1300 W. Fulton St.
Grand Rapids, MI
Chief Development Officer SUMMARY In collaboration with CEO, the
Chief Development Officer designs, develops, and directs the
implementation of short and long-range plans and strategies to
develop, lead, manage, and promote all aspects of John Ball Zoo’s
advancement efforts focused in three primary areas: Development,
Donor Relations and community engagement. This position is also
responsible for Marketing, Government Affairs and Membership
strategy for the Zoo. The Chief Development Officer serves as a
liaison to the Board of Directors giving guidance to the
development and implementation of the Zoo’s strategic development
goals. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following,
other duties may be assigned Demonstrates leadership by
establishing credibility; acting with integrity; showing
commitment; inspiring, motivating and guiding team to achieve Zoo
objectives & goals.
Works collaboratively with other staff, develops and implements
budget for responsible departments.
Serves as a member of the JBZ Executive leadership team, and
participates in long range goal setting, planning and
Ensures adherence to best practices and highest ethical/conduct
standards in all areas of the department
Provides executive leadership in the productivity and
effectiveness of the department by assisting the CEO, the Board of
Directors, and the staff in advancing the mission of the Zoo.
Implements workable, practical, and sustainable processes that
enhance productivity in all areas of responsibility.
Provides timely and accurate financial updates for the CEO and
Leverages data to adjust and drive fundraising, marketing and PR
throughout the year.
Participates in board and committee meetings
Promotes an atmosphere of teamwork, enthusiasm, and commitment
to the Zoo’s missions and goals.
Provides leadership, direction and supervision to multiple
individuals and teams, maintaining strong working relationships
with all functional areas of John Ball Zoo.
Identifies and creates opportunities for individual growth and
continued development for direct reports, coach and deliver
performance appraisals and when necessary, administers disciplinary
actions for subordinate staff.
Development Lead the zoos development efforts related to the
identification, cultivation and solicitation of prospective donors
and current donors to match the donor’s interest with the zoos
needs resulting in increased charitable gifts/private
support-current and deferred.
Create and manage a multi-year development plan to support the
zoos strategic and facilities plans including setting and meeting
the departments operating budget including contributed revenue
goals for annual fund, foundation grants, board giving, fundraising
events and membership
Supervises grants and initiates exploratory work towards
developing a program to cultivate and solicit local, regional,
national philanthropic foundations on behalf of the zoo
Manage and approve the department’s annual budget and monitor
fundraising success towards meeting and exceeding financial
Work collaboratively with other AZA organizations and cultural
institutions on any common philanthropic activities
Develops and implement strategies to identify, cultivate, and
steward new funding sources.
Participates in the identification, cultivation, training and
mentoring of Zoo Board members.
Participates and provides support to the Board on selected
Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement Builds and
strengthens existing and new relationships with key external
constituencies such as; individual donors, foundations,
corporations, federal and state agencies, and community
Responsible for overseeing the John Ball Zoo Branding strategy,
oversees all social media, fundraising, marketing and external
communications related activities.
Represents Zoo to the public as needed.
Collaborates to establish achievable philanthropic, sponsorship,
event, membership, and marketing/public relations goals.
Drives marketing strategy and comprehensive written plan that
drives attendance, excitement and information regarding John Ball
Zoo. Includes a public relations and marketing calendar and planned
placements throughout the calendar year.
Develops and implements appropriate written policies for guiding
the marketing of the Zoo.
Drives a strong and strategic Community engagement plan and
External Sales Designs, develops and implements a comprehensive,
written plan for external business development that addresses the
revenue needs and goals of the Zoo.
Develop and implement strategies to identify, cultivate, and
steward new business partners and sponsors.
Develop new rental clients while maintaining customer service
and satisfaction goals.
Retain current business partners and clients while upgrading and
expanding their engagement with the Zoo
QUALIFICATIONS Strong Executive Presence and leadership
Thrives in a mission oriented environment, and is motivated by
the Zoo’s mission and brand to help lead the organization to
achieve its higher goals.
Ability to lead, motivate, and manage work teams to support
organizational objectives and goals.
Lead through cross functional teams
Able to think creatively and strategically to successfully
mediate and negotiate with individuals and groups.
Ability to interact positively with a wide array of individuals
from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
Basic computer literacy and working knowledge of word
processing, spreadsheet, desktop publishing, computer graphics,
multimedia presentation and database applications.
Demonstrated ability to prioritize and show flexibility with
Calm and effective problem solver
Required SPECIALIZED Knowledge and/or Skills Ability to
communicate professionally and persuasively, both orally and in
writing, to convey credibility and expertise in advising donors on
confidential and sometimes complex financial matters.
Thorough knowledge of best practices in fundraising and
evaluation of outcomes.
Experience in developing and executing strategic fundraising,
marketing and communication plans.
Strong relationship builder capable of interacting with opinion
leaders, donors, members, and support staff.
Knowledge of relevant fundraising software; (knowledge of and
experience in use of RAISER’S EDGE is preferred).
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE Bachelor's degree from an accredited
college or university in a relevant field; Advanced
degree/certification is preferred
10+ years of progressively responsible and demonstrably
successful experience in the private sector fundraising
Minimum 5 years of supervisory experience; or an equivalent
combination of education and experience
Minimum 5 years of experience in marketing a plus
Certifications in fundraising preferred
PHYSICAL DEMANDS While performing the duties of this job, the
associate is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger,
handle, or feel; and talk or hear. The associate is often required
to stand, walk, and reach with hands and arms. The associate must
occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.
Must have sufficient mobility with or without assistive devices
to access all areas of outdoor and indoor attractions at the
Must be able to work in somewhat close proximity to exotic and
domestic animals and tolerate exposure to animal dander, animal
wastes and other zoonotic contaminants as well as dust, dirt,
pollen and other airborne contaminants and occasional exposure to
inclement weather, high humidity, and to extreme hot and cold
Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals
with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
WORK ENVIRONMENT In large part, the incumbent will work in an
office environment. The noise level in the work environment is
Incumbent will also work outside (providing guided tours to
donors/constituents) and may occasionally be exposed to inclement
weather; pollen, mold, dust, dirt and other airborne contaminants;
and temperature variations.
Occasional weekends and evenings required