Senior Director of Sustaining Philanthropy


The Senior Director of Sustaining Philanthropy is responsible for oversight of all initiatives to generate gifts of $25,000 or less, including direct response, 3rd party fundraising, President's Clubs, e-philanthropy and all fundraising, stewardship and donor engagement events. In addition, the Senior Director serves as the liaison with the Director of Membership (in Marketing) to coordinate membership programming. Reporting to the Chief Philanthropy Officer, this position will serve as an active member of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA) Philanthropy Department leadership team.


  • Lead all direct response efforts, including email, direct mail, television, radio and website
  • Develop and oversee comprehensive programming for President’s Clubs and sustaining leadership giving
  • Provide oversight of all Philanthropy events including annual gala and similar events, President’s Club events, special presentations and donor stewardship events
  • Work closely with Director of Events and SDZWA Marketing to deliver consistent messaging and high level events
  • Provide leadership and guidance for special projects that may include but are not limited to campaigns, donor engagement, and community projects and others as assigned by the CPO
  • Develop and oversee and oversee a comprehensive e-philanthropy program in coordination with the SDZWA Membership team
  • Lead and coach the Sustaining Support team, including but not limited to, interviewing, hiring, training, performance management and scheduling of work


San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is seeking an individual who is inspired to be a part of an organization that is committed to protecting wildlife around the globe. A leader to join us in our commitment to provide opportunities to learn about, engage with best-in-class conservation work, and share how that work is changing outcomes for wildlife every day through visits to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.


  • Minimum seven (7) years or related professional experience in a fundraising/development unit or department within a complex non-profit organization
  • Experience in developing an overall strategy to provide special and unique events to reflect the mission and vision of a major organization
  • Experience with e philanthropy programs and ability to develop such a program for a complex organization
  • Seven (7) years or more of experience managing a team
  • Experience working within a complex academic environment, such as a major health sciences organization or large state university with multiple colleges, campuses and programs


  • Bachelor's degree in related field required
  • Advanced degree in related field preferred


  • Ability to expand engagement efforts to reach out to national and international donors and prospects
  • An understanding of memberships linked to annual donor levels
  • Deep appreciation and understanding of a mission and vision of an organization and the ability to articulate values internally and externally
  • Ability to work across divisions to liaison with other divisions on joint projects and needs
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, demonstrating the ability to establish and maintain internal and external relationships
  • Proven experience motivating and managing individuals and teams for maximum performance
  • Proven ability to support employee inclusion and professional development


  • Location: San Diego Zoo
  • Duration: Year round
  • Exempt position:  Salary commensurate with experience (range $150,000 - $200,000)
  • Candidates must be available for an interview if contacted. Full job description will be provided upon request.


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