Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts

  • Job posted by Wildlife Conservation Society

Job Type

Full Time




2300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, New York 10460
Suite 1203
New York
United States


Wildlife Conservation Society

Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts

New York, New York

“The Wildlife Conservation Society is one of the most impressive, foremost organizations working to save the world’s wildlife” - Naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough


Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is the premier global conservation organization, protecting wildlife and wild places in nearly 60 countries and all the world’s oceans through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. WCS also oversees the world's largest collection of urban parks, including the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo.

Founded over 120 years ago, WCS leads with best-in-class scientific work and strong, durable partnerships with governments and local communities. It has a global staff of 3,700 and an overall budget of $271 million.

WCS's goal is to conserve the world's largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world's biodiversity. Looking forward, the WCS 2020 strategy is an ambitious plan with clearly defined goals and a rigorous focus on measurable impact.

For more information about Wildlife Conservation Society please see their website at and their 2016 Annual Report.


Wildlife Conservation Society is hiring a Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts to be part of a team of development professionals responsible for generating over $30 million in major gifts annually. Reporting to the Vice President, Individual Giving and working closely with senior professionals in the development department and program staff, the Major Gifts Officer is expected to identify, cultivate and solicit individuals in support of WCS’s universal agenda.

The successful candidate will have a track record of soliciting and closing six figure gifts through donor cultivation and visits. WCS is looking for a highly motivated, “out the door” fundraiser who thrives on meeting with donors and is creative and entrepreneurial. The Senior Development Officer will be expected to double the amount of an existing $2 million portfolio. This position is located in New York City and/or the Bronx.


  • Be a critical member of the Global Resources team by successfully cultivating and soliciting individuals in support of the WCS mission.
  • Be a vital member of the team responsible for raising over $30M/year in Major Gifts by successfully raising gifts of $25,000 or more and managing a portfolio consisting of approximately 150+ high-level individual donors and prospects capable of giving 6-figure gifts.
  • Engage donors/prospects through in-person meetings, events and written communications. Meet with donors nearly 50% of each week to provide briefings, facility tours, and make funding requests. Conduct cultivation meetings and collaborate on the development and implementation of cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Meet monthly and quarterly benchmarks and goals based on activity with prospects/donors and dollars raised. Maintain visitation reports and current information regarding donor correspondence, meetings and other activities in database.
  • Write, edit, and proofread proposals, reports, letters and other correspondence, working with program staff to elicit information as necessary.
  • Identify new prospects for gifts of $25,000 or more, and work with Associate and prospect research staff to develop information/materials required for cultivation and solicitation.
  • Utilize the available pipeline via members and Conservation Patrons and oversee strategic movement between these constituency bases to increase dollars raised.
  • Propose and implement strategies to engage and attract new prospects. Management of cultivation events, including tours, small targeted dinners and presentations as well as lecture type events, while also assisting with WCS flagship events in collaboration with other teams and departments.
  • Manage cultivation event message/theme; contribute to updating event information into database; assist with planning and implementing comprehensive follow up strategies; and other duties needed for successful management of cultivation events.
  • Lead and creatively package VIP tour requests while addressing the expectations of donors and internal capacity of staff. Accommodate last minute tour and visit requests and liaise with program staff.
  • Work closely with the Director of City Zoos to utilize the Central Park Zoo as a platform for identifying and engaging top donors and prospects.
  • Work with the team and Global Resources staff to ensure accurate and timely maintenance of required information in donor database, including projections, proposal status, actions, accurate contact information, etc. and assist in other special projects.
  • Accountable for keeping up to date on Raiser’s Edge procedures, attending all required training sessions, and ensuring accurate and timely data entry.
  • May require overnight travel and ability to work nights and weekends, as needed.
  • As requested, staff department events, perform other tasks and provide support for other Global Resources activities.
  • Perform all other duties as required.


  • B.A./B.S and 6+ years of front-line fundraising experience required.
  • Excellent writing, organizational, interpersonal and teamwork skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and to interact successfully with high-level donors/prospects and senior program staff.
  • Great attention to detail; interest in WCS mission.
  • Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and internet.
  • Well-traveled or at least have a working knowledge of global issues and geography.
  • Experience with Raiser's Edge (or similar fundraising database) and prospect research skills a plus.

This position description is based upon material provided by Wildlife Conservation Society, an equal opportunity employer.

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Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply