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Development Associate

The Ausable River Association (AsRA), a non-profit conservation organization with a mission of helping communities protect our stream and lakes, seeks a qualified individual to serve as development associate.  The associate will use planning, fundraising, communications, and outreach skills to inspire philanthropy in support of AsRA’s science-based programs and conservation results. AsRA’s office is located in Wilmington, New York.

Position Overview

Status:                         Full time exempt

Compensation:          $37 – 43,000, dependent on experience, with health, dental, vision, and savings benefits

Timeline:                      Applications due no later than April 30, 2019 

AsRA currently employs a small staff of hardworking conservation professionals with expertise in science, stream restoration, communications, grant-writing, non-profit management, and program building. Our strategic program growth, in response to our mission, goals, and the needs of our community, requires dedicated development, outreach, and fundraising support.

Position Description

Supervised by the executive director (ED), the associate will:

  • Create and execute successful strategies for engaging, cultivating, and growing a sustaining base of members and annual individual donors. This involves:
    • working with AsRA’s ED, staff and board to identify and cultivate potential donors and maintain engaged relationships with existing members and donors;
    • organizing fundraising events, outreach events, and special opportunities that attract and engage the public, members, and potential donors to learn about AsRA’s programs and conservation results;
    • and, providing evaluation of the progress and effectiveness of each effort to adapt as needed to achieve goals.
  • Communicate AsRA’s mission and programs – primarily through outreach events and face-to-face meetings but also assisting AsRA staff with program events, publications and media – to elevate the profile of AsRA, increase public awareness, and expand AsRA’s audience
  • Secure and incrementally expand financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations
  • Plan and develop a planned giving program
  • Work with program staff to identify grant opportunities, develop proposals, and assist with tracking and reporting on use of public, foundation and corporate funds
  • Oversee the membership and donor database


Qualified candidates will have excellent written and verbal communication skills and be at ease with people with diverse backgrounds and experience. She or he will be committed to our mission of helping communities protect the clean waters, healthy streams, and diverse habitats of the Ausable watershed. Besides the proficiencies noted below, the ideal candidate will be able to quickly understand organizational needs and goals and take initiative in planning and executing strategies for increasing membership and member engagement, expanding outreach through events and targeted communications, and identifying and cultivating potential supporters of AsRA’s mission. The ability to work closely with the executive director, manage multiple tasks, and concisely share ideas and questions is essential, as is a sense of humor and a willingness to listen, share, and problem solve with a small team of dedicated coworkers.

 Minimum Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree and one to three years’ experience in non-profit development and fundraising or in a parallel field that requires relationship building, client networking, and/or recruitment skills
  • Demonstrated success building and maintaining relationships with donors, clients, or customers
  • Excellent public speaking skills with a variety of audiences
  • Strong writing, reporting, and proofreading skills
  • Proficiency with computer and cloud software including donor database management
  • A blend of personal confidence, strong interpersonal skills, and initiative tempered by a sensitivity to organizational needs
  • Ability to analyze and summarize information for the purpose of coordinating and planning activities and for solving problems

 Desired Qualifications

  • Three years’ experience with development and fundraising in a non-profit or charitable environment
  • Complimentary marketing or communications experience
  • A smart layman’s understanding of science (e.g. biology, ecology, hydrology, climate change) and scientific methods
  • Knowledge of Salesforce CRM
  • Familiarity with current standards and trends in philanthropy/fundraising
  • Connection to or familiarity with the Adirondack Park

 About AsRA

Since 1998, AsRA has been working with landowners, local, state, and federal government, NGOs, researchers, and other stakeholders to conserve the valued resources of the Ausable watershed. AsRA’s conservation programs provide transferable solutions to issues that challenge many watersheds. We undertake rigorous monitoring to mitigate the effects of pollutants on aquatic life and drinking water; provide early detection, education, and outreach to reduce invasive species threats; assess the abundance of aquatic native species, such as brook trout, and work to protect their habitat; and we restore the health and balance of our streams, sustaining ecological diversity and providing flood resilience for our communities. See our website: for more details.

 How to Apply

Please send a resume, a cover letter describing your interest and addressing the qualifications above, a writing sample, and contact information for three professional references to by 30 April 2019. Please type the position title “Development Associate” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin in May.  

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