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Chief Development Officer

Palm Beach Zoo
West Palm Beach, United States Posted: June 17, 2024

The Chief Development Officer (CDO) at the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society is a critical position needed on our journey to create a Zoo that elicits ‘awe’. Surrounded by nature and wildlife these transformative experiences are required to fulfill our mission, to make it irresistible to take action to save wildlife and wild places. Building the next generation of environments for our guests, our staff and our animals is imperative. To accomplish this we need to increase support from our generous and well-resourced community. We have built an accomplished, supportive and fun leadership team that works toward our mission every day. We are looking for a philanthropy leader to work with us as well as oversee an amazing team.  The post, along with the team will execute all  planning, organizing,  fundraising initiatives including major gifts, sponsorships, the annual fund, planned giving, grants, and fundraising special events for the Zoo.  The CDO will report to the CEO and work closely with other members of the Executive team to expand the base of donors and drive fundraising efforts in all areas. The CDO will develop and cultivate strong relationships with existing as well as new donors and other key external allies in building philanthropic revenue for the Zoo.

  • The CDO will serve as a key leadership team member by participating in strategic decisions affecting the development activity of the Zoo, and by all actions build the Zoo’s visibility, impact, and financial resources.  
Essential Position Functions
  • Possesses and clearly articulates a passion for wildlife conservation.
  • Collaborates with the CEO/President and Board of Directors to create a fundraising development strategy generating the needed revenue to support the strategic direction and mission of the Zoo.
  • Works as part of an integrated development team to establish overall goals and strategies for increasing private and public support for the Zoo.
  • Develops and maintains productive working relationships with board members, donors, and other sponsors.
  • Manages and directs our multi-year capital campaign.
  • Reports regularly to executive team and Board on fundraising progress, budgets, revenues and expenditures related to development initiatives.
  • Drives the corporate sponsorship strategy,  identifying and successfully soliciting prospects, as well as stewarding and managing the current corporate portfolio.
  • Manages and directs the Development team’s grant goals, overseeing and prioritizing activity for the organization from prospecting to application to reporting.
  • Provides leadership to Development team ensuring database accurately reflects donor records, that gifts are acknowledged timely and appropriately, and that all stewardship of grants and sponsorships   applications and donor reporting.
  • Works closely with the CFO on proper reporting of all gifts, grants, sponsorships and pledges, as well as ensuring all gifts are properly and timely acknowledged. 
  • Facilitates development of and manages new generation donor groups to cultivate new supporters for the purpose of sharing our mission and raising funds.
  • Contributes to the effective management of all development department activities, relevant problems, issues and opportunities.
  • Effectively engages our donors and the community at large through inspiring messaging tied back to our mission and our programs both here at the Zoo as well as in our field conservation work.
  • Education Requirements and Technical Skills
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution.
  • A minimum of five years (5) of proven success in managing and growing a donor portfolio within a non-profit environment.
  • Proven history of success in managing and directing a multi-year capital campaign.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment and demonstrate passion for our mission.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact positively with all levels of the organization, board, community and business leaders.
  • Strong leadership and organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Effective communication skills, both written and oral with history of driving inspiration.
Physical Requirements
  •  Must be able to work a schedule which includes evenings, weekends, holidays, and special events.
Skills and Competencies
  • Professional/Technical Knowledge and Competency — Keep informed in philanthropy and fund development best practices and provide information to the CEO, staff, board, and volunteers on current trends and issues.
  • Communication (oral and written) — Effectively expressing ideas verbally and non-verbally and actively listening to individuals and groups in a professional manner; preparing and focusing presentations to the characteristics and needs of the audience; strong writing and editing skills for a variety of audiences.
  • Integrity/Trust — Maintaining social, ethical, and organizational values and norms; building trust and confidence with the staff and with internal and external customers; respecting the confidentiality of personal and proprietary information.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Demonstrates behaviors that includes fairness, respect, inclusiveness, empathy, integrity, and ethical conduct. Fosters a climate and culture in which each person is accepted and has the opportunity to grow and develop. Practices behaviors that promote diversity and inclusion in dealings with and on behalf of the Zoo, consistent with laws, regulations, and Zoo policies.
  • Planning and organizing — Establishing a course of action with specific long-range goals for the zoo; setting priorities among competing requirements and allocating resources in the most efficient and effective way; developing contingency plans that participate changes in the work environment.
  • Coordinating — Organizes activities toward a common goal.
  • Customer Focus – Demonstrates courtesy, cooperation and friendliness with team members, volunteers, and guests. Actively listens, anticipates, and evaluates the customer’s needs. Ensures that customer satisfaction is a priority in all areas of responsibility.
  • Teamwork — Supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrating sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and supporting team goals.
What We Offer:
  • A competitive salary, commensurate with your skills and experience
  • An EXCELLENT benefits package (current year/plan), which includes:
  • 100% paid employee level coverage for designated medical & dental plan
  • 100% paid coverage for 100K of life insurance
  • 100% paid short-term disability
  • 100% paid long-term disability
  • 401K – Employer contributes 3% of your salary
  • Optional vision, accident and critical illness coverages available through pre-tax payroll deductions
  • Generous paid time off policy, Zoo Membership and FREE admission to other Florida Attractions!
  • Palm Beach Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and makes all employment decisions, including those related to recruitment, hiring, training and promotion without regard to race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.
Inclusion Diversity Equity and Access (IDEA) Commitment
  • Our Mission is to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world.
  • We recognize that the only way to accomplish our mission is to include all people across all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, mental/physical abilities, and sexual orientations. Just as we value biodiversity, we recognize and appreciate the value of human diversity as being integral to our ability to connect with our visitors and the communities we serve.
  • The position will be open until filled. 
  • We will contact qualified candidates whom we have chosen to move forward in the interview process.
Experience Required
  • 5 years minimum managing and growing a donor portfolio
  • Great benefits,
  • collaborative culture of conservation and positive growth
  • Commensurate with experience

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