Development Associate / Grant-Writer

Job Type

Full Time




110-112 W27th st.
Suite #600
New York
United States


Post Date: 9/28/18; Edit date: 10/3/18

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) seeks a Development Associate to take the lead on drafting grant proposals and reports. You should apply if you are a fantastic writer, who is highly organized and capable of quickly learning new systems, narratives, and arguments. The ideal candidate is energetic, action-oriented, dedicated to literature and Asian American social justice issues, and excited about working in a fast-paced, start-up-like environment. 

The Development Associate’s main task will be working with the AAWW Executive Director to draft proposals and reports for foundations, government funders, and corporations. You would start by working off of preexisting grant templates, but we hope you will eventually gain enough experience to write your own narratives and proposals. Additional responsibilities may include keeping track of the logistics of grant applications, organizing two to three annual donor solicitation mailings, and working with the Development Coordinator to log donations and send thank you letters. 

We are open to a variety of experience levels from exceptional entry-level grant-writers to more mid-level and senior development staff who are looking to take a leadership role. This is a great position for freelancers, journalists, academics, adjuncts, and creative writers looking to transition into a widely valued role in nonprofit arts. We view writing a grant as a way of communicating the richness and impact of our programs, which range from our fellowships to youth/senior programs to events to our online magazine. If the phrases "development" or "grant-writer" sound foreign or institutional to you, imagine instead a job whose focus is describing how an artist fellowship changed a writer's life--or the magical intimacy that can happen at a truly unforgettable literary reading. The ideal applicant isn't necessarily the one with the best development resume, but a sharp, incisive writer who can write moving emotional stories, turn around copy quickly, and articulate the wonderful weirdness of what we do. If you do not possess prior development experience, please use the cover letter to discuss your previous writing experience most applicable to this position--as well as your past leadership experience. 

This is a full-time position based in New York City with benefits. We are looking for an applicant to start immediately. Please see below on application instructions. 


- The overwhelming focus of the job will be grant-writing. You will prepare drafts of grant proposals, including supplementary materials, based on previously submitted proposals. You will also draft grant reports and collect information about programs from staff members, website, and other databases;

- Act as project manager with Executive Director and Development Coordinator on ongoing development plan;

- Project manage and prioritize grants based on busy grants calendar; 

- Work with Development Coordinator to maintain individual donor database (Donor Perfect) and send out acknowledgment letters;

- Work with Development Coordinator to maintain Fan Club (monthly donor) webpage, keep track of inventory, and brainstorm new thank you gifts. Work with program staff and Development Coordinator to market Fan

Club and other fundraising endeavors on social media. Help conceive and order new thank you gifts.

- Research potential major donor, corporate, and foundation prospects. 

- Assist Executive Director with board meetings and board communication; 

- Potentially help implement more ambitious donor development initiatives, including an improved online donation page and better systems to engage major donors

- Work with Development Coordinator to hire, supervise, and mentor seasonal intern


- You possess strong writing and communication skills and experience in crafting narratives and messages similar to that of grant proposals and narratives. You can write in a variety of voices, whether it’s writing business correspondence or telling poignant stories about the people we affect. You will be able to understand how to articulate the value and impact of our various programs, from fellowships, events, youth programs, and our online magazine.

- You possess strong project management and organization skills. You write everything down and have great time management—both when dealing with deadlines and when dealing with seemingly non-urgent but important tasks. 

- You learn very quickly, exude Positive, superhuman energy, and an orientation towards action. 

- You have excellent interpersonal skills and communicate clearly with other staff members and supervisors. You write everything down. 

- You are devoted to literature, important writers and books and able to articulate why books are important. You care about Asian American social justice issues, contemporary literary cultures, and our mission of telling Asian American stories and creating Asian American community. Bonus points if you have some previous familiarity with AAWW.

- You have proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs and spreadsheets, mail merge. Bonus points if you understand Donor Perfect.

- You share snacks and have a great sense of humor.


AAWW is the preeminent national arts nonprofit dedicated to the belief that Asian American stories deserve to be told. We define “Asian” with radical inclusivity to also encompass West Asia (Arab, Iranian and Afghan Americans) and South Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka). We are an alternative arts space dedicated to literature at the intersection of migration, race, and social justice. Our main program areas include: 1) curating events with Asian American writers; 2) granting fellowships to emerging Asian American writers; 3) publishing the online magazine The Margins and Open City; and 4) creating community through immigrant, senior, and youth programs. Since 1991, The Asian American Writers' Workshop has served as a national home for Asian American stories. A quirky yet curated literary community dedicated to Asian American alternative culture, we host more than 50 events a year, featuring nearly 200 writers and artists, such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Ha Jin, Bei Dao, Vijay Prashad, Can Xue, Leila Chudori, Madeleine Thien, Jiayang Fan, Jeff Chang, Chang-rae Lee, Teju Cole, Claudia Rankine, Alfian Sa’at, Tash Aw, Anuk Arudpragasam, Sunila Galappatti, and Alexander Chee. We publish the online magazines The Margins, our magazine of arts and ideas, and Open City, which is dedicated to chronicling low-income immigrant communities in New York. We distribute grants to emerging Asian American writers, having re-granted more than $100,000 in the last few years. We helped found the pro-immigrant initiative, CultureStrike, which sent 50 writers and artists to a weeklong witnessing delegation at the Arizona border. Invited to the White House, and covered by the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR, we seek to invent the future of Asian American culture.

AAWW is committed to inclusivity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, parental status, military service, or disability.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

• Fill out the online Google Doc.

• Prepare a resume and cover letter. Your cover letter should discuss: your past writing experience relevant to grant-writing; any development or fundraising experience; past examples where you have managed multiple projects and quickly learned new skills; and your larger interest in the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, its mission, and this position. Please learn about our organization before applying by reviewing our website:

• We also ask that you send 2-3 writing samples that will help us understand your writing ability. The written samples should demonstrate your fluency in communicating by text and showcase your ability to draft grant narratives or donor solicitation letters. We respectfully request that you do not send creative writing samples, such as short stories, novel excerpts, or poetry. 

• Please save all documents as PDFs and include your first and last name in the title of all documents. Upload your resume, cover letter, and writing samples to our Dropbox here. We will only consider applicants who fill out both the Google form and upload documents to the Dropbox link.