Development Associate

Development Associate Job Description

Job Title: Fundraising and Development Director

Type of Position: Full time (35 hours per week)

Posting Open Date: Feb 1, 2024

Posting Close Date: April 20, 2024


Area of consideration: This position is open to all qualified candidates.

About the AAVSO

Since its inception in 1911, the AAVSO has been at the forefront of astronomical research. Initially serving as a platform to aggregate and disseminate data from amateur astronomers, the AAVSO has evolved into one of the most impactful research organizations in the world. Despite its humble beginnings, the AAVSO now boasts a remarkable track record with its data, products, and services contributing to over 250 peer-reviewed publications per year. This achievement is particularly noteworthy given the organization's modest size.

Summary of Role

In light of its continued growth and influence, the AAVSO is now seeking a passionate and driven Development Associate to lead its fundraising activities. The chosen candidate will be tasked with the crucial mission of articulating AAVSO’s story to the world, amplifying its message, and securing vital financial support. The role encompasses a diverse array of responsibilities,  including planning and executing major fundraising campaigns, identifying new sources of funding, cultivating relationships with donors, assisting in the preparation of grant applications, establishing connections with commercial sponsors, and maintaining the organization’s member / donor database.

This is a term-limited, full-time (35 hours per week) position that can be fulfilled as in-person, hybrid, or remote work depending on the employee’s location. Some travel, evening work, and weekend work is required to support a small number of events throughout the year.

Are you an early career professional with a passion for storytelling and a commitment to making a difference? If so, we invite you to join us on this exciting journey. While prior experience in astronomy is not required, a genuine enthusiasm for our mission is essential. If you're ready to seize the opportunity to build your career while leaving a lasting impact on the future of astronomy, we encourage you to apply now. Interviews will be conducted to give you the chance to meet our leadership team and learn more about our organization firsthand.

AAVSO is an equal opportunity employer. We offer a welcoming and inclusive environment in service to one another and the diverse community we represent.

What you will be doing

As the organization’s primary fundraiser, you will be responsible for a variety of tasks including:

  • Planning and execution of fundraising events, including our Annual Campaign
  • Implementing our major giving and planned giving fundraising strategies.
  • Improving our fundraising efforts through analysis of data.
  • Identifying and cultivating new funding opportunities.
  • Fostering positive relationships with donors and sponsors.
  • Assisting with grant writing
  • Maintaining and updating data within our membership and donor databases
  • Managing a team of volunteers to execute our fundraising activities
  • Other duties as required.

What you need to be successful

  • Bachelor's degree in business management, public relations, or related field.
  • Five years prior experience in fundraising or development.
  • Mastery of the English language with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office or Google Workspace Tools.
  • Mastery of remote collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack, and similar software.
  • Familiarity with non-profit CRM software, donor databases, or other fundraising technologies.

How you can stand out

  • Experience in fundraising for science-focused non-profit organizations.
  • Background in physical or social sciences.
  • Federal grant writing experience.

Ways we reward our employees

During the interview process, our team will provide details of our benefits. However, a brief summary of our benefits are as follows:

  • A flexible, 35 hour work week
  • 100% employer paid healthcare plan
  • Paid holidays, sick time, and vacation
  • 401(k) Plan - Employees receive a total company-paid benefit of 5% of their salary after three months of employment.
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Educational assistance program
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Professional association membership

How to apply

Applicants should send a cover letter and their résumé to Kathy Spirer at with the subject line “AAVSO Development Opportunity.”