Credit: Heather Karuza

Credit: Heather Karuza

The South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation (SCBGF), a non-profit organization that exists to support South Coast Botanic Garden (SCBG), seeks an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual for the management of special events.


Director of Membership


Reports to the Chief Development Officer


The Foundation seeks a talented and driven individual to join us in our mission to serve the community by providing a unique horticultural and wildlife habitat experience and to represent a model of excellence for land reclamation and sustainability. This position is an excellent way to be an integral part of a growing nonprofit organization.

The Director of Membership should be an experienced self-starter with the ability to set and attain aggressive membership revenue goals in support of the Garden’s mission. The Director will oversee acquisition, retention, upgrade and fulfillment of a robust membership program that includes donors ranging from $45 to $25,000 annually. The Director will also oversee marketing efforts that will deliver attendance and drive membership – via the quarterly printed newsletter, printed postcards, and weekly email communications. The Director will oversee strategy for earned media for the organization, and will advise on Social Media efforts, in conjunction with the Chief Development Officer, to maximize attendance.

The right candidate will possess strong management and organizational skills, exceptional attention to detail, and eye for strategic direction. He/she should be able to make decisions under pressure, work creatively with limited resources, solve problems, anticipate project needs, discern work priorities, and meet deadlines with little supervision. A key representative to the community, the Director of Membership will make connections with influential individuals and actively recruit volunteers to help in membership acquisition.

The Director of Membership will devise strategy to increase the profitability of the general membership program (individuals giving $45 to $500 annually) through on-site sales, on-line discount retailers, lapsed recapture campaigns, and local acquisition initiatives; and launch a new giving club, the Garden Circle (individuals giving $1,000 to $25,000) through 1:1 solicitations. The Director will also oversee key communications deliverables for the organization, including copywriting and production of the weekly e-newsletter, printed quarterly newsletter, and quarterly post card mailings.

On-site sales initiatives will encourage guests to join when they visit the Garden, with signage, sales incentives, on-site staff training, discounting strategies and personalized sales. The Director will look at the existing ranks of members to encourage upgrades and renewals with the creation of new “ask-ladders”, personalized renewal letters, emails and calls, event-specific upgrade campaigns and more. The Director will reach out to lapsed members to secure re-joins. The Director will employ individual fundraising techniques to recruit members of the new Garden Circle.

The Director will participate in all Membership events in an effort to form relationships with members and member prospects, and to maximize membership sales and upgrades. While the Director of Education is responsible for producing Member events, the Membership Director is expected to collaborate on event strategy and to assist with event execution when needed. The Director of Membership will ensure excellence in member customer service and member satisfaction, both at events and on daily visits. The Director of Membership will be expected to regularly lead Garden tours for members and member prospects in an effort to cultivate strong relationships for the Garden. The candidate should have a passion for the Garden, provide outstanding strategic oversight, be an enthusiastic professional, develop an understanding of the company, and be able to build relationships with internal and external constituents.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • At least 4 years of experience in meeting revenue goals.


  • Develop Membership Department goals and regularly monitor progress toward goals. Make adjustments as needed.
  • Work closely with the Director of Education to guide membership programming and take all possible advantage of upgrade, acquisition and retention possibilities associated with member benefits
  • Make personal connections in the local community to help develop individual support for the Garden
  • Oversee production of quarterly membership newsletter, weekly email communications, and postcards
  • Direct member and nonmember communications via email and mail
  • Create streamlined procedures for thoughtful member communications and fulfillment
  • Act as liaison for VIP donors
  • Develop infrastructure for membership database in collaboration with Manager of Guest Services
  • Develop training tools and coach Guest Services Associates to maximize membership sales on-site and via phone.
  • Secure and coordinate volunteers to serve on Garden Circle Committee
  • Develop direction and budget for annual slate of member programming, in collaboration with Director of Education, to ensure a vibrant program that is focused on revenue growth
  • Procure membership incentives and benefits to encourage upgrades and retention
  • Put procedures in place designed to retain members (calls to lapsed members, outreach to members who have not visited, etc.)
  • Direct earned media strategies to cultivate increased attendance and brand visibility

Position is full-time.  Must be available weekdays, some weekday evenings, some holidays, and many weekends. Pay rate DOE.