Development Associate

This position will be based in Philadelphia, Pennyslvania.

Position Description

FIRE is seeking one energetic, highly motivated full-time Development Associate to assist with the overall operations of FIRE’s development program.

Under the supervision of the Director of Development, the Development Associate will provide general support to varying aspects of the development department and fundraising program. These duties will include:

  • Developing and writing program specific proposals directed toward foundations and individual donors
  • Assisting in writing solicitations and organizing acquisition mailings
  • Conducting research on current donors to expand donation potential
  • Researching prospective individual donors, foundations, and other development opportunities
  • Assisting in coordinating fundraising events
  • Writing posts for FIRE’s blog, The Torch
  • Copy-editing internal and external communications
  • Entering donor information, processing gifts, querying records, and producing reports from FIRE’s Raiser’s Edge donor database
  • Corresponding in-person, over-the-phone, and through email with donors

In addition, the Development Associate will perform day-to-day tasks including preparing bank deposits, writing and mailing weekly thank you notes and receipts, maintaining donor files, communicating with FIRE’s current and prospective donors, and tracking the progress of grant proposals and grant reporting.

This is an entry-level position and is ideal for a person seeking to obtain experience and understanding of nonprofit business and fundraising. There is a possibility for advancement and promotion for candidates who have a sufficient length of service with FIRE and who demonstrate outstanding and superior performance in this position.


A successful candidate must have strong writing skills and a good work ethic. He or she must be highly motivated, have the ability to work under minimal supervision, and demonstrate an understanding of and willingness to advance FIRE’s mission.

In addition, a candidate must also demonstrate:

  • Strong organizational skills, especially with regard to attention to detail;
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills;
  • The ability to work independently;
  • The ability to take ownership of tasks and assignments and see assignments to completion with minimal direct supervision;
  • Strong writing and copy-editing skills;
  • Excellent time management skills, the ability to prioritize multiple tasks, and the ability to be punctual and work a set schedule.

Furthermore, candidates must demonstrate excellent computer skills including a working knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Excel and Word, and have a basic understanding of databases. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to use the Internet as a research tool. 

Candidates must possess a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.

Previous work experience is not required but is generally preferred. Candidates with prior experience using databases, other data-entry programs, or Raiser’s Edge are preferred. Applicants with previous development, grant writing, donor relations, or fundraising experience are also preferred.

Full and complete consideration will be given to all exceptional applicants.

Salary and Compensation

FIRE offers a comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary structure. The benefits package includes employer-paid comprehensive health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and a generous paid time-off plan. After ninety (90) days of continuous employment, eligible full-time employees may also enroll in FIRE’s Section 125 Flexible Spending Account plan which allows employees to reduce their taxes by setting aside money each pay period for certain medical, adoption, and childcare expenses.

Starting salary is negotiable and depends upon experience and education level. FIRE conducts periodic evaluations where employees may receive raises or bonuses for outstanding work.


Applicants should provide a resume, cover letter, a writing sample, and at least two professional references. All applications are confidential. Please address applications to Alisha Glennon, Director of Development.

Applications can be emailed to (preferred) or mailed to:

Attn: Development Department
601 Walnut St., Suite 510
Philadelphia, PA 19106

About FIRE

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonprofit educational foundation devoted to defending free speech, individual liberty, religious freedom, freedom of conscience, legal equality, due process, and academic freedom on our nation’s campuses. Please visit in order to gain a better sense of our work and identity.

Working at FIRE

FIRE is located in the Curtis Center, which is situated in the heart of the historic section of Philadelphia, immediately adjacent to Independence Hall and Washington Square. From this location, FIRE seeks to fulfill its mission to protect and sustain individual rights on college and university campuses across the nation. Currently, FIRE has an approximately two million dollar annual operating budget and works to raise funds through two main mediums-proposing grant requests from national and local foundations and reaching out to individual donors who share FIRE’s values. The development department handles all aspects of FIRE’s fundraising efforts including donor relations, foundation support, gift acceptance and acknowledgment, fundraising events, and donor mailings.