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Chief of Advancement, Center for Plant Conservation

Company: Center for Plant Conservation
Date Posted: July 1, 2016

CPC Chief of Advancement




San Diego Zoo Global is a world leading conservation organization dedicated to the science of saving endangered species. We operate three world-class facilities: the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.


San Diego Zoo Global is now partnering with the Center for Plant Conservation, a globally recognized leader in plant conservation, to save plants from extinction.  The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) National Headquarters is now located at San Diego Zoo Global’s Institute for Conservation Research.


San Diego Zoo Global and the Center for Plant Conservation are leading the fight against extinction for both plants and animals. We invite you to join our ambitious and dedicated team. Together, we will end extinction!

Current Position: CPC Chief of Advancement, one opening, full-time, exempt. 


Location: Primary duties are based at the CPC National Headquarters at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Institute for Conservation Research adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where more than 200 dedicated scientists carry out research vital to the conservation of animals, plants, and habitats worldwide.


Position Summary


The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), a non-profit organization supporting the conservation and restoration of the imperiled native plants of North America, seeks a dynamic Chief of Advancement (COA), reporting to the CPC President and Executive Director, to oversee initiatives that can provide ongoing operational support.


More on CPC


Founded in 1984, CPC moved its operations in Fall 2015 from Missouri to the Institute for Conservation Research, which is part of San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG), located at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California. CPC staff positions are hired through SDZG and work to fulfill joint objectives of CPC and the plant programs of SDZG. Through a national network of more than 40 botanical gardens and other institutions, CPC’s efforts support the protection of North American plants by using ex situ horticultural techniques, such as banking seeds, growing plants from seed in the greenhouse, and establishing protocols for germination and propagation. CPC also oversees the National Collection, the only coordinated collection of seed and other materials from the most endangered plants in the nation. Please visit our website at


Position Description


The Chief of Advancement (COA) oversees key initiatives providing operational support including CPC’s membership programs, cultivation events, Franklinia Society major gifts program, grants, and mail appeals. Total operational and program development goal for 2016 is approximately $1 million. The COA is responsible for providing input for the donor data base (Raiser’s Edge, managed by SDZG) and providing accurate and timely reports.


The COA also oversees CPC’s communications and marketing program including a Communications Manager who will undertake a strategic communications program integrating development goals to (in part): produce a monthly electronic newsletter, update the CPC website, manage social media, produce an Annual Report, write and place news releases, draft speeches, create advertising when necessary and undertake other communications and marketing tasks as required.





  • Manage and grow CPC’s donor and prospect relationships;
  • Develop successful cultivation strategies with a range of CPC leadership, stakeholders, donors, and community leaders;
  • Provide leadership in managing and growing all facets of the Development Department;
  • Grants, cultivation, membership, special campaigns, planned giving, and major gifts;  
  • Develop and manage strategic plans, annual budget, and monthly financials;
  • Oversee regular and effective communications with CPC donors, stakeholders and friends;
  • Participate as part of the CPC Executive Team;
  • Maintain a good working relationship with SDZG development, communications, program and other staff.


Communications and Marketing

  • Create a strategic communications plan integrating development goals;
  • Produce a monthly electronic newsletter;
  • Update the CPC website;
  • Manage CPC’s social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter);
  • Produce an Annual Report;
  • Write and place news releases;
  • Draft speeches, create advertising, and undertake other communications tasks as required.


The Candidate - Ideal Experience and Qualifications


  • 10-plus years of increasing professional experience in a nonprofit organization’s Development Department with demonstrated success in grant writing and Major Gifts;
  • Certified CFRE a strong plus;
  • Experience managing Communications and Marketing function preferred;
  • Experience in or an understanding of communications strategic planning, electronic media, publication production, website best practices, public relations;
  • A demonstrated ability to plan and operate strategically, build public support, strengthen infrastructure, motivate staff and the Board of Trustees, and develop results-oriented and data-driven development initiatives;
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to build and communicate a strong case for support; influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships;
  • Exceptional financial, organizational, and administrative skills with advanced knowledge of   professional development standards;
  • Ability to think outside of the traditional development box with entrepreneurial approaches that meet CPC’s development needs;
  • Capable of developing, nurturing, and retaining strong, positive relationships with major donors, community leaders, members of the Board of Trustees, staff, SDZG and other constituents; adept at dealing with sophisticated constituents;
  • A decisive, inspiring, “roll-up-the sleeves,” results-oriented advancement professional with a high level of attention to detail; ability to prioritize responsibilities in a quickly changing work environment and to operate both independently and as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated interest in plant conservation, horticulture, environmental sciences or related fields a strong plus.


The Opportunity


Operating within the spectacular location of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California, CPC is beginning a new chapter of its development and its deep partnership with San Diego Zoo Global. Both organizations are dedicated to the prevention of species extinction, with CPC taking the lead on plants. Goals include establishing new development and communications programs such as grants and planned giving, and growth of the existing membership, direct mail and major gifts programs. The COA will have the opportunity to initiate and build support in the Southern California community and beyond.


Additional Considerations:  San Diego Zoo Global asks that all employees conform to a strict dress code and grooming policy. Tattoos may not be visible or must be appropriately covered while on duty. Jewelry may be worn if it does not detract from a well-groomed look or create a safety hazard. No facial or tongue piercing.


This position offers Zoo Perks which include discounts on food/premium products, free and discounted admission to local attractions, and accrual of vacation and sick time (exception for some grants and Summer Fellowships).


To apply:


Formal applications should be submitted on line via San Diego Zoo Global’s Application System. Please go to

Click on Search Jobs and Select San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

This job is #966902


To expedite your application:


In addition to filling out the on-line application, please also submit a cover letter, resume/CV, three references and any supporting documents illustrating your skills to with “CPC Chief of Advancement Application – YOUR NAME” in the subject line.