Director of Annual Giving

Organization: National Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Baltimore, MD, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The National Aquarium is seeking a dynamic fundraiser to fill the key role of Director of Annual Giving.

Under the leadership of the Senior Director of Individual Giving, the Director of Annual Giving is responsible for the development and management of a comprehensive, strategic, integrated effort to build the base of individual donors and increase the level of support through annual giving at the Aquarium. The Director will coordinate a year-round cultivation and solicitation program that supports all annual fund programs and efforts.

Reporting to the Senior Director of Individual Giving, the Director of Annual Giving is a member of the Aquarium Management team.


• Develop a working knowledge of the National Aquarium in general and funding priorities specifically so as to articulate a compelling case for support to all constituents.

• Develop, with the Senior Director of Individual Giving and the Chief Development Officer, a written master plan and calendar for all phases of annual giving, including, but not limited to, mail and phone segmentation, unrestricted giving at all levels, member solicitation, and staff engagement.

• Work closely with the Database Administrator to monitor and track timely gifts for all annual giving programs.

• Identify major gift prospects and introduce major and planned giving concepts.

• Research and incorporate “best practices” into NA's annual giving strategies.

Annual Fund Program and Management

• Develop and lead a comprehensive annual giving program, with a goal of increasing donor participation and gift giving through all channels direct mail, telephone and digital.

• Work closely with Marketing to ensure NA's website is best positioned to inspire, solicit, and accept donations

• Oversee budgets, progress, deadlines, goals and objectives related to annual giving and responsibilities.

• Track/monitor development activities and accomplishments and submit timely reports to the Senior Director of Individual Giving and others as required

• Develop fundraising materials and manage the direct mail program for the Annual Fund, including case statement, solicitation letters, pledge confirmation and reminder text, and gift acknowledgment text

• Conduct strategy and execute plan for NA Giving Circles

• Conduct personal and telephone solicitations as appropriate in general, the Director should spend about 50% of his/her time generating 8-10 personal visits per month.

• Model and support a culture of a donor-centered office and assist in donor relations, including stewardship activities

• Participate in efforts to enhance a gift recognition program

• Ensure that the National Aquarium is registered for all workplace giving campaigns and meets state charitable giving requirements by renewing applications on a yearly basis. Maintain listings on Charity Navigator and Guidestar.

Communications and Donor Relations

• Work with appropriate staff and vendors on the production and management of all direct mail campaigns, phone, mailing, donor and prospect lists, donor relations and benefits, annual fund event activities, and thank you letter process.

• Provide excellent customer service, anticipating and exceeding the needs of donors and prospective donors, as well as all other internal and external customers

• Serve as an active prospect identifier, targeting prospects for personal visits to move annual donors through the donor circles into the next giving level.

• Make creative connections between and among people, events, programs, and their associated circles

• Create and implement an appropriate annual giving circle or recognition program.

• Assist with Development functions after normal business hours as needed

Requirements• Bachelor's degree required and 5-8 years of experience in annual giving, including direct mail, donor relations and web based fundraising.

• Must possess knowledge of fundraising principles and practices and maintain a professional, polished demeanor.

• Demonstrated motivational and problem solving capabilities with a high degree of integrity, ethics, and dedication to the mission of the National Aquarium.

• Detailed oriented, with strong organizational, analytical and planning skills.

• Demonstrated excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, which transcend diverse audiences

• Adaptive and flexible with an ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks and a variety of demands

• Demonstrated ability to take initiative, with the ability to work independently as well as in a team.

• Commitment to maintain confidentiality and a high degree of accuracy in donor records.

• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and promote a positive working environment and spirit of cooperation.

• Working knowledge of NA CRM system a plus.

• Ability to work evenings or weekends as needed, additional hours during peak times or as required.

• Sense of humor a must

About the National Aquarium

The National Aquarium opened in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1981 as a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization, the jewel of the city's Inner Harbor redevelopment, which became known as 'Baltimore's miracle.' With a mission to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures, it is considered one of the nation's top three aquaria and has served over 40 million guests since opening.

In 2003, the successful Baltimore facility was invited by the original National Aquarium, which had been housed in the Commerce Building in Washington, DC since 1932, to merge operations, thus creating a truly national institution with two venues and over 1.5 million annual visitors.

Together, the National Aquarium's two venues hold living collections of more than 16,000 animals representing more than 660 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals living in award-winning, naturalistic habitats. The Aquarium's field conservation and educational outreach teams go well beyond the facility's walls to offer transforming experiences throughout the region. Over 70,000 school children are touched by educational programs annually, while the conservation team and its volunteers have restored over 150 acres of Chesapeake Bay wetlands and planted over one million native plants and trees.

An economic engine for both of its host cities, the National Aquarium's annual economic impact is greater than $330 million, and it creates over 3,300 jobs and attracts nearly 1.6 million visitors annually. Aquarium veteran John Racanelli joined the organization as its CEO in July 2011, and has since led the senior team and Board in identifying three strategic goals, each of which is supported by several measurable objectives:

• Operate sustainably

• Improve organizational effectiveness

• Be national

As the nation's aquarium, the organization is dedicated to promoting science-based conservation action to address critical issues that impact marine and coastal ecosystems. With over 1000 volunteers and 60,000 members, the National Aquarium is focused on changing the way the world views oceans and aquatic systems by instilling a sense of urgency around protecting the planet's life support system. In service of this, the Aquarium has launched a ten-year, $100 million capital development program to renovate and energize both facilities. The first step in this program is now underway at the Baltimore venue, where a $12.6 million, completely reimagined exhibit called Blacktip Reef opens in June 2013.

To apply, please visit and apply online.