The Vice President of Advancement is responsible for the overall advancement strategy for the San Antonio Botanical Garden and seeks to move the organization towards a culture of philanthropy by integrating fundraising and communications efforts across all aspects of the Garden. The Vice President of Advancement will build on the Garden’s strengths and create a more vibrant and sustainable public asset by guiding and directing a high-quality, effective, and professional advancement program. Additionally, the Vice President of Advancement will provide leadership in all advancement efforts, including major gifts, planned giving, grants, annual giving, external relations, donor services, and
communications and marketing. The Vice President of Advancement is a member of the senior leadership team, reports to the President/Chief Executive Officer, and supports a growing advancement division made up of 6 team members initially. This position requires strategic thinking, creativity, vision, excellent communication skills, and sound leadership. Being a visible, participatory leader will be important in making connections to new and established donors; and in shaping the philanthropic arm of the Garden.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Specifically, the Vice President of Advancement will:
Leadership, Strategy & Engagement
• Assess the philanthropic potential of the organization. Building on the Garden’s successful
GROW Campaign, craft a sophisticated multi-year fundraising effort that will generate shortterm results as well as sustainable long-term growth.
• Develop a strategic and collaborative fundraising program that includes ways to deepen and diversify the funding base; increase restricted and unrestricted funds from all constituencies; carefully monitor the costs associated with fundraising, ensure that internal resources are appropriately utilized, and demonstrate philanthropic achievements.
• Work closely with the President/CEO and other senior leadership team members to articulate the case for each program’s funding priorities, and match those with specific individual, corporation, and foundation interests to ensure that philanthropy meets targeted needs and goals.
• Oversee the careful elevation and visibility of the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s brand through strategic and intentional communication and marketing efforts.
• Focusing on audience engagement and one of the key revenue sources for the Garden, provide strategic direction in shaping and growing the membership program and the various ticketing, group sales and premier ticket offerings.
• Provide support and direction in communicating key messages to all constituents of the Garden.
• Maintain a flexible leadership style that empowers staff through active communication and
delegation; and promotes intra- and interdepartmental teamwork.
• Foster an environment of achievement and ensure staff accountability for excellence through clearly defined and measurable department and individual work goals.
• Create a climate that promotes respect for others and acceptance of alternative ideas and
approaches, as well as the highest ethical standards and practices. Embrace diversity as a
• Provide leadership, guidance, and support in the areas of relationship management, gift
reporting, acknowledgment, accounting, and data integrity.
• Partner with and support the President/CEO and Board leaders in order to ensure their efficiency and effectiveness as the organization’s chief spokespersons and fundraisers. Similarly, guide and support key staff and volunteer leadership with respect to cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts, and utilize their time and talents appropriately ensure their effectiveness as spokespersons and fundraisers.
• Provide a high level of support to Board members and other high-level volunteers on
development-related activities in ways that inspire them to action and strengthen their intellectual and emotional commitment.
• In partnership with the governance committee, identify new Board prospects who are key leaders with an affinity for the mission and programs of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, with an eye towards building the Garden network.
• Enlist senior staff, as appropriate, in educating current and prospective donors in ways that raise funders’ sights about the Garden’s mission and impact. Collaborate across divisions and departments to create an environment that nurtures and integrates a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization.
• Maintain a significant portfolio of individual gift donors while facilitating relationships between donors and the President/CEO, Board members, and program leadership. Personally cultivate and solicit high level gifts from a portfolio of current and prospective donors (individuals, corporations and foundations).
• Systematically identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward new individual, corporate, and foundation donors capable of making significant contributions to the Garden. Educate targeted donors on the Garden’s mission, programs, and impact; and develop specific planned giving strategies and tailored cases for support.
• Maintain existing donor relationships and deepen those alliances through regular, relevant
communications and stewardship.
Job descriptions are guidelines that attempt to characterize major duties and responsibilities of employees and are subject to change as needs and programs change. At the San Antonio Botanical Garden, they are considered neither inclusive nor exclusive.
Status and Scope
Working closely with the President/CEO, Board of Directors and a strong development team, the Vice President of Advancement will build on existing advancement efforts and thoughtfully and intentionally pursue new opportunities for funding and engagement, increasing the depth and breadth of private individual and institutional support. The Vice President of Advancement will work to diversify the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s donor base by promoting the Garden to new audiences and prospects to generate interest and support for the organization, forging new relationships and leveraging current ones to secure $3.5-$4 million in private funding by 2020.
Education: A four-year college degree, advanced/ professional degree is preferred.
Experience: An established leader with at least 10 years of senior development experience, and with demonstrable achievements in departmental management, personal fundraising and broad knowledge of the importance of integrating fundraising with communications and marketing.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Demonstrated ability and experience building on an existing development program, including individual and institutional philanthropy, in such a way that has been a major step up.
• Proven ability to personally develop strategies, cultivate, solicit and steward major and
institutional donors at significant six- and seven-figure levels. The ability to inspire high-net
worth individuals and major foundations to financial leadership.
• Demonstrated experience training and working with executives, senior staff and board members in development-related activities, providing them with quality support and intelligence, and increasing their comfort with and success in fundraising.
• Success in increasing the effectiveness of development staff through established objectives, performance standards and quantifiable benchmarks.
• Strong interpersonal skills with the intellectual and emotional depth, maturity and collaborative skills to work effectively across the entire organization and all levels.
• Ability to work on multiple fronts in an advancement operation and deal with frequent deadlines.
• Extraordinary communication skills, written and verbal, and the ability to advocate for
connecting people to the plant world through experience, education, and research.
• Strategic thinking and creative approaches to problem-solving, linked to practical and effective implementation.
• Strong management skills, both strategic and operational, and a demonstrated ability to build, manage, mentor and motivate a diverse and effective team.
• A strong work ethic, ability to maintain and model high personal, ethical and professional
standards, as well as an outgoing and positive personality. A sense of humor and perspective.
The Vice President of Advancement may occasionally be privy to confidential information and must ensure that information is dealt with in the strictest of confidence and discretion.
Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds, bend, kneel, and squat. Position requires stamina for leading individuals and donor groups on walks through the grounds on uneven surfaces and occasional extended days for meetings and special events.
Position requires the ability to work under pressure and maintain a positive and professional manner while providing excellent customer service and managing staff and volunteers.
1. Although the position is primarily located indoors, the ability to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions is expected.
2. Expected to perform with minimum supervision and act independently within the scope of normal duties and responsibilities.
3. On regular occasion, required to work extended hours as well as weekend and evenings in an outdoor setting.
4. Minimal travel may be required.
Computer/printer and related software (PowerPoint, Word, Excel), donor database access, fax, office telephone, and e-mail account.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The San Antonio Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer.
Please send your resume and cover letter, including salary requirements, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications for this position and stating how you heard about this opportunity to: