Foundation Relations Officer

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Santa Barbara Zoo


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Under the general direction of the Director of Advancement, the Foundation Relations Officer is responsible for securing grant funding from foundation, corporate, service organization and government resources in support of the Zoo’s overall mission. They will regularly interact with donors, guests, and community members, providing a high level of customer service while promoting the Zoo’s mission.

Position Essential Duties:

Grants Management
• Regularly reports fundraising activities and progress to the Director of Advancement
• Actively researches and seeks grant opportunities from various sources that match the goals and objectives of the Zoo
• Develops and maintains effective, fruitful, and long-term working relationships with grantors
• Prior to submitting proposals, communicates with potential grantors regarding their goals and objectives to ensure they are in line with the goals and objectives of the Zoo
• Gathers statistical and other information from various departments using timely and effective communication to ensure grant and reporting deadlines are met
• Writes and submits grant proposals on time to foundation, corporate, service organization, and government funding sources
• Follows up with grantors to determine/monitor grant status in timely manner
• Writes and submits thank you letters and other correspondence with grantors and potential grantors
• Engages the board in the grants program with monthly reports and by inviting key members to represent the Zoo during foundation visits
• Maintains a grants program calendar to track grant and reporting deadlines as well as to track communication, cultivation, and stewardship efforts. Reviews deadlines annually to ensure calendar is up-to-date.
• Ensures continuity in relationship management by maintaining files to track contacts, communications, submission and reporting deadlines, and philanthropic commitments in shared Advancement donor database and donor files. This includes maintaining organized grant files including a copy of all submissions (including online).
• Accurately tracks and records donor relationship management activities related to grants
• Develops and evaluates measures of success in grant activities and produces reports to track results

General Advancement Support
• Assists with day-of support for Advancement department special events including VIP experiences, campaign events, and other donor activities and events. Duties vary and include tasks from set up to clean up and follow up.
• As needed, assists with final preparation support during the month leading up to Zoofari Ball, day/night of assistance, as well as final wrap up assistance.

Guest Relations
• Promotes and supports diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI) in all aspects of their role
• Greets every guest with a smile or a friendly “hello”
• Thanks guests for supporting/visiting the Zoo
• Answers phone calls and emails promptly and professionally
• Must stay calm in potentially high emotion situations, be knowledgeable of emergency procedures and be an active participant in drills, emergencies and lost child instances
• Ensures the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work area and all areas of the Zoo clean, picking up trash, and reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions
• Associates with guests to share information and assist, identify their needs, and make their experience a more personal one, providing a high level of customer service and satisfaction
• Responds to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relations procedures
• Maintains a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code
• Must have the ability to reflect a professional image while representing the zoo
• Takes responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo such as reading employee communications and attending meetings
• Reflects the qualities outlined in our Core Values, the Guest Relations Statement and the Employee Pledge
• Promotes the Zoo’s mission and conservation efforts
• Adheres to the Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual
• Applies and exemplifies “green” (sustainable) practices whenever possible
• Other duties as needed

Position Criteria:
To execute this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform duties satisfactorily. The requirements and environmental characteristics described below represent the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This position primarily operates in a professional, shared office environment and involves some outdoors duties. Hybrid options may be available. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.
This position is full time (40 hours) including some weekends and evenings. This individual must be available to work additional hours during the month of August, and be available to work the last two Saturdays of August (for Zoofari Ball).

Education and Experience
• Bachelor’s degree or relevant experience preferably in fundraising, communications, marketing, or related field
• Prior successful experience in fundraising preferred; minimum four years
• Prior grant writing experience preferred

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
• Excellent verbal and written communications skills
• Capacity for high level attention to detail
• Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills
• Ability to effectively work under pressure, multi-task effectively, use independent judgment and produce quality work within tight time frame; meeting deadlines
• Ability to work successfully in a shared open space work environment with regular interruptions
• Ability to think strategically and plan accordingly to further the Advancement effort
• Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, and guests and to work with all levels of management
• Ability to maintain confidentiality and work with sensitive information
• Demonstrates high degree of accuracy and strong analytical skills
• Ability to exercise safe work habits
• Excellent organizational skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Ability to effectively multi-task, use independent judgment, and produce quality work within a set timeframe to meet deadlines
• Ability to create and implement systems and follow-up processes
• Must be a proactive and creative problem-solver; a team player with motivation to develop relationships and work collaboratively
• Understanding of telephone and office etiquette
• Ability to handle conflict resolution in a professional manner and to respond to sensitive matters or situation with discretion, tact, and confidentiality
• Ability to relate to persons of all ages and diverse backgrounds, skills, and abilities
• Ability to present self in a personable, professional, and energetic manner
• Ability to work flexible hours (including some holidays and weekends) and travel as needed
• Ability to exercise safe work habits
• Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel
• Knowledge of databases/Raiser’s Edge preferred
• Demonstrates initiative, creativity and enthusiasm, as well as strong organizational skills

License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications
• Valid CA Driver’s License with good driving record and insurance coverage is required
• Successful completion of a Department of Justice background check
• TB testing yearly

Physical Demands and Work Environment
• This is an on-site position. Hybrid options may be available
• Involves some weekend, early morning, and evening hours
• Requires the ability to access all areas of the facility
• Supportive and open employment culture
• Must attend all events related to the position
• Maintains a clean and organized work area
• Must be able to kneel, bend, twist, climb stairs, sit, manipulate computer tools, stand and/or move for up to three continuous hours.
• Regularly required to communicate, exchange information, or hear face to face, via radio and/or telephone
• Ability to use hands to finger, handle, grasp, or feel; and reach with hands and arms
• Close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus
• Ability to lift 10-20 pounds frequently, and 30 pounds regularly in course of normal duties
• Involves working effectively in a shared office space, as well as out-of-doors in all weather conditions
• Must enjoy and thrive in a fast-paced work environment
• Supportive and open employment culture

Tools Used
• Zoo provided computer (Excel, Power Point, Outlook, other but not limited to online working platforms)
• Keys
• Two-way Radio
• Standard office equipment; telephone, copier, calculator, and others as required
• Electric Cart
• Events equipment

This job description is representative of the expectations of the position described. Additional duties, reporting relationships, and/or position criteria may be assigned, as deemed necessary by the CEO or authorized representative. No changes to this job description shall be made without written permission by the CEO or authorized representative.
The Zoo reserves the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description does not constitute a contract for employment, and does not guarantee employment for any specified period. The job description does not alter the at-will employment relationship.

Compensation: $65,000.00 – $75,000.00 per year

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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