San Francisco Botanical GardenAbout San Francisco Botanical Garden
The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society is currently seeking a

Development Officer,
Individual Giving


Job Description

The Development Officer will be part of a development team and will help support the overall fundraising operations of the organization, with a focus on individual major donors and planned gifts.

The Development Officer will be instrumental in identifying and developing relationships with external supporters, key decision and influence makers, and activists, cultivating those relationships to the point of solicitation, developing solicitation strategies and then soliciting (or supporting those solicitations) of significant gifts over $1,000. The Development Officer will also have a portfolio of individual prospects and donors to cultivate, solicit and steward.

SFBGS's contributed income goal for FY2014 (ending June 30, 2014) is $1.4 million, with the expectation of significant growth over the next several years. Additionally, SFBGS is raising $10 million to complete a capital campaign to construct and support its new Nursery: Center for Sustainable Gardening.

The Development Officer will report to and work closely with the Director of Development. The Development Officer will also work closely with members of SFBGS's Board of Trustees, the Executive Director and a variety of SFBGS staff, including senior program directors.

About San Francisco Botanical Garden Society

San Francisco Botanical Garden Society (SFBGS) works in partnership with the City of San Francisco/Recreation and Park Department to support San Francisco Botanical Garden, whose 55 acres in Golden Gate Park and geographic and thematic gardens include more than 8,000 different kinds of plants native to California and from throughout the world.

SFBGS's twofold mission is to build communities of support for the Botanical Garden and to cultivate the bond between people and plants. With the help of its members, donors and volunteers, SFBGS funds and oversees Garden improvements, provides curatorial and plant collections management services, propagates plants for the Botanical Garden and for sale to the public, maintains the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, offers year-round educational and community programming, operates the Garden Bookstore and Arbor (for plant sales), and welcomes visitors from San Francisco, the Bay Area and all over the world.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Strybing Circle – Major Gifts Program
  • Manage and refine all aspects of the Strybing Circle annual giving program for donors of $1,000 and more with an overall fundraising goal of $200,000 in FY14 and increasing over the next five years.
  • Steward, support and communicate with Strybing Circle level donors with the goal of maintaining and upgrading levels of support.
  • Design and coordinate Strybing Circle benefit events, maximizing these events as cultivation opportunities.
  • Partner with Trustees, Development Committee members, the Executive Director and senior staff in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift prospects and donors.
  • Working closely with the Director of Development and the Development Specialist, ensure that all Strybing Circle donors are acknowledged in a timely manner and recognized properly in all published material, print and electronic, and on the Donor Wall.
Planned Giving
  • Manage prospecting, cultivation, development of solicitation strategies, solicitation and stewardship of Planned Giving prospects.
  • Collaborate on marketing materials for Planned Giving program.
  • Create Planned Giving, cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Manage Planned Giving recognition strategy.
Garden Feast – Annual Fundraiser
  • Help develop prospecting, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans, as related to Major Gifts prospects.
  • Coordinate special event cultivation, solicitation and stewardship with the major gift program.
  • Develop cultivation and engagement strategies for event sponsors and attendees.
  • Participate fully to support Director of Development, Executive Director, Trustees and committee members in all aspects of Garden Feast that may be required.
Major Gift Support
  • Working closely with the Director of Development, manage all aspects of successful individual major giving, which includes unrestricted and restricted gifts, including tribute gifts through the Garden’s Bench and Paver dedication program.
  • With a focus on stewardship and procedural sustainability, actively participate in identifying prospects and developing appropriate cultivation and solicitation strategies for individual support of the Botanical Garden.
  • Collaborate with Director of Development to create written proposals, reports, and maintain necessary fundraising materials as needed to appeal to specific donors.
  • Maintain and strengthen all back-of-house operations for major gifts program, strategizing with the Development Specialist to maintain an active stewardship program.
  • Utilizing the Raiser’s Edge database Prospect Module, track all individual fundraising and prospecting activity with an eye on continual growth and improvement.
  • Maintain accurate and complete records of contacts and communications and analyze donor and prospect data to identify and qualify targets for restricted and unrestricted support.
  • With the Director of Development, serve as staff support to the Development Committee of the Board. This includes coordinating monthly meetings, providing monthly reports and updates, strategic guidance and direction to the fundraising work of the Committee, as well as working one-on-one with its members to support ongoing development activity.
  • Participate in the development of short and long-term fundraising plans and develop annual goals for the growth of individual support, along with a plan with strategies to achieve those goals.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum three years development experience, Major gifts and planned giving experience strongly preferred; capital campaign experience a plus.
  • Demonstrated success personally soliciting gifts of $1,000 and above.
  • A track record of portfolio management resulting in meeting/exceeding yearly solicitation goals.
  • Highly developed verbal and written communication skills and the ability to make effective presentations to small and large groups.
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting research and assembling data, auditing and analyzing information, and preparing effective, accurate and timely reports and other documents to support development activities.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and proven track record of working effectively with board members and other volunteer leaders.
  • Excellent organizational skills and successful experience managing events and other complex activities in support of development initiatives.
  • Passion and familiarity with horticulture, botany and environmental issues a plus.
  • Familiarity with SF Bay Area philanthropic community.
  • Strong computer proficiency, including aptitude in Microsoft Office and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Familiarity with donor-management software required, experience with Raiser’s Edge database software highly desirable.


  • Ability to interact effectively with SFBGS leadership, Park/Garden staff, prospects and donors.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in person, on the telephone, and in writing with supervisors, staff, Trustees, and donors.
  • Strong written communication skills, ability to compose correspondence with accuracy, clarity and attention to detail.
  • Strong planning, strategic and organizational skills to effectively coordinate and prioritize workload.
  • Ability to manage confidential and sensitive information.
  • Ability to sustain a positive attitude and sense of humor while working under pressure and against deadlines.
  • Ability to travel regionally.
  • Attend all Development events, including donor benefit and cultivation events, fundraising events, trustee meetings etc. (Available to work weekends and evenings when necessary and as requested.)

This list of duties and responsibilities is not to be all-inclusive and may be expanded to include other duties or responsibilities that management may deem necessary from time to time.

Working Conditions

The work schedule varies from customary office hours to evenings and weekends, with the potential for long hours during critical periods such as special events. Must be able to climb a flight of stairs and carry and lift meeting and event materials.

To Apply

Please submit resume and cover letter outlining background, experience and interest via email with Development Officer as your subject line to: Lillian Archer, Director of Development,

SFBGS hopes to fill the position as soon as possible, with a start date no later than January 6, 2014. Interested applicants should apply at their earliest convenience. No phone calls please.

San Francisco Botanical Garden Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.

SFBGS and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department San Francisco Botanical Garden's beauty and value as a major cultural resource are the result of a successful public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

ADMISSION  FREE for Members, SF Residents (with proof of residency) & School Groups | $7 Non-residents | Discounts for Seniors & Children

LOCATED In Golden Gate Park, with entrances at the corner of Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way (Main Gate) & at MLK Jr. Drive off the Music Concourse (Friend/North Gate) | Phone: (415) 661-1316 | Mail: 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122-2370

© Copyright San Francisco Botanical Garden. All Rights Reserved.