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Administrative Assistant for Development, PT (20-28 hrs/week)

Yerkes Observatory
373 West Geneva St, Williams Bay, WI 53191
$24 - $30 an hour - Part-time


373 West Geneva St, Williams Bay, WI 53191

Pulled from the full job description

  • Employee discount
  • Paid time off

Full job description

Administrative Assistant for Development

Salary range: $24 - $30 per hour, depending on prior experience and schedule

Status: Regular Part-time (20-28 hours per week); Part-time benefits include paid holiday hours (when they fall on a regularly scheduled work day) and accrued, pro-rated paid time off (for personal or sick use).

The Administrative Assistant for Development (AAD) reports to the Development and Operations Coordinator and is responsible for a variety of important tasks and administrative projects at the Observatory.

Responsibilities include general administrative tasks such as answering emails and calls, sending donor acknowledgements, assisting in mailings and e-mail campaigns, keeping staff calendars, organizing timesheets for all staff, assisting in reconciling credit card statements, welcoming visitors, setting up meetings and appointments, taking accurate meeting minutes, staffing events and supporting staff in their roles.

The AAD will also be cross-trained to help staff the gift shop and Yerkes programs on occasion. We're a small team and everyone at Yerkes wears a lot of hats!

The AAD provides efficient, friendly and professional support for Yerkes staff, visitors and VIPs.

About Yerkes

Yerkes is known globally as the birthplace of modern astrophysics and remains the home to the world’s largest refracting telescope. Since 1897, an impressive list of noteworthy science luminaries have worked and studied here. This list includes Edwin Hubble, Gerard Kuiper, Carl Sagan, Nancy Grace Roman (NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy and the namesake of NASA’s next space telescope), and Nobel Prize winners Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Gerhard Herzberg. Albert Einstein, who put Yerkes high on his must-see list for his first trip to the United States, visited in 1921.

Located on Wisconsin’s Geneva Lake in an elaborate Romanesque and Beaux Arts masterpiece, Yerkes Observatory opened to the public for the first time in 2022. It is roughly an hour each from metro Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison. It is within 75 miles of a population of 11 million potential visitors. The historic Observatory, which rests amid fifty acres of grounds designed by the legendary Olmsted firm, was recently designated a certified arboretum. Like the building and telescopes, the grounds are undergoing renewal, restoration, and rehabilitation.

In 2020, Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) assumed long-term stewardship from the University of Chicago for preserving and restoring the Yerkes Observatory and its landscape. The Wisconsin-based foundation is currently leading an initial $30M campaign to restore and build the staff and programs. Future fundraising is planned for operations, endowment, and program growth. A significant portion of the initial $30M goal has already been raised. Restoration and major construction work on the site has been underway since mid-2020.

The goal of YFF is to ensure Yerkes continues to advance astronomy while transforming the Observatory and its grounds into a destination for science and discovery. The mission is to create a distinctive and singular experience where science, ecology, culture, arts, and curiosity cross-pollinate in novel and unique ways. Yerkes will be a national leader in growing the public’s understanding of and engagement with science by conducting astronomical research, building accessible hiking trails, presenting public talks by science luminaries and cultural influencers, offering school programs, hosting nighttime star parties, and more.

Yerkes Future Foundation is committed to advancing diversity in the sciences and in employment. YFF does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. We encourage and actively solicit applications from diverse candidates.


General Administration: 75-90% of time (varies):

  • Under the direction of the DOC, undertakes regular office and administrative tasks as assigned.
  • Answers/directs all incoming telephone calls and general inbox emails.
  • Sets up appointments and meetings, coordinates calendars, conducts doodle polls, confirms attendance, books in-person or zoom details and ensure attendees have the information and documents necessary for the meeting, arranges room setups for on-site meetings, and other details as necessary.
  • Sets up Observatory building for visits and tours as required.
  • Drafts routine correspondence and emails, retrieves and distributes mail.
  • Takes, drafts and distributes meeting minutes for Board and/or staff meetings as assigned.
  • Collects and submits biweekly timesheets for all Yerkes staff to the accountant.
  • Reconciles monthly credit card statements for Director, submitting receipts as required.
  • As assigned by DOC, works in concert with the YFF accountant to track necessary financial information, process accounts or vendor payments, and find receipts or other documentation needed for accounting.
  • Maintains and updates the shared Google appointment and events calendar, ensuring it is complete and up to date.
  • Welcomes individuals and groups to the Observatory as requested; may provide basic tours and Observatory information to groups.

Development: 20-30% of time (varies):

  • Produces and mails letters for the timely acknowledgement of gifts and assures that all types of donations are properly documented and recorded into the CMS system.
  • Ensures data integrity through accurate data entry and ongoing clean-up efforts of donor records.
  • Is present for setup and take-down of donor events such as receptions and the annual Gala, which will require occasional weekend or evening work (significant notice will be provided in advance). This may include event set-up and take-down, cleanup, back-of-house support, and other tasks as assigned.
  • Assists the DOC with the creation and of fundraising materials, appeals, acknowledgements, grant applications and reports, donor news, reports, and proposals.
  • Distributes appeals, track responses and follow-ups, and maintain records for appeals.
  • Communicates with donors in person, on the phone, and by email.
  • As directed, prepares research on prospects and assembles materials for cultivation and solicitation visits.
  • Fills out grant applications and grant report information as assigned.

Communications and Events: 0-10% of time (varies):

  • Participates as assigned in supporting programs and rental events, which may require occasional weekend or evening work (significant notice will be provided in advance). This may include set-up, take-down/cleanup, staffing events, or other tasks.
  • As directed by (TITLE TBD) sends out timely reminders to staff and/or board of meetings and events.
  • Reviews press releases or social posts as requested.

Experience and Skills:

  • Prior professional administrative experience.
  • Detail-oriented, discreet, with the ability to work well under pressure, problem-solve independently, and work collaboratively.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills, able to engagingly interact with donors and VIPs while maintaining professional boundaries and decorum.
  • Able to communicate needs to accomplish tasks and provide regular updates on assigned tasks and projects to colleagues.
  • Able to write at a proficient professional level.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to self-manage time and multitask.
  • Experience in both Mac and PC preferred.
  • Experience in QuickBooks or with basic accounting a huge plus.

Knowledge and Education:

  • High school diploma required.
  • Bachelor's degree preferred.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) as well as general computer expertise (Google Docs, images, pdf’s, file formats, etc) required.
  • Baseline familiarity with Google Calendars.
  • Knowledge or interest in science and/or astronomy a plus.
  • Comfortable occasionally speaking in front of others.
  • Valid driver’s license required.
  • Ability to lift and carry materials, rental event setup items, and navigate stairs is required.

The Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) is committed to advancing diversity in the sciences and in employment. YFF does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. We encourage and actively solicit applications from diverse candidates.

Job Type: Part-time

Pay: $24.00 - $30.00 per hour


  • Employee discount
  • Paid time off

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • Williams Bay, WI 53191: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required)

Work Location: One location