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Director of Advancement

Santa Barbara Zoo

Director of Advancement

Santa Barbara, CA
Full Time
  • Responsibilities

    Join the fun, professional, and mission-driven Santa Barbara Zoo team!

    The Santa Barbara Zoo is seeking a Director of Advancement with a successful fundraising track record. This individual will lead the five-member, Advancement department in all fundraising efforts for the Zoo. This includes major gifts, capital campaigns, annual gifts, corporate gifts, grants, special events, direct mail, planned gifts, online giving, on-site giving, and other special giving programs.

    The qualified applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum seven years of professional fundraising experience including a minimum of three years of professional Director of Development or equivalent Director-level experience in fundraising.

    Salary: DOE; plus benefits.This is a regular, full time, exempt position

    You must also complete the Zoo's Official Employment Application on the next page in order to be considered for the position



    Under the general direction of the Vice President of Community Relations, the Director of Advancement manages and is responsible for all aspects of the fundraising effort at the Santa Barbara Zoo. The Director of Advancement oversees programs and processes to raise funds for the Zoo through major gifts, annual gifts, corporate gifts, grants, special events, direct mail, planned gifts, online giving, on-site giving, and other special giving programs.

    ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:

    General Advancement Responsibilities

    Develops and maintains effective, fruitful, and long-term relationships with donors

    Assists in maintaining donor databases and filing system

    Contributes to Zoo News, Z-mail, social media, and other applicable publications as needed

    Responsible for ensuring all fundraising materials and activities (including marketing materials, emails, appeals, signs, website, and event materials) uphold the highest standard of the Zoo brand integrity

    Creates mailing lists and reports as needed

    Monitors and tracks the activities of donor cultivation

    Responsible for creating and enforcing policies and procedures related to Advancement

    Stays knowledgeable on AZA, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s mission, collection, history, and current programs and practices

    Supports all Advancement cultivation activities and events

    Edits Advancement and Zoo-wide publications as needed

    Attends professional development opportunities as warranted

    Researches prospective donors and current donors and creates reports as needed

    Responsible for networking within the fundraising community as a Zoo Advancement representative

    Responsible for networking within the community as a Zoo Advancement representative

    Other Advancement department and Zoo assignments as needed


    Raises funds to support the Zoo and the Zoo’s mission

    Manages cultivation and stewardship efforts

    Plans and implements planned giving campaign

    Strategically plans and oversees all fundraising activities including:

    Annual giving program

    Foster feeders program

    Honorarium and memorial programs

    Mail appeals

    Grant solicitations

    Corporate sponsorship

    In-kind donations

    On-site donations

    Online donations

    Special projects

    Fundraising events

    Prospect and donor special events

    Prospect and donor tours

    Works in collaboration with the VP of Community Relations to plan and implement capital campaigns

    Works in collaboration with the VP of Community Relations to plan and implement board and major gift campaigns


    Responsible for creating, monitoring, and being accountable for the department annual strategic plan

    Responsible for creating, monitoring, and being accountable for the department annual budget

    Responsible for tracking donations and reporting progress to the VP of Community Relations on a regular basis

    Responsible for tracking year to year external and internal fundraising trends.

    Responsible for communicating fundraising activities with the board, senior management team, fundraising-related committees, and Zoo staff.

    Responsible for donor recognitions such annual honor roll of donors

    Responsible for monthly and annual financial reports related to fundraising

    Responsible for working with other departments to promote fundraising opportunities

    Holds regular Advancement department meetings to keep the staff informed and encourages open communication and the sharing of ideas

    Oversees the maintenance of donor files

    Oversees the maintenance of records of expenses

    Supports efforts of other Zoo departments to encourage future funding/collaborative projects

    Creates and implements fundraising plans for special projects and programs

    Contributes to the Zoo’s annual plan

    Staffing & Staff Development

    Hires, trains, evaluates, supervises and manages the Advancement staff

    Creates and maintains current job descriptions for all Advancement staff

    Provides staff coaching and feedback on a regular basis

    Provide fundraising training to Zoo staff and volunteers as needed

    Ensures staff receives training on safety and standard operating procedures and policies

    Develops and implements individual development plans and ensures their application with regular follow-ups

    Shares critical information, best practices, and procedures on a consistent basis with staff through meetings that further departmental goals and productivity

    Responds to staff questions and concerns

    Provides regular performance evaluations for Advancement staff

    Terminates employees within defined practices and policies

    Operation & Business

    Schedules staff in a manner that prioritizes operational needs

    Encourages, supports and exemplifies the highest ethical standards to ensure the continued development of the institution and the profession

    Ensures that all regulatory standards are met such as adherence to applicable labor laws

    Holds peers accountable for their performance

    Ensures consistent productive operating practices by identifying areas for potential revenue generation, reduction of costs and more efficient procedures

    Ensures that all office space and meeting space used reflect a safe, clean, and inviting environment for staff and guests.


    Adheres to Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual

    Applies and Exemplifies “green” (sustainable) practices whenever possible

    Attends all bi-monthly all-employee meetings

    Interacts with all department heads as a member of the Zoo’s senior management group

    Supports all Zoo events and initiatives


    Greets every guest with a smile

    Thanks guests for supporting/visiting the Zoo

    Answers phone calls, voice mails, and e-mails promptly

    Insures the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work areas clean, picking up trash, reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions

    Associates with guests to assist and share information

    Responds to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relations procedures

    Maintains a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code

    Takes responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo, such as reading employee communications and attending meetings

    Reflects the qualities outlined in the Guest Relations Statement, our Core Values, and the Employee Pledge

    Other duties as required


    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily The requirements and environmental characteristics described below are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions

    Education & Experience

    Bachelor’s degree

    Minimum seven years of successful professional fundraising experience

    Minimum of three years of successful Director-level management experience

    License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications

    CFRE – Certified Fund Raising Executive designation preferred

    Valid CA Driver’s License with good driving record and insurance coverage is required

    Successful completion of a Department of Justice background check

    TB testing yearly

    Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

    Ability to think strategically and plan accordingly to further the fundraising effort

    Excellent verbal and written communications skills

    Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills

    Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, and guests and to work with all levels of management

    Ability to maintain confidentiality and work with sensitive information

    Capacity for high level attention to detail

    Demonstrates high degree of accuracy and strong analytical skills

    Ability to exercise safe work habits

    Excellent organizational skills

    Excellent interpersonal skills

    Ability to effectively multi-task, use independent judgment, and produce quality work within a set timeframe to meet deadlines

    Ability to effectively work under pressure, multi-task effectively, use independent judgment and produce quality work within tight time frame; meeting deadlines

    Ability to create and implement systems and follow-up processes

    Must be a proactive and creative problem-solver; a team player with motivation to develop relationships and work collaboratively

    Understanding of telephone and office etiquette

    Ability to handle conflict resolution in a professional manner and to respond to sensitive matters or situation with discretion, tact, and confidentiality

    Ability to relate to persons of all ages and diverse backgrounds, skills, and abilities

    Ability to present self in a personable, professional, and energetic manner

    Ability to work flexible hours (including some holidays and weekends) and travel as needed

    Ability to exercise safe work habits

    Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel

    Knowledge of databases/Raiser’s Edge preferred

    Demonstrates initiative, creativity and enthusiasm, as well as strong organizational skills

    Enjoys working with people especially volunteers

    Physical Demands & Work Environment

    Most work is performed inside the office environment

    Occasionally involves working out-of-doors in all weather conditions

    Requires the ability to access all areas of the facility

    Must be able to regularly climb stairs, manipulate computer and office tools, stand/walk for up to eight continuous hours

    Ability to occasionally lift and carry objects weighing up to 50 lbs

    The ability to coordinate a variety of tasks simultaneously and handle tension and stress in a positive manner is required

    Must attend all events related to the position

    Regularly required to stand, walk, sit, and use tools

    Supportive and open employment culture

    Must attend all events related to the position

    Involves some weekend, early mornings, and evening hours

    Tools Used


    Standard office equipment; telephone, copier, facsimile machine, calculator, and others as required

    Color and laser printer

    35 mm and digital camera

    Electric cart

    Paper cutter


    Two-way radio

    You must also complete the Zoo's Official Employment Application on the next page in order to be considered for the position--

    The Zoo reserves the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description does not constitute a contract for employment, and does not guarantee employment for any specified period of time. The job description does not in any way alter the at-will employment relationship.The Santa Barbara Zoo is unable to sponsor applicants for work visas.