Friends of the Los Angeles River

Development Manager

Employment type
Full Time
17 days ago
Los Angeles

Position Summary

The Development Manager will play a critical role in meeting Friends of the Los Angeles River’s (FoLAR’s) ambitious fundraising goals across all strategies – Membership, Sponsorships Major Giving, and the grants programs - through both operational and front-line support. The Development Manager reports to the Director of Development. The duties of this position range from administrative, to grant research and writing, to front line support. The ideal candidate will offer experience in Development and will have experience with an environmental or placemaking organization in Los Angeles. This position is best suited for someone who wants to grow with the organization and lives for “the pitch.”  

Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) was founded in 1986 by Lewis MacAdams on the belief that effective advocacy, education, and imagination can accomplish great things. Our mission is to ensure a publicly accessible and ecologically sustainable Los Angeles River by inspiring River stewardship through community engagement, education, advocacy, and thought leadership. We know first-hand that urban ecosystem restoration requires creativity, technical knowledge and tenacity – and that our goals, while vast and visionary, are also undeniably attainable. We bring these attitudes and vision to our mission of protecting and restoring the natural heritage of the Los Angeles River.



Development Operations

  • Manage the gift acknowledgement process by developing and sending timely, accurate and personalized thank-you letters
  • Interface closely with FoLAR’s accounting team to process gifts received by mail, online and in-person
  • Regularly reconcile accounting information with FoLAR’s fundraising database
  • Maintain and increase the integrity of donor contact and giving information in FoLAR’s fundraising database. Optimize the use of moves management, tagging and other available database tools relevant to Development operations.
  • Support Director of Development in preparing materials and presentations for Board Meetings
  • Recruit and supervise Development Interns


Membership Program

  • Manage direct mail appeals on multiple platforms from start to finish
  • Manage membership benefit fulfillment, including discounts and special events
  • Work with Communications team to consistently and creatively promote the membership program
  • Implement new methods of member recruitment, e.g. social media appeals, text-to-donate, telemarketing and new industry-tested tactics
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with low to mid-level supporters through regular, customized communications with the membership base


Events and Sponsorships

  • Execute event mailings and track RSVPs
  • Manage a small portfolio of sponsors and sponsor prospects
  • Provide events management support during FoLAR’s major fall fundraiser and at small donor events throughout the year
  • Assist with post-event donor follow-up
  • Manage the sponsorship fulfillment process


Major Gifts

  • Support the Major Gifts operation by tracking the moves management process and participating in strategy meetings
  • Seek out new sources of funding by conducting prospect research and creating donor profiles
  • Support planning and execution of major donor cultivation events



  • Provide a supporting role in developing letters of interest and funding proposals according to grantmaker guidelines and instructions
  • Prepare varying documentation requested in grant applications
  • Perform strategic grants research that aligns with organizational funding needs
  • Track funding application and grant report deadlines
  • With the VP of Programs, track program deliverables of restricted grants
  • Gather program information from Community Outreach, Education and Policy staff to support grant proposals and reports


Other duties as assigned.


  • College degree from an accredited four-year university
  • Four years of progressively responsible fundraising experience
  • Proficiency working in web-based word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software
  • Proficiency working with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Knowledge of fundraising software, particularly Nation Builder, is preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership in working on projects that involve program development and member engagement
  • Demonstrated success in frontline fundraising from individuals, foundations, corporations and public grants and contracts
  • Demonstrated experience in event planning and coordination
  • Willingness to travel on occasion and attend evening meetings and weekend events
  • Ability to handle confidential and sensitive matters professionally
  • Ability to multi-task and manage many projects simultaneously with scrupulous attention to detail
  • Supervisory experience preferred
  • Spanish fluency strongly preferred
  • Gregarious, confident, outgoing personality required.
  • Entrepreneurial and creative spirit required.


Other Skills

  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively when writing and speaking
  • Comfortable in an environment of change, creativity, complexities, and multiple tasks
  • Warm, confident, and diplomatic approach to interpersonal relationships


Women and minorities strongly encouraged to apply. This is a full-time position based in the Elysian Valley in Los Angeles. Must be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis for any employer. Must own a reliable car and maintain a valid driver’s license, insurable driving record, and pass any necessary pre-employment screenings.


Benefits include three weeks paid vacation, 13 paid holidays, and FoLAR pays 75% of premiums for health, dental and vision insurance for employee.


Ideally Spanish fluency




4-year degree

To apply

To apply for this position, please e-mail your cover letter and resume [email protected] with “Development Manager Application” in the subject line. Examples of your work are helpful and will be used for the purposes of filling this position only and will be kept confidential. Format is important; please send the cover letter in the body of the e-mail as text and any documents (resume, etc.) as easily accessible attachments. No calls or walk-ins. Please include three references, including at least two direct supervisors from previous employment.