self-directing and to work with minimal direct supervision.
  • Strong organization and task management skills, problem analysis and decision-making, planning and organizing, management control, adaptability, flexibility, and time management. 
  • Strong oral communication and interpersonal skills for working with a diverse population including other employees, Museum patrons, and the public.
  • Ability to handle stressful situations professionally and with tact.
  • Strong work ethic and strong customer service orientation; always conducts self in accordance with the ethical standards required of Museum employees.
  • Ability to avoid conflicts of interest in the use of Museum and of City resources and personnel.
  • Ability to maintain an appearance of fairness in dealings with staff and customers.
  • Public presentation skills including the ability to report in an understandable manner to management or board members.
  • Ability to understand and clearly explain Museum Membership policies and procedures.
  • Ability to organize, prioritize, and independently perform work assignments.
  • Ability to do repetitive work quickly, accurately, and with close attention to detail in an atmosphere of frequent interruptions.
  • Familiarity with data management best practices.
  • Knowledge of basic math skills including the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with accuracy.
  • Good computer skills including basic proficiency with the MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Relational database experience required.
  • Ability to process payments and record transactions accurately and efficiently.
  • Spearhead all direct mail correspondence and have a working understanding of USPS bulk-mail procedures.
  • Ability and willingness to demonstrate the Public Service Competencies of Service Orientation, Results Orientation, and Teamwork and Cooperation.
  • Physical ability to perform required duties including:
    • sitting or standing for long periods of time
    • visual acuity to read a computer screen and a typeset page.
    • fine finger dexterity to operate a cash register and computer keyboard and mouse, etc.
    • occasionally lifting up to 30 pounds


  • Work is generally performed in an office environment, with frequent interaction with the public in person and by telephone. 
  • Requires some lifting of heavy supplies and materials.


  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent required in the fields of either Business, Marketing or Communications.
  • Two years of experience managing databases, membership programs, event handling, fund raising, or a combination thereof.
  • Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education.
  • Non-profit experience preferred.


  • Must pass a local police and Washington State Adult/Child Abuse background check prior to hire.
  • Willingness and ability to work flexible and/or additional hours which may include evenings and weekends.
  • Occasional in-town driving required.