Assistant Director of Development, Major Gifts

California Science Center Foundation   Los Angeles, CA   Full-time     Other
Posted on September 5, 2023
Apply Now

Assistant Director of Development, Major Gifts Position Overview

The California Science Center Foundation seeks an experienced development professional to advance major donor initiatives through individual, foundation and corporate major gifts. The Assistant Director of Development, Major Gifts will help facilitate the completion of the visionary EndeavourLA Campaign to build the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, and supervise two positions: a Grant Writer and a Prospect Research Analyst. The ideal candidate has at least three years of experience in major gifts fundraising; a personal track record of securing major gifts at $25,000+ is preferred. They are able to build and manage strong relationships with staff, members, donors and board members; and demonstrate an appreciation for diversity and the ability to relate to a wide variety of people representing the diverse communities the Science Center serves. Additionally, they should demonstrate a commitment to the California Science Center’s mission and values, and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gifts prospects (both new and existing donors) to support funding priorities that advance California Science Center immediate and longer-term initiatives.
  • Track prospect activity, monitor results and report regularly on progress toward goals.
  • Prepare talking points, financial reports, presentations and progress updates on fundraising programs for senior leadership and Trustees as required.
  • Supervise Grant Writer and contribute to writing and editing proposals, reports and other donor communications.
  • Supervise Prospect Research Analyst to qualify and prioritize major donor prospects and inform solicitations.
  • Manage all aspects of the Legacy for Science Learning planned giving program, including: promotion of the program; recognition and stewardship of existing donors; developing educational opportunities on planned giving for prospective donors.
  • Special projects, assignments and other duties as required.


  • Minimum of three years development/fundraising experience with one year focused on major gifts; a record of success in personally securing gifts of $25,000+ desired
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and a professional demeanor, with ability to exercise the utmost discretion in being trusted with confidential/sensitive information
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills
  • Experience with museums, informal learning institutions or community-based organizations a plus
  • Knowledge of Los Angeles area philanthropic communities desired
  • Strong project management skills
  • Self-starter with demonstrated ability to strategize, set and meet goals both independently and by supervising others
  • Ability to interpret and prepare budgets and financial data
  • Persuasive writing and editing skills; able to produce relevant writing samples upon request
  • Proficiency or ability to become quickly proficient in Microsoft Office suite and OneDrive applications, Zoom or other videoconferencing platforms, donor databases or constituent relationship management systems; experience with Tessitura a plus
  • Strong organization and analytical skills with keen attention to detail and ability to establish and maintain high standards of information management
  • Willingness to staff or attend frequent evening/weekend events and activities


  • 11 paid holidays and 1 floating holiday
  • Sick leave and vacation accrual of up to 168 hours
  • Comprehensive medical, dental and vision benefits, life insurance, and short-term and long-term disability
  • Confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – prepaid counseling and referral service offered to all employees, their household members and dependents
  • Tax deferred annuity programs 401(a) & 403(b) with immediate enrollment, 100% vesting and safe harbor matching – 100% match of salary deferrals that do not exceed 3% of compensation plus 50% match of salary deferrals between 3% and 5% of compensation
  • Free California Science Center membership with free or discounted admission to approx. 350 other science centers and museums nationwide

Salary Range and Requirements
$75,000 - $85,000. Full-time, exempt position reporting to the Vice President of Development. Under current policy, Development staff are provided the flexibility to work remotely no more than two days a week depending on job duties and institutional needs.

The California Science Center Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or creed, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law with respect to employment opportunities. We are committed to supporting and sustaining a staff with a variety of backgrounds, skills and views in a space that allows them to bring their true authentic selves to work.

Netzel Grigsby Associates has been retained by the California Science Center Foundation to support the search for the Assistant Director of Development, Major Gifts.

To Apply: Email your cover letter and resume to with Assistant Director of Development, Major Gifts Application in the subject line. Please indicate in your cover letter where you saw the job announcement, e.g. Indeed, AFP Greater Los Angeles, etc.