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Director of Annual Giving

Minnesota Zoo Foundation
Apple Valley, United States Posted: June 28, 2024

The Minnesota Zoo Foundation seeks an experienced Director of Annual Giving to join the Foundation's team and lead our annual giving strategies and team with the goal of increasing general operating funds and donor engagement. This is a hybrid work position, and requires being onsite at the Minnesota Zoo Foundation offices 3+ days per week.

  • Interested applicants should apply through the Minnesota Zoo Foundation's online application at https://minnesotazoofoundation.applytojob.com/apply/f4aKdGMcqq/Director-Of-Annual-Giving-Hybrid?source=AZA Applications received by Sunday, July 21, 2024 will receive first consideration. 
The Organization
  • The Minnesota Zoo Foundation (Foundation) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that accelerates the Zoo’s impact as a driving force for the health and well-being of people, animals and the planet by providing critical support and resources to fuel their mission.
  • Our support propels leading-edge ideas that redefine the role and impact of modern zoos, such as the creation of innovative nature experiences, best-in-class education programs and industry-leading conservation efforts.
  • We help open doors to uniquely immersive nature experiences that benefit the well-being of all by sponsoring programs that bring the Zoo experience to Minnesota communities and reduce physical, financial and cultural barriers to the Zoo.
  • We broaden the reach and impact of the Zoo’s mission by leading critical fundraising initiatives, attracting Zoo volunteerism and advocacy and supporting critical conservation work.
  • We empower the Zoo to continuously raise the bar for excellence in animal care and operations by funding the most advanced equipment, best-in-class facilities and industry-leading staff development opportunities. 
Position Summary
  • The Director of Annual Giving is responsible for strategizing and directing the Foundation’s annual giving strategies with the goal of increasing general operating funds and donor engagement. In addition, this role is responsible for the Director’s Circle giving program, growth of the Friends membership program, as well as strategy development and implementation oversight of the guest to member to donor continuum between the MN Zoo and MN Zoo Foundation.
  • This role works collaboratively with both Foundation and Zoo leadership to amplify and energize the donor pipeline.
  • The Director of Annual Giving reports to the Foundation’s Executive Director and is a member of the Foundation’s leadership team, supervises the Annual Giving team, and works closely with Zoo teams including membership fulfillment, marketing and communications, events and programs, guest services, and volunteer services.
Duties / Responsibilities
Annual Giving Leadership
  • Lead Annual Giving team in cross Foundation and Zoo collaborations to build awareness, engagement, and investment in the Zoo’s mission and the Foundation’s work.
  • Responsible for the overall management, growth and measurement of the Foundations’ individual annual giving program including leading donor acquisition efforts, donor stewardship and recognition programs, and mid-level giving strategies.
  • Direct team in planning and executing comprehensive annual giving and stewardship work plans in collaboration with Foundation and Zoo work plans.
  • Assure high level standards for brand alignment and activation with the Minnesota Zoo.
  • Develop multichannel solicitation strategies using digital, print, events, and other forms of donor engagement focused on increasing levels of annual support and community awareness of the Foundation’s work.
  • Work with the Executive Director to set priorities and develop work plans, determine annual goals, metrics, messaging, budget, and timelines for the Annual Giving team.
  • Work with the Executive Director, MN Zoo Deputy Director, and as strategy development and implementation oversight of the guest to member to donor continuum between the MN Zoo and MN Zoo Foundation
  • Work with Operations team to develop tracking and reporting systems for key metrics.
  • Develop a sustainable, progressive, and consistent donor journey.
  • Lead plan to engage volunteers in Foundation giving programs.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned based on changing needs of the organization.
Department Leadership
  • Plan and administer the department's budget; monitor expenditures and income projections to ensure targets are met.
  • Manage the department's staff and lead the preparation of annual plans including goals, objectives and individual work plans for the department that reflects the organizational strategic priorities to meet all program and income goals.
Leadership Responsibilities
  • Provide innovative and creative solutions, leveraging peers and best practices to advance the goals of the organization.
  • Develop and maintain positive interpersonal relationships with internal and external constituents to achieve positive relationships that support the mission of the Zoo,  Zoo Foundation and management initiatives.
  • Design, support and participate in cross-departmental teams throughout the organization (Foundation and Zoo).
Supervision Responsibilities 
  • Recruit, build and manage a high-performance team.
  • Provide active coaching and guidance to direct reports to assist in their skill and competency building a high performing, efficient, and effective team.
  • Manage team to meet (and exceed) targeted goals, continually monitoring performance of individual contributors and providing performance feedback informally and formally as outlined in HR handbook/meeting org.’s performance evaluation schedule.
  • Proactively identify, anticipate and respond to issues in the department and organization that affect teamwork and goal/mission attainment.
  • Other
  • Participate through active involvement in team and all staff meetings, events, and training.
  • Provide on-site support for events and programs as needed by the Foundation, which typically occur on the weekends or in the evenings.
  • Additional responsibilities may be assigned based on the changing needs of the organization and the successful candidate’s interests, aptitude, and experience.
  • Skills, Experience, and Qualifications
Minimum Skills & Experience Required
  • 5+ years experience in professional fundraising, preferably in annual fund giving.
  • 3+ years of managerial experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in annual fund growth and in the creation and implementation of successful multi-channel gift strategies and tactics.
  • Demonstrated experience in the creation and implementation of successful segmentation, marketing automation, and email marketing strategy.
  • Experience leading strategy in large scale growth of a membership focused organization.
  • Self-motivated, results-oriented, and able to build external relationships as well as lead, motivate and develop internal staff.
  • Possess the ability to think strategically and long-term.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Proficiency with donor/contact management, membership management, e-giving/e-commerce, and email marketing databases.
  • A valid driver’s license, with a safe driving record, and at least one year of driving experience travel to offsite meetings with donors and prospects.
  • Preferred Skills & Experience
  • 8+ years of nonprofit experience.
  • Experience working for guest facing organizations with an education or conservation-focused missions is highly desired.
  • Experience preparing and managing department level budgets.
  • Experience with Tessitura CRM Software.
  • Experience working in a nonprofit organization.
  • Minnesota Zoo Foundation Qualification Requirements
  • Collaborative style and the ability to work with a diverse group of individuals both inside the organization and out in the community.
  • Experience, ability, and commitment to working with individuals and teams that are mixed across lines of difference such as race, gender-identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class and immigrant status.
  • Ability to clearly represent and present the mission and vision of the Minnesota Zoo.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively while keeping supervisor apprised of issues, opportunities, and progress.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues in multiple departments/divisions.
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize and manage multiple deadlines.
  • High degree of integrity, ethical decision making, and commitment to maintaining confidentiality.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work required and must be capable of planning and managing independent travel.
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master's Degree
  • Physical, Travel, and Additional Requirements
  • Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • May need to work occasional weekends and evenings dependent on Foundation events.
  • Required to use a computer and phone; Frequent use of hands for data entry/keystrokes and simple grasping.
  • Ability to navigate the Zoo premises and accompany donors and prospects on tours in variable weather conditions, both indoor and outdoor.
  • May need to lift up to 20 lbs.
  • Moderate noise level in an office setting, occasional exposure to prevalent weather conditions on the campus of the Minnesota Zoo.
  • This is a hybrid work position, onsite at the Minnesota Zoo Foundation offices 2-3 days per week.
  • Other Job Details, Salary, Benefits, etc
Reports to:
  • Executive Director
  • Annual Giving Team
  • Type of Position: Full-time, exempt
  • Salary Range: $100,000-$120,000, set range based on experienced & qualifications, + competitive benefits
  • Benefits Eligible: Health, Dental, Vision Insurance, Life / Short Term / Long Term Disability Insurance, 401K, HSA (including employer contribution)
Equal Opportunity Employer
  • It is the policy of the Minnesota Zoo Foundation to comply with all applicable equal employment opportunity laws and regulations.
  • The Foundation provides equal opportunity employment for all qualified persons.
  • All our employment practices, benefits and programs will be administered without regard to actual or perceived race (inclusive of traits associated with race, such as hair texture and hair styles such as braids, locs, and twists), color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, disability, veteran status or military history, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, family history or familial status, genetic information, union membership, creed, status with respect to receipt of public assistance, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, use of lawful consumable products, or any other basis protected by Federal, State or local law.
  • This commitment extends to all phases of employment including, but not limited to, recruitment, selection, job assignment, transfers, training and development, promotions, demotions, discipline, compensation, benefits, terminations, layoff, recall, transfer, access to benefits, leaves of absences, and all other conditions or privileges associated with employment.
  • The Foundation expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment or discrimination based on any of the characteristics mentioned above. Improper interference with the ability of other employees to perform their expected job duties is not tolerated.
  • The Foundation will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee related to an individual’s physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sincerely held religious beliefs and practices, and/or any other reason required by applicable law, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship upon the Foundation’s business operations.
  • Benefits include Health,
  • Dental,
  • Vision Insurance,
  • Life / Short Term / Long Term Disability Insurance,
  • 401K,
  • HSA (including employer contribution)
  • $100K-$120K

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