Director of Development

Fort Bragg, California
Dependent upon experience
May 03, 2021
Jun 02, 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level


Director of Development

Full-Time w/ benefits 

Noyo Center for Marine Science (Noyo Center) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), whose mission is to advance ocean conservation through education, exploration, and experience. Based in Fort Bragg, California, the Noyo Center is addressing the critical gap in marine science in this remote region of the northern California coast. Our goal is to connect the scientific and lay communities to our incredibly productive and critically important marine ecosystems, while raising the profile of our ocean’s increasingly vital role in physical climate, food supply, and economic resiliency. The Noyo Center for Marine Science offers research and educational opportunities to:


  1. Support the understanding, conservation, and restoration of our marine ecosystem
  2. Engage our local community and visitors in activities and education that support our beautiful Mendocino coast 
  3. Generate sustainable economic opportunities for the Mendocino coast community

The Noyo Center is currently based out of two sites in Fort Bragg:  The Discovery Center, located in the downtown historic district, and the Crow’s Nest Interpretive Center on the Fort Bragg headlands. At these two locations and through community events, the Noyo Center engages with more than 100,000 individuals (both visitors and local community members) per year. Our exhibitions include a growing natural history collection, featuring the world’s largest killer whale skeleton; our virtual reality Ocean Immersion Dome where visitors can “swim underwater” to experience the kelp drama unfolding beneath the sea; and a rotating exhibit schedule of other marine skeletons, educational artwork, and marine science presentations. The organization supports science education initiatives through work with the local school system and summer camps; engages the community through citizen science initiatives; and partners on important science initiatives like Help the Kelp to address marine issues affecting our local coastal ecosystem. For more information about the Noyo Center visit our website at


The Development Director is a new leadership position at the Noyo Center for Marine Science, an organization that is positioned for significant growth over the next 5 years. We are seeking an experienced leader who is enthusiastic about building a strong development department. This is an exciting role for a visionary who thrives in a “hands-on” environment, who is eager to contribute to the strategic vision of the organization, and who is committed to developing and executing a strategy to increase contributed revenue by at least 30% over the next three years. In addition to growing the organization’s overall donation program, the Development Director will also develop strategies and set long term goals for institutional gifts, membership, business contributions, special events, and legacy giving. The Development Director is a key leader in creating a culture of philanthropy among staff, Board and volunteers. 

This is a full-time position based remotely to start (due to the pandemic). Once it is safe to return to a co-work environment, this position will be based out of beautiful Fort Bragg, California, with flexibility to work at home as well as in the office. A distance-working arrangement may be offered to an exceptional candidate who is unable to relocate to the Mendocino coast or must defer relocation, with the understanding that frequent visits to Fort Bragg will be required. The Noyo Center for Marine Science offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Hours and days are flexible, with some evenings and weekends required for events, meetings, etc. This position reports to the Executive Director. 


  • Lead the planning, organizing, and directing of Noyo Center’s fundraising programs
  • Manage and drive strategic direction for individual giving, major gifts, membership, foundation grants, business sponsorship, and legacy gifts
  • Working with the Executive Director, steward and grow a portfolio of major organizational donors and investors both locally and outside the region
  • Working with the Executive Director, review the Noyo Center's current fundraising events and appeals and develop a strategy for improved outreach and donation generation.
  • Manage the organization’s annual fundraising events, typically scheduled in fall and winter
  • Manage the organization’s fundraising appeals (currently twice annually), as well as other outreach efforts throughout the year
  • Manage the organization’s membership program, partnering with the Executive Director and program staff to innovate future membership offerings, to increase memberships, and provide strategic outreach to this group of ongoing supporters
  • Oversee the organization’s development operations, including the strategic and dynamic use of the constituent database, Little Green Light, to drive donor communication initiatives, track donor contributions, and promote data-driven decision making. Hands on use of the database will be a key part of this role until the department grows and adds administrative support
  • Develop and apply a deep understanding of the Noyo Center’s programs to effectively tell our story to donors, investors and others in the community
  • Work with the Executive Director to research and track potential institutional funding opportunities
  • Manage, track, and produce reports on the fundraising budget (expenses and revenue) throughout the year
  • Work with finance staff to reconcile incoming donations and produce monthly reports on progress to goal(s)
  • Exercise initiative in identifying and contacting additional major donor prospects
  • Communicate regularly with the program staff to remain updated on program developments
  • Work with the Executive Director, Board Members, and volunteers, to increase supporters’ and community awareness of Noyo Center’s impact and programs through newsletters, fundraising collateral, and ongoing development of messaging and branding
  • Contribute to Noyo Center’s online presence. This includes working with Noyo staff to support website updates as well as producing a monthly newsletter, and managing an annual social media calendar
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • 5+ years of experience as a Development professional with a background in managing development programs and teams, as well as demonstrated success in securing major gifts and stewarding long-term relationships with organization donors; capital campaign experience a plus
  • Demonstrated skills and experience building/scaling fundraising programs or initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability to be engaged, creative and hands on
  • A self-starter with a demonstrated ability in coordinating and supporting the fundraising activities of others including staff and Board; must have exceptional interpersonal skills
  • An exceptional communicator both in writing and orally
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience strategically working with a constituent database. Little Green Light experience a plus.
  • Must be able to work occasional evenings and weekends
  • Knowledge or interest in marine science, conservation, or education a plus but not required


To apply for the position of Development Director, please submit your resume and a cover letter detailing your experience and interest in this position, as well as your salary requirements to the email listed in this posting. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until May 29, 2021. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone calls please.  The selection process will include preliminary screening and panel interviews of finalist candidates. The interviews will be conducted via Zoom on Tuesday, June 1st. Salary will be based on qualifications.

The Noyo Center embraces a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where all employees, board members, and volunteers feel valued and respected, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education, or physical abilities. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. 


This position regularly sits or stands for long periods at a computer; frequently bends, twists, stoops and crouches while working at desk, filing and records handling; constantly uses both hands/arms in reaching, handling, grasping, and keyboarding while using a variety of office equipment; frequently uses a telephone and computer to communicate with coworkers and public; regularly stands to use a variety of office equipment; occasionally lifts and carries items up to 30 pounds; occasionally lifts above shoulder and head; regularly communicates in oral and written form with co-workers and general public, frequently reads and interprets agreements and other documents. Constant sitting in office chair, keyboarding, and visual contact with computer terminal; frequent walking, standing, writing, bending, and reaching; occasional lifting of items weighing less than 30 pounds, reaching and lifting above shoulders, carrying boxes of materials from one place to another. A valid driver's license is required.