Who We Are


Development Associate

Status: Exempt, full time, 40 hours per week

Salary range: $54,563 - $81,845

Reports to: Director of Development

Review: after first six months, then annually


The Development Associate works with the Director of Development to create and implement a strategic and comprehensive Master Fundraising Plan that supports the philanthropic and planning mission of West Central Initiative (WCI), working with the development and planning teams and president to support annual and ongoing fundraising goals.


Primary Responsibilities

The Development Associate:

  • Assists the Director of Development in creating fundraising strategies.
  • Develops and cultivates relationships with individual donors.
  • Meets with attorneys, accountants, trust officers, and others to promote planned giving through WCI.
  • Assists with donor-focused presentations and outreach.
  • Partners with the development team on all fundraising campaigns, including the annual fund and endowment.
  • Assists with grants research and grant writing.
  • Work with the communications team on messaging to promote planning, philanthropy, and the mission of WCI.

Secondary Responsibilities

This position, along with the development team, shares the responsibility of:

  • Keeping donors well informed and engaged in the work of WCI.
  • Meeting WCI's annual fundraising goals.
  • Researching to identify new donors.
  • Cultivating new and existing donors.

This position must:

  • Be sensitive to donors and engage with them with absolute integrity, adhering to all issues around confidentiality and donor intent.
  • Be willing to communicate all donor activities with the Director of Development and document all meetings and donor activities with the development team.
  • Be committed to sharing all successes and challenges with the development team.
  • Be committed to the Master Fundraising Plan along with the entire development team.


  • A bachelor’s degree is preferred in English, marketing, communications or a related field and three years of professional fundraising experience
  • Encouraged to attain Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification


To perform this job successfully, an individual should have the abilities and strong working knowledge of:

  • Relationship building methods with customers/donors.
  • Principles and processes for multi-year fundraising strategies.
  • Project management practices, including the ability to organize work, set priorities, follow up on assignments, and meet critical deadlines with minimal supervision.
  • Effective oral and written communications, including grant writing, case statements, and white papers.
  • Microsoft Office Suite: Excel, Word, Outlook. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion principles and practices.


To perform the job successfully, the Development Associate should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Project Management – Develops fundraising strategies; coordinates projects; communicates changes and progress; completes projects on time and budget. 
  • Judgment – demonstrates critical thinking based on in‐depth data gathering, corroborating information, considering others’ input and personal values, and ethics.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Maintains confidentiality; listens to others without interrupting; keeps emotions under control; remains open to others’ ideas; and tries new things. 
  • Technical Skills – Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; shares expertise with others. 
  • Strategic thinking – demonstrates ability to facilitate discussions and take actions to support and expand goals and mission.

Alignment with Core Values

Neighborliness arises out of a strong belief that our interconnectedness is crucial to our long-term viability. Town to town, county to county, organization to organization, and certainly person to person, the fabric of our region depends on cooperation, appreciation, openness, and generosity.

Generosity is a dimension of neighborliness, but it flies higher over the region because it speaks to a willingness to embrace a common good that can only be achieved through collective action, through everyone giving of their time, talent, and treasure.

Empowerment in our current context is directed both internally and externally. We encourage both our staff and our fellow citizens to be a part of bold action in our region, and to develop and use power to a good end.

Trend-testing is a dimension of that bold action. We learn from one another while we work together to solve problems.  We will embrace risk and learn from our mistakes, always.

Must possess a valid Minnesota driver’s license and be available to work in WCI service area. Position occasionally may require working outside the normal business day (evening meetings, some travel).

This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive, and employee will also perform other reasonably-related job duties as assigned by Director of Development.

WCI reserves the right to revise or change job duties as the need arises. This job description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment.

To apply, send your resume and cover letter to info@wcif.org or mail it to PO Box 318, Fergus Falls, MN, 56538-0318. The deadline to apply is February 1.