You are here

Descanso Gardens-Advancement Specialist-Wed, 09/15/2021 - 3:11pm

Advancement Specialist


Descanso Gardens
La Canada Flintridge , CA 91354
United States
California US

Employment Type

Job Categories

Job Details

Job Description 

Reporting to the Director of Advancement, the Advancement Specialist provides essential support that is critical to the successful operation of Descanso’s advancement department and executive office. The Specialist provides office and administrative support to the Executive Director, Director of Advancement, and Chief of Staff, manages all donor events, coordinates special donor programs, assists with key tasks related to the capital campaign, and ensures all gifts received are acknowledged.

This is a 40 hour a week, full-time, non-exempt position. The schedule is generally Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, and includes holidays, evening and/or weekend hours, depending on the needs of the organization.

See the full job description:

Duties & Responsibilities 

RESPONSIBILITIES include but are not limited to:

 As an initial contact for the Executive Director and Advancement Department, communicates with donors, prospects, volunteers, trustees, and staff in person, by phone and by e-mail.

 Maintains calendars and schedules appointments for the Executive Director, Director of Advancement and Chief of Staff.

 Assists with the coordination of the capital campaign and other specialized fundraising projects.

 Performs data entry of gifts received, and generates and sends donor acknowledgments in a timely manner, ensuring all gifts are acknowledged appropriately.

 Assists with the timely filing of donor contact reports and assists with prospect management for the Executive Director and Director of Advancement.

 Uses Blackbaud Altru database to create complex queries and assists with wealth screening and donor research, and maintains sensitive information with the highest level of confidentiality.

 Manages all aspects of event production including compiling guest lists, producing and mailing invitations, compiling responses, coordinating event logistics and setup. Attends and provides support for events.

 Makes room reservations and catering and logistical arrangements, sets up virtual meetings via Zoom, and prepares materials for events, appointments, meetings, and business-related social events.

 Assists the Chief of Staff with distributing board packets and other materials, and with board and committee meeting room setup.

 Coordinates the Center Circle Associates membership program and other specialized donor programs.

 Creates and maintains member and donor files, and ensures the information contained in these files is up-to-date.

 Produces in draft and final form documents such as letters, memoranda, reports, proposals, spreadsheets, etc.

 Performs daily office management duties including ordering office supplies, marketing materials, letterhead, and business cards, and maintaining an inventory of these items, opening and distributing mail, coordinating with outside vendors and processing all invoices for payment.

 Performs other duties as assigned or directed.

Education and Experience 

 Four-year college degree; or a combination of education and experience in a related field.

 Three to five years of executive support experience, preferably at a non-profit organization. Understanding of non-profit organizations and the role of staff, board and donors.

 Ability to work independently with little or no supervision, and ability to handle changing priorities.

 Event management experience, from invitation to execution, strongly preferred.

 Demonstration of highly effective organizational, interpersonal, problem-solving and teamwork skills. Excellent attention to detail and ability to understand complex information related to donors.

 Experience supporting capital campaigns preferred.

 Demonstration of effective verbal and written communication, excellent English grammar and proofreading skills.

 Proficiency in the use of MS Office, internet, and e-mail for the creation, production, sharing, transfer, organization, storage and retrieval of reports and documents, including spreadsheets, presentations, reports, and internal and external correspondence. Requires acquired proficiency (training provided) in Blackbaud Altru database in order to compile, analyze and produce gift and biographical data reports.

 Keyboarding/typing skills of 50 wpm for memos, minutes, and other correspondence.

 Knowledge of the operation and troubleshooting of office printers, copiers and other equipment.

 Valid CA driver’s license required.

 Other critical attributes include a high degree of discretion and sense of appropriateness and strong interpersonal communication skills. It is essential that the candidate have the flexibility to function effectively with staff, trustees, donors, members, volunteers and others.

Application Instructions 

To apply: Interested parties may apply by submitting a MS Word or PDF Letter of Interest and Resume to Please include Advancement2021 in the subject line. Only those applicants meeting the minimum requirements and submitting all required information may be contacted for further inquiry. We will accept resumes until the position is filled.

No phone calls, please.

Descanso Gardens Guild, Inc. acknowledges that equal opportunity for all persons is a fundamental human value. Each employee will be considered on the basis of individual ability and merit, without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, or marital status.

Full Name 
Somer Sherwood-White