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San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Direct Response Specialist (Fundraising)- San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Are you inspired to be a part of an organization committed to protecting wildlife around the globe? San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a mission-based, non-profit wildlife conservation organization with two world famous front doors where we unite our passion for wildlife, expertise in wildlife care, and conservation science to save species from the brink of extinction. Our commitment is to provide visits to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park as opportunities to learn about and engage with best-in-class conservation work, and how that work is changing outcomes for wildlife everyday.  

The Direct Response Specialist performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that supports San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliances' mission and vision of saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature and leading the fight against extinction.

The Direct Response Specialist assists in managing all aspects of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's various direct response fundraising programs. These include SDZWA's Monthly Giving Program (Wildlife Heroes), Wildlife Adoption Program, Vehicle Donation Program, Added Gift appeals for our membership base, and other miscellaneous direct response donor campaigns. These direct response programmatic campaigns span all areas of the donor lifecycle including acquisition, retention, upgrading, stewardship, and lapsed recapture efforts. This position reports to the Director of Membership.


  • Serves as the day-to-day administrator for SDZWA’s direct response fundraising initiatives including Monthly Giving (Wildlife Heroes), Wildlife Adoptions, Vehicle Donations, and Added Gift appeals for members.
  • Along with the Director of Membership, creates strategies for direct response fundraising campaigns, new donor acquisition, upgrading, retention appeals, donor stewardship, and donor feedback surveys.
  • Researches emerging giving trends, donor retention strategies, and innovative fundraising techniques for all direct response channels including direct mail, email, telemarketing, and digital advertising,
  • Conducts and shares data analysis of campaign performance, donor satisfaction, and retention KPIs.
  • Assists in the establishment of operating objectives and key performance indicators for direct response giving, donor acquisition, and conversion.
  • Devises new tactics and strategies to acquire donors, increase prospects, and build ongoing communication for all phases of the donor lifecycle.
  • With various departments to coordinate campaign and communication efforts related to direct response giving and other fundraising programs and projects.
  • Monitors online contribution and activity to the fundraising web and donation pages.
  • Project manages campaigns and tactics through the approval process from creative development to implementation to results analysis.
  • Partners with the Communications Team to develop persuasive marketing and fundraising content for donor fundraising emails, direct mail, telemarketing scripts, websites, advertisements, and social media communications.
  • Minimizes monthly donor attrition through stewardship, resolution of file and credit card issues, and strong donor communications.
  • Investigates donor issues that arise and coordinate with appropriate areas within the organization to ensure timely resolution.
  • Reconciles vendor invoices to ensure budget data is up to date and balanced.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is seeking an individual who is inspired to be a part of an organization that is committed to protecting wildlife around the globe. A leader to join us in our commitment to provide opportunities to learn about, engage with best-in-class conservation work, and share how that work is changing outcomes for wildlife every day through visits to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.


  • Five years of experience in direct response marketing and/or fundraising.
  • Track record of growing direct response giving programs and for a non-profit or other type of campaign.
  • Experience with growing and cultivating a monthly donor program for a non-profit or charitable organization.
  • Experience developing direct response fundraising campaigns for non-profit fundraising, advocacy, donor engagement, or a target-driven direct response agency.


  • Bachelor’s degree in communication or marketing required.
  • Specialized training should include professional experience in a non-profit organization, fundraising, or content marketing.
  • Valid California Driver License Upon Hire


Knowledge of:

  • Direct response fundraising campaign tactics and best practices.
  • Multi-channel fundraising and omni-channel marketing concepts, with preferred experience in monthly giving.
  • Proficient use of software programs, including Google Analytics.
  • Microsoft Office, including, Excel, Word, and Power Point.
  • General accounting principles.
  • Effective teamwork skills.
  • Proven and polished communication skillset, both written and verbal.


Ability to:

  • Analyze data to find inefficiencies, problem solve issues, and improve campaign performance.
  • Remain adaptable to changing priorities and meet deadlines for business needs.
  • Collaborate and work effectively with others in a diverse team environment.
  • Perform competitive research and make strategic recommendations to management.
  • Oversee production and quality assurance of direct response campaign assets.
  • Outstanding communication skills (both verbal and written).
  • Pay attention to detail and have effective organizational skills.
  • Work well under pressure and handle multiple time-sensitive tasks.
  • Communicate (written and verbal) effectively with internal and external contacts.
  • Manage time and projects effectively.
  • Maintain confidentiality of sensitive data.


  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Program 



  • Location: San Diego Zoo
  • Duration: Year Round
  • Exempt Position:  Salary is commensurate with experience
  • Candidates must be available for an interview if contacted. Full job description available upon request.



SAN DIEGO ZOO WILDLIFE ALLIANCE IS AN EEO/AA/DISABILITY/PROTECTED VETERAN EMPLOYER - San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every effort to ensure equal employment opportunities for all individuals and abides by EEO and nondiscrimination provisions of all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.

Join our team and build a career protecting wildlife around the globe with your passion for wildlife!

Other details

How to Apply

Direct Response Specialist (Fundraising)- San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance - Career Portal (

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 16192311515

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