Development Officer (full-time)


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Position Title: Development Officer
Department: Development
Position Status: Full-time, Exempt

Job Summary:

Supports the development efforts of the Board, the Donor Relations Committee, and the Director of Development. Reporting to the Director of Development, the major areas of accountability for this position are the successful organization and execution of a comprehensive Corporate Sponsorship initiative, the Pride Advisory Council (PAC) engagement program, a Loyal Member program, Corporate Volunteer management, Grow Wild Society cultivation and stewardship, and Direct Mail appeal program vis-à-vis a variety of development campaigns. These efforts include strategizing, planning, and executing a broad range of comprehensive fund development efforts in an external-facing role, and the supervision and management of additional special projects as needed. Key responsibilities include soliciting sponsors, donors and prospects, providing behind-the-scenes access by arranging and conducting tours, cultivating and continually supporting the growth and expansion of Development Department efforts and having a deep understanding of the mission of the Zoo, knowledge of its inhabitants and the ability to communicate that to donors.

Responsibilities/ Duties:

  • Plans and executes a young friends program, a loyal member program, and other special events, which includes obtaining sponsorships, restaurants, managing ticket sales, and marketing materials;
  • Works closely with the Marketing Department to identify and solicit corporate partnerships;
  • In partnership with Development Department, plans and executes an annual donor recognition event;
  • Manages the Zoo’s corporate volunteer program;
  • Working with the Director of Development, strategizes and distributes at least two (2) direct mail solicitations annually;
  • Strategizes and implements a strategy to increase employee giving;
  • Coordinates donor recognition signage and delivery of sponsorship benefits;
  • Successfully solicits new GWS members, and implements strategies to reactivate lapsed members;
  • Conducts individual prospect research with support of Development & Capital Campaign Coordinator and Membership Services Manager to convert longtime / philanthropic level members in to GWS Members;
  • Stewards individual donors of all giving levels;
  • Conducts and arranges for tours of exhibitry as a means of education, cultivation, and stewardship of prospects and donors;
  • Successfully solicits new major gift donors in cooperation with the Director of Development;
  • Provides support to Membership Services Manager as needed;
  • Attends volunteer and staff meetings, as needed or as assigned;
  • Attends Zoo events, as needed or as assigned;
  • Utilizes database, spreadsheets, and written documents to produce standard and ad hoc reports which are used to chart progress to goals and for strategic planning;
  • Contributes to writing and production of the donor newsletter, Zoo Insider, which is distributed four times a year.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


At least five (5) years of experience in a nonprofit development department with a history of increasing responsibility. Specific experience in planning and executing fund development campaigns, prospecting, donor acquisition and stewardship. Success in writing solicitations. Experience in and comfort with making personal solicitations. Degree in related field.

Performance Factors:

The Development Officer spends much of his/her time developing campaigns, writing solicitations, making face-to-face solicitations, stewarding donors, following up donor requests, and charting progress toward goals. S/he will attend a variety of meetings and will interface with prospects, donors, and other volunteers on a regular basis.

  1. Attendance and Dependability: The employee can be depended on to report to work at the scheduled time and is seldom absent from work. This role requires a nontraditional schedule: during peak visitor season (Memorial Day through Labor Day), the weekly schedule is typically Sunday through Thursday. Employee can be depended upon to complete work in a timely, accurate and thorough manner and is conscientious about assignments. Must be able to work weekend days and evenings.
  2. Communication and Contact: The employee communicates effectively both verbally and in writing with superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society. Must have access to a car and be available for contact by phone.
  3. Use of data: Must have exceptional database and word processing skills, as well as proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite, and display high attention to detail and accuracy. Skills as a researcher over multiple information platforms preferred.
  4. Organizational Skills: Must be able to work on multiple projects at the same time and be highly organized. Must maintain poise under pressure and be a highly-motivated self-starter. Must display strong time management and planning skills.
  5. Relationships with Others: The employee works effectively and relates well with others including superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society. Must be a team player with the ability to work independently. Exhibits a professional manner in dealing with others and works to maintain constructive working relationships.
  6. Provides excellent customer service in the areas of guest relations and park beautification:
    • Answers visitor inquiries or finds someone who can;
    • Disposes of litter and waste throughout the park and Zoo facilities.

Physical Requirements:

  1. Manual dexterity to operate office machinery such as personal computer, telephone, facsimile machine, copier, calculator, etc.
  2. Position is primarily sedentary, usually sitting for long periods of time in an office setting. Special events may require work outdoors in the park.

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