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Director of Development
Category: Manager

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Claremont, California

Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Director of Development

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

The Mission

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden promotes botany, conservation, and horticulture to inspire and inform the public and the scientific community about California’s native flora. The Garden is devoted to the collection, cultivation, study, and display of native California plants and to graduate training and research in plant systematics and evolution. Through all its programs, the Garden makes significant contributions to the appreciation, enjoyment, understanding, and thoughtful utilization of our natural heritage.


The Organization

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) is a multi-faceted scientific institution. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, RSABG functions as a museum for living plants in its display gardens, for plants preserved as scientific specimens in the herbarium, and for germplasm in the seed bank.

It is also a repository for invaluable educational and research materials, including 50,000+ books, documents and images held in the library and archives. The living collection displays ca. 3,000 plant taxa native to California on an 86-acre naturalistic garden that is open daily to the public. All plants grown in the living collection have full provenance as to source. The RSABG herbarium holds about 1.2 million specimens, is the 10th largest in North America, and is by far the most important resource for plants of southern California. The Seed Conservation Program preserves seeds of nearly 2,000 species collected consistent with best practices to preserve genetic diversity without endangering natural source populations.

RSABG is home to strong programs in research, graduate education (both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are conferred in affiliation with Claremont Graduate University), and horticulture. It also has diverse programming for the public, both adults and children.  RSABG is active in community education, providing curriculum-consistent programs for K–12 students, as well as informal education for people of all ages. Through informal education and plant sales at Grow Native Nursery (in two locations), RSABG actively works to convey the diversity and water-saving values of California native plants for home and commercial landscapes.

RSABG serves a diverse clientele that may be envisaged as a set of overlapping circles. Garden visitors come from across the nation and world; numerically, those from southern California dominate (91%, many local residents make nearly daily visits), but our reach is worldwide. A statewide network of university, agency, museum, and individual collaborators works with Garden staff on projects related to advancing knowledge of and conserving California native plants, including seed banking efforts. A wide international scientific community interacts with Garden scientists as collaborators and colleagues, as sources of graduate students for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs, and as readers, reviewers and authors of Garden publications.

The Position
The role of the Director of Development is dedicated to supporting the mission of the Garden. The Director of Development is charged with the responsibility to expand and manage the development program with related activities including Annual Giving, Deferred Giving and Special Events.
The Director of Development reports directly to Lucinda McDade, Executive Director of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and is part of the senior management team.  In addition, he/she will work closely with board members and other key leaders to promote the interests of the Garden. The Director of Development currently oversees a staff of two.


Candidate Qualifications

  • Five to seven years of progressively responsible experience as an accomplished development professional dedicated to the field as a career, with a track record that demonstrates results.
  • Working knowledge of the principles and practices of major gift fund raising, annual giving, prospect research and planned giving.
  • Experience in a botanical garden, museum or academic institution would be preferred.
  • Experience with all aspects of leading an annual giving program with the ability to engage staff and volunteers in ways that leverage and augment existing relationships and build new ones.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work harmoniously with the Executive Director, Board members, senior administration, staff, donors, and volunteers.
  • Ability to participate constructively and harmoniously with leadership in devising, analyzing, implementing and evaluating the organization’s overall needs.
  • Strong fiscal skills and knowledge of accounting principles.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize and lead a relatively young development program including the ability to envision and articulate future directions to meet the needs of multiple programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop a compelling communications/messaging plan, to articulate in writing and orally, the importance of philanthropy and the fund-raising goals of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden to individuals, groups, corporate leaders, and foundations.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • A high level of initiative, energy and imagination.
  • Ability to think critically and strategically, and articulate opinions.
  • Ability to become acquainted with key donors in a short timeframe.
  • A “hands-on” approach to the responsibilities to the position.
  • Unquestionable integrity and a strong sense of professional ethics.
  • Knowledgeable about information systems and Altru software to monitor internal donor tracking; strong computer skills.
  • Supportive of the mission, philosophy and values of the Garden.



A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


Process for Application

Expressions of interest and nominations may be sent in confidence to:
Elaine Turner - The Turner Group      909/621-2590


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