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Vice President Institutional Advancement


The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) is the nonprofit support partner of the Los Angeles Zoo (Zoo). GLAZA manages 7 essential departments for the Zoo, including fundraising, membership, marketing, special events, volunteers, publications and concessions.

Division:   Development

Reports to:  President

Status:  Full Time, exempt

Summary:  The Vice President Institutional Advancement (VP), under the direction of the GLAZA President, is responsible for providing leadership and direction through the planning, organization, coordination, and implementation of GLAZA’s development, membership and database operations. These activities include strategic planning, fundraising, resource development, estate planning, annual giving, stewardship, grant writing and corporate/foundations relations programs for development, and oversight management of the membership and database departments. The VP will lead the development  team in carrying out the goals and funding priorities as determined by the Zoo Director, GLAZA President, and GLAZA Board of Trustees. The VP will also integrate the mission and vision outlined in GLAZA’s long-term strategic plan in all departments managed. Additionally, the VP will help prepare GLAZA for capital campaigns, working with campaign consultants from feasibility studies to executed plans. The VP encourages and manages the Sr. Director of Development, the Associate Director Development, Manager Annual Giving Programs, Prospect Research Manager, Grant Writer,  Development Manager, Development Coordinator, Director of Membership and the Sr. Database Analyst. The VP will be responsible for recruiting and developing key team members in the Development, Membership, and Database departments. 

 Essential Functions:

  • Advance the mission, vision, and long-term goals of GLAZA in concert with the President and senior colleagues
  • Work closely with the President in all phases of advancement leadership activities
  • Maintain good working relationships with members of the Board of Trustees and key donors
  • Work closely with GLAZA’s executive staff to advance the mission of GLAZA
  • Maintain a dynamic portfolio of high net worth individuals and secure major, capital, and planned gifts, as well as annual gifts and endowment support
  • Advance the Zoo’s and GLAZA’s interests by identifying sources of private support, and by maintaining strong communication ties with donors and prospects
  • Personally participate in top-level fundraising activities, including cultivation and solicitations
  • Collaborate with the Special Events and Marketing departments to develop the annual Beastly Ball gala. Direct the fundraising for this event, including solicitations of the GLAZA Board
  • Collaborate with the Special Events on donor events that are engaging, informative, and fun
  • Collaborate with the Marketing department to promote fundraising initiatives, campaigns, and special events
  • Participate in strategic discussions and develop programs to strengthen the financial resources of GLAZA
  • Create and execute fundraising plans that utilize best practices in annual, major, and planned gift programs to meet fundraising goals
  • Ensure dynamic processes in all phases of donor qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship and oversee moves management activities
  • Work with consultants to plan for upcoming capital campaigns and other strategic initiatives to move GLAZA forward and provide increased support for the Zoo
  • Hire, train, mentor, and guide direct reports and the entire Development, Membership and Database teams toward accountable, goal-oriented outcomes
  • Develop annual plans and budgets for development programs, including mid-year forecasting
  • Oversee the annual strategic plans for building and maintaining GLAZA’s robust Membership department, including the approval of annual Membership budget
  • Manage the Development department’s annual operating budget and revenue plan
  • Engage Zoo/GLAZA staff and GLAZA Board  in creating a culture of philanthropy. Maintain cooperative working relationships with zoo director, assistant zoo director, department directors, curators, and keepers whose cooperation is essential to effective cultivation and fundraising
  • Serve as a staff liaison to GLAZA’s Development Committee, Board Affairs Committee, Campaign Committee (when relevant), and other ad hoc GLAZA and Zoo committees as needed. This includes working with the committee chairs to set goals, create quarterly agendas, create and distribute materials for meetings, manage committee members’ relationships, and write reports for committee chairs for board meetings
  • Serve as a staff member of the GLAZA Finance Committee
  • Participate, as needed, in GLAZA’s annual audit
  • Partner with Finance department to enhance and maintain gift processing policies and procedures, as well as to ensure thorough and accurate record keeping. Establish and maintain appropriate Development policies and procedures
  • Ensure that the donor communications plan is effective for donor relations and stewardship
  • Direct the implement effective internal and external fundraising messaging
  • Write fundraising reports for quarterly board meetings as well as monthly reports for the Los Angeles Zoo Commission
  • Oversee best practices for maintaining and operating the development database, Raiser’s Edge
  • Embody values of caring, compassion, integrity, competence, and affirmation
  • Treat all staff with fairness, dignity and respect; seek a spirit of unity and harmony to achieve a common mission
  • All other duties as assigned by the President

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

  1. Bachelor’s degree required
  2. Ten+ years’ experience in major gift fundraising, preferably with a mid-to large-size organization
  3. A demonstrated track record of achieving fundraising results
  4. Experience managing a team of numerous employees. Preference for experience managing multiple departments
  5. Passion and commitment for cultivating relationships and securing gifts. Skill in solicitation techniques
  6. Experience working with a board of trustees or directors
  7. A “people person” and relationship builder; energized by working collaboratively with a board and other stakeholders; eagerness to connect with donors, board members, staff, and other partners
  8. Ability to manage schedules and make progress on several simultaneous priorities. This includes changing priorities as required. Adept at multi-tasking
  9. Knowledge of best practices in managing a robust membership program
  10. Knowledge of best practices in managing a robust database
  11. Strong and highly competent manager
  12. Results-driven approach with a bias toward action
  13. Supportive of, and inclined toward ambitious goals
  14. High level of professionalism and willingness “to do whatever it takes” to reach goals
  15. Demonstrated mature judgement
  16. Demonstrated success in identifying, cultivating and stewarding individuals
  17. Demonstrated ability to forecast fundraising targets and to evaluate and report progress
  18. Superior oral, written communication and presentation skills; detail oriented with a commitment to accuracy and clarity. Demonstrated ability to communicate persuasively, orally and in writing to individuals about the fundraising goals of GLAZA and the Los Angeles Zoo
  19. Skill in listening perceptively, conveying sensitivity, confidentiality and awareness to prospective donors
  20. Ability to problem solve and negotiate with tact and diplomacy
  21. Ability and interest to develop a working knowledge of the goals of the Los Angeles Zoo, the activities and research interests of the directors and curators, and a practical understanding of zoos. Genuine interest in animals and conservation and the natural ability to articulate this mission and role to others
  22. Strong computer aptitude; skill in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; knowledge of and skill using online and other resources to identify and research individuals; experience with donor database management; proficiency working with the Raisers Edge database
  23. Interpersonal skills to develop and maintain close and effective working relationships with curators, keepers, part-time and full-time staff, members, volunteers, donor prospects, senior Zoo staff and the general public
  24. Demonstrated ability to work independently; organize, prioritize and complete work in a timely manner despite competing deadlines and competing requirements
  25. Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information with integrity
  26. Demonstrated ability to focus on a computer screen for extended periods during the day
  27. Demonstrated ability to remain in a stationary position for extended periods during the day
  28. Demonstrated ability to visually see or hear calls being received
  29. Willingness to work evenings, holidays and weekends as required. Work all GLAZA galas.
  30. Ability to travel to meet donors, trustees and others

Personal Attributes:

  • Personable, positive and diplomatic individual with integrity and a sense of humor, who works effectively with board, donors, colleagues, staff and volunteers
  • Initiative, self-confidence, creativity and entrepreneurial skills; enjoys working on a team but also able to work independently and as a self-starter
  • Well organized, able to plan and manage strategically with sufficient focus on details to ensure effective implementation and follow through
  • Ability to inspire others to accomplish common objectives and goals


GLAZA provides competitive compensation commensurate with a candidate’s experience, as well as a full array of employee benefits including vacation, health, dental & vision insurance, an FSA plan, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, a tax-deferred annuity plan with employer match and contributions, paid vacation & sick leave, and over 13 holidays annually. Additionally, GLAZA’s location is at the beautiful Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.


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