Skip to content

Advancement Associate

  • Full Time
  • Washington DC
  • $61,947 USD / Year
  • Salary: $61,947

Website Smithsonian Institution

National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in Smithsonian history. With our Secretary, Lonnie G. Bunch III, who was previously the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, we are positioned to realize our goal of being a truly 21st century museum complex. The Smithsonian is dedicated to its founding mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” and as such we use our resources to encourage curiosity, ignite wonder and spark the joy of learning. Following the success of the Smithsonian’s first comprehensive capital campaign, the largest ever undertaken by a cultural organization, the Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time to join this amazing Institution.


The Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) is seeking skilled self-starter to serve as an Advancement Associate.  The Advancement Associate position is based at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC and will report to the Director of Advancement.  Candidates should have a passion for conservation and an interest in helping to save some of the world’s most endangered and beloved species, while working collaboratively with scientists and conservationists who are world leaders in their respective fields.


The Advancement Associate supports all aspects of fundraising for the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in their mission to save species and their habitats and train the next generation of conservation leaders. Primary responsibilities include donor related communications, written and verbal, support of the NZCBI Advisory Board, administrative tasks, and other support for the Director of Advancement.  Duties include the following:


·       Support for the Director of Advancement including calendar management, database entry, and prospect management

·       Manage Advancement team operations including scheduling weekly meetings, coordinating team meetings and other communication

·       Drafting written materials including proposals, acknowledgements, stewardship reports, and event briefings

·       Serve an internal and external role in coordination of activities around the NZCBI Advisory Board

·       Coordinating and leading tours and other activities for major gift prospects and donors


Successful candidates will have 3-4 years previous experience in non-profit office, preferably a conservation organization, demonstrate exceptional writing skills, have a strong attention to detail, have the ability to multi-task and an interest in growing his/her skills in advancement.  Candidates should display strong interpersonal skills, an engaging manner, and the commitment to supporting the needs of the Advancement Team. A Bachelor’s degree is required. Some evenings and weekends required in addition to occasional travel to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA.


Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park includes a 163-acre exhibition complex in the District of Columbia, within the US National Park Service’s Rock Creek Park, and a 3,200-acre conservation research facility outside Front Royal, Virginia, contiguous with the Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian Trail. The Zoo’s goals include excellence in animal care, research on endangered species, and education and high-quality visitor experience. On-going renovation and upgrade of the facilities to meet the highest standards of animal care and state-of-the-art research and education requirements, with over 100 buildings, some over 100 years old, requires a major investment of funds, only some of which is provided by the Federal appropriation to Smithsonian and the Zoo. Support for public programming and research is significantly dependent upon revenue from concessions income, special events, donations, grants, and contracts.


The Smithsonian Institution is a unique complex of 21 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research centers. Its exhibitions, programs, collections, and outreach touch the lives of millions of Americans every year, as well as many who visit us from abroad. The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a federal position but has similar requirements and benefits.


Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter to by September 19, 2022. Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (Month and year); and average number of hours worked per week.


The Smithsonian Institution ensures its employees (federal and trust), applicants, and affiliated persons (interns, research associates, fellows, and volunteers) are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), age, disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation and are free from reprisal against protected activities. In addition, other Smithsonian policy prohibits discrimination based on membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors, and political affiliation.


The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


To apply for this job email your details to