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Advancement Assistant

Santa Barbara Zoo

Advancement Assistant

Santa Barbara, CA
Full Time
  • Responsibilities

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

    The Santa Barbara Zoo is seeking a fulltime, self-motivated, friendly, and detail-oriented Advancement Assistant to provide administrative support to the Advancement Department including data entry, processing donations, writing letters, and hosting donors.

    The ideal candidate will have strong written and verbal communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills. Attention to detail and the ability to multi-task are essential.

    Must be available to work extra hours during the month of August and a few evenings and weekends throughout the year. Must be able to lift a minimum of 30 pounds and access all areas of the Zoo.

    Required: The qualified applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree plus some experience in fundraising and/or a professional office environment with administrative duties.

    This is a regular, full-time, non-exempt position

    Compensation: $18.83 per hour; plus benefits.

    Job Description: Advancement Assistant


    The Advancement Assistant is responsible for providing administrative support to the Advancement team. Specifically, this position is responsible for data entry, processing donations and providing administrative support to the Director of Advancement and the Vice President of Community Relations.

    ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:

    General Advancement Responsibilities

    Maintains donor databases and filing system

    Contributes to Zoo News, Z-mail, 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 utilizing the Raiser’s Edge database

    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 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 during Zoo events as a Zoo Advancement representative

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

    Other assignments as needed

    Administrative Support

    Creates donor recognition cards and gifts and coordinates distribution of these cards and gifts

    Coordinates and provides general administrative support to the Zoo’s Advancement efforts, the Director of Advancement, the VP of Community Relations and Advancement-related committees as needed

    Provides administrative support related to capital campaigns including but not limited to, setting up committee meetings, sending meeting reminders, taking minutes, scheduling donor lunches, preparing campaign packets, and updating committee and campaign materials

    Tracks inventory on Advancement materials such as letterhead, notecards, and other marketing materials to ensure the department is well-stocked. Works with the Advancement department and Graphics process to order new/more materials as needed.

    Gift Entry & Acknowledgment

    Processes payments including but not limited to running credit cards and managing online donations and recurring donations.

    Enters all gifts (cash, in-kind, stock, etc.) into the Zoo’s donor database in a timely manner

    Enters and maintains donor gifts and information in the donor database, Raiser’s Edge.

    Writes, prepares, and mails all thank you letters and correspondence to donors in a timely manner

    Prepares and distributes weekly donor reports to the Advancement department and Zoo President/CEO

    Maintains and updates electronic donor files, including payments, letters, tour information, background, and birthdays

    Reconciliation of Income & Expenses

    Prepares monthly donor report for Accounting

    Reconciles Advancement department donation database records with Accounting department general ledger records monthly and maintains donation reconciliation records for Advancement

    Tracks and reconciles Advancement department donations for specific projects such as events or campaigns

    Foster Feeders

    Provides administrative support for the Foster feeder program

    Processes Foster feeder fulfillments including putting packages together, mailing, and updating recognition board as well as ordering plaques and maintaining them


    Provides administrative assistance for Advancement department events

    Coordinates Zoofari Ball guest lists and seating including donor research

    Provides general administrative and coordination support for the fundraising efforts related to Zoofari Ball

    Admission Pass-Donations

    Provides in-person and phone support for the processing of donations of admission passes to other non-profit organizations

    Coordinates all aspects of the distribution of family packs, VIP encounters, and special basket donations to other non-profit organizations at the request of major donors and special guests

    Volunteer Support

    Provides support for the department volunteers as needed

    Other Responsibilities

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

    Gain and maintain a clear understanding of AZA, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s mission, collection, history, and current programs

    Assists in the implementation of Zoo-wide events such as Spooky Zoo, DIGS, and others

    Maintains a clean and organized work area

    Other duties as assigned

    Guest Relations

    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 relation 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 and the Employee Pledge


    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

    BA in related field

    Experience in a professional office environment or with administrative functions

    Prefer some experience in Advancement/Marketing/Sales/Events

    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

    Strong organizational skills

    Strong attention to detail

    Ability to multi-task successfully, prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and make effective use of time management tools

    Ability to follow oral and written direction

    Effective oral and written communication skills

    Strong interpersonal skills

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

    Ability to handle conflict resolution in a professional manner

    Understanding of telephone and office etiquette

    Ability to exercise safe work habits

    Ability to maintain confidentiality and work with sensitive information

    Demonstrates high degree of accuracy

    Excellent organizational 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 morning, 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

    This job description is representative of the expectations of the position described. Additional duties, reporting relationships, and/or position criteria may be assigned as deemed necessary by the President/CEO or authorized representative. No changes to this job description shall be made without written permission by the President/CEO or authorized representative.

    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.

    “I have read and understand the terms of this job description. I understand that measurements and evaluations of my performance in the described position shall be based in part on this job description.”