Director of Development

Company Name: 

San Diego Natural History Museum


1788 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101

Contact Name: 

Eowyn Bates


Job Description: 

Love nature? Then you’re going to love The Nat.  

The San Diego Natural History Museum is seeking a Director of Development who will raise funds to support our mission to preserve nature and biodiversity in this amazing place we call home.  


The Director of Development is focused on expanding philanthropic revenue and deepening donor relationships.  Responsibilities include managing a portfolio of 85-100 individual donors and overseeing the annual fund, membership, and Leadership Circles programs. The position reports to the VP of Advancement and is an integral member of the development team.


Your Day-to-Day Work 


Individual Fundraising (75%)

  • Manages a portfolio (85-100) of individual donors and prospects.
  • Develops identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies for new and current donors and prospects.
  • Through research and best practices, identify, cultivate and solicit individuals for general operating support, program support and planned giving.
  • Plans and implements customized cultivation and stewardship activities for portfolio, including reporting, meetings, tours, and other appropriate activities.
  • Writes LOIs, grant proposals, cover letters, prepares budgets, and compiles requested information to create complete solicitation packages.
  • Thanks donors in personal, thoughtful, and creative ways.
  • Writes and manages monthly major gift donor stewardship email. 
  • Tracks organizational funding priorities and keeps current on Museum strategic priorities and departmental programs.
  • Strategizes with the Museum CEO and the development team to determine fundraising and stewardship strategies for prospective and current donors.
  • Sends timely contact reports and gift alerts to Museum team.
  • Plans stewardship events (in partnership with the events team).
  • Creates donor recognition opportunities.
  • Active participant in all special projects and campaigns.
  • Perform other duties and participates in special projects as needed.


Manages Leadership Circles, Membership and Annual Fund Programs (25%)

  • Manages the Leadership Circles individual giving program.
  • Develops and writes Leadership Circles materials, including stewardship and solicitation pieces.
  • Manages the Membership Manager and the Stewardship/Annual Fund Coordinator positions.
  • Ensures programs budgetary goals- both revenue and expenses.  
  • Directs individual prospect research efforts, including vendor and contractor relationships.


What You Bring  

You love talking to people and presenting philanthropic opportunities. You are results-oriented with excellent writing and management skills. You are a self-starter and a team player with energy, enthusiasm, and flexibility. You love to find new ways to engage and connect with people and stimulate their curiosity.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • 3-5 years professional nonprofit fundraising experience, with experience soliciting current and prospective major gifts.
  • Experience with annual fund and membership programs.
  • Background in managing staff.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, including the ability to present information in a variety of formats.
  • Demonstrated ability to resolve problems.
  • Ability to keep track of the overall picture while maintaining accuracy and attention to detail in a variety of situations.
  • Ability to work well independently and within a team environment.
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to complete projects accurately and completely within deadlines.
  • Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook is required.
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge, Altru or other constituent records management database systems is preferred.
  • In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum’s mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodations based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered.


This is a full-time, exempt position with benefits such as health insurance, vacation, sick-time, 14 paid holidays, free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums, and more. Salary is $75-85,000 commensurate with experience. This position is required to work on site in Balboa Park no less than three days per week, with the option to work remotely two days per week. 


Applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and three writing samples to by January 15, 2022.  


A little more about us.  

The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) was founded by amateur naturalists in 1874 and has played a major role in the conversation of our region. Having recently completed a strategic plan, The Nat is looking forward to an exciting new era as it approaches its 150th anniversary, focused on innovative audience engagement and an increased role in conservation.