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Cleveland Zoological Society

The Cleveland Zoological Society, est. 1957, is the nonprofit partner and advocate for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and both organizations share a mission: We create compelling experiences that connect people with wildlife and inspire personal responsibility for conserving the natural world. The Zoo Society has the largest membership base in Northeast Ohio (more than 40,000 households) and the Zoo annually serves more than 1 million visitors and is one of the top zoos in the nation.

Major Gifts Officer

The Major Gifts Officer will have primary responsibility for the solicitation of philanthropic gifts from individuals to support Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Zoological Society.  This position will be charged to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of donors and prospects which will require face-to-face interactions with the expectation that they will host frequent one-on-one meetings on the Zoo campus and often travel for donor meetings in the Northeast Ohio region.  Reporting to the Director of Development and as part of the development team, the incumbent will be expected to work collegially and in partnership with Zoo and Zoo Society colleagues.  A successful candidate will be a highly motivated, organized and articulate solicitor; must articulate a compelling case for support and solicit funding; a quick learner who will thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment; must be comfortable facilitating, communicating and working with a wide range of individuals.  The candidate will be required to synthesize and summarize information, track and manage multiple deadlines, work independently and reliably, and be productive and efficient during the campaign including intensive periods of planning and development.  Major gifts support the mission and our campaign for the future Zoo.

Position Responsibilities

  • Actively manage a portfolio of 150-180 major gift prospects with a giving potential of $25,000 and up; develop and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies for each.
  • Participate in all aspects of gift cycle:  (1) contact potential donors; (2) develop appropriate cultivation strategies; (3) in an appropriate and timely fashion, move prospects toward solicitation and gift closure; (4) make solicitations when appropriate; (5) steward donors after gift is made; and (6) generate regular donor contact reports.
    • Accurately track moves in Raiser’s Edge database.
  • Executes a donor-centric moves management engagement strategy that will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors to secure gifts and multi-year pledges from individuals.
  • Knowledge of planned giving vehicles.
  • Develop strategies to build strong stakeholder relationships with the Zoo’s Executive Director, the Zoo Society’s Executive Director, Director of Development and other senior staff of the Zoo, Zoo Society and its Board of Trustees.
  • Recruit, train and manage trustee volunteers who will actively participate in the rating, cultivating, and soliciting of major gift prospects.
  • Steward and re-cultivate assigned major gift donors.
  • Participate as a member of the Zoo Society event team.
  • Special projects and other duties as assigned.

Experience Required

Qualifications: • Bachelor’s degree and 5+ years of development experience required • Self-starter and highly motivated with demonstrated ability to coordinate and follow assignments through to completion • Proven track record of securing major philanthropic gifts • Excellent Microsoft Word and Excel skills and Raiser’s Edge database experience preferred

Further Comments

Required Skills: • Excellent verbal and written communication skills • High degree of energy, creativity, flexibility, organization and interpersonal skills • Self-motivated and comfortable working both independently and collaboratively • Work respectfully across all management units and donor constituencies • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information • Extremely detail-oriented and resourceful; must produce polished and highly accurate work • Goal-oriented and confident solicitor


insurance, PTO, retirement plan


65-80k, commensurate with experience

How to Apply

Please submit electronic cover letter and resume, including salary requirements, to by Friday, March 17, 2017

Cleveland Zoological Society
3900 Wildlife Way
Cleveland, OH 44109
Phone: 2166616500

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