Donor Relations Manager

PUENTE Learning Center
PUENTE Learning Center: 501 S Boyle Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033
An industry competitive compensation package based on the candidate’s qualifications and experience.
Feb 09, 2018
Mar 11, 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level

Donor Relations Manager

An established nonprofit presence in the Los Angeles community for over 30 years, PUENTE Learning Center is recognized for its commitment to its mission and focus on education. PUENTE’s programs are designed to create a pipeline or “bridge” for students in all levels of their education. Begun as a tutoring program in Boyle Heights by Sister Jennie Lechtenberg, PUENTE initially served elementary school students who needed remedial support. The organization rapidly expanded when parents requested English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to better empower themselves as their children’s first teacher.

Today, PUENTE, in partnership with Los Angeles City College, offers a complete level zero through three adult ESL program. PUENTE also provides Preschool Readiness, Charter Kindergarten and Summer Intensive Reading programs to build a solid academic and social foundation for early childhood students. Our After School Enrichment, High School Credit Recovery and SAT Prep/College Access courses create opportunities that assist local youth in excelling academically. Offerings also include support for adult learners, such as the Adult High School Diploma course in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District Division of Adult and Career Education. Centered on technology, PUENTE also offers adult learners Computer Applications and Computer Repair/A+ Certification Preparation.

Annually, PUENTE provides academic instruction to more than 3,600 children, youth and adults; and to date over 100,000 individuals have made use of the tuition-free resources on the path to self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. PUENTE serves the community in a safe and intentionally designed 40,000 square foot facility in Boyle Heights. The state of the art building is well-known in the community and was designed to respectfully welcome and inspire our vibrant, culturally-rich community.

The Donor Relations Manager is part of the Development Team at PUENTE Learning Center and PUENTE Charter School. Having recently completed our 2017-2020 strategic plan, PUENTE is seeking a Donor Relations Manager to lead the plan’s goal of implementing a more robust individual giving program.


The Donor Relations Manager is part of PUENTE’s Development Team and will work directly with the Vice President of Development to achieve fundraising goals. This position is part of a small development team and will be engaged in all segments of revenue generation, with a focus on the individual giving program, which includes major gifts, planned giving, direct mail, online giving and other campaigns. In addition, the Donor Relations Manager will develop and maintain strategic community relationships and partnerships. Main responsibilities include the outreach, cultivation and stewardship of existing and new donors, as well as management of the Alumni Advisory Board and a Planned Giving initiative. We are seeking a highly motivated individual with five years of experience in fundraising, with a strong commitment to our mission.

PUENTE enjoys strong support from a range of donors, both high net worth as well as parents and students. The donor relations manager will have an opportunity to interact with all of these segments as well as build an innovative and growing program. He/She will also interact with the Board of Directors and other stakeholders and work closely with leadership, and have opportunity for growth.

The Donor Relations Manager is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to effectively raise support from individuals throughout Southern California. This individual must maintain an active portfolio of existing donors and manage friends of PUENTE’S individual giving program and monthly donors. He/she will serve as a liaison between leadership and donors to ensure that individuals develop a meaningful relationship with the organization. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Working to diversify the current portfolio of supporters/research and creating a pipeline of prospective donors.
  • Leading the end-of-year giving campaign, while working closely with marketing in the creation of high quality collateral materials.
  • Developing and fulfilling donor benefits, recognition, correspondence and mailings while maintaining an accurate database of donor information, using DonorPerfect software.
  • Collaborating with VP of Development/CEO to integrate board members in making solicitations of major individual donors and tracking progress.
  • Directing the Workplace Giving Committee and ensuring that internal processes are compliant.
  • Finally, monitoring that all ‘thank you’ letters are completed in a timely manner.

More specifically this position will work on the following:

  • Special Events: Work closely with staff in planning, executing and evaluating special events with specific fundraising metrics. PUENTE holds an Annual Festival, Golf Tournament, Holiday Dinner and other smaller events. Secure sponsorships/support for special events, in collaboration with development team.
  • Strategic Community Relationship Building: Participate in community collaboratives and organized groups in order to leverage relationships and strategic partnerships. Introduce community organizations and local businesses to PUENTE via events and communications. Set-up tours and meetings with appropriate leadership team members in order to enhance fundraising and program development efforts. Actively work alongside program staff in order to align fundraising efforts to programs and mission of the organization, identify needs and match to appropriate community partners.
  • Alumni Advisory Board: Connect with former students and engage them in PUENTE’s work as donors and/or volunteers. Manage Advisory Board based on existing mission, vision, values and goals. With support from the Advisory Board, develop an alumni outreach strategy, create a platform for alumni network and implement fundraising events.
  • Planned Giving: Develop a Planned Giving program and integrate into our initiatives.


The Donor Relations Manager will report the Vice President of Development.  The nature and breadth of the Donor Relations Manager require extensive collaboration with the development, leadership and executive teams.


  • Proficiency with working with Donors in a nonprofit setting, or strong background with customer relations, or community affairs in the for-profit sector.
  • Experience developing strategies and success in implementing action plans
  • Proven record of closing major individual gifts or accounts
  • Proven ability to develop a compelling case for support
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Ability to develop and sustain positive relationships with donors
  • Strong research skills and an ability to synthesize information
  • Ability to work with a CRM system (PUENTE uses Donor Perfect); proficient computer skills in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • A professional demeanor with an aptitude for analytical thinking and problem solving
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Knowledge of development principles, fundraising techniques and ethics
  • Good organizational skills and an ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines
  • Experience in working with volunteers
  • Evening and weekend work may be required


The ideal candidate has a creative, entrepreneurial and innovative approach to work. The ability to represent PUENTE Learning Center’s professionalism as well as strong and engaging communication skills (both written and spoken) is essential. Knowledge of any or all of PUENTE Learning Center’s funding priorities is beneficial.  At a minimum, this position requires:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Five years of professional experience in fundraising and donor relations with a track record in raising $1,000+ gifts; or transferable high-level customer/client focused skills from the corporate sector
  • Commitment to PUENTE’s mission and an overarching dedication to mission driven work
  • Passionate advocate for the mission and those being served through the organization
  • Enthusiasm and positive attitude is a must
  • Experience in nonprofit sector, working with Boards of Directors and small dynamic teams (as staff, Board member and/or volunteer)
  • Experience planning and executing special events of any size with set metrics
  • Knowledge of Los Angeles, its community organizations and philanthropic groups is a plus, but not required.

In addition to possessing these qualifications, the ideal candidate will be creative, organized, strategic and collegial. He/she must be a self-starter with a bias toward execution and must process the ability to be flexible and open to new ideas, as well as the ability to function at peak in a fast-paced environment. A sense of humor and positive attitude are essential.


PUENTE Learning Center is offering an industry competitive compensation package based on the candidate’s significant qualifications and experience. PUENTE Learning Center also offers health, dental, vision and employee contributed retirement benefits.


Please submit the following to

1.) Cover letter: All candidates are strongly encouraged to develop a cover letter which provides qualifications, experiences and past successes, and how they fully intersect with PUENTE Learning Center’s needs for this position.

2.) Resume/CV

3.) Compensation requirements

Please forward with "Donor Relations Manager” as the subject line. All three attachments must be received. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Due to the anticipated volume of applications only principal, qualified candidates will receive a response. We ask that no phone calls be placed to PUENTE Learning Center. 

To learn more about PUENTE Learning Center and this position, please visit the website:

PUENTE Learning Center is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.

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