Events and Development Assistant

The Breakthrough Institute is an energy and environmental research center based in Oakland, California. Our work is based on ecomodernism, which means we believe humans can protect nature by using technology to limit the negative impacts on the environment. Basically, we envision a world that is good for both people and nature. We achieve this goal through our four focus areas: energy, conservation, food and farming, and energy access for all people. We’re a great team to join. Here’s why:

1.  Do a lot. You will get the chance to play an integral role in event planning and fundraising. This doesn’t just mean data entry and licking envelopes. You will gain first-hand experience working on everything from logistics to content creation to event production on a mix of events with diverse topics. Plus, you’ll get to support the development efforts that make them possible.

2. Learn from the best in the business. You may not have heard of us, but I guarantee you have heard of the ideas that have originated from our research. We convene a powerful network of social scientists, journalists, scholars, academics, innovators, and entrepreneurs. As a part of the team you will get to learn from the thought leaders and influencers in energy and the environment.

3. Brilliant coworkers who love what they do.  We are in this for the same reason – to make a positive impact on the world around us – so we build each other up, support each other, and put our mission above our egos. We’re a friendly and collaborative group. That means you will be able to learn and work with a wide variety of people with a wide range of skills.


Right now, we’re looking for an Events and Development Assistant to join our team. She or he will be responsible for:

  • Assisting the events director in planning, coordinating, and executing events including but not limited to research, managing RSVPs, conducting outreach, database management, and on-site event management
  • Assisting in developing, compiling, and editing event materials, including but not limited to invites, travel information, nametags, presentation materials, speaker bios, etc.
  • Assisting with implementing development strategies by compiling donor briefings, preliminary research on prospective donors, sending acknowledgements, scheduling meetings, creating reports, and database management
  • Travelling locally and nationally for events as necessary
  • Perform other tasks as needed


Qualities you should possess:

  • Openness to implementing unconventional and innovative ideas
  • Be self-starting, resourceful, and organized
  • Have the ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • Be a proactive problem solver
  • Have strong attention to detail
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A willingness to learn


Preferred experience:

  • Bachelor's degree with 1-2 years of related work experience in events and/or development
  • Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge or other CRMs
  • Comfortable with Google applications (Gmail, Google docs, calendar, etc.)
  • Comfortable with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Comfortable with Adobe Photoshop (desired, not required)
  • Comfortable with outreach to vendors, donors, event guests, external stakeholders, etc.



Salary is $40,000 annually. Excellent health insurance, paid leave, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits. We are located in downtown Oakland, right above the 12th Street Oakland BART station.


Does this sound like you? If so, send a thoughtful letter of interest, resume, and three references (name, affiliation, email, and phone number) to Hafeezah Abdullah at hafeezah[at]thebreakthrough[dot]org. Use the subject line “Name - Events and Development Assistant.” No phone calls please.