Development & Communications Associate

California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE)

Pasadena, CA

The California Alliance for Arts Education seeks a full-time Development & Communications Associate who will provide support in the areas of development and communications for the Alliance’s Pasadena office.

The Alliance is in its fourth decade of working to build a brighter future for our state by making the arts a core part of every child’s education. Over its 36-year history, it has advanced its mission to advocate for high quality arts education in PreK-12 California public schools by providing policy expertise and by mobilizing a statewide network of advocates and allied partners. With an annual budget of $1,300,000, five staff and several part-time contractors, it is the only statewide organization that brings together all primary constituencies for arts education, including arts organizations, K-12 teachers, professional teacher associations, state and local education departments, professional development providers, parents and PTAs, and interested community members in higher education and business. 

The California Alliance serves both as a field builder and technical assistance provider, working with its broad cross-section of constituents to develop policy and advocate for change at both state and local levels. It has played a leadership role in advancing successful strategies to address key issues for arts education:

  • In 2005-06 and 2007-08, the Alliance played a major role in the successful campaigns that resulted in the largest known state-funded expenditure for arts education in public schools in California and nationwide
  • In 2008, anticipating the shift toward local control in school budgets, the Alliance launched the Local Advocacy Network empowering communities to advance the arts through local organizing and leadership training
  • In 2011, the Alliance began to establish a policy pathway for arts education strategies to be used to achieve Title I goals using Title I funding. This effort has gained national attention and has been implemented district wide in the San Diego Unified School District.
  • In 2012, the Alliance launched the Student Voices Campaign, successfully engaging hundreds of students in creative advocacy for the arts
  • In 2016, the Alliance lead a campaign that resulted in the historic passage of Senate bill 916, which established teaching credentials for Dance and Theatre

Major Duties and Responsibilities


  • Working with Alliance staff, implements fund development strategies to raise funds through foundation, corporate, government, and individual support
  • Assists in preparing grant proposals and reports, including narrative and financial documents, logic models, and other attachments
  • Processes grant agreements
  • Updates grant tracking system
  • Tracks grant deadlines and updates grant calendar
  • Tracks grant income and expenses
  • Tracks pledges and membership fees
  • Creates and sends acknowledgement letters
  • Provides support in donor tracking, including major gifts recognition
  • Researches and recommends new grant opportunities
  • Brainstorms fundraising ideas for expanding the Alliance’s base of support
  • Communicates with funders, donors, and prospective supporters
  • Implements individual giving campaigns throughout the year
  • Prepares internal development reports
  • Updates Salesforce database and generates reports


  • Develops and implements a comprehensive communications strategy that extends the reach of Alliance priorities, programs, materials and events
  • Authors key communications materials and talking points to ensure compelling and consistent messaging
  • Develops and manages a communications calendar to optimize flow of organization’s communications
  • Develops and manages content for the website, monthly newsletters, blogs, and social media
  • Drafts press releases and pitches
  • Produces program materials that distill complicated policy issues for advocates
  • Identifies stories and storytellers to carry our message
  • Oversees the work of communications contractors to ensure consistent style and quality of Alliance materials
  • Maximizes the reach and effectiveness of Alliance communication platforms
  • Tracks communications metrics and makes recommendations for improvements
  • Drafts and presents internal communications reports
  • Keeps current on best practices for communications and implements new approaches to improve organizational reach and effectiveness
  • Updates Alliance style guides
  • Updates the media contact list


  • Represents the California Alliance to the public, works effectively with constituents, including Board members, Policy Council members, nonprofit arts organizations, independent contractors, vendors, and the general public
  • Evaluates administrative processes on an as needed basis, making recommendations for future improvements or enhancements

Job Qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree. Degree in a business or communications related field a plus.

Experience: Development and/or communications experience required (1-2 years in each, preferably 2-3 years in both fields combined). Experience working in non-profit organizations preferred. Experience working in arts administration a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Ideal candidate will have:

  • Track record of successfully meeting development goals for an advocacy organization
  • Track record of successfully implementing a range of communications tactics in service of an issue advocacy campaign
  • Experience generating media coverage for policy issues and a proven track record of packaging ideas and pitching and placing stories in local and national media outlets, including online venues
  • Excellent written and spoken communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to explain arts education and education policy to funders and to the public
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate with multiple target audiences, sometimes translating dense subject matter into accessible and compelling language
  • Exemplary organizational, logistics, time management, project management and coordination skills
  • Stellar editing and proofreading skills
  • Understanding of budget concepts and grant financial management
  • Advanced knowledge using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Macintosh platform required. Experience with Salesforce or other CRM preferred. Experience with graphic design programs a plus. General technological savvy a plus.
  • Fluency with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vimeo, Youtube, and Instagram
  • Strong online and database research and reporting skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects, interacting effectively with Alliance staff and contractors, Board members, funders/donors, program constituents and participants, volunteers, and the community
  • Ability to work independently and carry out assignments with accuracy and within stated timeframe
  • Flexibility in adapting to the current needs of the organization or project
  • Creativity, curiosity, and a good sense of humor
  • Experience, involvement, or interest in the arts or arts education a plus
  • Excellent analytic skills
  • Friendly, outgoing professional presence in telephone and face-to-face communication 

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Meets or exceeds goals set by staff
  • Manages portfolio of work and provides high level of service to Alliance stakeholders and staff
  • Interacts effectively with staff, contractors, arts education constituency and the community

Compensation: Full-time, non-exempt position. Commensurate with experience.

To Apply

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, three (3) references, and salary history as ONE (1) attachment in pdf format via email to [email protected]. Please state “Development & Communications Associate Application” in the subject line. No phone calls please. 

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

The Alliance values diversity and encourages minorities, women and individuals with disabilities to apply.

To learn more about the organization go to: 

Become a Supporter