Senior Writer Position Overview
The Senior Writer is part of a team responsible for maintaining a comprehensive grant development effort in support of the California Science Center Foundation’s educational programs, exhibits and special projects, as well as the annual fundraising programs. In addition, the Senior Writer is part of a team that advances California Science Center Foundation’s $350 million EndeavourLA Campaign in support of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center project – a major expansion long-envisioned as the third phase of the Science Center’s three-phase, three-decade Master Plan.
The ideal candidate is a prolific writer who can create accurate and engaging fundraising materials with ease and adapt copy to fit various contexts and audiences. Strong organizational skills and a keen ability to balance multiple tasks and deadlines are also required.
Salary Range and Requirements
$55,000 - $60,000. There are two full-time, non-exempt positions available. One reports to the Director of Development, and one reports to the Campaign Director. Currently, Development staff are expected to work onsite a minimum of three days a week with the flexibility to work remotely two days a week but this policy is subject to change. As part of our commitment to health and safety, all Foundation employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Roles and Responsibilities
Writing and Research
- Prepare letters of inquiry, proposals, narrative and financial reports, and various collateral materials. This includes liaising with program and exhibit development staff and other departments to ensure the information provided is accurate and up-to-date.
- Write a range of correspondence including personalized acknowledgement letters, Science Center updates, invitations and other communications; draft email communications on behalf of senior staff.
- Research prospective donors and prepare profiles and briefings for staff and volunteers, reporting findings in both written form and in person.
- Write content for Science Center e-newsletters, website and social media.
- Develop and maintain a ‘story bank’ of donor profiles and constituent impact stories for various applications.
- Monitor news and current events to analyze trends and opportunities in philanthropy, identify new prospective donors, and provide relevant updates on existing donors and constituents.
- Maintain a grant docket and other systems to track proposal and reporting schedules, keeping program staff apprised of information needs, milestones and deadlines, to ensure timely fulfillment of grant requirements.
- Contribute to the maintenance of digital and non-digital files for donor/prospect information and materials.
- Contribute to tracking and coding contacts and actions in the donor database to assist with targeted communications and moves management.
- Assist with cultivation, solicitation and stewardship meetings, visits/tours and events as needed.
- Contribute to the ongoing development of systems and procedures for effective grant development operations.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience
- Three or more years experience in fundraising and/or communications with a proven track record of grant writing and nonprofit storytelling.
- Strong persuasive writing and excellent editing skills with experience writing winning proposals.
- Ability to synthesize information from various sources and adapt the tone, style and voice of copy to fit a range of contexts.
- Strong research and analytical skills and knowledge of prospect research practices, for both individual donors and grant-making organizations, and resources for finding and evaluating funding opportunities.
- Ability to interpret budgets and financial reports and to convey information in narrative form as well as numerically.
- Highly motivated self-starter with excellent follow-through and ability to prioritize tasks to balance assigned responsibilities.
- Strong organizational skills with keen attention to detail and ability to deliver high-quality work within tight time constraints
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team to produce results in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment.
- Good interpersonal and communication skills with ability to interact effectively and diplomatically with donors, volunteers and staff across departments.
- Ability to maintain high standards for information management including tracking gift requirements, financial data, and interdepartmental and external communications.
- Proficiency in Internet research tools and extensive knowledge of prospect research resources and best practices.
- Proficiency or ability to become quickly proficient in Microsoft Office suite and OneDrive applications, Zoom or other videoconferencing platforms, donor databases or constituent relationship management systems; experience with Tessitura a plus.
- Must show discretion in handling sensitive issues and confidential information.
- Willingness to work a flexible schedule that may include evenings and weekends on occasion.