Development & Communications Manager (SDFSA)

San Diego Food System Alliance (Alliance) is a collaborative of organizations and individuals working collectively to develop an equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system in San Diego County. The Alliance is a dynamic and inclusive organization, partnering with many nonprofits, government bodies, institutions, and businesses in San Diego through its Working Groups, advocacy efforts, and special initiatives. The Alliance also holds several community events a year for the public to foster a movement in our region to improve our food environment. The Alliance was officially launched in September 2012 out of a recommendation from the San Diego Food System Assessment and the Urban-Rural Roundtable, convened by Roots of Change, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts and Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Position Summary
Development & Communications Manager is a new role on the San Diego Food System Alliance team and will be responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing all fundraising and external communications activities. This role is both strategic and tactical, requiring the ability to think big while minding all the details. The Development & Communications Manager must be a great relationship-builder and a savvy project manager who is comfortable setting up systems and juggling multiple projects, creatively connecting the dots between fundraising, communications, and programming. The ideal candidate is a self-starter, quick learner, enthusiastic about food justice causes, and an accountable team collaborator. The Development & Communications Manager is a creative professional who is expected to both take direction, and initiate and steward work product. The Development & Communications Manager works closely with the Alliance Director and Alliance’s Executive Committee in development and communication endeavors, and will collaborate with Alliance staff to effectively communicate the work. The Development & Communications Manager will be expected to work closely with the Alliance Director at the Hillcrest office as well as remotely (if desired) and may be responsible for managing an intern to support development and communication efforts.


Under the supervision of Alliance Director: 

Development (70%):

Devise and Update Development Strategy:

  • Work closely with the Alliance Director to develop and implement a comprehensive Fund Development Plan including membership, corporate sponsorship, foundations and grants and individual philanthropy, to accomplish organizational goals as they evolve
  • Identify, qualify and plan strategy to effectively cultivate and steward philanthropic relationships

Development Strategy Execution:

  • Work with the Alliance Director to oversee all Alliance development activities including research, proposal writing, donor communication, and reporting requirements
  • Ensure a continuously robust opportunity pipeline big enough to hit growing annual revenue goals by actively managing individual, foundation, and corporate prospects and current donors
  • Research and design appeals and special campaigns
  • Design and implement a business sponsorship program and an annual fund program
  • Devise and implement a donor stewardship plan and update it annually with new and meaningful ways to connect donors and foster a sense of community
  • Collaborate with the Alliance Director to meet prospective donors and supporters on a continual basis to establish effective communications
  • Work with the Alliance Director to prioritize work and set weekly, monthly, and annual goals

Manage Development Operations and Revenue Tracking

  • Execute gift processing and mailings
  • Implement a donor tracking system to manage donor interactions and ensure timely submission of LOIs, proposals, reports and other correspondence
  • Maintain electronic copies of all submissions and reports

Communications (30%):
Develop and Share Organizational Messaging and Stories

  • Work with team members to collect, organize, and share compelling stories in various mediums
  • Develop creative and mission-centric fundraising messaging that articulates the special role of the Alliance
  • Prepare all donor cultivation and solicitation materials by adapting messaging as needed relative to donors’ particular interests

Organize and Execute External Organizational Communications

  • Collaborate with the Alliance Director to develop a communications calendar, content plan, and design and approval process that covers all social media and online and offline communications
  • Lead initial drafting and design of all external communications and collateral including press releases
  • Support with execution of campaigns and promotion of events, collaborating with Alliance staff
  • Manage quarterly newsletter releases, social media, and website content including news, special topic articles, and events calendar
  • Manage relationships with media to effectively disseminate Alliance stories
  • Collaborate with the Alliance Director on the development of the annual report

What success looks like in the first year: Working closely with the Alliance Director, successfully increase revenue and communication presence for the Alliance.

Education, Experience, and Skills

Relevant skills and experience include strategic thinking, research, persuasive writing and speaking, and effective relationship building. A strong candidate will have strong familiarity with San Diego nonprofit and philanthropic landscape.

  • At least 5 years experience in resource development, grant writing, communications, or marketing
  • Demonstrated success in grant writing, donor cultivation, and donor benefit programs
  • Experience developing promotional or marketing materials, such as pitch decks and annual reports
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects/tasks with attention to detail
  • Excellent oral and written comprehension and communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills; experience with multi-stakeholder communications and working within a team
  • Experience managing public education campaigns, social media or marketing campaigns
  • Passionate about story-telling and developing simple but compelling messaging
  • Positive, enthusiastic presence with good public relations skills and respectful, professional demeanor
  • Creative and interested in graphic design
  • Experience with MailChimp, Canva, Google products, Microsoft Office, and social media
  • Possess an interest in equitable food access, food security and food system issues
  • Experience instituting structure and systems to make the work easier and better (familiarity with donor CRMs)
  • Experience managing reporting and contract compliance for government grants – a plus
  • Spanish language skills - a plus

Work Environment and Physical Demands

Shared co-work spaces provided in both Hillcrest and Leucadia (this position will primarily be in Hillcrest). Flexible work environment with low to moderate noise level. Work is generally sedentary in nature, but requires moving around for up to 30% of the time and occasional lifting up to 30lbs. Requires reliable access to transportation throughout San Diego County for meetings and events.


Target full-time salary is between $55,000 and $60,000 commensurate with experience. Eligible benefits include health and dental insurance and Flexible Spending Account.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter, professional references, and a relevant writing sample to [email protected]. Applications lacking any of the aforementioned documents will not be considered. (Subject: Development & Communications Manager)

Due date for application is Feb 28, 2018. You will receive a response within 2 weeks of submission of your application.

The San Diego Food Systems Alliance, a project of Leah’s Pantry, is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage all qualified candidates, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, veteran status, or gender identity to apply for this position.

For more information on San Diego Food System Alliance, visit

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