The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.

Development Gift Officer: Special Events and Corporate Giving

The Living Desert is currently seeking an organized, dynamic, results-oriented professional candidate to join our Development team as a Development Gift Officer – Special Events and Corporate Giving. This full-time, exempt Development officer will work with the Director of Development, President/CEO, Development staff, and appropriate Board and volunteer committees to progressively build the fundraising capacity of The Living Desert. This Gift Officer will play both external and internal roles planning, managing, and executing a program of fundraising, cultivation and stewardship events and developing relationships with key business and corporate entities for sponsorships. Key responsibilities include planning and analyzing cost-effective development events, forming relationships with, and soliciting event sponsors and donors for Park events as well as donor-based events, setting revenue goals, coordinating and managing sponsors, vendors, employees and volunteers for development events. Additionally, evaluating and continuing to build the Business Membership program to engage the business and corporate community.         

Specific Tasks: 

  1. Annual Gala Event (40%)
    • Serve as the Development Team leader of the signature Annual Gala event. This position interfaces with all constituents to produce a high-quality event, managing details such as reservations, working with an event planner, and TLD staff on all details, set-up, mailings, and other collateral materials, maintaining reservations and special needs of guests, mapping of event layout, seating chart, event timeline, etc.
    • Post-event, work with gift officers to identify prospects from guest lists for cultivation and moves management strategies, ensuring continuing relationships are developed.
  1.       Park Special Events Sponsorship Support (20%)
  1. Donor Cultivation and Stewardship Events (20%)
  1. General Fundraising Support (15%)

        Business Memberships and Community-Based Special Events (5%)



MINIMUM EDUCATION/CERTIFICATION REQUIRED: Bachelor’s Degree in related field (business administration, sales/marketing preferred) or equivalent Fund-Raising Certification (CFRE).

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Four years’ recent experience in development or business with emphasis on sales, administrative skills and customer service.

SKILLS REQUIRED: Previous background should include demonstrated ability to work with others in developing donor relationships and special events for a business or nonprofit organization; must be excellent communicator, both verbally and in writing; demonstrated ability to deal appropriately with individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences; well versed in the protocols of fund development related to elevating donors to greater levels of giving (i.e., moves management); proficient working knowledge of DonorPerfect or related fundraising database programs, and Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, etc.).

If you are interested in this position, please submit your cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to Terrie Terrell, Director of Human Resources. You may send your submission electronically to or you may mail your submission to The Living Desert, 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260, Attn. Terrie Terrell. The deadline for all submissions is December 15, 2021.

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