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Director of Leadership Giving

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Director of Leadership Giving
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Cincinnati, Ohio
Job Summary

Exciting news! The Cincinnati Zoo is on the hunt for a Director of Leadership Giving to join their fundraising team. The selected candidate will play a vital role in helping the zoo continue its mission to save animals and the planet. They will manage a portfolio of prospective donors, cultivate relationships, and focus on raising significant support for the zoo through major gifts and planned giving programs.

If you are someone who has a track record of success in fundraising, and you want to take your career to the next level, apply now to become Cincinnati Zoo's next Director of Leadership Giving. Don't miss out on this chance to join a team that is committed to making a positive impact on the world. To learn more and apply, click here:

Job Description

At the heart of every great city is a great zoo. And at the heart of a great zoo are many individuals and entities who invest in the zoo’s larger mission – saving animals to save our planet. We are seeking a seasoned development professional to round out our successful fundraising team, as our next Director of Leadership Giving, bringing experience and skills in planned and major giving, as well as the ability and passion to bring this message to life for our donors.

You will have significant impact in helping the Zoo maintain its standing in Cincinnati and the world as an exciting visitor destination and a leader in education, sustainability, and plant and animal protection and conservation. The work we do is important---and we value those who do it! As Director of Leadership Giving, you will serve an integral role in the Development Department, working closely with donors to bring operating, capital and planned gift support to the Zoo.

The Director of Leadership Giving will focus on raising significant support for the Zoo through the procurement of major gifts and the management of a robust planned giving program. The Director of Leadership Giving will manage a portfolio of prospective donors and will be expected to identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward these very important friends of the Zoo. Additionally, the candidate will have the opportunity to reshape and broaden our planned giving program.

The candidate will be able to function with a reasonable degree of autonomy and independent discretion, understanding the importance of communication and collaboration within the team setting. The Director will be extremely organized, possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and have an interest in advancing the mission and vision of the Zoo. Importantly, the ideal candidate is someone who understands the desires and interests of leadership donors and can work to effectively cultivate relationships between them and the Zoo.

The Director must have a track record of building donor relationships and closing multiple major and planned gifts in the six and seven-figure range. The candidate will work collaboratively and strategically with the Vice President of Development, the Zoo Director, other development team professionals and staff leaders.


  • Energetic, results-oriented self-starter
  • Ability to follow up on requests in a timely manner
  • Five to seven years successful experience in major gift fundraising and planned giving
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Dynamic personality, organized, well-rounded, engaging and donor-centric
  • Commitment to producing quality work and a demonstrated record of completing assignments
  • Successful experience in developing cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Track record of effectively collaborating with others
  • High degree of emotional intelligence

Successful candidates will embrace and continuously demonstrate the Core Values of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden which include, but are not limited to:

  • Building Collaborative Relationshipsthrough open communication and active listening
  • Positivity and Energy through positive attitudes and making time to celebrate successes
  • Accountability, Mutual Trust and Respectthrough taking ownership of issues, learning from mistakes, treating others with respect, and doing what you say you're going to do
  • Progressive Thinking through being a self-directed learner, and learning from others, thinking creatively and demonstrating relentless pursuit for improvement
  • Pride, Passion & a Sense of Ownershipthrough respect and care for the living collection, going the extra mile, always being an advocate for the Zoo.


Working Conditions: Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a post-offer, pre-employment drug & nicotine screen & background check.  While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to stand, walk, and utilize manual dexterity to use computer mouse and keyboard. As a Development team member participating in events, the incumbent may be exposed to outside weather conditions. This job may require walking throughout the day, occasionally on steep terrain, ability to work a flexible schedule (including early mornings, evenings & weekends, when needed) and attend key events is required.


Position Details:  This is a full-time, overtime-exempt, and eligible for the Zoo’s benefit programs for non-union employees. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including affordable medical, dental & vision coverage; 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; generous paid time off banks; company-paid disability & life insurance; park discounts and free passes.

Starting pay range: $90-105K, depending on experience and qualifications.


To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must apply via our online application on our website at  Cover letter and resume should be attached to your online application.


We strive to be an organization that is diverse and reflects the fullness of society. With a strongly held value for an organizational culture characterized by inclusion and belonging, we are committed to equity in all we do. We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to our organization’s diversity and who want to walk alongside us in our commitment to inclusion and equity. We are a Queen City Certified/Ellequate Leader in Workplace Equity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Thank you to our sponsors and partners

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