Donor Relations Manager | Sonoma Ecology Center


The Sonoma Ecology Center will celebrate 30 years of pioneering research, restoration, education, and preservation in the Sonoma Valley Watershed in 2020. We are proudly committed to our mission, which is to work with our community to identify and lead actions that achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley. We are also well regarded throughout the North Bay and beyond, for our numerous contributions to key initiatives in land, water, biodiversity, and climate.

Every year, we provide in-depth environmental science education instruction to over 1,200 area K-12 students. We also manage over 4,000 acres of public and private land, including Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and the Sonoma Garden Park, and we raise thousands of native plants in our native plant nursery. These plants are used to restore critical plant and wildlife habitat and provide land stabilization in burn recovery areas. We conduct research and technical support on timely issues affecting the region, such as monitoring Sonoma Valley’s creeks and reservoirs. To carry out this work we rely on funding, grants, contracts, and above all on fundraising endeavors.



The Donor Relations Manager is responsible for the structure, implementation and management of the donor relations program in line with the mission, goals and activities of Sonoma Ecology Center (SEC).

The position will oversee and execute annual fund campaigns including direct mail (renewals, upgrades, and acquisition), email appeals, and membership renewal and acquisition; targeted strategies for increased giving based on donor interests and needs; maintain the database of donor biographical and financial information; steward donors ($1-$1K); and assist in the planning and execution of cultivation and fundraising events. The position will also work closely with the Community Engagement & Outreach Team to ensure alignment with organizational development goals.



  • Develops the annual fund program budget, timeline and annual metrics; monitors and compares budget and metrics to results. Provides reports as needed.
  • Develops and implements strategies for annual-fund donor acquisition, renewal and upgrades (donors $1-$1K), including donor stewardship.
  • Produces annual direct mail appeals, e-appeals, membership renewal campaigns and additional targeted segmented appeals for donor upgrades. Manages Giving Tuesday, matching gifts and recurring donor campaigns.
  • Tracks and reports on results of all campaigns and segments; adjusts strategies as needed. Interprets and evaluates donor tracking, record keeping and reporting systems related to annual giving.
  • Responsible for the donor database’s integrity; develops and maintains database definitions, structures, and procedures; ensures accuracy of data entry.
  • Works closely with the Community Engagement Team in the following areas:
    • Participate in regular team meetings.
    • Assist in developing appropriate social media and online giving strategies, upgrades to the website donor page, staying informed of the latest trends and how or if they should be implemented at SEC.
    • Marketing, communications, outreach, and volunteer recruitment strategies.
    • Review outreach materials and events for consistency with fundraising goals.
    • Collaborate with team for the production of SEC’s annual Impact report.
  • Writes appeals, acknowledgement letters, and other donor correspondence as needed.
  • Selects, segments and codes donor lists for both postal and email appeals (through Mailchimp).
  • Works with program staff to collect stories and photos.
  • Develops and maintains a Business Partners program for sponsorships.
  • Identifies major donor prospects for further cultivation.
  • Plans and executes cultivation, fundraising, and recognition events throughout the year.
  • Other projects as assigned.



  • Ability to convey a high degree of commitment and passion for the mission of SEC.
  • 3+ years of demonstrated successful experience in annual fund management, direct marketing or equivalent role.
  • Understanding of accepted principles of charitable giving, especially in the areas of individual donor cultivation, solicitation and acknowledgement, and corporate sponsorships.
  • Expertise in fundraising software and tools with the ability to create, generate, analyze and interpret database reports.
  • Experience in creating and managing annual budgets.
  • Proficiency with core social media platforms for community engagement and donor cultivation/solicitation.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills that are effective with a diverse range of audiences including board members, volunteers, internal staff, donors, executives, potential funding partners and all constituencies.
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment, manage multiple priorities and take initiative with minimal supervision.
  • Strong decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Strong computer skills and ability to become proficient in relevant software.
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends as needed.



  • Experience with GiftWorks and Mailchimp.
  • Bilingual (Spanish).



  • Bachelor’s Degree in business, finance, communications, community relations or a closely related discipline.
  • Minimum of 3 years fundraising or related work.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands and fingers; handle or feel objects; tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop; kneel; crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and move up to 30 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

This job operates in an office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.

This is a full-time position, and general hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm; however, this position requires evening and weekend work. After successful completion of the 90-day introductory period, your FSLA status will be reviewed.

This position requires frequent local travel, off-site meetings with prospective donors, lunches, evening events, fundraisers, errands, and regular attendance at Manager’s meetings, CET meetings, and Board meetings. One must be flexible in your schedule to accommodate all of these expectations.

One must maintain a current driver’s license and personal auto insurance at all times. One must have a reliable vehicle and a working cell phone.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

All qualified applicants will be given equal consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, veteran, military status, genetic information, and marital status or familial status.



After successful completion of the 90-day introductory period, full-time employees are offered the following: Eligibility to enroll in one of two Kaiser Permanente health insurance plans, of which, SEC pays 60% of the employee’s premium (not that of dependents), paid holidays, vacation accrual, sick accrual, and the ability to enroll in a self-funded TIAA 403(B) account.



Please send your cover letter, resume, and three references, to Celina Briggs, Human Resources Specialist,, preferably in one PDF document. No phone calls, please.

If you need assistance in the application process or during the interview process, please contact the Human Resources Department. We will try to provide reasonable accommodations when considered appropriate.

All offers of employment at Sonoma Ecology Center are contingent upon clear results of a thorough background check. Background checks will be conducted on all final candidates and on all employees who are promoted, as deemed necessary. Final candidates must complete a background check authorization form and return it to Human Resources upon request.

A DMV background check is also required for this position.

For more information about the Sonoma Ecology Center, please visit


Classification:                                                                                                                                   Reports to:

Non-exempt                                                                                                                                      Executive Director

Full-time (40 hours per week)

Salary commensurate with experience