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Donor Events and Stewardship Specialist 

About the Organization

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to the conservation and research of the Sonoran Desert region with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable and valued. We are a fusion experience zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, art gallery, natural history museum, and research institute. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has recognized the Desert Museum for over 25 years of continuous accreditation.

The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.

IDEA Commitment
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is committed to fostering a welcoming space and a diverse, inclusive team that reflects the communities in which we live and work. We understand that inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) are integral to the fulfillment of our mission, and to our success as an organization. We are working to build the structures, policies, hiring practices and organizational culture that ensure representation and opportunity for all, and create an environment of belonging where everyone feels respected, safe, and understood. As we continue to engage in this work, we are integrating the core values of IDEA into our programs, exhibits, communications, and other public offerings. Valuing each other's differences brings us together to create a thriving workplace and fair work culture, allowing us to fulfill our mission more effectively.

We believe inclusion is everyone's responsibility. Ways in which our commitment is demonstrated include continuous development, modeling inclusive behaviors, and proactively addressing bias. Visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's IDEA page to learn more.

Category Development and Donor Relations  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Compensation Anticipated Starting Salary - $41,000 - $46,000 per year plus a comprehensive benefit package  

Are you passionate about fostering meaningful connections and making a tangible impact on cultural institutions? The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is excited to announce a fantastic opportunity to join our team as a Donor Events and Stewardship Specialist. If you are enthusiastic about donor engagement, event coordination, and driving philanthropic success, we encourage you to apply and be a vital part of our mission.


Position Description
Job Title: Donor Events and Stewardship Specialist
Department: Philanthropy
Supervisor: Director of Philanthropy
FLSA Status: Exempt
Compensation: Anticipated Starting Salary $41K-46K per year, plus a comprehensive benefit package which includes medical, dental, vision, employer-funded health reimbursement account, life and LTD insurance, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, 403(b) retirement plan with Roth option, complimentary membership and guest passes, paid holidays, personal business time, sick leave, and vacation.

The Donor Events and Stewardship Specialist works under the direction of the Director of Philanthropy and is a key member of the Philanthropy and Development Team who plays an important role in the Desert Museum achieving its annual funding objectives. Key responsibilities include: event coordination and planning; donor stewardship activities, administrative duties, data input and tracking, identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and communicating with donors, business, and foundation funders; entering data about, tracking, and reporting on donors and donations; and meeting and exceeding annual revenue goals.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

General Activities

  • Lead in planning and implementing the annual Desert Museum Gala fundraiser, a large-scale event.
  • Communicate with and coordinate with internal departments, external vendors, donors, businesses and funders, to plan and execute successful events.
  • Lead the creation of strategy, plans, and implementation of stewardship activities; create meaningful donor experiences that foster ongoing engagement and lasting relationships with the Desert Museum.
  • Enact comprehensive donor stewardship activities and donor relations, including reporting gift impact, follow-ups, recognition, acknowledgement, and giving societies.
  • Plan and coordinate on-site and off-site donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship events and activities, track RSVPs, and respond to all donor, guest, and attendee communications in a timely and professional manner.
  • Export, sort, and maintain Excel tracking lists, write auction item descriptions, enter repetitive data into software, conduct mail merges and create address labels for mailings, track expenditures and submit reconciliations, collect all necessary vendor documentation, take and edit photos, post on social media.
  • Acquire and maintain a sound understanding of the Desert Museum’s history and communication style; use that familiarity to edit and update communications collateral for print, eBlasts, and social media.
  • Track and research donor questions, resolve complaints, and provide other information to donors in person, on the phone, by email, and in writing.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality of all information, with particular emphasis on donor and donation information.

Database Activities
Work in Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT donor database system. Maintain accurate and current donor tracking and acknowledgement systems (including data entry of donor information and gifts; documentation of all identification, qualification, screening, cultivation, solicitation, actions, and stewardship activities; generation of donor acknowledgement letters; and articulation of gift impact and benefits to funders), ensure timely data entry and acknowledgement of gifts, and develop all analytical and tracking reports needed by Philanthropy Department and other end-users.

Supervisory Responsibilities
This job has no supervisory responsibilities, but aids in coaching and coordinating work of temporary employees and volunteers.


Please note: Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. If offered a position, you will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen & criminal background check as final conditions of employment.

Position Requirements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience

  • Associate's degree or equivalent, preferably in philanthropy, communications, or business
  • Previous experience in nonprofit fundraising, stewardship, and large-scale events

Computer Skills
To perform this job successfully, an individual should be proficient with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook); charity auction software; donor management software (Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT is a plus), email marketing software, Internet-based donor research, e-communications, and experience with social media platforms.

Mathematical Skills
Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as fair market value, tax deductible amounts, discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume. Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.

Reasoning Ability
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to professionally deal with high-stress situations and deadlines. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

Language Skills
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, professional email communications, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, donors, members, and the general public.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Strong event coordination skills
  • Knowledge of fundraising techniques and strategies
  • Strong organizational skills, including meeting deadlines, prioritizing tasks, and experience managing multiple priorities and projects at once
  • Demonstrated project planning and management skills, demonstrating detail orientation, accuracy of information, timeliness, and ability to work under pressure
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills; ability to edit and write clearly, articulately, and persuasively
  • Superior interpersonal skills, with the ability to develop high-quality relationships with diverse groups of people including supervisor, leadership, peers, volunteers, prospects, and donors
  • Demonstrated ability to calmly switch gears when priorities and objectives change, and willingness to accept responsibility and accountability in a role that is demanding and requires a high level of energy and professionalism
  • Demonstrated ability to work both collaboratively, as well as independently with little supervision while balancing the need to provide key information and updates to leadership
  • Willingness and availability to work a flexible schedule, including nights and weekends when necessary, as well as work remotely

Physical Demands
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. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to use hands to handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk and sit. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet. Events can have loud crowds and noise.


The above description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities, reporting relationships and position requirements for this job classification. It is not intended to be a complete description of all duties and requirements that may be inherent in the position.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a drug and alcohol free workplace and participates in E-Verify.

EOE Statement The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is an equal opportunity institution. The Museum does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status in its policies and procedures relating to recruitment and hiring, compensation, benefits, termination and all other terms and conditions of employment.  
Open Date 8/29/2023  

This position is currently accepting applications.

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