Development Operations Associate

Philanthropy Washington, District Of Columbia





JOB TITLE:  Development Operations Associate

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 2

SALARY: $55,000 - $60,000

FLSA:  Exempt

DEPARTMENT:  Development

LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

REPORTS TO:  Director of Philanthropic Administration

LAST REVISED:  June 2021



Reporting directly to the Director of Philanthropic Administration, the Development Operations Associate will be a partner to expand operations functions within the Development department. This position is responsible for several key financial tasks, including restricted gift processes, supporting the preparation and monitoring of the annual department budget and supporting operations-related tasks on a growing team.




  • Works with major gifts, foundations, Finance and other colleagues to manage restricted gift allocation process in the OpenAir database, to establish proper accounting codes for all new restricted gifts and to facilitate restricted gift acknowledgements.
  • Stewards the annual preparation, monthly monitoring and analysis of the annual Development budget (including revenue and expenses), in collaboration with the Vice President of Philanthropy (VPP). This includes organizing budget revenue meetings with development, finance, and the field teams; coordinating expense meetings for the development team; and tracking expenses with the VPP in OpenAir.
  • Reviews monthly revenue and expense reports and liaises with the Finance team on all Development budget matters.
  • Conducts monthly budget reclasses.
  • Oversees stock and wire gift communication and tracking for Development.
  • Serves as a back-up for the Daily Gift Report and all unrestricted gift processes; reviews unrestricted acknowledgement letters.



  • Assists with essential projects for Development operations, including but not limited to: data preparation for the annual report, database clean-up projects, monthly donor flag updates, and more.
  • Maintains an annual calendar of operations tasks, trainings and other critical needs for the Development department.
  • Maintains all training and process-related documentation for the department and supports annual review and update activities.
  • Monitors charity watchdog ratings, facilitates annual meeting with senior staff and meets all deadlines to provide updates to various watchdog sites.
  • Serves as back-up support on Development research as needed.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.




Education: Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent

Experience: 4 years of relevant experience, with an emphasis on budget management and donor relations. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

  • Experience in budget preparation, database management, development operations and donor relations.
  • Financial and quantitative analytical abilities to apply to such tasks as: donor analysis, gift processing and allocations, budget preparation and monitoring, and revenue and expense forecasting. Ability to assess specific needs for systems and procedures and to design and oversee implementation of them.  
  • Familiarity with cycles of giving, donor stewardship (including acknowledgment processes) and donor communications. 
  • Strong communications skills, including ability to gather information from multiple sources and form well-reasoned recommendations and procedures. 
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for All Defenders

  1. Personal interest in and commitment to conservation;
  2. Ability and willingness to model the tenets of Defenders’ Commitment Statement: Mission, Transparency, Respect & Trust, Appreciation, Empowerment & Accountability, Professional Growth, Fairness, Diversity, Safety, Work/Life Balance, and Pride;
  3. Ability to approach work in a collaborative and inclusive style, with a solutions-oriented manner;
  4. Ability to work independently as needed, problem solve, and exercise sound decision- making skills in fluid environments to meet job expectations and achieve goals in an accurate and timely manner;
  5. Ability to represent Defenders to external entities and the public in a professional manner while exercising tact, diplomacy, and discretion;
  6. Demonstrates a willingness and ability to productively engage and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives;
  7. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders, in both verbal and written forms;
  8. Ability to effectively navigate through change and maintain flexibility;
  9. Ability to effectively address and manage conflict;
  10. Working knowledge of Microsoft Outlook and Word.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 2



  1. Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
  2. Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service


  1. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
  2. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
  3. Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
  4. Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
  5. Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders

Critical Thinking

  1. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
  2. Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
  3. Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
  4. Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work.

Project Management

  1. Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
  2. Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
  3. Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem-solving skills to resolve issues
  4. Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
  5. Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues

Conservation Knowledge

  1. Familiarity with Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues
  2. Familiarity with national and regional social, political and ecological landscapes

Visit to apply.


All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Defenders requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Please be advised this position is union-eligible.