Common Ground is Seeking a Full Time Development Associate

The New Haven Ecology Project/Common Ground
Database and Research Development Associate – full time position

Target Start Date: October 15, 2020

Location: New Haven, CT

Organization Overview

Common Ground is a center for learning and leadership, its mission is inviting people across ages and identities to connect to their urban environment, build community, grow into their full potential, and contribute to a just and sustainable world. We work toward this mission through active, authentic learning rooted in justice and our environment: a farm, in a forest, in a city. Three connected efforts are at the core of Common Ground’s work:

  • An environmental education center, offering programs that connect people of all ages with the natural world while helping them develop habits of sustainable living.
  • Connecticut’s only charter high school focused on the environment, preparing students for success in college and in environmental leadership.
  • An urban farm that practices sustainable agriculture while contributing to a healthy food system for New Haven area residents. Common Ground follows organic growing practices, avoiding the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers on site.

Common Ground has a commitment to examining the intersection of social, environmental, and food justice issues; how systems of oppression, including white privilege, impact the organization’s work; and how resistance to those systems can position people to lead the change towards a more equitable and sustainable society. Our current plan calls for raising more than $2M/year to support of this work. For more information on Common Ground, see

Job Description

The Development Associate is an integral part of a small team that raised $1.4 million last year for a growing and evolving complex organization. We are adding this staff position to boost our fundraising capacity to raise closer to $2 million/year. Common Ground seeks an organized, computer savvy, detail oriented person to join the team with a focus on research and database management.

    • Support the Director of Development and the Development Manager for Supporter Engagement, and the Executive Director, to raise more than $2M/year in support.
    • Develop comprehensive meeting prep for the DD, ED, and DM, and ED including research, background, giving history, talking points, and other relevant information.
    • Conduct prospect research to find and qualify potential partners for Common Ground.
    • Support Director of Development and program staff in grant proposal processes; including drafting grant applications, budgets, meeting deadlines, completing all grant paperwork, and submitting all grant deliverables.
    • Small portfolio of government grants.
    • Responsible for maintaining an accurate calendar of grant requests and reports.
    • Collect program data from program staff that can be used in reporting outcomes to supporter audiences.
    • Working with the business office and Development Manager, prepare and send gift acknowledgement letters and prepare thank you cards within one week of gift receipt.
    • Maintain and track all donations and donor information in Neon with a goal of maintaining 100% accuracy in our record keeping.
    • Create and maintain development reports in Neon, from donor and donation reports to moves management analysis. Create custom reports as requested to drive strategic decision making and action.
    • Maintain the department’s technical manual on how to use Neon.
    • For Feast from the Fields, Common Sense, and other development events.
    • Creating appropriate contact lists in consultation with Development Manager for all direct response campaigns.
    • Scheduling committee meetings.
  • Other development and administrative related duties as assigned by the Director of Development.


  • Passion for Common Ground’s mission – at the intersection of social and environmental justice with an educational focus; and, highly motivated by working in an operations/support role.
  • Computer and internet proficient, experience with spreadsheets, customer relationship management databases (Common Ground uses Neon), Constant Contact, and social media outlets. Common Ground uses the Google suite of products and the Microsoft Office suite of products.
  • 2-3 years professional experience, preferably in nonprofit development or sales.
  • Highly organized and exceptional attention to detail.
  • Experience with project/program development or grantwriting, including how to create a budget using spreadsheets.
  • Meticulous attention to customer service.
  • Meticulous attention to detail when compiling research and reports from database.
  • Skilled communicator, verbally and in writing, and able to communicate with a wide range of audiences, including experience proofreading others’ work.
  • Able to independently balance the demands of multiple concurrent projects
Work Schedule and Compensation

Common Ground’s work hours typically run Monday through Friday. Some nights and weekends are required of this position, especially to ensure the smooth functioning of events and volunteer committees. Work hours will be scheduled in agreement with the Development Director. Common Ground offers many benefits, including health and dental benefits, and financial compensation is commensurate with the level of responsibility.

Competitive salary and benefits package including vacation, sick, and holiday time, medical, dental, and life insurance, and retirement plan. Homemade lunch from the farm is provided free to all employees!

How to Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Kimball Cartwright at Cover letters and resumes will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. In your cover letter, please describe why Common Ground’s mission resonates for you personally and how your qualifications and experience fit with the goals and responsibilities of this position.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Common Ground is committed to the recruitment and retention of staff that is reflective of the communities we work with. We strongly encourage applicants from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

It has been the policy and will continue to be the strong commitment of the Common Ground and all contractors and subcontractors who do business with Common Ground to provide equal opportunities in employment to all qualified persons solely on the basis of job-related skills, ability and merit.  Common Ground will continue to take Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, mental disorder (present or past history thereof) age, physical disability (but not limited to blindness), marital status, intellectual disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and criminal record.  Such action includes, but is not limited to, employment, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, professional development, attendance at conferences or other opportunities for advancement.  Common Ground, its contractors and subcontractors will continue to make good faith efforts to comply with all federal and state laws and policies which speak to equal employment opportunity.

The principles of Affirmative Action are addressed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1870, 1871, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VI and VII of the 1964 United States Civil Rights Act, Presidential Executive Order 11246, amended by 11375, (Non-discrimination under federal contracts)< Act 1, Section 1 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, Governor Grasso’s Executive Order Number 11, Governor O’Neill’s Executive Order 9, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Law (Sec. 46a-60-69) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Connecticut Code of Fair Practices (46a-7081), Deprivation of Civil Rights (46a-58(a)(d)), Public Accommodations Law (46a-63-64), Discrimination against Criminal Offenders (46a-80), definition of Blind (46a-51(1)), definition of Physically Disabled (46a-51(15)), definition of Intellectual Disability (46a51(13)), cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (46a-77), Sexual Harassment (46a-60(a)-8), Connecticut Credit Discrimination Law (360436 through 439), Title I of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972.

This Affirmative Action Policy Statement re-affirms Common Ground’s commitment to equity in the workplace and the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity.



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