Roger Williams Park Zoo (RWPZ) of Providence, Rhode Island, is
one of the nation’s oldest zoos and home to over 100 animal
species. Our culture is built on our core values: community, fun,
innovation, diversity, integrity, sustainability, and excellence.
We value our role in the community as a treasured place for
families and a trusted resource for learning; we create a sense of
community for our staff and contribute to the global conservation
community. We provide a fun experience for our guests and
believe that a fun environment is essential to create a great
workplace. We are willing to take risks, to propose novel ideas and
to think “out of the box”. Bold dreams are welcome here. We
act with respect toward all. We value diversity and are intolerant
of bias. Integrity and honesty drive our business practices and our
relationships with each other and our constituents. We are driven
by our vision of greater sustainability in our environmental
practices and in our business model. We believe that by
establishing a sustainable financial base we can best achieve our
goals. We are always striving for excellence. We work to exceed
expectations in all areas.
RWPZ is currently recruiting for a full-time, year-round,
Director of Development. Reporting to the Executive Director, the
individual in this position is responsible for creating and
implementing a comprehensive annual fundraising plan including, but
not limited to, annual appeals, major gift solicitation,
membership, corporate and foundation giving, grant writing, special
event fundraising and endowment/planned giving for Roger Williams
Park Zoo and the RI Zoological Society. The Director of Development
will work closely with the zoo’s senior management team to ensure
cross departmental consistency and prioritization of institutional
goals. They will also work closely with the Executive Director and
members of the Board to plan and execute capital campaigns of
varying degrees and size, as warranted. This position is a senior
staff management position.
- Plan, administer, and implement all fundraising
- Develop annual fundraising, cultivation and stewardship plans
in collaboration with the Executive Director and the Board of
- Maintain a proactive, creative leadership role in the
identification, cultivation, and solicitation of individual,
corporate and foundation contributions.
- Work with the Executive Director and other staff and board
members in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of key
donors, major gifts prospects and major capital donors to increase
participation in Roger Williams Park Zoo and Rhode Island
Zoological Society programs.
- Prepare verbally or in writing brief talking points about
donors/prospects for the Executive Director prior to meetings with
these individuals or corporate/foundation leaders.
- Oversee the management of the membership department, including
direct mail acquisition and renewal strategies.
- In collaboration with the Executive Director, develop, manage
and implement all aspects of capital fundraising efforts.
- Develop and maintain close working relationships with the
philanthropic community, individual and corporate donors, sponsors,
board members and volunteers.
- Direct the growth and expansion of Zoo Guardians, the Zoo’s
premier membership society, along with other initiatives that drive
increased giving from mid-level and major donors and prospects,
including strategic fundraising and friend-raising events. Oversee
the Zoo’s endowment/planned giving program.
- Serve as the strategic thought-leader in pursuing potential
grants/grantors and manage staff through the grant application
- Make donor stewardship a priority throughout RIZS, ensuring
that all donors are appropriately thanked on a personal level, in a
timely manner, and receive regular communication.
- Supervise, coach and mentor the development staff to achieve
department goals and conduct annual performance reviews.
- Implement best practices for fundraising, communications,
events, stewardship, and database management.
- Direct the preparation and manage the implementation of the
Development and Membership Department budgets, including income and
- Compile financial, statistical and informational reports (e.g.,
weekly, monthly, annual reports; sales promotion, incident, special
event reports; etc.) as requested by the Board of Trustees,
Executive Director and Chief Administrative Officer.
- Act as the principal staff person for the Board of Trustee’s
- Energize and direct the RIZS planned giving society.
Conceptualize and execute plans to grow the number of planned
gifts, including bequests.
- As a member of the senior staff team, act as one of the
organization’s weekend and holiday emergency response coordinators
and assist at organizational events.
- Assist with generating written and graphic materials required
for development fundraising activities.
Required Experience and Education:
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration,
Communications or Marketing or related field from an accredited
college or university.
- Minimum of six years of progressively successful development
experience, including experience with annual funds, major gifts and
- Minimum three years of previous managerial experience also
Preferred Experience and Education:
- Recent experience working with diverse populations and fluency
speaking additional languages a plus.
- Demonstrated ability to:
- train, lead, supervise and direct the work of others.
- provide quality customer service to both internal and external
- Experience in organizing development-related projects from
inception to final presentation.
- Knowledge of:
- fundraising and Development methodologies, techniques and best
- principles and practices of publicity, promotion, and public
- community relations and the development and use of community
- development of analytical tools and reports for benchmarking
and progress measurement for internal and external audiences.
- Altru development software.
- Extremely strong:
- oral and written communication skills.
- analytical skills.
- organizational and supervisory skills.
- decision and problem-solving skills.
- history of personal interaction with giving community.
- Maintain effective working relationships with other
departments, staff, professionals from other zoo organizations, and
the general public.
- Active engagement in the AZA, building relationships with peers
at other zoos and promoting RWP Zoo Within the association.
- Appreciation for:
- the history and mission of RWP Zoo and an authentic commitment
to the mission.
- the importance of confidentiality regarding information about
- the Rhode Island philanthropic landscape.
- on-line fundraising and social media tools.
- Proof fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or obtains a qualified
approved exemption prior to employment start date. Being fully
vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past
their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen.
- Ability to work outdoors under various weather conditions.
- Flexibility to work weekends, holidays and occasional
- Occasional travel via all modes of transportation.
- Successful completion of a background check and valid state
- Occasionally lifts and/or moves up to 10 pounds.
Interested candidates are encouraged to send a cover letter and
Roger Williams Park Zoo
ATTN: Director of Development
1000 Elmwood Ave
Providence, RI 02907
We love diversity! We strongly encourage people of all
colors, races, sexual orientations, genders, gender identities,
sexual preferences, physical abilities, mental abilities, income
levels, backgrounds and experiences apply.