The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with The Living
Desert Zoo and Gardens in the search for a Director of
Reporting to the President and CEO, the Director of Development
will create and manage fundraising programs and institutional
advancement for the organization.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a nonprofit, accredited member
of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, ensuring the highest
standards of all aspects of animal care, education, conservation,
public service, and operations. The Living Desert is active in
conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and
education initiatives around the world, as well as in its own
community. The Living Desert has been a top attraction in the Palm
Springs area for more than 50 years. Located in the heart of
the Coachella Valley in Southern California, The Living Desert Zoo
and Gardens is regularly ranked in the Top 10 Zoos by USA
Today and was named the best desert themed zoo by
Conde Nast Traveler.
For nearly five decades, The Living Desert has been engaged in the
important work of preserving, conserving, and interpreting the
desert and all its varied plant and animal life. Consistent with
its mission of desert conservation through preservation, education,
and appreciation, the organization welcomes more than 550,000
visitors annually to the zoo and botanical gardens. The role of
zoos has transformed dramatically in the last several decades from
being menageries for human entertainment to leaders in global
conservation efforts. The Living Desert is actively envisioning how
the zoo of the future will operate and aim for that goal.
The Living Desert operates with a budget of more than $17 million
and is governed by a highly engaged Board of Directors.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has been aggressively building
its endowment over the last several years to join gate revenue and
philanthropy as the third leg of their financial stool. Between
shrewd investing, estate gifts, ardent donor support, and
operational surplus, this endowment fund has had annual growth of
30 percent for the last five years and now exceeds $60 million,
making it one of the largest in the zoo community. An ongoing
capital campaign has raised $45 million in gifts and pledges
towards the zoo of the future.
The Living Desert is deeply committed to enriching diversity and
inclusion through on-going efforts to cultivate a welcoming climate
for all members of The Living Desert community. It strives to
provide an inclusive workplace, promote equity and access in
recruitment and retention, and develop meaningful outreach programs
and partnerships with its diverse local communities. It values
diversity and inclusion in the work environment and believes it is
vital to the fulfillment of The Living Desert mission. It is The
Living Desert's conviction that an inclusive work environment
facilitates complex, critical, and creative thinking and that
differences in identities, values, beliefs ,and perspectives are
fundamental to the success of the organization.
All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé.
Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of The Living
Desert Zoo and Gardens as well as the responsibilities and
qualifications presented in the prospectus.