Director, Institutional Giving (Grant Writer)

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.

As the Director of Institutional Giving (Grant Writer) at Chicago Zoological Society, you will be responsible for designing and developing efforts to secure philanthropic support for the organization to achieve and exceed fundraising goals to provide a sustainable future. Utilizing your prior experience, you will be responsible for seeking funding from local, regional, and national foundations, corporate foundations, and government agencies to support agreed-upon strategic initiatives, programs, and projects in alignment with institutional goals along with developing project-specific budgets and financial reports to be submitted with proposals and report. Drawing upon your strong communication and interpersonal skills, you will build, cultivate, and maintain personal relationships with key foundation, corporate foundation, and government agency leadership and staff and assist other institutional senior staff in building and maintaining their own personal relationships with key foundation leadership and staff. You will work closely with research staff, other development staff, and appropriate Society staff to aggressively and creatively identify new foundation and government grant funders. You will make use of your strong writing skills to provide strategic writing support to Directors of Major Gifts, Senior Vice President of Development ("SVP"), and Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement as well as work closely with the Development team to utilize and analyze data from Raiser's Edge to maximize campaign giving potential while supporting the annual fund program. Additionally, you will utilize Raiser's Edge in developing and implementing tracking system for foundation and government proposals, grants, reports, site visits and stewardship. As Director of Institutional Giving, you will maintain a thorough knowledge of issues and trends that may impact the Society's funding, prepare briefing documents to facilitate awareness and of discussion of strategic opportunities and challenges in building support for Society priorities. You will also plan special cultivation events in partnership with the Directors of Major Gifts and work with Development staff, Catered Events and Animal Programs to execute these events ensuring representation as appropriate of foundation, corporate foundation, and government agency participation in events and prepare required briefing materials.

The requirements for this position include:

• Bachelor's degree in Arts, Sciences, or equivalent combination of training and experience required.

• Minimum 7 years directly relevant development, foundation or competitive government funding experience.

• Demonstrated experience developing and executing strategic funding plans and programs, developing and managing budgets, and producing quality deliverables within stated timeframes. Proven track record securing major foundation and government funding.

• Creative individual; ability to think strategically and deal with changing priorities, emergent issues, multiple projects, and clients simultaneously.

• Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including verbal, written, listening, and presentation skills. Must be articulate and able to represent the organization effectively both internally and externally. Strong writing skills essential.

• Computer proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook skills required.

• Ability to maintain confidentiality of privileged information.

• Professional appearance and demeanor.

• Valid driver's license required for Illinois residents within 90 days of hire; valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

The Director of Institutional Giving is expected to be present and visible at development, marketing, and other events sponsored by the Society for its employees, Board members, and other professional participants and audiences, including evenings, early mornings, and weekends as needed. Normal workweeks of 50-55+ hours are not unusual. Some occasional local and domestic travel may be required.

The desirable/preferred qualifications include:

• Experience with Raiser's Edge or other database management software preferred.

• Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer - Minorities / Women / Veterans / Disabled.

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 118BR.