Director of Marketing and Development

Organization: Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History (AZA Member)
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History

Director of Marketing and Development

General Statement of Duties

The Director of Marketing and Development is responsible, in close cooperation with the President and CEO, for helping to build the private support base and reputation of the Great Plains Zoo. The position oversees staff in both Marketing and Development, by managing all in-house marketing efforts, including advertising, public relations, collateral development and business sales – as well as all development department functions including, but not limited to acknowledgments, database management, membership development, coordinating appeal mailings and other related mailings; donor research and special events management. The Director of Development is also responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining systems that ensure the successful and effective implementation of the department’s annual development plan, including strategic fundraising planning, grant writing, corporate sponsorships and donor cultivation.

The goal of this position is to generate revenue through pursuing, securing and facilitating corporate sponsorships, philanthropic gifts and memberships. This will be accomplished through strategic planning, effective writing and communication skills, and by working in collaboration with others to identify appropriate opportunities which directly benefit the Great Plains Zoo. These opportunities will include working with other Zoo staff on marketing, public relations, special events, exhibits, programs, hospitality and volunteering; creating written proposals and grant requests; making presentations to individuals, corporate partners and service clubs; setting and following up on meetings; ensuring all information is databased and accessible; and cultivation of donors.



Maintains an enthusiastic, self-reliant and self-starting approach to job responsibilities and accountability. Strives to anticipate work load and initiate proper acceptable direction for the completion of work with a minimum of supervision or instruction.

Shares knowledge with and advises the President/CEO and VPO for mutual and organizational benefit. Develops and maintains cooperative and courteous relationships with Zoo staff, volunteers, Board members, and the general public. Tactfully and respectfully, handles requests, suggestions and complaints from other departments and persons in order to maintain good working relations within the Zoo and Museum.


• Manage media relations, pitch and develop stories, serve as a secondary spokesperson, write and edit news releases and related pieces (FAQs, backgrounders, etc.)

• Develop and implement strategic advertising plan.

• Manage a strong membership renewal and acquisition effort.

• Help drive revenue by promoting visits, education programs, retail, group sales, memberships, and other revenue lines.

• Oversee the development and implementation of a wide variety of collateral and creative efforts, including ad buys and placement.

• Must have ability to articulate the Zoo’s mission and multiple projects and efforts that serve the mission.

• Track success of multiple marketing efforts.


• Manage and foster the Zoo’s existing corporate relationships while researching, identifying and securing new corporate sponsors and donors for the Zoo’s special events, exhibits and programs

• Cultivate major individual donors

• Manage special projects and relationships (i.e. sponsorships, sponsor events and cross promotions).

• Manage and foster the Zoo’s Business Membership/Corporate Sponsorship Programs while researching, identifying and securing new corporate partners.

• Administer all tasks required to prepare, present/submit and manage sponsorship/grant proposals.

• Provide ultimate guest service through developing and activating all elements of each sponsorship, philanthropic gift and membership; including hands-on involvement in events and programs.

• Utilize research and knowledge of the corporate community by developing and maintaining a prospect list for corporate sponsorship/donor and membership opportunities.

• Identify and develop new sponsorship and philanthropic opportunities.

• Conduct thorough research on prospective donors and summarize findings in a clear and concise manner.

• Ensure membership and donor databases are current, useable and accurate by working directly with the database and advising staff members.

• Ensure acknowledgement of donations and memberships are sent promptly and the associated information has been entered into the database.

• Provide quality guest service to both internal and external guests.

• Work collaboratively with other departments including: Guest Services, Volunteers and Education to meet the Zoo’s overall revenue goals and objectives.

• Effectively deliver presentations about the Zoo and its mission to services clubs and other interested groups.

• Identify grant opportunities and, working with other departments, complete and submit grant applications.

• Provide main coordination for fundraising events benefiting the Great Plains Zoo.

Guest Services

• May be called upon to work special events or meetings during evenings or weekends.

• Works closely with Guest Services staff to work cooperatively on projects and sharing staff whenever possible.


• Participates in continuing education programs and maintains professional affiliations to improve departmental expertise.

• Performs other tasks as assigned by the President/CEO and VPO.

*This is by no means an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts, or working conditions associated with the job. Management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change (e.g. emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs, or technological developments).


The Director of Marketing and Development reports directly to the President and CEO.

Education, Experience and Qualifications

Requires a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of related work experience. Experience working with non-profit organizations with a proven track record of success in corporate communications, media relations, management or the solicitation of corporate sponsorship and philanthropic gifts preferred. Familiarity with fundraising software is beneficial. Position requires a strategic thinker and active doer.


• Strong sales skills, self motivated, detail oriented.

• Strong oral and written communication skills; ability to write clear, structured, articulate, and persuasive proposals.

• Strong editing skills.

• Ability to manage multiple projects concurrently and meet deadlines.

• Microsoft Office proficiency required.

• Ability to provide quality customer service to both internal and external customers.

• Ability to work in a team environment.

• Requires valid driver’s license.

• Required to pass a pre-employment background check.


The Director of Marketing and Development supervises two Development support positions, as well as two Marketing positions.

Health & Safety

Must be able to lift and carry up to 30 pounds. Must be certified for CPR and emergency first aid.

About the Organization

The Great Plains Zoo educates more than 251,000 visitors as well as members of the community about animals and our natural world through up-close animal encounters. In addition to year-round open hours for the Zoo and Museum, we educate nearly 46,000 area children through ZooMobile programs, ZooCamps, classes and events. The Zoo also provides care for more than 1,000 animals from penguins and tigers to cheetahs, giraffes and zebras, and is a key player nationally in breeding 18 endangered species.

Applicants should send Cover Letter and Resume to:

President and CEO

Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History

805 S Kiwanis Ave

Sioux Falls, SD 57104