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Denver Zoo

Foundation Partnerships Manager-Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo seeks an experienced and proactive fund raising professional to join our development team as the Foundation Partnerships Manager and advance our mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. The right candidate for the Foundation Partnerships Manager position is a confident self-starter who thrives in a fast-paced environment that values results.  He/she is tenacious, persistent, and driven to succeed in managing the foundation/institutional partnerships program. Success will require the following qualities:

  • Self-motivated, self-sufficient, and driven to achieve success;
  • Strategic, proactive, and forward thinking;
  • Persuasive, outgoing, and confident;
  • Possesses the highest standards of personal and professional integrity; and
  • Adheres to and promotes Denver Zoo's mission, core values, and strategic initiatives.


Reporting to the Director of Corporate and Foundation Partnerships (CFP), the Foundation Partnerships Manger at Denver Zoo is a key member of the CFP team and will manage the identification, engagement, solicitation, and stewardship of an assigned portfolio of existing and prospect foundation/institutional funders with the goal of significantly increasing revenues from this sector and advancing Denver Zoo's mission and goals.


 Cultivation and Solicitation: (60%)

  • Manages an assigned portfolio of existing and prospective institutional funders (i.e., foundations and governmental granting agencies) with the goal of significantly increasing revenues from this sector.
  • Meets or exceeds annual revenue goals for institutional grants by maintaining a robust proposal pipeline and continuously prospecting for significant new funding opportunities/fits.
  • Under the guidance of the CFP Director and in collaboration with program staff, creates compelling opportunities for institutional funders to support Zoo priorities, including for capital projects, conservation, research, education, animal care/welfare, veterinary medicine, and guest engagement, among others.
  • In collaboration with the CFP Director, develops and coordinates the execution of actionable cultivation and solicitation strategies for current and prospective funders, including the appropriate utilization of key executives, program staff, and/or Trustees.
  • Assists Chief Development Officer (CDO) as needed in the preparation of briefing materials, necessary reports/data, and/or other presentation materials for CDO and/or President/CEO for meetings with foundation executives.
  • Authors, co-authors, and/or edits content, budgets, and supporting documentation for funding proposals, with great attention to detail, and working closely relevant staff to ensure accuracy of information.
  • Maintains accurate, timely, and comprehensive records in CRM database (Raiser's Edge), including key contacts, decision-makers/influencers, contact reports, next steps, and tracking of proposal and stewardship activity.

Grants Management and Stewardship: (20%)

  • Manages grant reporting process and fulfillment of requirements for open grants to meet required deadlines. Tracks reporting deadlines and task assignments for open grants in RE database.
  • Provides excellent internal support to liaise with Denver Zoo program colleagues to generate narrative and financial reports to fulfill reporting requirements.
  • Ensures thorough review and necessary approvals of reports by relevant program, finance, and development staff. Works with Development Services Coordinator to compile content, assemble according to guidelines, and submit all narrative and financial reports to funders in advance of required deadlines.
  • Manages overall stewardship plan for foundations to include both personal contact and updates from relevant Denver Zoo partners and works creatively to identify new stewardship opportunities for institutional funders.
  • Works with Development Services Coordinator to ensure fulfillment of donor recognition in accordance with grant agreements and with proper approvals by relevant staff, as appropriate. Maintains up-to-date contact information for recipients of stewardship reports in RE database.

Prospect Research and Analysis (15%)

  • Continuously identifies opportunities to grow the pipeline of prospective institutional funders. Establishes requisite processes in collaboration with program and Development colleagues to identify and qualify prospective funders and assess "fit" with Denver Zoo priorities.
  • Evaluates and qualifies new leads/prospect through research and discussion with colleagues, senior leadership, and program staff.

 Other Administrative (10%)

  • Tracks foundation revenues against budget/goals and provides monthly updates to CFP Director and CDO.
  • Hosts VIP and behind-the-scenes tours with foundation leaders and other development guests/prospects.
  • Staffs special events at the Zoo, as needed, particularly those with a Development component.
  • Collaborates with other Zoo departments to understand projects, priorities, and to identify new funding opportunities. Serves as a liaison to other Zoo departments and on Zoo committees, as assigned.
  • Represents Zoo, particularly in the Denver Metro area, with relevant foundation and professional organizational and associations that advances CFP goals and objectives.
  • Keeps current on news, trends, and best practices associated with foundation grants.
  • Stays abreast of philanthropic, economic, social and community trends related to the Denver Zoo.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to Denver Zoo's Safety & Sustainability Policies by adhering to all environmental, safety, & health regulations, procedures, and goals.
  • Adheres to and promotes Denver Zoo's mission, core values, and strategic initiatives.
  • Value and consistently apply Denver Zoo's ROADMAP (Reaching Our Audiences by Developing Mission Aligned Programs) process and resources in engaging and educating guests at Denver Zoo.


  • Indirect reports may include administrative staff, volunteers and interns. 


  • Bachelor's degree required, along with 4-6 years of progressively responsible experience in foundation relations and fundraising from multiple granting entities.
  • Demonstrated success in foundation, corporate and/or government grants, including experience with soliciting/closing multiple five, six-figure or higher grants and related portfolio management required.
  • Enthusiasm for fundraising, prospecting, and planning. Strong customer service and interpersonal skills.
  • Positive personality and willingness to work as part of a team.
  • Knowledge of local and national foundation community.
  • Effective proposal writing skills, with attention to detail, and ability to present information and ideas in a visually compelling manner.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and multiple, concurrent tasks, exhibit flexibility, and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to analyze and present data effectively, prioritize work/deadlines, and align time/effort with opportunities.
  • Acts with tact and discretion, respecting confidentiality and proprietary information.
  • Proficient with CRM systems (Raisers Edge preferred), MSOffice and Internet required.
  • Knowledge of relevant online research tools (e.g. Foundation Directory Online) strongly preferred.
  • Possesses a passion for Denver Zoo and its mission and engages prospects with the same passion.
  • Ability to travel locally and sometimes out-of-state, occasionally work after hours and on weekends, and operate an automobile.
  • Clear driving record. (If selected must be able to pass a MVR Motor Vehicle Records review).
  • Ability to pass drug and alcohol screening.
  • Ability to pass reference and background check.
  • Provide negative TB test result prior to start date if hired.


The physical demands for this position are low. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk, talk and listen.  The employee frequently is required to use hands to maneuver handle or feel objects, tools or controls.  The employee is occasionally required to sit, climb or balance; also, reach, stoop and kneel.  Specific vision abilities required include close, distance, color, peripheral, depth perception vision and ability to adjust focus. The position requires both mental and visual concentration.


This position requires a substantial amount of contact with staff, donors, volunteers, and other departments.

The employee occasionally works near moving mechanical parts and in outside weather conditions and may be occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles and chemicals.  The noise level in the work environment is usually low to medium.

This is a full-time Denver Zoological Foundation position with complete medical and dental benefits, 403(b) retirement plan with employer match, and generous vacation package.

Completed applications must be submitted by Friday March 3, 2017

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer


How to Apply

Please apply by using this link

Denver Zoo
2300 Steele Street
Denver, CO 80205

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