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

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

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

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Responsible to plan and implement a comprehensive giving program for the Detroit Zoological Society, including Renaissance Circle (philanthropic membership program) and other ongoing programs to broaden the donor base and provide funding for the Detroit Zoological Society.

  • Develop, implement and track a multi-channel annual giving plan to engage current donors and acquire new donors using direct mail, online giving, face-to-face and other creative 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
  • Create messages for broad audiences that inspire and encourage philanthropic support
  • Monitor monthly progress and results compared to overall financial goals and those of each program and appeal
  • Manage Renaissance Circle donor benefit implementation including stewardship events
  • Lead special revenue-generating programs including Zoo experiences, Tribute and Memorial gifts, and symbolic animal adoption programs.
  • Oversee Development Associate responsible for fulfillment of special programs listed above
  • Participate in moves management strategy and implementation
  • Coordinate prompt and appropriate acknowledgement and recognition of gifts
  • 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

Work schedule fluctuates and will include some early morning, evening and 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.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Bachelor's Degree 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, social media messaging 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.
  • Solid interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse constituencies and high-level volunteers and donors; and experience and expertise with evaluating 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 goals.
  • Experience implementing social media and mobile applications in fundraising a plus
  • Prefer candidates with 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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