Senior Vice President of Development

Organization: Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Brookfield, IL, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. The Society is an active partner in wildlife protection programs around the world, including the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the world’s longest-running study of bottlenose dolphins. We have pioneered the field of conservation psychology, the study of how people connect with animals and nature. We are able to reach so many audiences each year, including 2 million zoo guests engaged by unique exhibits and programs; some 250,000 schoolchildren, campers, and families who participate in award-winning science education programs; nearly 24,000 teachers who take part in our professional development workshops; and, diverse communities across Chicagoland. The animals at Brookfield Zoo are ambassadors to those in the wild. Through care and breeding and, in some cases, reintroduction to their natural habitat, we replenish nature many times over. Thanks to generous donations, thousands of animals representing 400 species receive state-of-the-art care through top-notch medical, husbandry, and nutrition programs. In fact, animal care technologies developed at Brookfield Zoo are employed in 165 countries.

Working closely with the Chief Advancement Officer, the Senior Vice President of Development is leading the philanthropic development program in support of the Chicago Zoological Society’s mission, vision and values. The Senior VP of Development develops, communicates and oversees implementation of strategic and operational plans to achieve institutional and Group goals. This includes collaborating with staff in the Advancement Group to coordinate best practices and processes amongst the Group to ensure institutional and financial sustainability.

As the Senior VP of Development responsibilities are not limited to but will include:

•Actively maintains an appropriate and sufficient size pool of major and leadership gift prospects to achieve annual goals including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of assigned prospects and assisting Development staff with these activities.

•Works closely with the Chief Advancement Officer to develop and execute fully integrated plans to achieve annual goals and increase philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and private family foundations for the Society and the Zoo, including capital, annual, programmatic, endowment, and planned giving programs, as well as overall strategies and operations of Development-related annual and special events, prospect research and records, and accurate and timely reports on fund-raising results.

•With the objective of maximizing immediate and long-term restricted and unrestricted giving, prepares written development plans; works closely with CAO to develop and execute a multi-year comprehensive campaign; works closely with Executive Management Team to identify projects and needs and to identify and evaluate prospects, define cultivation and solicitation strategies, and define philanthropic priorities; and assists CAO and CEO with identification and cultivation of prospects for Board involvement.

•Manages Development Directors on the development and implementation of annual operating plans for individual and planned giving to achieve established annual and long-range goals; establishes a short-term and long-term strategic Development plan; and, works with the leaders of conservation funding initiatives, marketing/communications, public affairs, and membership programs to ensure comprehensive and fully integrated Advancement Group programs.

•Provides leadership to and management of staff, actively participates in and supports the employee survey process and develops implements and manages the Development operating budget.

The requirements for this position include:

•Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Sciences, or other relevant business-related field or equivalent combination of training and experience required.

•Ten years relevant experience, including development and fundraising experience with a not-for-profit organization(s), including longevity in a leadership position, demonstrated success in comprehensive capital and annual campaign development, soliciting and securing sponsorships and major gifts from both private and public sources, institutional planning, and significant experience working with Board(s) of Trustees required.

•Strategic thinking and orientation; solid planning with excellent organizational skills and follow-up abilities required. Must be proactive with respect to development requirements, both short-term and long-term.

•Minimum five years proven staff, budget, and department management experience required. Must be an effective people manager and strong team leader.

•Must possess outstanding interpersonal skills and an ability to deal with all levels of staff and establish and build strong rapport and maintain effective relationships. Must have an understanding and sensitivity to public and private partnerships. Ability to maintain the confidentiality of privileged information required.

•Must be an articulate, well-spoken individual, capable of effectively representing the organization to various audiences, both within and outside the organization. Solid written communications and speaking/platform skills required.

•Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment, deal with emergent issues, juggle multiple projects and internal/external high-level officials. Must be able to work effectively under pressure and effectively manage sensitive/crisis Development issues.

•Must be computer proficient; proficiency in word processing and database management software packages essential.

•Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.

•Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

The desirable/preferred qualifications include:

•Master’s degree in Arts, Sciences, or other relevant business-related field a plus.

•Experience with Raiser’s Edge and Microsoft Office Suite software a plus.

•Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.

The Senior VP of Development is expected to be present and visible at events sponsored by the Society for employees, Board members, and other audiences, including in evenings, on weekends, and in early mornings, as needed. Regular travel to visit donors or other constituents or events is required. It is not unusual for workweeks of 55+ hours.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer - M/F/V/D.

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile. Please visit our website at Please look for requisition 1220.