Communications and Development Specialist

Chimp Haven
Louisiana, United States
Salary Not specified
Jan 26, 2021
Feb 24, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time


POSITION TITLE:  Communications and Development Specialist

REPORTS TO:  Chief Development and Marketing Officer


Shift:  Days, but evening and weekend work may be required

Status:  Full-time or Part-time

FLSA:     Non-Exempt

Risk Level: 1


ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW:  At Chimp Haven we believe we’re not that different, humans and chimpanzees. Chimps have personalities, emotions and relationships, just like us, and we’re on a mission to connect them to the happy healthy lives they deserve. That’s why we’re providing and promoting personalized care for chimpanzees, most of whom were retired from biomedical research, by helping them, for their remaining years, live a good life – the chimp life. Chimp Haven serves as the national Chimpanzee Sanctuary and is located on 200 forested acres in northwest Louisiana just outside of Shreveport.  Chimp Haven provides excellent care for more than 300 chimpanzees retired from research or no longer used in the entertainment industry or as pets.  As more retired chimpanzees make their way from research institutions to sanctuary, our population continues to grow. Chimp Haven has a well-designed facility to support the physical and emotional well-being of all animals, experienced staff and high standards for operational excellence.  Chimp Haven offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits, extensive training and an opportunity for professional advancement.  Equal Opportunity Employer.


THE OPPORTUNITY: A member of the development and communications team, the Communications and Development Specialist will drive various fundraising, special events, onsite visitor and media tours and other marketing efforts for the sanctuary. She or he will lead and coordinate public sanctuary events with the goal of increasing attendance and awareness of Chimp Haven’s work and mission and manage Chimp Haven’s volunteer program.




  • Develop strategies and work plan in partnership with Chief Development and Marketing Officer (CDMO) to capitalize on growth and awareness opportunities and increase revenue through on-site events, tours, and local partnerships.
  • Lead planning and coordination of public events, (such as Chimpanzee Discovery Days, Brunch in the Wild, Chimp Chat and Chew events, and more) including working with team members to advertise and drive attendance, coordinate staff and volunteers, ticketing, merchandise, run of show, physical and print collateral, and various other event duties.
  • Coordinate onsite media visits including managing all tour and visit details, logistics, staff prep and implementation. Serve as lead liaison in all media visit planning with PR firm. In the event of an onsite filming project such as a documentary series, lead all logistics, planning and support.
  • Coordinate all onsite tour logistics and conduct tours independently as appropriate.
  • Develop and implement plan for local programming and fundraising partnerships that align with the Chimp Haven brand, create awareness among target market and drive revenue.
  • Work with team to develop and implement all online events, programming and e-learning materials.
  • Provide exemplary staffing for Board education committee.
  • Redesign and manage Chimp Haven’s volunteer program, including overall vision as well as volunteer coordination, schedule, communications and stewardship.
  • Conduct thank you calls, write personalized notes and assist with other communication touch points with a select group of donors as needed.
  • Consistently document all key activities and other pertinent information with visitors, donors and volunteers into the relationship management database.
  • Support Chimp Haven Board of Directors meetings and other special events as needed including administrative support, event setup and clean-up, meeting preparation, managing Board member travel arrangements, etc.
  • Collaborate with CDMO and staff team to develop and manage operating budget.
  • Work closely with team members across the organization to ensure consistent messaging and marketing of all Chimp Haven activities.
  • Ensure excellent customer service. As needed, respond to donor inquiries and requests in a timely and professional manner along with conveying a willingness to help. Respond to any inquiries or issues regarding payments, communication preferences, contact information, etc.
  • Attend training regarding chimpanzee safety, well-being, and species-typical behaviors; seek out other learning opportunities to advance sanctuary knowledge.
  • Exhibit the highest ethical and moral values possible.
  • Represent Chimp Haven in a professional manner at all times.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Marketing, Event Management, or related field and 2-3 years’ related experience.
  • Strong technical skills. Proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint).
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.



  • Enthusiasm for engaging with people – including staff, supporters, visitors, and donors – about Chimp Haven’s work and mission.
  • Excellent project management skills. Must be able to think, plan, lead, do, innovate, and pivot.
  • Ability to proactively lead projects and create programs. Willingness to develop strategy but also roll up your sleeves and implement tactics.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships and motivate donors and volunteers.
  • Experience coordinating large public and private events.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a fast-paced, high-profile environment, managing multiple projects, competing priorities and tight deadlines.
  • Willingness to seek and listen to feedback from others and find the best way to incorporate feedback.
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and maintain positive interactions with volunteers, colleagues and donors even during times of stress.
  • Demonstrates flexibility and patience, and is able to support leadership decisions even if personally in disagreement.
  • Serve as a highly positive and collaborative partner with colleagues throughout the organization.



Chimp Haven in Keithville, LA


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