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Chief Development Officer

Desert Botanical Garden
Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Oct 19, 2021

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Alumni Affairs, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Membership, Other Fundraising, Special Events
Animal Protection, Environment
Employment Type
Full Time
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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 roles.

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 embrace it.

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