Discovery Place – Development Associate

Categories: Job Opportunities

Job Details

Level: Experienced

Job Location: Discovery Place Science – Charlotte, NC

Position Type: Full Time

Education Level: 4 Year Degree

Travel Percentage: Up to 25%

Job Shift: Any

Job Category: Nonprofit – Social Services




As an early career fundraiser, the Development Associate will be an essential member of Discovery Place’s high-energy, fast-paced development team.  The Development Associate will have ownership and manage a portfolio of donors as well as work collaboratively on a solicitation team for major donors to the institution. Daily duties will include conducting prospect research, crafting proposals and solicitation materials, adhering to stringent deadlines, and improving the stewardship of donors through engagement activities, record maintenance, direct correspondence, timely acknowledgments, and reports.  The Development Associate will work closely with front-line fundraisers on the identification, evaluation, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of both institutional and individual donors to Discovery Place.

The Development Associate will report to the Director, Institutional Giving but will also receive assignments from the Senior Director of Development; Chief Advancement Officer; and President & CEO.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manages a portfolio of 25-50 donors and prospects (primarily institutional); Creates and executes a cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and communication plan for each donor with the goal of securing, retaining, and upgrading each donor.
  • Conducts research and identifies viable prospects to fund institutional priorities and support specific projects.
  • Works with staff across departments to secure needed project information, including budgets.
  • Writes white papers and case statements for support; Conducts research and catalogs statistics regarding the benefits of STEM and nature-based education in relation to specific populations;
  • Develops and writes proposals to corporations, foundations and grantmaking organizations for lower level contributions (up to $50K), often managing multiple deadlines;
  • Prepares supporting documentation for both individual and institutional proposals for the department (e.g. letters of support, budgets, benefits, photographs/illustrations etc.);
  • Crafts narratives describing upcoming exhibitions, films and programs;
  • Promptly drafts acknowledgments for institutional gifts received for approval and submission by the lead fundraiser;
  • Collects proof of performance and tracks program data in order to craft reports on funded activities;
  • Tracks foundation, corporate and individual gifts and deadlines;
  • Coordinates the delivery of donor benefits; including comp tickets, writing donor spotlight stories, and ensuring proper donor recognition on marketing materials;
  • Coordinates the scheduling of employee days, volunteer activities, and private events working closely with the Manager of Donor Engagement, Manager of Special Events, and Director of Volunteer Services
  • Assists with annual fund solicitations
  • Serves as administrator for ASC Grants;
  • Documents all activity in Altru database in a timely fashion and ensures contact and activity information for donor and prospect records is accurate
  • Assists with departmental and organizational events as needed;
  • Serves as ambassador for Discovery Place in the community;
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • 1 year of experience, preferably in a fundraising setting, or strong desire to learn fundraising operations in a non-profit institution;
  • Enthusiasm for and the ability to communicate Discovery Place’s mission and programs with sincerity, persuasion, and passion
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills;
  • Self-motivated, detail oriented, and highly-organized;
  • Strong logistical, analytical, and database skills;
  • Ability to handle confidential donor information with discretion;
  • Work well under pressure, seek and synthesize information from research and work well with other DP professionals;
  • Respond promptly to all/any needs, inquiries, or requests for service and assistance;



Must be able to lift up to 25 lbs; Must be able to drive to off-site locations on occasion; Walking, standing and sitting during the day at various locations.

  • Ability to work both as a team member and autonomously in a fast-paced, deadline-driven, results-oriented environment;
  • Some nights and weekends required;
  • Follows policies and procedures;
  • Completes tasks correctly and on time;
  • Assists in achieving department goals and objectives;
  • Strong interest in the mission of Discovery Place.




Employees of Discovery Place should uphold the mission, vision and values of the organization. We strive to provide exceptional service through four core values: uncommon courtesy, the pursuit of personal excellence, teamwork and inclusion. We value the diversity of opinions and intellectual thought and encourage an environment where employees can share ideas openly.

The foregoing description is not intended and should not be construed to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities of this job. Other duties may be assigned. This job description may be changed to include new responsibilities and tasks or change existing ones as management deems necessary.