Donor Relations Associate
Job Type


The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved – and stay involved – in sports and fitness. CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence, and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $134 million has been raised and over 35,000 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year. The CAF is headquartered in San Diego with regional offices in New York City, San Francisco and Boise, Idaho. This is a full-time, exempt position based out of the San Diego office.

Position Overview 

The Donor Relations Associate supports all fundraising, sponsorship and donor relations activities for the Foundation. They work to acquire, cultivate and steward support in the form of maintaining relationships with donors and prospects, developing stewardship plans, and coming up with new ways to thank and recognize donors. The Associate will assist with the creation and dissemination of various stewardship communications including donor impact reports, acknowledgment letters, and digital communications. Additional duties include providing varied administrative support to Development team members. The ideal candidate will be a curious, creative, and tenacious researcher with outstanding analytical skills, attention to detail, as well as being highly organized and deadline driven. Superior customer relations skills and a desire to build a career in philanthropy are essential assets to be successful in this role. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 


· Develop and manage donor stewardship programs (e.g. thank you calls, acknowledgement letters, holiday cards, birthdays, gifts, photographs, thank you for event participation, etc.)

o Work with Board of Directors to coordinate donor calls, outreach and appreciation.

· Assist with the implementation of engagement and fundraising strategies to enhance and grow revenue from donors.

· Utilize and maintain donor database to ensure accurate and complete information on donors, gifts, and prospects with the objective of retrieving up-to-the-minute information.

· Track and provide weekly and monthly reports showing how many of our donors are contacted via phone/letters/cards, etc. 

· Generate donor mailing lists for both direct mail and mass email solicitations.

· Connect donations received to individuals, conducting research, build donor bios, and ensure proper acknowledgment.

· Identify and research prospective donors for a wide array of fundraising initiatives/campaigns; prepare donor and corporate profiles.

· Serve as a first point of contact for the Development team; answer email and phone inquiries in a prompt, courteous, and professional manner.

· Wealth screen and research on bigger gifts received. 

· Assist with coordination of presentation requests and inquiries.

· Assist with fundraising event preparation and planning as well as coordinate internal and external meetings.

· Attend and present at community meetings and networking events as required.

· Various administrative support tasks for the Development team as needed including calendar management. 


· Assist the Marketing Team with developing and maintaining a donor thank you segment in the CAF Newsletter. 

· Develop creative ways to recap donor participation in events such as building slide shows. 


· Assist the Programs Team with personalized outreach to bring donor awareness of programs happening in their region. 

o Pull athlete information from our grant software for thank yous and assets. 

o Create asset “boutique” requests for athlete messages to thank and engage donors. 

Other duties assigned as needed. 

  • Availability to occasionally work evenings and weekends with increased responsibilities around event dates. 
  •  Work is performed in an office environment and requires the ability to operate standard office equipment and keyboards. Must have the ability to lift and small carry parcels, packages and other items, to walk short distances, and drive a vehicle to attend occasional events.


 Demonstrated experience and proven ability to function at a high administrative support level.

· Extensive experience in a role that requires excellent customer service.

· A bachelor’s degree in business administration, communications, marketing, non-profit management, or a related field is a plus. 

• Experience with non-profit fundraising a plus. 

• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences in a variety of methods. Demonstrated strength in oral communication, including ability to persuasively present and interpret the mission, goals and programs to prospective donors.

•  Experience assisting with the preparation of proposals and reports.

Skills & Competencies

· A strong commitment to the CAF mission to the objectives, goals, and programs of the organization.

· Knowledge of the techniques of donor/prospect research with the ability to extract and distill pertinent information from multiple sources. 

· Ability and confidence to work successfully with a variety of individuals and personalities (donors, major gift prospects, board members, athletes, etc.)

· Knowledge of and proficiency in the use of computers, office equipment and software programs including Microsoft suite, Salesforce and Donor Drive (or other donor databases).

· Strong work ethic with an orientation towards constant innovation and process development.

· Demonstration of utmost courtesy, confidentiality, and a collaborative and accountable approach to accomplishing work.

· Ability to manage projects, establish and monitor priorities, maintain flexibility and meet deadlines with minor direct supervision in a fast-paced environment.

· Adept, confident and proven in multi-tasking, entrepreneurial non-profit or business environment.


CAF offers a competitive compensation package including generous employer contributions to Health/Dental/Visions insurance, employer paid Basic Life and Long-Term Disability Insurance, 401k match, 10 paid holidays, onsite gym, and more.

Full Time: Non-Exempt 

Location: San Diego

Salary Range: $45-55,000.00 annual base salary 

All applicants are required to provide:

1. Salary requirements when submitting 

2. Cover Letter 

3. Resume to if not applying via a third party link. 

Diversity and inclusion are a critical component of our business strategy, mission and vision. We welcome candidates from an array of backgrounds and experiences to join our team. Learn more about our commitment here: 

 CAF is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.