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Foundation Relations Officer

Santa Barbara Zoo

Foundation Relations Officer

Santa Barbara, CA
Full Time
  • Responsibilities

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

    The Santa Barbara Zoo is seeking a Foundation Relations Officer with a successful fundraising track record. The Foundation Relations Officer is responsible for securing grant funding in support of the Zoo’s mission.

    The qualified applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum four years of professional fundraising experience including grant writing experience.

    Salary: DOE; plus benefitsThis is a regular, full time, non exempt position.SUMMARY:

    Under the general direction of the Director of Advancement, the Foundation Relations Officer is responsible for securing grant funding from foundation, corporate, service organization and government resources in support of the Zoo’s overall mission.

    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, social media, and other applicable media/publications as appropriate

    Assist with the creation of fundraising materials and activities (including marketing materials, emails, appeals, signs, website, and events) to ensure the highest standards of the Zoo brand integrity

    Creates mailing lists and reports as needed

    Leads some donor cultivation/stewardship tours

    Monitors and tracks the activities of donor cultivation/stewardship

    Provides input on policies and procedures related to Advancement

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

    Participates in and contributes to regular Advancement department meetings

    Supports fundraising efforts for special projects and special programs

    Contributes to Advancement department annual planning and budgeting process

    Supports all Advancement cultivation/stewardship activities and events

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

    Edits Advancement and Zoo-wide publications as needed

    Attends professional fundraising training opportunities as warranted

    Researches prospective donors and current donors and creates reports as needed

    Creates some donor recognition gifts and coordinates distribution of these gifts 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 assignments as needed

    Grants Management:

    Regularly reports fundraising activities and progress to the Director of Advancement

    Actively researches and seeks grant opportunities from various sources that match the goals and objectives of the Zoo

    Develops and maintains effective, fruitful, and long-term working relationships with grantors

    Prior to submitting proposals, communicates with potential grantors regarding their goals and objectives to ensure they are in line with the goals and objectives of the Zoo

    Gathers statistical and other information from various departments using timely and effective communication to ensure grant and reporting deadlines are met

    Writes and submits grant proposals on time to government, corporate, foundation, and service organization funding sources

    Follows up with grantors to determine/monitor grant status in timely manner

    Writes and submits thank you letters and other correspondence with grantors and potential grantors

    Engages the board in the grants program with monthly reports and by inviting key members to represent the Zoo during foundation visits

    Maintains a grants calendar to track grant and reporting deadlines as well as to track communication and cultivation efforts. Reviews deadlines annually to ensure calendar is up-to-date.

    Ensures continuity in relationship management by maintaining files to track contacts, communications, submission and reporting deadlines, and philanthropic commitments in Raiser’s Edge and donor files. This includes maintaining organized grant files.

    Accurately tracks and records donor relationship management activities related to grants

    Develops and evaluates measures of success in grant activities and produces reports to track results


    General Advancement Support:

    Assists with day-of support for Advancement department special events including VIP experiences, campaign events, and other donor activities and events. Duties vary and include tasks from set up to clean up and follow up.

    As needed, assists with final preparation support during the month leading up to Zoofari Ball, day/night of assistance, as well as final wrap up assistance

    Organization-wide Responsibilities:

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

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

    Participates in Zoo-wide events such as El Dia del Nino and DIGS

    Participates in bi-monthly all-employee meetings

    Participates in cross-departmental committees/teams as a contributing representative of the Advancement department

    Guest Relations Responsibilities:

    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

    Maintains a clean, neat work area that is inviting to all.

    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, the Employee Pledge, and our Core Values

    Other duties as assigned


    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 or relevant experience preferably in fundraising, communications, marketing, or related field

    Prior successful experience in fundraising preferred; minimum four years

    Prior grant writing experience preferred

    License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications:

    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 work successfully in a shared open space work environment with regular interruptions

    Ability to think strategically and plan accordingly to further the Advancement 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

    Requires the ability to work in a shared open space work environment

    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

    Maintains a clean and organized work area

    Involves some weekend, early morning, and evening hours

    Tools Used:

    Computer with MS Office Suite and other software packages

    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



    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.