Detroit Zoological Society
  • Development
  • Royal Oak, MI, USA
  • Salary
  • Full-time

Medical, Dental benefits, 401k match, generous paid time off

The Annual Giving Manager is responsible for the planning, design and implementation of a comprehensive program designed to increase DZS' unrestricted charitable giving through the Detroit Zoo Fund (annual fund), Renaissance Circle (philanthropic membership program) and other annual program support efforts. Incumbent is responsible for planning and implementing multiple appeals annually with a high degree of customization and emotional appeal.

The Annual Giving Manager will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society. S/he will support and enhance a clean, safe, enjoyable, and educational experience at the Detroit Zoo facilities by actively engaging in the enforcement of Customer Service Standards, and specifically by knowing and understanding the Detroit Zoological Society's "SCOPE" of service, animal care, community relations and park appearance guidelines; by enforcing safety and security policies, and following all other policies set by the organization. The Annual Giving Manager will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of integrity, professionalism and confidentiality.

This job description is by no means all-inclusive and may be subject to change during a performance period due to the needs of the Detroit Zoological Society and its leadership. This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.

Authority and Accountability

The Annual Giving Manager has the authority to carry out the job requirements and responsibilities and is accountable to the Director of Development Operations.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Responsible for planning and implementing a comprehensive giving program for the annual fund, Renaissance Circle (philanthropic membership program) and other annual programs providing general operating support to broaden the donor base and funding for the Detroit Zoological Society.

  • Develop, implement and track a multi-faceted annual giving plan to engage current donors and acquire new donors using direct mail, tele-fundraising, online giving, face-to-face and other fundraising strategies
  • Analyze effectiveness of various fundraising methods and messages; adapt future appeals accordingly
  • Create and implement strategic fundraising messages based on donor segmentation and research
  • Monitor the monthly progress of annual giving results compared to overall financial goals and those of each program and appeal
  • Manage Renaissance Circle donor benefit implementation including stewardship events
  • Coordinate prompt and appropriate acknowledgement and recognition of gifts
  • Lead special programs generating general operating support including Zoo experiences, Tribute and Memorial gifts, and symbolic animal adoption programs.
  • Supervise the Development Associate Tributes and Experiences in implementing programs listed above
  • Utilizing the DZS prospect management system, participate in moves management strategy and implementation
  • Maintain the integrity and confidentiality of the donor database
  • Manage relationships with external vendors and internal departments to ensure effective use of DZS resources to meet or exceed delivery, revenue and expense goals
  • Develop and manage annual revenue and expense budget for annual giving programs
  • Participate in DZS activities and events as required
  • All other responsibilities and tasks as assigned by the Director of Development Operations

Working Conditions

Regular work schedule fluctuates and will match the schedule of donor breakfast encounters, some seasonal weekend events, and best hours to make contact with individual donors and prospects. The work environment is generally comfortable and most work is indoors although the position may require work outdoors with exposure to seasonal weather conditions for special events, tours, openings, etc. This individual will be exposed to computer monitors and may have some exposure to outside weather conditions, as well as the output from air conditioning and heating systems and fluorescent lighting.

Physical Requirements

The Annual Giving Manager must have the ability to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. This position requires the individual to sit for long periods of time as well as moderate physical effort on a daily basis such as walking, bending, stooping, and standing for an extended period of time. The Annual Giving Manager must be able to use the telephone and computer, and be able to lift and move up to 20 pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Bachelor's Degree in English, Communications, Public Relations, Journalism or related field or three years of fundraising, marketing, sales or comparable experience.
  • Demonstrated record of accomplishment in fund development and implementation using sound fundraising principles and techniques.
  • Ability to think strategically while executing tactically in order to meet growing funding needs.
  • Superb written and verbal communication skills, with proven ability to represent DZS publicly and passionately to potential donors through print, email and emerging media.
  • Experience with direct mail and online/email campaigns.
  • Detail oriented, with strong organizational skills.
  • Aptitude for the management and effective use of information systems and technology in support of a development program.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse constituencies and high level volunteers and donors; and experience and expertise with evaluating local market segmentation.
  • Initiative and independence in carrying out responsibilities, with the ability to thrive in a mission-driven environment with strong culture and values.
  • Computer proficiency in Excel and Word essential, as well as with ability to work with a complex donor database product.
  • Must have high-level organizational and time management skills; good decision making and problem solving skills; strong listening skills.


  • Five years' experience in coordinating and managing a charitable gifts program.
  • Passionate commitment to DZS' mission, vision and strategic growth goals.
  • Experience implementing social media and mobile applications in fundraising a plus
  • Experience in annual fund and/or membership with a zoo, museum, cultural or educational institution.
  • Professional writing experience in fund development is desirable.
  • Advanced expertise in using the Raiser's Edge or other advancement software
Detroit Zoological Society
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