Director Of Development

Full Time
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden


The Garden is seeking a highly motivated and established development professional to continue the growth of our membership, donor stewardship, and overall giving to the Garden.  This position will join the Garden team as we complete a capital campaign for a new children’s garden, finalize a rebrand of the Garden, prepare for a full redevelopment of our website, launch a new corporate wellness partnership program, and plan to celebrate our centennial and corollary capital campaign in 2026.

The Director of Development reports directly to the Executive Director and is responsible for maintaining and growing the Garden’s comprehensive fundraising programs in furtherance of our mission. This is a full-time (40 hours/week), exempt position. The Director of Development maintains strong working relationships with all department directors and manages individual and corporate philanthropy, membership, and guest services.  The position oversees support staff including Donor Relations Manager, Membership Manager, Development Coordinator, Guest Services Manager, Guest Services Associates, and contractors in grant writing and membership fulfillment. The Director of Development serves as the Garden’s lead major gift officer, in partnership with the Executive Director.

Responsibilities include:

Providing leadership to ensure that the Garden’s unrestricted and restricted fundraising programs are strong and progressively increasing, especially with respect to: major and planned gifts, individual contributions, membership, the annual fund, and institutional grants.

Essential Duties:

Develop and execute a successful development plan and budget that aligns with the Garden’s strategic priorities and includes: individual contributions, annual giving, major and planned giving, membership, donor relations, and corporate and foundation relations that results in progressive annual income growth. Design, implement and coordinate reporting to Executive Director and Board as to development budget, goals and progress. Successfully establish and maintain strong relationships with current and potential donors as well corporate partners. Lead planning and implementation of special campaigns (capital and endowment campaigns) as approved by the board. Works with the Executive Director to prioritize requests for major gifts for general operations, programs, special projects, and campaigns. Oversee the development and submission of foundation LOIs, grant requests, proposals, and reporting.

Engage and educate the Board of Trustees, Alumni Trustees, and top stakeholders in development outreach strategies to drive growth of the Garden. In collaboration with the Executive Director, lead and assist with Board and Committees engagement in development activities including identifying prospects for sponsorships and events planning for engagement, including annual “Beer Garden” fundraiser and other donor stewardship events. As part of the management team, engage in strategic decision-making, short/long-term strategic planning, and development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies, and practices.

Serve as the staff lead for the Development Committee in partnership with the Board Member Committee Chair, attend meetings, plan, develop and distribute agendas, facilitate and communicate scheduling.

Build and lead a team that works well together, and interacts well with all Garden staff.  Provide mentoring, professional development, and opportunities for advancement, as appropriate.  Provide mentoring to staff outside the development team to help them successfully support the fund development process for their programs or the Garden as a whole.

Relate well interpersonally – establish, maintain, and foster positive relationships externally and within the Garden.  Build a consensus among staff and volunteers to enhance excellence in development programs and activities.
Oversee admissions (guest services) operations.

Qualifications and Experience:

Minimum of five years of relevant and increasingly responsible experience in annual and major gifts, capital campaigns, sponsorship, and program management
Proven analytical, problem resolution and decision-making skills, coupled with the ability to create and execute realistic priorities in an emerging fundraising office
Demonstrated experience in building successful relationships with Trustees, staff, volunteers, and donors
Garden, museum, or conservation experience preferred
Knowledge of Santa Barbara donors and fundraising climate preferred.

Certificates & Licenses:

Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation a plus
Must have valid California Driver License and maintain acceptable driving record.

Physical Functions:

Must be capable of occasional strenuous physical work including:

Sitting for up to 4.0 hours at a time and using computer and phone for lengthy periods.
Standing/walking for extended periods of time.
Lifting and carrying 40 lbs., bending, squatting and walking stairs and the SBBG trails.
Tolerance of an outdoor work environment including exposure to outdoor environmental conditions, including extreme temperature fluctuations, rain, dust, allergens, poison oak, insects, small wild animals, and sun exposure.
To apply, please visit our website

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