Job Opportunities athow The Gorilla Foundation 


Job Overview:

The Gorilla Foundation is looking for a Director of Philanthropy to lead our fundraising efforts to cultivate and solicit gifts from existing and prospective major donors. For 4 decades, the Gorilla Foundation has pioneered interspecies communication with great apes, and have relied on a substantial membership base to sustain our efforts via direct mail, email and unsolicited bequests (except for an occasional capital campaign). 

However, to ensure that “Project Koko’s” legacy is transmitted to future generations of great apes and humans, the Foundation must now raise several million dollars beyond its basic annual operating budget.  Based on our history, a focused major gifts development campaign is the most effective way to accomplish this goal.  

This position is critical to the successful  completion of the Gorilla Foundation's mission — to make "conservation through communication" a resource for all endangered species!


1. Develop a Major Giving program that will ensure the ability of The Gorilla Foundation to achieve its mission of conservation through communication for great apes.

2. Oversee The Gorilla Foundation’s Direct Mail and Online Fundraising programs and partners, and coordinate them with the new Major Giving program.

3. Develop our Legacy/Bequest Giving Program to make it straightforward and compelling for the The Gorilla Foundation’s current supporters to include the Foundation in their Will.

4. Collaboratively evolve the Foundation’s Strategic Plan and Budget, for both internal and external use; for example, preparing customized budgets and donor prospectuses, in collaboration with our Director of Finance.

5. Foster a culture of philanthropy within the organization (among staff and Board Members) to create leverage, so that everyone can contribute (both collectively and individually) to our development initiatives. 


1. At least 10 years experience as a successful professional fundraiser for a nonprofit organization — including personal responsibility for individual gifts of $500k or more.

2. Proven track record for building a major giving program.

3. Working knowledge of legislation affecting nonprofit organizations.

4. Extraordinary communication skills — for phone, internet, letter, and email correspondences, and for designing and creating compelling marketing materials.

5. Competence working with donor databases and wealth/philanthropy search engines.

6. College degree (BS/BA or higher)

7. A true passion for individual relationship-based fundraising.

8. A sincere belief in The Gorilla Foundations’ Mission, and a collaborative approach to achieving it.


— $120k/year (full-time — with a part-time option)
— Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance
— 403b Retirement Plan
— Paid Vacation, Sick Leave and Personal Time, with progressive increases

How to Apply

Please send a letter of interest, resume, 3 profesional references, and a brief essay on "what Koko means to you" to:



(Note: We are currently accepting resumes for "future" openings for this position.)

Job Overview:

The Gorilla Foundation is seeking an exceptional individual to join our team as a full-time Gorilla Caregiver/Researcher, in an environment where gorilla care and interspecies communication research are highly integrated. This is an opportunity for a qualified individual to make a contribution to great ape care, research, conservation and education, by using two-way communication to facilitate gorilla care and empowerment


Include providing daily care to two gorillas and their environment. This includes the monitoring, evaluation, and help in maintaining the physical and emotional health and well-being of gorillas Koko and Ndume through behavioral observations, enrichment, training, sign-language and other forms of two-way communication. Will clean and perform general maintenance of the indoor/outdoor gorilla facilities, assist with the preparation and delivery of meals to gorillas, and support and document communication-based research with gorillas, by learning American Sign Language (ASL), taking observational notes, filling out corresponding forms and participating in database entry and cataloging. This is an hourly full-time position from approximately 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, 5 days per week. However, work-schedule flexibility is required, including the ability to work weekend days and evenings (e.g., 12-9PM)

Qualifications / Experience:

Applicants must have a strong affinity for animals, as reflected in work and volunteer experience. Must be able to work effectively in a team environment, be hard-working, service-oriented and self-motivated, possessing a strong commitment to animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are necessary. Applicant should have at least two years of full-time animal care experience (preferably with primates) and at least a 4-year degree in life sciences, biology, psychology, primatology, zoology, conservation or related field. The applicant should be safety oriented and have experience in operant conditioning and training techniques. Ideally they should have some experience in performing or assisting with observational research. Knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) is preferred. California applicants preferred. A valid driver’s license is preferred.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include health insurance, paid vacation time, sick/personal leave, paid holidays and a 403(b) retirement plan

How to Apply:

Please send a letter of interest, resume, 3 professional references and a brief essay on “What Koko means to me” to:
NOTE:  We are currently accepting resumes for "future" openings for this position












Contact Us



The Gorilla Foundation /
1733 Woodside Rd., Suite 330
Redwood City, CA, 94061
1-800-ME-GO-APE (634-6273)

User login

Why become a member?

Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.
facebook twitter instagram youtube 

Website design by 1185 Design and powered by TrevNet Media