Assistant, Development Job in PEN America

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a highly organized and energetic development assistant. This entry-level role will support the range of fundraising efforts, including special events, cultivation of individual donors, and partnerships with foundations that sustain the organization and fuel its growth. The ideal candidate is interested in nonprofit fundraising and a highly organized self-starter with strong writing skills and an interest in PEN America’s mission. This is a full-time position based at PEN America’s New York City headquarters.
The development assistant’s primary duties revolve around the maintenance of donor records, including the recording and acknowledgement of donations, database management, and research on prospective supporters. The role also assists in the cultivation, management, and stewardship of major gift prospects and donors, as well as the planning and execution of special events such as the annual Literary Gala and fundraising campaigns Other duties include management of the chief development officer’s calendar; coordination of internal and external departmental meetings, and help with special projects and the filling of gaps as needed across the department. Professionalism, confidentiality, and discretion are fundamental to this role.
The development assistant will have the opportunity to make a critical difference in a growing organization that engages with leading cultural figures and important national and international issues. The successful candidate will have exposure to every aspect of fundraising, with significant opportunities to develop a portfolio of skills to gain increased responsibilities and advancement over time.


Gift entry and acknowledgment
Maintenance of donor records in the database and reconciliation of donations with the finance department
Assistance with donor and prospect research
Preparation of donor correspondence for chief development officer related to invitations, meeting requests, solicitations, and thank you letters
Tracking of monthly departmental expenses
Assistance with fundraising appeals and appeals, including maintaining lists, creating materials, and processing mailings
Preparation of donor presentations, research briefings, and materials for donors
Support for special events, including correspondence, communications, follow-up, and on-site help
Coordination of internal and external meetings for the development team
Assist with recruitment, training, and managing interns
Support other development functions as needs emerge


Bachelor’s degree with experience working in a nonprofit development department preferred
Database experience, with Raiser’s Edge experience preferred
Strong research skills and the ability to communicate effectively in writing in a range of forms and contexts
Ability to handle relationships with stakeholders with tact and maturity and to maintain confidentiality and discretion
Ambitious work ethic and ability to work both autonomously and as part of departmental or cross-departmental team
Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to prioritize multiple tasks, with zealous attention to detail
An interest in PEN America’s mission and in joining a fast-paced, growing nonprofit organization

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, and the contact information for three references to Please use “Development Assistant” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Development Assistant – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.
No phone calls, please.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

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