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Director of Development

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
California, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Nov 27, 2021

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Other Fundraising
Animal Protection, Environment, Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the search for a Director of Development.

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.

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