Donor Relations Manager (CAS)


Reporting to the Director, Development Information Services (DIS), the Donor Relations Manager (DRM) works closely with members of the Development Team, Academy Leadership, and Trustee Committee to support fundraising strategies for major donors and prospects.

To uphold Academy goals and the Division’s strategic plan, the DRM’s responsibilities include setting action plans for portfolio management to the Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO), as well as managing the Division’s moves management efforts by establishing tools and resources for frontline fundraisers, informing cultivation and stewardship plans for major donors and prospects supporting Leadership Philanthropy, Institutional Giving, and Donor Events teams. This role manages Trustee Committee work, communicating with Board Members and supporting identification methods.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you don’t believe you meet every ­one of the qualifications for the position.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Portfolio Management - Chief Philanthropy Officer

  • Advise CPO on portfolio management, comprised of Trustees and Principal Donors
  • Develop donor-specific strategies for contribution cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Advise on solicitation planning, including the annual Trustee solicitation letters; prepare meeting briefs and other materials, and execute follow-up related to donor meetings and solicitations
  • Work closely with the Executive Director’s Office and Development Executive Assistant to plan special itineraries for meetings or site visits and engages with Trustees and donors via phone calls, emails and events
  • Drafts and edits Trustee and major donor gift acknowledgment letters or correspondence as needed
  • Manage Trustee Committee meetings in partnership with Trustee Committee Chair (Board Member) - organize list of candidates, communicate research needs and share information with appropriate Academy staff


Moves Management, Donor Relations and Stewardship for Division

  • Effectively and thoughtfully supervise and strategically track progress on Development Division moves for weekly updates to the Development Team, Executive Office and appropriate Academy Chiefs
  • Lead portfolio building methods by collaborating with Strategic Initiative Academy Partners, Relationship Managers (RMs) and Director of DIS to leverage opportunities, build awareness, and facilitate meaningful engagement for donors around these efforts
  • Partner with RMs on prospect identification, individualized cultivation, solicitation and stewardship methods in support of division goals and Academy funding priorities
  • Working with Development leadership, the DRM will maintain existing donor stewardship policies - with an overall goal of building stronger personalized relationships with Academy donors - and make updates as needed
  • Calendar and manage stewardship reports with Academy Partners, RMs and Development Communications Team to guarantee the timely composition and delivery
  • Identify and maintain a calendar of donor stewardship opportunities for Development Team
  • In partnership with the Development Communications team, create and maintain fundraising proposal materials, funding opportunities menus related to strategic initiatives, and other special fundraising efforts to support major donor solicitations
  • Work in close collaboration with the Development Research Manager to build the donor pipeline for specific initiatives and major solicitations utilizing the current in-house developed prospect rating system and wealth screening tools to inform moves opportunities and identify new donor prospects
  • Partner with the Development Information Services Lead and Coordinator to influence and ensure efficient moves management and prospect tracking systems in Tessitura
  • Develop philanthropic web approach as centralized Development Team contact for Web Partners to further Development visibility and preferences on
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Other projects and duties as assigned



The qualifications listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required or preferred.



A qualified candidate will have a combination of the following education and/or equivalent experience:

  • Two to three+ years of increasing responsibility in Development, constituent relations, or a related field
  • Experience leading and influencing fundraising decisions and strategies on a medium to large Development Team
  • Relationship and moves management experience in a fast paced fundraising environment
  • Experience using a Donor Database - Tessitura or Raiser’s Edge preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred



  • A solid background in the fundamentals of fundraising; experience should include prospect identification and management, solicitation design, working with volunteer leadership and training staff
  • Demonstrated experience to prioritize and project manage multiple priorities efficiently with deadlines in mind
  • Energetic, self-directed and confident, but also flexible, creative and considerate
  • Understands when to escalate, along with excellent upward management skills
  • Able to collaborate diplomatically, effectively and successfully with peers, external volunteers, vendors, and donors - proven negotiation skills
  • Excellent problem solving, written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills
  • Initiative mixed with sound judgement
  • Desire to assist others and a willingness to work as part of a team
  • Experience in designing proposals and presentations
  • Proficiency with Google and MS Office Suites
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends, as needed



Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.  Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.  Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals. Bilingual (spoken and/or written) in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, or other non-English language preferred.



The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. Must be able to lift 25lbs.  Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time.



Please submit your cover letter and resume online at Note that the recruitment timeline for positions vary and depend on many factors, so it is impossible to accurately predict when a position will close. We appreciate your patience during this process. No phone calls please.


The California Academy of Sciences welcomes people of all backgrounds, identities, and beliefs to join us in achieving our mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. We place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the heart of our recruiting efforts and strive to build a culture centered on mutual respect, equal treatment, and the opportunity to succeed.

The California Academy of Sciences will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

The California Academy of Sciences is a non-smoking facility. There is also no smoking in Golden Gate Park.



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