Website Lincoln Park Zoo

For Wildlife. For All.

Director of Board Relations
Chicago, IL



Lincoln Park Zoo is the nation’s only privately-managed free zoo and an urban oasis in the heart of Chicago. The zoo’s mission is to create a world in which nature and wildlife thrive in our urbanizing world. The zoo is a local and global leader in conservation, animal care and welfare, learning and community engagement. A historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo was one of the first zoos in the nation. The zoo is committed to an inclusive and welcoming environment, and we celebrate the diverse qualities, perspectives, value, and experiences of all people. For Wildlife. For All. Visit us at


The Director of Board Relations will manage three staff and will be responsible for leading the engagement and activity of the zoo’s Board of Trustees; and position the Women’s Board and Auxiliary Board for significant growth in fundraising and civic engagement. An experienced, collaborative, team-oriented development leader, this important role will foster a vibrant board culture, ensure sound governance practices, and oversee best-practice staffing and support of the zoo’s chief volunteers and major donors.



Board of Trustees

Work closely with the Board Chair, Vice President of Development, CEO, and CFO to develop and implement board engagement and activity
Oversee board meetings, committee structure, orientation and nominating activity, board travel and annual Trustee self-assessment
Support the Board Annual Fund (with the Director of Annual Giving) and Trustee engagement in an upcoming fundraising Campaign
Partner with the Vice President of Development to lead the Nominating and Development committees
Women’s Board and Auxiliary Board

Lead the continued modernization and fundraising success of the Women’s Board and Auxiliary Boards.
Grow Zoo Ball, the zoo’s signature fundraising event hosted by the Women’s Board; including solicitation of top sponsors (with event consultant)
Re-imagine the Women Supporting Wildlife event as a mission-driven civic gathering, a fundraising luncheon hosted by the Women’s Board to celebrate women in conservation and wildlife science.
Position the Auxiliary Board for future growth and impact, including an assessment of the board’s fundraising events
Cultivate and implement modern, relevant and efficient board identities and practices: meetings, committee structure, fundraising efforts.
Support individual fundraising strategies with board members in partnership with the Leadership and Individual Giving team.


Will partner regularly with the Board Chair, CEO, CFO and senior staff
Daily external work with Trustees and top donors
Performs other duties as assigned


Exceptional communication and writing skills
Ability to communicate and be understood in business English
Thorough knowledge of office practices, procedures and equipment, and ability to operate standard equipment
Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe, SharePoint).
Familiarity with Outlook, Raiser’s Edge and/or Salesforce (fundraising software); and design software is a plus.
Open to learning new technologies
Ability to handle confidential matters with discretion
Ability to manage several tasks simultaneously and complete in a timely manner
Ability to work independently, exercising independent judgment and discretion
Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, zoo visitors and general public.

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education/experience is required.


5+ years of board relations or fundraising experience at a mission-driven organization.
Experience managing staff
Non-profit or museum/zoo experience a plus
Note: A comparable combination of education, experience or training that would provide the level of knowledge, skills and ability required may qualify an individual


Ability to sit for long periods of time
Ability to work in open office environment
Ability to traverse zoo grounds to facilitate tours, greet visitors, coordinate meetings


Available to work special events that may occur outside of regular work schedule, including evenings, weekends or holidays, as assigned.

Salary: $90k-110k/ annually


Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to an environment that is inclusive and welcoming. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and others who identify as nonwhite, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those with lived experience with racism and/or misogynoir are encouraged to apply. We celebrate the diverse qualities, perspectives, values and experiences of all people.  For Wildlife. For All.


To apply for this job please visit