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Director, Individual Giving 


Woodland Park Zoo’s major giving and gift planning programs have great potential to build upon the momentum of its individual engagement strategy to propel the institution towards its next comprehensive fundraising campaign that aims to transform our zoo for the 21st century.

Reporting to the Vice President of Development, the Director of Individual Giving creates an overall giving strategy for significantly growing our major and planned gifts and ensuring our donors are inspired by Woodland Park Zoo’s mission and engaged in supporting the organization. This position is especially pivotal as Woodland Park Zoo embarks on the largest campaign in its history, playing a key role in the campaign’s overall success.

The Director of Individual Giving manages their own portfolio donors, and is responsible for strategy development, presentation materials, budgeting and all activities to cultivate, track and solicit all supporters of $25,000+ or more. In addition, the director will manage a frontline fundraising team that is responsible for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding supporters at the $5,000+ level. They will work across the organization to develop strategic and targeted giving opportunities for major donors. They will also work closely with the Relationship Data Services team on prospect research, portfolio development, oversight and tracking. The director leads a three person major and planned gifts team (with budgeted growth), and is responsible for the success of individual and team growth and performance to reach annual revenue goals.


  • Establish entrepreneurial and creative approaches to cultivate new major and planned giving donors to Woodland Park Zoo
  • Develop and implement strategy through setting the programming and direction of individual giving areas
  • Conduct analysis and assess performance to identify opportunities and inform annual and campaign plans
  • Manage a complex portfolio of 75 or more prospective donors at various stages of cultivation
  • Develop and manage relationships with new and existing individual donors, as well as individual family foundations
  • Create and implement an overall strategic plan for growing the Individual Giving program, including processes and metrics to support ongoing growth of the major gifts and planned giving programs
  • Lead and manage a team of major gifts officers to achieve annual revenue goals
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy among staff, Board members and donors
  • Oversee all major gift portfolios to ensure best practices in the qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major and planned gifts
  • Practice moves management to advance prospects towards solicitation and to continually replenish the individual donor pipeline, coordinating with the Annual Giving, Relationship Data Services, Philanthropic Events and other teams across the zoo
  • Use existing systems and processes to track donor/prospect activity and establish shared accountability for the Individual Giving team to utilize systems
  • Work directly with Board members to support fundraising initiatives
  • Partner with the Vice President of Development, Chief Advancement Officer, CEO and zoo leadership colleagues to build philanthropic engagement among Board members and other leadership volunteers
  • Collaborate with the Annual Giving and Philanthropic Events teams to establish and execute a comprehensive moves management process
  • Develop expertise in planned giving language and techniques and supervise/strengthen a planned giving program that includes marketing and recognition
  • Participate in setting departmental goals for individual giving and be a voice in creating giving policies and procedures
  • Support the ongoing professional development and cross training of the Individual Giving staff
  • Ensure compliance with all related national and local policies
  • Represent Woodland Park Zoo at fundraising and other events


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience
  • Ten or more years of development experience, with proficiency in annual fund and major gift work
  • Three or more years of experience in managing a team of gift officers
  • Strong experience developing and managing a fundraising team
  • Strong fundraising experience with a ten years or more years of demonstrated success raising five to six figure gifts
  • A proven successful record of achieving annual fundraising goals, as an individual and leading a team
  • Demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively with peers, staff and management
  • Mastery of fundraising best practices and ability to execute a tactical plan
  • Detailed understanding of bequests and other planned giving vehicles
  • Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge or similar CRM and fundraising software
  • Mission-related compatibility required


  • Ability to motivate, mentor and inspire a team to achieve fundraising goals, and support growing individual giving programs
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills
  • Comfort working with and alongside others towards a shared goal


Reasonable accommodations may be made to perform essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to a typical office environment and/or outdoor weather conditions. Willingness to work evenings and weekends as appropriate. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Applications are only accepted online through our Jobs page at; no other forms of application will be accepted. Cover letter and resume are REQUIRED when applying for this position. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Position open until filled.

Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.

About the Organization Award-winning Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting the standard for zoos all over the world. We connect people with wildlife and hit them in the heart with a visceral reminder 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. That means our conservation efforts start right here at the zoo and in our community.

Join us on our mission to save wildlife and inspire everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Pay Rate  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Reports To Vice President, Development  
Category Development/Fundraising  
Close Date  
Number of Openings 1  
Shift Days  
EOE Statement We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, genetics, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  
Req Number DEV-19-00002  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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