Donor Relations Assistant

Groundswell Fund
November 19, 2021
Telecommute, United States of America
Job Type


Overview: Groundswell Fund is a public foundation that resources intersectional, solidarity-based grassroots organizing work that centers Black women, Indigenous women and other women of color including Transgender women of color. We fund within many social justice movements and are the largest funder of the U.S. Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement. For more than a decade, we have enabled foundations and individual donors to increase the impact of their giving by offering a different kind of philanthropic model. Different in who we are: A program staff of women of color, transgender people of color, and gender nonconforming people of color who come directly out of community and labor organizing and have a combined 70+ years of grassroots organizing and civic engagement experience within communities of color; a board comprised of grassroots leaders shaping strategy alongside funders and donors. Different in who we support: primarily Black and Brown women, including transgender women of color who are organizing at the grassroots. Different in how we support the field: not just through grants, but also through capacity-building support focused on boosting grassroots power, and funder organizing that lifts up our grantees to a larger audience of funders and donors who can move resources to their work, whether or not these resources come through our doors. Groundswell moves at least 80 percent of the dollars that come in our doors back out to the field. 


Since 2003, Groundswell has moved more than $100 million to the field in grants and capacity building support; increased the giving of dozens of national and local foundations; and helped bring thousands of new individual donors into the RJ movement. Our grantees have been instrumental in the passage of more than 345 pro-RJ policies at the state and local level and in blocking many regressive policies, and they have built a growing grassroots base of support for RJ across the U.S. In 2017, we expanded our funding to support multi-issue organizing led by WOC and transgender people of color across other social justice movement sectors, from environmental and economic justice, to immigrant and LGBTQ rights, and on. We also launched a 501(c)(4), Groundswell Action Fund, one of the largest c4 funds in the country centering WOC-led c4 work.  


Fundraising Vision:Groundswell is committed to cultivating a vibrant and engaged, multiracial and multigenerational community of donors and funders who connect their values to their resources. We believe generosity and intention go hand in hand with the success of the RJ movement and intersectional grassroots organizing, and that giving at every level empowers individuals, families and entire communities to create a better world. Groundswell’s values around authentic and respectful partnerships undergird our relationships with grantees and donors and funders alike. Our mission to support grantee organizations as they build their grassroots power mirrors our fundraising mission; supporting the power of our donors through learning about the issues our grantees face, and collaborating for greater collective impact and liberation for all people. 


Position Summary: In order to accomplish our Blueprint goal of moving over $100 million to the field from 2020-2025, Groundswell is embarking on an ambitious donor and funder organizing plan. We aim to increase our donor base to 1,000 people by 2025 and increase our annual budget to $25 million by the end of the plan period. We will increase outreach to new funders and donors, and ask current funders to increase their levels of giving in order to support momentum on the ground in this important moment. Our aim is to ensure the ongoing stability of our annual revenue and grantmaking capacity despite likely shifts in the larger economic and philanthropic landscapes. To remain on target with our Blueprint goals and to our key function in the field, it is important that Groundswell continues to cultivate, steward, and retain both existing and new sources of income and revenue.  


In this moment, Groundswell is seeking candidates for the position of Donor Relations Assistant (DRA). The DRA will work closely with the Donor Relations Manager (DRM) and Chief Development Officer (CDO) to support a growing individual donor program. The DRA will collaborate across the organization with an effective team of colleagues managing multiple revenue streams. This role will help support the long-term sustainable growth of Groundswell, and will have a deep personal and professional connection with our core values.   

The ideal candidate will have a positive, “can-do” attitude and the ability to work collaboratively with all staff and partners in a diverse and fast-paced remote environment; is self-motivated and highly organized, with exceptional attention to accuracy; is flexible and has the ability to manage multiple deadlines simultaneously; and exercises good judgment in handling confidential donor information.  





Program planning and management 


  • Manage direct mail and donor email lists for direct mail pieces, eblasts, and other major donor content distribution.    
  • Ensure that all donor inquiries and communications receive a timely and professional response from the appropriate staff member.   
  • Support Groundswell leadership and staff, especially those who maintain a portfolio of individual donors, with donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities, including:  
  • Conducting thorough research on current and prospective individual donors to prepare ED, CDO, DRM, Family Foundations Manager (FFM), and other staff for donor meetings as needed.  
  • Creating and personalizing tax acknowledgement letters.   
  • Assisting in preparing donor proposals and reports.  


Data Analysis and Administration 


  • Maintain Groundswell’s donor database to ensure all donor information is current and well organized, ensuring data integration and quality control functions in the database.   
  • Oversee, manage, and clean the donor database to ensure data integrity and proactively provide analysis and information that effectively supports decision making.  
  • Creatively design procedures, processes and systems to support our donor engagement program.   
  • Provide key administrative support for the individual donor program, including scheduling, filing, and other administrative.  
  • Support FFM with occasional administration, stewardship planning, and portfolio maintenance.  


Donor cultivation and stewardship 


  • Support DRM and FFM with ensuring compliance for all individual, DAF, and family foundation contributions.  
  • Work with CDO, DRM, FFM, and other key staff to build relationships with donors, ensuring relationships that are built are not only transactional, but also encompass partnership and collaboration.  
  • Support DRM in the production of appeals, updates, and other correspondence in alignment with organizational messaging and brand guidelines; work with the communications team on marketing collateral; execute virtual and in-person donor events in coordination with staff.  


Other support 

  • Keep informed of Groundswell’s public messaging to ensure accurate and effective donor interactions.  
  • Occasionally work evenings or weekends for special events which may require travel when it is safe again.  
  • Other duties as assigned.  




  • 3-5 years’ experience in donor relations, donor operations, project management, or other administrative capacities in fast-paced environments.   
  • Demonstrated success in project management.  
  • Experience working with donor databases or CRM is strongly preferred.  




Computer Skills:To perform this job successfully, an individual should have an openness to learning and working with technology, including Microsoft Office 365 and suite of programs, Gsuite, Slack, Asana, Zoom, and PC computers.  


Work Schedule:Groundswell is a completely virtual organization, allowing for flexibility in work schedules for our staff across differing U.S. time zones. While work can usually be completed during standard business hours of the applicant's time zone, there may be times where early morning, evening, and weekend work may be needed to ensure organization-wide collaboration, to staff or attend events, and/or to meet organization workload needs during busy times of the year. When travel is possible again, staff whose jobs require travel can expect longer hours, as travel may happen outside of business hours and on weekends. 


Travel: When travel is safe again, must be available to travel at least 6 times a year for overnight events/meetings across the U.S.  


Compensation/Benefits: Annual salary is $60,000 or commensurate with experience. Very generous benefits include fully paid for employee and family health, dental, vision, matching 401K plan, as well as additional employer-provided reimbursements for fertility expenses, transgender health care costs and midwifery/doula expenses that are not covered by insurance. Three weeks of vacation upon hire and a generous holiday schedule including the last week of December, as well as a flexible work schedule. 


To Apply: Please email a resume, three professional references, and a cover letter that includes your salary expectations and describes why you feel you are a strong candidate for this position to: [email protected]Applications received by December 10, 2021 will be given preference but applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. Due to the high volume of applications, only those selected for further discussion will be contacted. Please, no phone calls.   


Equal Employment Opportunity: The Groundswell Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. We are committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and that enables each of us to realize our potential. Our work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of races, ethnicities, national origins, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, beliefs, religions, faiths and ideologies, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and levels of physical ability.