Annual Fund Officer

Hiring Organization Information

Organization Name: 
Seattle Aquarium

Position Information

Employment Type: 
Full time
Salary Range: 
43,500 - 54,000
Job Category: 
Development | Fundraising
Organizational Overview: 

About the organization:

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels, including a compelling exhibit experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to underserved populations; research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild; advocacy and policy work; an award-winning volunteer program; strong and consistent marketing efforts; and more.


We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices; creating awe-inspiring experiences; constantly learning and improving; fostering an inclusive community; maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices; and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.


Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $18 million.


Position description:

Seattle Aquarium is hiring an annual fund officer to join the philanthropy team. The annual fund officer carries primary responsibility for ensuring a successful annual fund program and building the donor pipeline. This position is also responsible for supporting the foundation and corporate giving officer as needed by writing grant reports and other work as requested. The annual fund officer reports to the deputy director of philanthropy operations and works closely with the membership and events teams to meet annual fund goals.

Role Responsibilities: 

Essential functions:

  • Create and execute multi-channel, year-round annual fund campaign including mailings, appeals, reports and other relevant documents and correspondence.
  • In collaboration with the Aquarium’s marketing team, produce compelling and persuasive copy and materials.
  • Develop and implement strategies to retain and upgrade donors and enhance the donor pipeline by building and implementing acquisition strategies.
  • Serve as the relationship manager for donors contributing less than $2,500 per year.
  • Execute a donor-centric moves management strategy to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors including:
    • Prompt thank you calls and acknowledgement letters
    • Event invitations
    • E-news communications
    • Use-of-funds reports
    • Aquarium tours or special mission experiences
  • Primary responsibility for “Seas the Day” annual giving drive.
  • Work closely with the membership team to deliver mission impact stories to members and solicit their support.
  • Track donor and prospect moves management steps in Raiser’s Edge database and produce regular financial reports.
  • Collaborate with the foundation and corporate giving officer in preparing letters of inquiry, grant proposals and grant reports.


Additional responsibilities:

  • Lead Aquarium tours as assigned.
  • Provide backup for philanthropy team colleagues as assigned.
  • Contribute to the culture of philanthropy throughout the organization.
  • Participate in planning acquisition, fundraising and stewardship events.
  • Perform other related responsibilities as assigned to successfully achieve the Aquarium’s philanthropy goals and objectives.
Candidate Qualifications: 

Required skills/abilities:  

  • Experience in annual fund operations.
  • Experience growing donor relationships.
  • Excellent English language skills: oral, written, reading as well as strong interpersonal communication skills.
  • Persuasive writing skills including experience with direct mail solicitations.
  • Strong storytelling skills.
  • Highly organized and able to manage multiple priorities simultaneously.
  • Able to compile and analyze data.
  • Demonstrated self-starter.
  • Comfortable working in an open office environment.
  • Proven project management, organization and multitasking skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Software (Word, Excel, Outlook & PowerPoint) and Raiser's Edge.


Experience, education and certifications: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.


  • B.A./B.S. degree required, preferably in nonprofit management, marketing or humanities.
  • Three (3) years of successful philanthropy experience; demonstrated success with solicitations and direct mail required.
  • CFRE certification preferred.


Working conditions:

  • Must be able to sit for long periods of time while working on a computer and phone.
  • Must be able to lift items up to 25 pounds.
  • Must be able to walk and stand for long periods—this position gives walking tours of the Aquarium which range from one to three hours.
  • Comfortable attending walking events on the beach or at other locations which range from one to four hours.
  • Other physically active work (loading/unloading, moving supplies/auction items, standing) needed for special events.
  • Walking materials across the street between buildings in all types of weather.
  • Must be available for some evening and weekend work.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: 
October 29, 2019