Senior Development Associate

WestEd   •  

San Francisco, CA

Industry: Government & Non-Profit


8 - 10 years

Posted 129 days ago

This job is no longer available.

WestEd — a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency — works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd has offices nationwide, from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Georgia, to Arizona and California, with headquarters in San Francisco.

WestEd is an educational research, development, and service organization with more than 700 employees and 17 offices nationwide. We are a leader in moving research into practice by conducting research and development programs, providing technical assistance to State education and other agencies and school districts, and working with policymakers and practitioners at state and local levels to carry out large-scale school improvement and innovative change efforts. All of these endeavors are carried out solely on grants and contracts, so we continually seek funds that enable us to develop our capabilities and to fulfill our mission in ways that have impact, make a difference, and achieve our goals.

The Institutional Development office is responsible for creating and implementing the agency’s plan for strong and sustainable funding across federal, state, local, and foundation funders. Our department oversees proposal development activities across the organization and helps develop new lines of work the fulfill our educational mission.

Position Description

WestEd seeks a top federal and foundation grant/contract writing professional with the ability to develop and win technical assistance (TA) grants/contracts to advance the agency’s work in child development and education. The successful candidate must be able to research, help conceptualize, and write technical assistance (TA) proposals to federal agencies and foundations. Knowledge of how to construct competitive TA proposals, an understanding of how to write federal contract proposals, as well as the ability to capture nuanced understanding of needs in the field is essential.
This position calls for a professional who can research and apply for grant/contract opportunities that persuasively communicate WestEd’s strengths and national capacity to help child and youth-serving systems to better meet the academic, social and emotional needs of children and youth. The successful candidate must have at least seven years of experience in leading/orchestrating competitive federal proposals. The Senior Development Associate will be responsible for leading cross-program proposal efforts and agency-wide initiatives, identifying innovative development opportunities, and codifying WestEd’s key strengths and lessons learned in carrying out these grants/contracts.


  • Perform in-depth research into federal administrative offices or foundations and their respective funding announcements. Determine WestEd’s eligibility, competency, and interest in the opportunity.
  • Work collaboratively and effectively with a diverse group of staff and business partners to plan and conceptualize the proposal, and facilitate the writing process
  • Develop topical/task outlines, timelines, and staffing strategies for competitive proposals
  • Create a logic model or theory of action with accompanying objectives and benchmarks for success, demonstrating clearly how we will carry out the work
  • Develop, organize, compose, and edit/write technical assistance proposals
  • Persuasively and effectively communicate required application and submission information/details (e.g., capability statements, project narratives, evaluation plans, etc.)
  • Simultaneously work withbudgeting experts to ensure the budget is reasonable and reflective of the scope of work
  • Understand government rules, regulations, RFP guidelines, and legislation
  • Follow deadline and mechanism requirements for submission
  • Maintain knowledge of trends related to federal and foundation funding for child development and education
  • Manage multiple project simultaneously and be sensitive to changing priorities and deadlines
  • Orchestrate, write and submit LOIs or RFIs
  • Conduct strategic outreach to foundation program officers in close coordination with the Director and Chief Development Officer
  • Work with staff to develop concept papers for new lines of work
  • Provide training, encouragement, and support for staff to develop and write proposals


  • Outstanding grant/contract research skills
  • Persuasive and strong writing skills including excellent grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Demonstrated ability to form and leverage relationships with funding organizations, including federal, state, and local agencies and foundations
  • Excellent proposal conceptualization and organizational skills—must be detail oriented
  • Ability to meet tight and strict deadlines
  • Able to follow directions explicitly
  • Ability to work effectively both under pressure and without close supervision
  • Exceptional communication, presentation, collaboration, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work with many types of funders, business partners, clients, and staff with ease and tact
  • High level of energy, professionalism, and integrity
  • At least seven years of experience in writing competitive federal proposals
  • An advanced degree in education, public policy, social work, criminal justice, or other relevant field (Ph.D. preferred)
  • Experience providing TA on federal contracts (preferred)
  • At least five years of experience in managing and coordinating proposal efforts with multiple partners and/or internal experts