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Manager of Writing and Research

Washington DC

Reporting to the Senior Director of Institutional Giving, the Manager of Writing and Research will be a key member of the team focused on maximizing philanthropic investment in Oceana and helping the organization and its supporters realize Oceana's vision of healthy and abundant oceans. This position will be instrumental in shaping marketing and development messages that convey the impact of Oceana’s work broadly and through specific campaigns as well as capturing the stories and visuals that convey the impact in compelling ways.

The Manager will be responsible for assisting with all aspects of the fund development process, working with private, public, and family foundations as well as corporate foundations and giving programs. Based in Washington, DC, the position will provide opportunities for learning about Oceana’s work around the world and building diverse and sustainable funding streams to carry it out. Specific duties will include prospect research and cultivation, grant reporting, proposal development and monitoring of trends in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector.

The Manager will work as part of the Institutional Giving team and have extensive interaction with other areas of the organization, including Major Donors, Executive leadership, Finance and Accounting, and campaign directors and staff throughout the world. In particular, the Institutional Giving team works closely with counterparts in Europe and California on fundraising activities.

Key Responsibilities

The principal responsibilities for the Manager of Institutional Giving are as follows:

  • Develop messaging and metrics for the Save the Oceans, Feed the World framework, describing impacts in food security, health, poverty alleviation and climate change.
  • Develop campaign pitches and fundraising strategies for global, cross-cutting work in areas such as transparency, seafood fraud, building an oceans constituency, etc.
  • Write proposals, concept briefs, pitches and messaging points on a regular basis. Crafting proposals that are clear, compelling, realistic and tailored to the funder’s needs and interests.
  • Write regular grant reports, ensuring compliance with grant conditions and meeting all deadlines with accurate and engaging reports, budgets and required supporting materials.  As part of this activity, the Manager will work with the Accounting and Finance staff and program staff to develop accurate budgets for submission with proposals and concept papers. 

The Manager will also assist with the prospect research process, continually monitoring sources for foundation and corporate funding. Creating in-depth donor profiles on likely prospects and support materials for outreach and cultivation meetings.

In addition, the Manager will assist with the stewardship of donors in the following ways:

  • Maintain awareness of the funder’s major grant investments and funding process.
  • Monitor funder financial capacity, funding strategies and issue priorities, and any changes in governance structure and membership, and staff leadership.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with the funder, including utilizing Oceana program staff to share updates, victories, setbacks and other news on a regular basis.
  • Identify opportunities for funder participation in Oceana events and experiences to build their connections with the organization and its work.

To effectively carry out these responsibilities, the Manager will work with the Institutional Giving team to partner with campaign staff in their outreach with funders, through research, meeting preparation, meeting attendance, and follow-up activities. He or she will maintain an awareness of campaign goals, progress and challenges.

The Manager will also be a contributing member of the Institutional Giving team by keeping current on trends and developments in philanthropy, the social sector and environmental NGOs and participating in learning and development activities. He or she will also utilize and help maintain the accuracy of the systems that support development activities at Oceana, including Salesforce, NetSuite and a shared file datatbase. 

Job Requirements

Skills and knowledge:

The Manager of Writing and Research should possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:                           

  • A passionate commitment to Oceana’s core values and mission.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications abilities, including a facility for translating complex information for a broad range of audiences.
  • Demonstrated success in message development and creating clear and compelling pitches. Ability to write clear, structured, articulate and persuasive pitches and proposals.
  • Excellent writing skill. Experience in writing copy for a broad range of products, including reports, marketing materials, feature and news stories, and constituent/donor communications.
  • Ability to build effective, collaborative relationships internally with program staff and externally with foundation program officers.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to think strategically and tactically.
  • An ability to perform effectively under pressure and to utilize strong organizational skills when faced with multiple time-sensitive priorities – a willingness to "roll-up sleeves" and personally handle all aspects of position.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and experience working with various levels in an organization.
  • Outstanding organizational and time management skills, strong research abilities and well as the ability to serve as a key liaison responsible for managing grant programs.
  • Deadline-driven, with a commitment to excellence and the ability to independently drive projects with multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to assess programs and identify those with a strong potential for foundation funding.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality on behalf of Oceana’s donors and colleagues.
  • Understanding of major issues and trends in philanthropy.
  • Commitment to learning about the work of Oceana at a technical and program impact level.


Posted April 17, 2017

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