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Director of Donor Engagement

Job Details

SALARY & FLSA: $110,000 - $135,000 per year; FLSA exempt

OPENING DATE: 05/10/2024

CLOSING DATE: 06/07/2024

JOB TYPE: Regular, Full-time

UNION: Non-Represented



DEPARTMENT: Development



This leadership role, within the Development team, is responsible for visioning, leading, and implementing centralized development communications, special events, annual giving, and stewardship (between $3M to $4M in annual philanthropic revenue). The position leads 6 full time employees on the Donor Relations and Annual Giving teams. Additionally, this role collaborates with the zoo’s Engagement team to integrate seamless branding, messaging and storytelling and serves as a member of the zoo’s Senior Leadership Team.


More than 1.3 million people visit Woodland Park Zoo each year. We connect people with wildlife and remind them of what’s at stake in our changing world. Our job is to motivate people to take action and provide them with the tools needed to join us in saving endangered species. Working for the zoo means upholding our mission, “To save wildlife and inspire everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.” Apply today and show us how you zoo.

As our new Director of Donor Engagement, we know you will be successful in this role because you are:

  • A Creative Visionary: You have high creative problem solving and organizational skills and are able to share that vision to motivate others to execute the plan.
  • Relationship Builder: You are great at collaborating and establishing strong working relationships and partnerships with your team, cross-departmentally, and with the public.
  • Superior Written and Verbal Communication: Able to synthesize information from diverse sources and formulate strong cases for support with the ability to communicate effectively and deliver exceptional customer service.
  • Analytical: You are strong with data analysis, creating and monitoring projections and determining return on investment, and are able to use the data to tailor strategic communication.
  • Tech Savvy: You have strong computer skills and are apt and working with customized and/or other database management tools, performing mail merges and conducting internet research. You are proficient with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Teams) and data analytics.
  • Variety in Your Work and Schedule: You thrive in a fast-paced environment where you have to set priorities and manage multiple tasks, agendas and projects. You have the ability to work a non-standard/flexible schedule which may include weekends, evenings, and holidays.


  • Lead donor relations team in coordinating with all frontline fundraisers in support of fundraising events and annual campaigns to ensure goals are met and/or exceeded.  
  • Lead the annual giving team in the development and implementation of multi-channel, forward-thinking annual giving plans designed to continue the upward trajectory of the zoo’s annual fund in revenue and donors, in alignment with industry trends and best practices. 
  • Maintain a talented team and support the ongoing professional development and cross training of the Donor Relations staff.
  • Manage a targeted portfolio (20 to 40 households and organizations) for a specified group of high-level annual giving and event-related prospects, which may also include prospects affiliated with corporations. 
  • Drive integration of the broader zoo brand and campaign messaging across multiple platforms by partnering with Development leadership.
  • Establish and manage the execution of a results-oriented, metrics-based special events program, with special emphasis on an innovative, creative and continuous realignment of events with key target audiences (including the Board of Directors) and fundraising priorities as appropriate and necessary.  
  • Provide strategic and tactical leadership for the Jungle Party Executive Committee, event chairs, Jungle Party itself and associated audience development strategies, auction item procurement and stewardship/donor engagement. 
  • Align donor stewardship and communications efforts with fundraising goals, strategies and campaigns, advancing a culture of gratitude focused on increasing donor retention and communicating gift impacts.  
  • Research, evaluate and oversee effective models for engaging new donor audiences, with respect to the zoo’s existing governance and volunteer structures and programmatic evolutions.  
  • Develop and monitor the annual budgets for philanthropic events, annual giving, and stewardship.  
  • Participate in setting departmental goals and be a voice in creating giving policies and procedures. 
  • Ensure compliance with all related national and local policies and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics. 
  • Represent Woodland Park Zoo at fundraising and other events. 



  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Seven (7) or more years of demonstrated successful fundraising experience in a diversity of fundraising environments with at least 3 years of experience supervising staff.
  • Strategic communications experience is a plus.  
  • Proven major gifts and corporate fundraising experience; including having raised five-figure individual and corporate gifts.  
  • Demonstrated computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office (particularly Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Teams) and data analytics. 
  • Successful applicants must live and work in Washington State to perform this role.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a valid WA driver's license with a safe driving history.



  • The Woodland Park Zoo offers a comprehensive benefits package for fulltime staff including:
  • Medical, dental, and vision HMO and PPO plans for you and eligible dependents
  • 11 paid holidays and 2 personal holidays 
  • Accrue 12 vacation days and another 12 days of sick your first year
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) 
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 
  • Tuition reimbursement 
  • Free zoo membership that includes zoo admission and discounts after 90 days 
  • 4 complimentary tickets per year plus other discounts and perks  
  • Free staff parking 
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan 


Application: Please include a resume and cover letter with your application through our Zoo Careers site at Please be sure to list or upload copies of all relevant training and certifications on your application. The zoo may review existing application pools to fill this position or use this pool to fill future vacancies. 


This opportunity is open to all candidates that meet the qualifications. Woodland Park Zoo values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The zoo encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, 2SLGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experiences. Woodland Park Zoo is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in all its services. If you need accommodation in the application or interview process, please contact our recruiting team at


Screening: We will review applications and select some candidates for screening calls. Final candidates will be invited for virtual or in-person interviews.


Offer: Job offers are contingent on the verification of credentials and other information required by the employment process including the completion of a background check.



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