POSITION TITLE: Director of Development & Philanthropy

The Virginia Zoo is an AZA and AAM accredited institution, member of WAZA, and is located in Norfolk, Virginia.


The Director of Development & Philanthropy plans, oversees and creates opportunities for fund solicitation to ensure a strong base of ongoing financial support for the Virginia Zoo. In partnership with the Zoo’s Executive Director this position is entrusted with the responsibility for the recognition and stewardship of individual, corporate, foundation, and major donors. Grant writing and submission is also part of this positions’ portfolio.

Watch below to learn about the Virginia Zoo:

SUPERVISOR’S TITLE: Virginia Zoo Executive Director


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty.


* Works in tandem with the Zoo’s Executive Director and Zoological Society Board and Committees to establish direction for fund raising and support.

* Independently identifies new individual, corporate, foundation and other giving opportunities and maintains donor and contributor lists, accounts, communication and recognition.

* Cultivates current major donors and members for eventual planned gifts.

* Assists in soliciting sponsorship for Zoo functions, events and annual gala.

* Makes an average of four face-to-face visits per month for the purpose of solicitation and identification of support prospects.

* Coordinates and plans key strategies for major gifts activities, including donor recognition, stewardship programs and tours.

* Ability to articulate and support the Virginia Zoo’s mission statement.

* Creates budget for development/fundraising programs, including, but not limited to, the annual fund, major gifts campaign, leadership society and grants program.

* Interacts with staff, Board members, and the general public in order to accomplish the Zoo’s development goals.

* Assists with special projects and helps other Zoo employees as needed.


* Provides support, development advice and oversight to Zoo administrative staff.

* At this time this position does not have direct reports but works in partnership with the Zoo’s Executive Director, Zoological Society Board members and Zoo administrative staff.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must have the following education and/or experience.

* Bachelor’s degree and six years of fundraising or development-related experience.

* Prefer experience in the following; budget development and management, small and large gift solicitation, capital campaign data analysis, forecasting, planned giving and endowment familiarity. Networking among community leaders and trendsetters.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

* Must have a full understanding of professional fund raising, proven fund raising results and demonstrated competency in the creation and implementation of a development plan.

* Creative, results-driven enthusiasm for the completion of tasks.

* Must have superior writing and communications skills.

* Excellent planning, analytical and project management skills.

* Has the ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines.

* Experience with Microsoft Office and donor software preferred.

* Ability to interface with many different stakeholders successfully, including Board members, senior staff and the public.

* Ability to establish and maintain friendly and effective working relationships with staff, volunteers and the public.

* Ability to serve in every respect as a goodwill ambassador for the Virginia Zoological Society and the Virginia Zoo.

* Ability to work a varied schedule to include some evenings and weekends for various Zoo events and community functions.


Benefits include medical coverage, dental care, and vision. Annual salary to commensurate with experience.

Email: Sandra.Simmons@norfolk.gov

FAX: 757-441-5408