In the 1930s, a small group of local citizens became interested
in conserving the fragile desert environment. One was Swedish
botanist Gustaf Starck, who found like-minded residents by posting
a sign, “Save the desert,” with an arrow pointing to his home. In
April 1934 they formed the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society
to sponsor a botanical garden to encourage an understanding,
appreciation and promotion of the uniqueness of the world's
deserts, particularly the local Sonoran Desert.
With the support of social influencers of the time such as
Gertrude Divine Webster, the Garden’s presence grew. Nearly eight
decades later, thanks to leadership and investments from many
individuals, Desert Botanical Garden has blossomed from a dream
into a dynamic living museum dedicated to research, education,
conservation and display of desert plants.
Desert Botanical Garden seeks a proven leader whose
participation and experience in his or her community have
demonstrated an ability to increase and sustain a higher level of
philanthropy, awareness and enthusiasm in order to make a
difference in the life of an organization. This person will be a
strategic thinker with a significant fundraising background or
leadership experience raising money on behalf of a nonprofit
institution as well as management expertise leading Board, staff,
and volunteers in a strong philanthropic culture.
The person the Garden seeks is a self-starter who actively
pursues, cultivates and enjoys building and maintaining strong
donor relationships and internal alliances. The Garden seeks
a person who makes people comfortable and is genuine in his or her
engagement. This person must be able to engender trust and
empathy and relate to donors in a highly professional, honest and
caring manner. Experience with all aspects of fundraising,
including capital campaigns, annual funds, grants, special events,
endowments and major and planned gifts is required. The successful
candidate will have a proven track record of closing significant
gifts of six figures and above. Participation at a leadership level
in capital campaign ($20 million or greater) from concept to
completion is highly desired.
Knowledge of gardens and/or arts and cultural institutions is
preferred but not required; the ability and capacity to understand
the patron experience of individuals and members of public gardens
and nature organizations is essential.
Working with staff and providing excellent team management,
leadership, communications, and project management skills is a
must. The ability to collaborate with board members in creating
appropriate avenues for their participation in fundraising is
highly preferred. This would include the development of new
strategies and tactics for increasing the number of volunteers
involved in philanthropic activities.
Desert Botanical Garden seeks an exceptional communicator, in
written and spoken word, externally and internally, whose
interpersonal skills demonstrate an ability to work in harmony at
all levels, listen to and respect the viewpoints of others, and
strive to share with others the credit and recognition of well-done
jobs. Superior time management, analytical and research skills, as
well as the ability to make decisive choices are critical in
working effectively with others in administrative and volunteer
An undergraduate degree from a college or university is
required; a graduate degree is preferred. Evidence of
continuing education through conferences, seminars and workshops in
fundraising techniques would be a plus.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Desert Botanical Garden is an Equal Opportunity Employer and
considers all applicants without regard to race, religion, color,
sex, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, marital
or parental status, age, national origin, veteran status,
disability, or any other status protected by law.
The Garden fosters and supports workplace diversity, equity, and
inclusion to honor the unique perspectives, experiences, and
contributions of all, to celebrate successes, and to cultivate
individual and institutional excellence.
All employees will help add to the Garden’s diversity and fully