FILLED – Common Ground is Seeking a Development Associate for Special Events and Communications

Development Associate for Special Events and Communications – full time position
Organization Overview

From humble beginnings 20 years ago, Common Ground has grown into a nationally recognized center for environmental learning and leadership in New Haven, Connecticut, dedicated to growing a more just and sustainable community and world. Common Ground is uniquely positioned to do this work. Rooted in the City of New Haven, our 20-acre site includes an urban farm and abuts the 1,500 acre West Rock State Park, sharing hiking trails, wildlife, and diverse natural habitats with the surrounding forests. Common Ground delivers three tightly knit programs on site and in the community.

  1. Common Ground’s college preparatory Charter High School uses the site and the City as an organizing principle of its curriculum which is guided by an ecological framework that recognizes the connection and interdependence of all living and non-living things.
  2. The Environmental Education Center brings more than 12,000 community members/year to Common Ground for festivals, field trips, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities on site.
  3. Our Urban Farm is a key resource for both the high school and community programs, as well as for the greater New Haven community. It includes both production and educational gardens used to demonstrate and teach lessons in agriculture.

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. For more information on Common Ground, see

Job Description

The Development Associate is an integral part of a small team that raised $1.5 million last year for a growing and evolving complex organization. Common Ground seeks an organized, computer savvy, detail oriented person to join the team with a focus on direct response, events and communications. The right candidate will have a passion for connecting people to the organization. Reporting directly to the Director of Development, the Development Associate’s work will include responsibility for:

  • Events strategy and management
    • Securing corporate, foundation, and individual sponsorships for Feast and Rock to Rock.
    • Leadership of Common Ground’s signature fundraising event, Feast from the Fields; and, smaller events designed to connect our supporters with what they have made possible.
    • Adult and student volunteer management.
    • Rock to Rock – Responsible for organizing Common Ground’s team and helping team-members reach fundraising goals. Assisting overall with Rock to Rock organizers, and/or other joint fundraising events with other area nonprofit organizations.
  • Communications and data management
    • Convene communications team at Common Ground, tying together multiple communications channels.
    • Overall WordPress website administration, maintenance and content for Common Ground’s web site,
    • Produce Common Ground’s monthly email newsletter: reporting stories, using Constant Contact to send to appropriate lists.
    • Craft strategy for and coordinate Common Ground’s presence on social media.
    • Responsible for ensuring CRM database (currently GiftWorks) reflects development activity such as mailings; and, ensuring its interface with Constant Contact.
  • Supporter engagement (involving, asking, thanking)
    • Responsible for developing and overseeing the execution of direct-response strategies, including direct mail, email, and crowdfunding.
  • Thoughtfully and personally letting supporters know how their support is changing lives at Common Ground; including at least two print items – an October donor newsletter and annual Gratitude Report (March), and connecting throughout the year with donors who make recurring monthly gifts.
  • 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, a desire to work with a diverse 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 preferred; alternately, sales, event management, or marketing experience in the for-profit sector.
  • Experience managing to a budget, and using spreadsheets.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and customer service.
  • Strong and experienced writer, and has experience managing the pressure of writing under deadlines, including media writing and editing.
  • Computer and internet proficient, experience with website management, spreadsheets, customer relationship management databases (Common Ground uses GiftWorks), Constant Contact, and social media outlets. Common Ground uses the Google suite of products. Experience with video a plus.
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 for this position will start in the mid-40s.

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.

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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