Major Gifts Officer

Job Type

Full Time




One Franklin Park Road
United States


Organization Overview

Zoo New England's mission is to inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations, by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research, and education.

Commonwealth Zoological Corporation D/B/A Zoo New England ("Zoo New England") is the private, non-profit corporation that operates Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Zoo New England programming is made possible through earned revenue and state, private, and corporate funding.

Franklin Park Zoo

Franklin Park Zoo is a 72-acre site nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park, long considered the "crown jewel" of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace Park System. The Zoo was founded in 1912 and was managed by the City of Boston until 1958, when the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), a state agency, assumed management. The MDC managed the Zoos until 1991, when Governor William Weld signed legislation to create the private Commonwealth Zoological Corporation (CZC). In July of 1997 the CZC changed its name to Zoo New England to reflect the regional appeal of the Zoo.

Stone Zoo

Stone Zoo, formerly known as the Middlesex Fells Zoo, is located on a 26-acre site near the sparkling Spot Pond reservoir in Stoneham, MA. Charles Price, Superintendent of the Metropolitan District Commission’s Middlesex Fells Reservation, founded the Zoo in 1905, and in 1969, the site was renamed in honor of Walter D. Stone, a former Zoo Director. In 1991, the Commonwealth Zoological Corporation (CZC) was created to maintain care, custody, and control of both Stone Zoo and Franklin Park Zoo. 

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President of Development for Strategic Development, this position is responsible for the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of gifts in support of annual operations, special projects, and capital projects. This position’s immediate charge will be to grow the overall donor pipeline with a focus on gifts in the $1,000 to $50,000 range. This is an exciting time of growth for the Zoos, and this person will engage prospective donors in creative ways while serving as a positive ambassador for Zoo New England.

Key Responsibilities

  • Rapidly become familiar with and conversant regarding our Zoos, programs, policies and our value propositions
  • Manage a portfolio of up to 200 donors, prospects and corporate clients; work both independently as well as collaboratively with other team members
  • Identify, evaluate, and cultivate individuals capable of contributing gifts of at least $1,000 annually (and/or capital gifts in a similar range)
  • Identify donors for planned giving cultivation
  • Partner with corporate sponsors across all funding areas
  • Prepare meaningful and effective funding proposals, reports and customized collateral for individual donors, prospects and corporate clients
  • Schedule, manage and attend regular donor meetings
  • Attend committee meetings as required and represent the Zoos at networking events
  • Provide executive-level briefing materials in advance of meetings for Vice President of Development and leadership staff
  • Create strategic events to attract prospective donors and engage them with Zoo New England
  • Manage all information relating to current major donors and prospects in Raiser’s Edge, in a manner that emphasizes the highest standards of accuracy, timeliness, thoroughness, and confidentiality

Level of Language Proficiency


As the incoming Major Gifts Officer, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • You have 3-5 years of demonstrated success in major-gifts fundraising with a focus on prospect identification, relationship building, and solicitation
  • You have exposure to planned giving vehicles
  • You have played a role in the planning and/or execution of fundraising and donor cultivation events
  • You are proficient with Raiser’s Edge, MS Office Suite; Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • You have an advanced knowledge of moves management
  • You are experienced working with volunteers and program staff
  • You have superior written and oral communication skills as well as excellent research skills
  • You bring strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and successfully as a member of a team
  • You bring the ability to manage complex issues creatively and effectively
  • You bring self-motivation as well as the ability to make independent decisions
  • You have a philosophical commitment to Zoo New England’s mission and/or knowledge of wildlife, environmental and conservation issues

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

To Apply 

Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, in Word or PDF format, addressed to David Caron. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

About Commongood Careers

Zoo New England has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for a Major Gifts Officer. Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of high-impact nonprofits. With an approach that leverages robust talent networks, recruitment and search management expertise, and a deep understanding of our clients’ missions and cultures, we help organizations secure the talent they need to create greater social impact. Since our founding in 2005, Commongood Careers has led more than 1000 searches at 350 organizations in 33 states, making us one of the most experienced and dedicated nonprofit search firms in the country. Learn more about nonprofit job opportunities at Commongood Careers.