Major Gifts Officer

Attention! This job posting is over 14 days old and might already be filled.


The Major Gifts Officer contributes to the creation and execution of strategies for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of a portfolio of 100+ major gift prospects, including individuals, corporations, foundations and/or institutions with a capability of $10,000 to $1,000,000. As a key contributor to the success of Woodland Park Zoo’s comprehensive fundraising program, this position works closely with dynamic development and senior leadership colleagues to determine effective strategies for identified donors and prospects. The Major Gifts Officer will qualify, cultivate, and solicit a large number of prospective donors in preparation for the next campaign.


  • Under the general direction of the Director of Development, develops and executes successful fundraising strategies and tactics for major donors and planned gift prospects within assigned portfolio in support of Woodland Park Zoo’s annual fundraising goals and objectives; assists with creation of individual work plan.
  • Actively manages 100+ major gift relationships through the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship process; discusses donor assets proficiently and listens for opportunities for gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, such as planned gifts; and provides opportunity for donors to receive recognition and increase future giving.
  • Proactively reaches out to qualify prospects, making 25 substantial contacts per week and an average of 12 visits per month. Solicit individual prospective donors when appropriate and qualify major gift prospects to proactively cultivate for additional future gifts.
  • Works with the Director of Development to develop techniques to begin relationships and move them through the donor continuum to a gift conversation. Develops and implements strategic steps to build relationships that will result in gifts in support of the zoo’s fundraising priorities and mission objectives.
  • Assists the Director of Development with building and executing a strategic plan to manage Donor Advised Fund relationships with financial institutions. Works with front-line fundraising colleagues to develop and support strategies for activities and special events for qualification and solicitation efforts.
  • In consultation with the Director of Development, establishes personal goals, objectives and strategies, and develops an annual operating plan.
  • Supports volunteers and staff as philanthropy liaison to review and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Communicates the zoo’s fundraising priorities to a diverse community and helps position the zoo as the region’s premier global conservation and education organization.
  • Partners frequently with zoo colleagues across diverse departments to engage current and prospective donors.
  • Understands and complies with all Woodland Park Zoo gift-related policies and procedures and ensures ethical compliance, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals.
  • Collaborates with all Development staff to ensure successful integration of major gift programs with the zoo’s annual fund.
  • Writes briefing reports and proposals, stewardship reports and assists with other donor communications as requested.
  • Conducts prospect research as appropriate.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


The position has no supervisory responsibilities.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Proven experience soliciting major gifts of $10,000 and above, and initiating major gift fundraising strategies; must also have knowledge of and experience with development/fundraising concepts and techniques, as well as gift planning and procedures.
  • Ability to build and maintain long-term relationships with fundraising constituents including major donors, board members and volunteers; as well as experience managing and advancing relationships with multiple prospects and donors.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training relating to current trends in charitable giving in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts and planned giving.
  • Superior written, verbal, interpersonal and organizational communication skills, including writing skills that demonstrate clarity and precise messaging, and effective public presentation skills in small and large groups.
  • Ability to analyze research data to align donors with appropriate projects.
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to balance and prioritize multiple tasks and requests, and meet deadlines in a professional manner.
  • Strong problem solving ability.
  • Successful working as part of an innovative and high energy team or independently.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with tact and discretion.
  • Working familiarity with high-level event planning concepts.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule in order to attend zoo functions annually, including many evenings and some weekends.
  • Commitment to the zoo’s and Core Values.


Bachelor’s (B. A. or B.S.) degree from an accredited four-year college or university; and 3-5 years fundraising experience with proven results; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Major gifts experience and/or training preferred. Diversified experience with large and small non-profits is desirable.


Valid Washington State Driver’s License required.


Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, specifically in Word, Excel, Outlook, and Powerpoint, Experience with Raiser’s Edge or other equivalent database program preferred.


Ability to read, analyze, interpret and communicate effectively in written and oral communication. Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. Ability to present information and speak effectively to zoo management, public groups, donors, and board members.


Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions and percentages. Ability to work with the budgeting process to determine budgetary needs for the major gifts program. Ability to apply concepts used in making complex gifts such as planned giving vehicles (gift annuities and unitrusts) and gifts of real property (stocks, gifts of real property, etc.)


Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, draw valid conclusions and make solid arguments for fundraising objectives.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to talk or hear, stand or walk, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to focus. This position requires the ability to walk or transit across the 92-acre facility in variable weather conditions.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. Some work may be performed near moving mechanical parts. Occasionally, this position may work amidst variable weather conditions.


Applications are only accepted online through our Jobs page at; no other forms of application will be acceptedCover letter and resume are REQUIRED when applying for this position. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

CLOSE DATE7/9/2018

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications are due prior to 12:00 AM on the posted Close date (i.e. by 11:59 PM the evening before).

Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.



None specified


No requirement


Back to Job Board Home