Common Ground High School is Seeking a Manager, Development & Communications

The New Haven Ecology Project/Common Ground: Manager, Development & Communications – full time position

About Common Ground 

Common Ground is a center for environmental learning in New Haven, Connecticut. Farm meets forest meets city on Common Ground’s 20 acre campus at the base of West Rock Ridge. The site abuts the 1800 acre West Rock State Park, sharing hiking trails, wildlife, and diverse natural habitats with the surrounding forests. Common Ground’s urban farm produces sustainably grown food for programs and our community and is home to our friendly farm animals. Common Ground’s Charter High School uses the site as an organizing principle of its curriculum which is guided by an ecological framework highlighting the connection and interdependence of all living and non-living things. Each year, more than 10,000 community members participate in festivals, field trips, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities on site. For more information visit

Job Description:

The Manager, Development & Communications is an integral part of a small team that raises funds to support the annual expenses of a growing and evolving complex organization. The Manager, Development & Communications manages our database, acknowledgement process and supports the execution of direct response, events, and organizational communications efforts. This role will also support research for grants and prospect donors. Reporting directly to the Director of Development and Communications, the Manager, Development & Communications’ work will include responsibility for:

  • Database Work: 
    • Responsible for the management of the CRM database. 
    • Working with the business office, prepare and send gift acknowledgement letters.
    • Accurately maintain and track all donations and donor information in Neon.
    • Create and maintain development reports in Neon, from donor and donation reports to moves management analysis, as identified by the department’s annual plan. 
    • Create custom reports as requested to drive strategic decision making and action.
    • Document and update procedures for the department’s technical manual for Neon.
    • Create appropriate contact lists in consultation for all direct response campaigns. 
    • Manage data and lists for email marketing database (Mail Chimp).
  • Supporter Engagement (involving, asking, thanking)
    • Support the execution of direct response and events strategies for acquiring new supporters, increasing retention rates of existing supporters and reactivating lapsed supporters. The strategies will work to meet the benchmarks identified in the overall goals of the Development and Communications Department Plan. 
  • Support Events Strategy/Execution:
    • Support Feast from the Fields, Common Sense, Rock to Rock, and other development events, including event setup/breakdown, technology needs and other logistical needs.
    • Support securing corporate, foundation, and individual sponsorships for all events. 
  • Support Grant/Prospect Donor Research:
    • Support Director of Development/Communications and program staff in grant proposal processes; including tracking grant progress, drafting grant applications, budgets, meeting deadlines, completing all grant paperwork, and submitting grant deliverables. 
    • Responsible for maintaining an accurate calendar of grant requests and reports.
    • Manage current and prospective donor research using IWave and other research tools. 
  • Support Organizational Communications:
    • Support the production of Common Ground’s monthly email newsletter.
    • Track outcomes for Common Ground’s communications efforts.
    • Support creation of content that uplifts CG’s mission to internal and external audiences (website, appeals letters, gratitude report, press releases, institutional statements)
  • Other development and administrative related duties as assigned by the Director of  Development and Communications.


  • Passion for CG’s mission – at the intersection of social and environmental justice with an educational focus; and, a desire to engage deeply in ethical fundraising and communications that uplift the unique voices of our community of youth and adults.
  • Experience with social justice work, in New Haven or in another community. 
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to the New Haven area. 
  • 2-3 years experience in nonprofit development or event planning preferred; candidates with a strong passion and enthusiasm to learn without relevant experience will also be considered.
  • Understanding of how to create and manage a budget using spreadsheets.
  •  Meticulous attention to detail with regards to project management.
  •  Strong and experienced writer with experience working around deadlines.
  • Comfortable engaging in a thoughtful debrief process for all projects.
  • Desire to challenge conventional fundraising and communications methods. 

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 and Communications Director. Common  Ground offers many benefits, including health and dental benefits. The salary for this position is in the M Salary Band on Common Ground’s FY 22 Pay Bands. Placement within that band will be aligned to prior experience and the level of responsibility assigned to the role. 

To Apply

Please submit a resume and a cover letter outlining your interest in the role to Audrey Nefores, Director of Development and Communications at Common Ground: by January 17, 2022. Cover letters may be written in formal or informal language. Please feel free to express your interest in whatever way feels authentic to you.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Common Ground is particularly eager for candidates who can help us to fulfill our commitment to building a racially and culturally diverse faculty and staff. 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 offer windows into a more sustainable society.

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, people whose native language is something other than English, 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)

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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