Development Specialist

April 2024


AVA (Alliance for the Visual Arts) cultivates an openness of space and mind to inspire, nurture, and showcase the artistic spirit. AVA serves its mission by maintaining powerful exhibitions, and vibrant artist studios, and offering educational programming for artists of all ages, abilities, and income levels. With an emphasis on building community, AVA also hosts and promotes special events that foster interaction between artists, patrons of the arts, and the public. 


Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director, AVA’s Development Specialist assists the Executive Director in all aspects of development to ensure a constant flow of funding from donors, large and small businesses, foundations, and government that reflects AVA’s strategic goals and objectives; provides research and writing support for grants; drafts fundraising solicitations; and provides data management reports. S/he actively creates, maintains, and distributes AVA’s fundraising materials to nurture and advance relationships among donors, businesses, foundations, and government bodies. 

1. Helps drive AVA’s Development program, including Major Gifts, Annual Appeals, Business Sponsorships, and Grants, as well as cultivating and stewarding donors and constituents.

  • Participates in Capital and Annual Fund Campaigns 
  • Promotes Planned Giving initiatives and recognition programs that magnify the legacy that individuals will leave on AVA.
  • Contribute to the writing and development of grants, fundraising appeals, proposals, reports, and supporting materials.

2. Identifies and cultivates prospects; works with Executive Director and Board to expand potential donor base of major donors, corporate support, foundation support, business support, and government grant support.

  • Actively participates in creating an annual development plan with the goal of increasing revenues to support the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Develop relationships with businesses and individuals to expand and secure sponsorships and in-kind donations.

3. Collaborate with the Executive Director and management staff to create a development communication plan to promote AVA and enhance engagement.

  • Supports, researches, and prepares metrics used to cultivate and steward AVA’s sponsors, donors, and foundations, including an annual report on giving. 

4. Plan donor meetings and events 

  • Actively work with the Development Committee on planning events to raise funds, cultivate donor and prospective donor relationships, and maximize AVA’s community profile.
  • Monitors and evaluates fundraising activities to ensure that goals are met; prepares progress reports.
  • Builds relationships through phone calls, personalized emails and letters, individual visits, event attendance, and other communication(s).
  • Attends events and meetings.

5. Participate in the Budget process.

  • Stays aware of current budget as it applies to Development, and accounts for any variances on a regular basis.
  • Assists in planning the next year’s Development budget.
  • Maintains a working knowledge of the organization’s fundraising needs at all times.

6. Other duties as assigned.

Desired Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, business management, or related field
  • 2+ years of successful experience in development, fundraising, nonprofit management, and/or constituent relationship building.
  • Fluent in Microsoft Office
  • 2+ years’ experience with donor management software such as Blackbaud Altru, and email marketing services, along with an eagerness and ability to learn. 
  • Excellent organizational and research skills, with solid attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • A positive and helpful manner when interfacing with all internal and external relationships
  • Ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work as part of a cross-functional team.
  • Ability to be self-directed and work independently.
  • Experience working with non-profit board committees preferred.
  • Enthusiasm for community building through art.
  • The ability to work some nights and weekends as required for various meetings and events.

Salary and Exempt Status: The Development Specialist is a full-time hourly position, non-exempt from overtime pay. 

Benefits: Benefits are detailed in the current Employee Handbook. 

Supervisor: Executive Director