Wildlife Conservation Society,
Vice President, Individual Giving

New York, NY


Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is the premier global conservation organization, protecting wildlife and wild places in nearly 60 countries and all the worlds 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 www.wcs.org and their 2016 Annual Report.


WCS seeks a Vice President, Individual Giving (VP) to build a high-functioning, strategic individual giving program. This is a unique opportunity for a proven, sophisticated development professional with excellent management experience and a track record of raising major gifts. The Vice President will be responsible for driving the development of the individual giving fundraising strategy and building a high-performing team charged with raising $30m+ annually.

The successful candidate will be a senior fundraiser with the vision, technical skill and management experience needed to build a thriving, donor-centric program that includes major gifts, principal gifts, planned giving, and the Annual Fund and Patrons Program. Creativity, a hands-on work and leadership style, and focus on results will be key to the VPs success.

This position will be located in New York City and supervise staff in New York and San Francisco.



- In partnership with the EVP and Vice Presidents for Institutional Advancement and Strategic Operations, develop a strategic plan for the Global Resources (GR) department that showcases WCS as the premier global conservation organization and inspires donors to invest in the mission and work of the organization.

- Create and direct all aspects of the individual donor effort, including the creation of a comprehensive individual giving plan.

- Manage, direct and build out a high-functioning individual giving team (in NY and CA), including principal gift officers, major gift officers, planned giving, and the annual fund and patron programs to increase and maximize the revenue from individual donors. Establish new standards of performance and a metrics-based evaluation.

- Work closely with the EVP to build out a more robust Board that is capable of contributing 7- and 8- figure gifts to WCS, and of advancing Board engagement and recruitment.

- Work with the head of planned giving to develop an effective planned giving program that delivers a robust and reliable stream of planned gift revenue.

- Refine and improve WCSs Annual Fund and Patrons Programs to optimize donor experience, annual revenue, and support pipeline creation.

- Develop a plan for successfully targeting and securing anchor donors to WCS and use them to inspire additional larger gifts.

- Work with the GR leadership, WCS President and Program heads to develop an inspiring narrative for investing in Big Bets through WCS.

- Collaborate with other GR VPs to strengthen donor operations (donor communications, events, donor research, data management) and support institutional fundraising efforts as needed.

- Develop strong relationships with program personnel and effective ways to communicate their work to our donors and prospects, while encouraging collaboration with the GR team.

- Increase the sophistication and effectiveness of donor engagement and solicitation. Work with individual giving team to build donor-centric cultivation methods that best identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual donors; develop effective moves management strategies that harness the many assets of WCS.

- Provide leadership and mentoring to the individual giving staff; train and supervise a team of front-line fundraisers tasked with securing 6-, 7- and 8-figure gifts.

- Directly manage a select pool of high-net-worth donors; participate in one-on-one cultivations and solicitations with donors.


- Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree preferred.

- Minimum 10 years progressive fundraising experience in major gifts fundraising, to include 3-5 years at a senior management level with comparable staff and budget responsibilities.

- Ambition and a love of fundraising.

- Excellent management skills; particular experience with large, autonomous teams.

- Demonstrated ability to raise 7-, 8- and potentially 9- figure gifts from individuals.

- Strong leadership skills, with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong business and management skills; demonstrated ability to inspire and motivate staff, donors, and potential partners a must.

- Strong analytic and project management skills; demonstrated experience overseeing and executing complex or multiple time-sensitive projects, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.

- Ability to succeed in a highly complex organizationstrong ability to influence and persuade others.

- Strong written and verbal communication skills; outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and ability to collaborate with a wide range of colleagues at the local and global levels.

- Appreciation and knowledge of wildlife and broader conservation history and strategies. Direct experience working with nonprofits working with wildlife and/or conservation is a plus.

- Willingness and ability to travel.


Sue Waterbury, Vice President
Sara Garlick Lundberg, Search Consultant

Please submit a resume and cover letter
Email: WCSVP@drgnyc.com
Fax: 212-983-1687

This search began in August 2017 and is currently active. This position description is based upon material provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, an equal opportunity employer.