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

Full medical, dental and 401k benefits. Generous paid time off, Zoo membership and more!

The Manager of Fundraising Events is responsible for managing an active fundraising events calendar with an emphasis on maximizing revenue.  The primary role of this position is to produce the Detroit Zoological Society's largest annual fundraiser, Sunset at the Zoo. Additional events include the Wildlife Conservation Gala, Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo, Renaissance Circle/donor stewardship events, Habitat/Building Openings and other events as assigned.

The Manager of Fundraising Events will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society.  He/She 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 Manager of Fundraising Events 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 Manager of Fundraising Events has the authority to carry out the job requirements and responsibilities and is accountable to the Director or Donor Engagement.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities

For all DZS fundraising events (including but not limited to Sunset at the Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Gala, Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo, Renaissance Circle/donor stewardship events and habitat/building openings), the Manager of Fundraising Events is responsible for:


  • Writing event plans and developing concepts and themes.
  • Creating and maintaining event budgets and timelines.
  • Recruiting and engaging volunteer committee members and event chairs.
  • Scheduling and coordinating activities of DZS staff, volunteers, concessionaire, auctioneer, mobile bidding partner, entertainers and other vendors, suppliers and contractors, and preparing detailed events synopses.
  • Soliciting and securing auction items and restaurants/beverage partners.
  • Producing event-related print and promotional materials (invitations, signs, programs, tickets, etc.).
  • Drafting, reviewing and updating copy for website, internal and external communications and event promotions; creating audience list for mail and email communications. 
  • Collaborating with the Sponsorship Manager to identify sponsorship benefits, sponsor prospects and assisting with sponsorship solicitations.
  • Managing relationships with event media partners.
  • Promoting ticket sales and taking ticket orders as needed.


  • Overseeing event set-up, execution and tear-down. 
  • Managing event volunteers, staff, vendors and photography.
  • Troubleshooting challenges and resolving problems.


  • Completing financial reports and vendor payments.
  • Conducting "wrap" meetings with committee members and staff.
  • Creating analysis reports for major events with conclusions and recommendations.
  • Working with Development Coordinator to ensure event database is maintained in Raiser's Edge.
  • Working with Sponsorship Manager to create a "wrap" report for sponsors; sending thank-you letters to event supporters, committee members, etc.

General Responsibilities

  • Supervising the Fundraising Events Coordinator.
  • Creating and maintaining overall budget for Fundraising Events, writing vendor service agreements and managing invoices and payments.
  • Managing fulfillment of auctioned DZS experiences throughout the year.
  • Serving as a member of the DZS On-Site Committee and attending bi-monthly meetings.
  • Researching events at zoos and other organizations to enhance events and creating new fundraising events as appropriate.
  • All other responsibilities and tasks as assigned by the Director of Donor Engagement. 

Working Conditions

Regular work schedule may include weekends or may be required to work evenings, weekends and early mornings (weekday schedule adjusted accordingly).  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.


Physical Requirements

Must be able to perform the principle duties of the job.  Requires moderate physical effort on a daily basis such as walking, bending, stooping and standing for extended periods of time.  Must be able to use a computer and telephone, communicate with employees, candidates, vendors and visitors and use reasoning and calculation skills and make decisions.  Must be able to lift and move 40 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 events management, marketing, public relations, communications, philanthropic studies or a similar field.
  • Five years of events experience.
  • Experience working with volunteer committees. 
  • High degree of professionalism, excellent verbal and written communication and public speaking skills.
  • Very organized, strong time management skills, detail-oriented, able to manage multiple priorities concurrently.
  • Excellent reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving skills as well as persuasion and recruiting skills.
  • Must exhibit initiative and teamwork.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Word and Excel.
  • Valid driver's license required.


Qualified candidates will be contacted for a phone interview after the 2019 Sunset at the Zoo event.

Detroit Zoological Society
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