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Major Gifts Officer 


This is your opportunity to join Woodland Park Zoo as a Major Gifts Officer with the Development Team! This is a full-time, regular, benefitted position.

This position contributes to the creation and execution of strategies for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of a portfolio of 100+ major gift prospects, including individuals, corporations, foundations and/or institutions with a capability of $10,000 to $1,000,000. As a key contributor to the success of Woodland Park Zoo’s comprehensive fundraising program, this position works closely with dynamic development and senior leadership colleagues to determine effective strategies for identified donors and prospects


  • Under the general direction of the Director of Individual Giving, develops and executes successful fundraising strategies and tactics for donors and prospects within assigned portfolio in support of Woodland Park Zoo’s annual fundraising goals and objectives; assists with creation of individual work plan.
  • Actively manages 100+ major gift relationships through the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship process; discusses donor assets proficiently and listens for opportunities for gifts of assets or other non-cash gifts, such as planned gifts; and provides opportunity for donors to receive recognition and increase future giving.
  • Creates an expanded pipeline, generates new leads, develops new audiences, and qualifies major gift prospects from research, prospect tracking tools, fundraising colleagues and prior experience; works with the Development team to oversee and identify major donor and planned gift prospects for project, operating and endowment support from an array of sources including the zoo's membership base, corporations and foundations.
  • Helps refine donor messaging about campaign initiatives by working with colleagues throughout the zoo.
  • Communicates the zoo’s fundraising priorities to a diverse community and helps position the zoo as the region’s premier global conservation and education organization.
  • Partners frequently with zoo colleagues across diverse departments to engage current and prospective donors.
  • Remains diligent and disciplined in entering all appropriate information into Raiser’s Edge database: maintains appropriate records and prepares timely follow-up analyses and reports of personal fundraising efforts.
  • Understands and complies with all Woodland Park Zoo gift-related policies and procedures and ensures ethical compliance, as defined by the Association for Fundraising Professionals.
  • Supports Board Members, volunteers and staff as philanthropy liaison to review and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Collaborates with all Development staff to ensure successful integration of major gift programs with the zoo’s annual fund.
  • Writes briefing reports and proposals, and assists with other donor communications as requested.
  • Conducts prospect research as appropriate
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s (B.A. or B.S.) degree from an accredited four-year college or university; and three or more years fundraising experience with proven results; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License.
  • Proven experience soliciting major gifts of $10,000 and above, initiating major gift fundraising strategies; knowledge of and experience with development/fundraising concepts and techniques, as well as gift planning and procedures.
  • Ability to build and maintain long-term relationships with fundraising constituents including major donors, board members, and volunteers; as well as experience managing and advancing relationships with multiple prospects and donors.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training related to current trends in charitable giving in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts, and planned giving.
  • Superior written, verbal, interpersonal, and organizational communications skills, including writing skills that demonstrate clarity and precise messaging, and effective public presentation skills in small and large groups.
  • Ability to analyze research to data to align donors with appropriate projects.
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to balance and prioritize multiple tasks and requests, and meet deadlines in a professional manner.
  • Ability to collaborate and drive results.
  • Strong problem solving ability.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively; willingness to share credit for success.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with tact and discretion.
  • Working familiarity with high-level event planning concepts.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office, specifically Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  • Available to work a non-standard/flexible schedule, including weekends, evenings, and holidays.


  • Major gifts experience and/or training.
  • Diversified experience with large and small non-profits.
  • Raiser’s Edge or other equivalent database program experience.


  • This position may be required to lift up to 50lbs.
  • 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 outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

APPLICATION DIRECTIONS: Applications are only accepted online through our Jobs page ( or this posting. No other forms of application will be accepted. Cover letter and resume are required.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted until the position is 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 DOE  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Reports To Director, Individual Giving  
Category Development/Fundraising  
Close Date  
Number of Openings 3  
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-19-00015  

This position is currently accepting applications.

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