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Director of Development

Position Type Administrator
Start 07/01/2019
School Name Northwest School, The
City, State Seattle, WA 
Posted 05/15/2019

The Northwest School is a college-preparatory, co-educational independent school near the heart of downtown Seattle. We offer a rich and challenging program to roughly 500 students in grades 6 through 12, including 80 international students, many of whom live in our campus dormitory. The Northwest School is committed to a diverse workplace and expects applicants to have a commitment to diversity and social justice. We firmly believe that we are a richer, more creative and dynamic institution when our collective is built with a diverse set of community members. The Northwest School strives for its faculty and student body to reflect the diversity of the society in which they exist. Candidates from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Northwest seeks an experienced Director of Development who will support the mission and philosophy of The Northwest School by building upon the strong philanthropic foundation that has been established in our community over the past decade.
The Director is a senior leader in the School and oversees all aspects of the five-person Development Office, including fundraising (annual, capital, planned giving, endowment, and special events), alumni relations, and volunteer coordination. The Director reports directly to the Head of School, works closely with the Board of Trustees, especially its Development and Governance Committees, and is a member of the Administrative Leadership Team.

Responsibilities include:
• Developing and implementing strategic plans, programs, and campaign initiatives to expand and strengthen the school’s current base of philanthropic support.
• Educating the school’s various constituencies about development and fundraising activities, with a particular emphasis on new parents and alumni.
• Identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major donors.
• Managing, guiding, and mentoring the Development Office team, including setting clear objectives, providing regular feedback, and encouraging open and ongoing communication both within the office and with other key departments.
• Directing the day-to-day activities of the Development Office and ensuring that administrative systems and procedures such as database management, stewardship, and prospect research function smoothly and efficiently.
• Keeping the Head of School, Administration, and Development Committee informed with accurate and timely information regarding fundraising activities and progress against established goals.
• Staffing the Board Development Committee and the Board Governance Committee, offering them guidance, status reports, and support.
• Planning and implementing all aspects of a capital campaign and/or an ongoing major gifts program.
• Planning, developing, and coordinating an expense budget, and setting annual and strategic goals for the Development Office.
• Planning and implementing approaches to potential corporate and foundation prospects for supporting The Northwest School.

Minimum Qualifications:
All candidates must demonstrate a commitment to the school’s mission, values, and philosophy, especially related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

A Bachelor’s degree and seven to ten years of progressively responsible related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to perform the essential functions of the job.

Demonstrated success cultivating major donors and securing gifts of significance. Substantial experience working with Boards.

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience leading a successful capital campaign.
Experience leading the development or advancement function in an independent school.

All candidates should possess the following competencies and personal attributes:
• Knowledge. Possesses a broad and deep knowledge of fundraising principles and successful development programs in non-profit organizations.
• Strategic thinking. Demonstrated ability to develop strategies to achieve the organization’s goals; understands the organization’s strengths, challenges, and capacities; adapts strategies to changing conditions.
• Oral communication. Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive and negative situations; demonstrates excellent group presentation skills.
• Written Communication. Writes clearly and informatively; varies writing style to meet needs; presents numerical data effectively.
• Customer Service. Manages difficult situations; understands the stress on volunteers and donors in the development process, and helps alleviate it; solicits feedback to improve service.
• Teamwork. Shares information readily; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building positive team spirit; is able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; supports everyone’s efforts to succeed; recognizes accomplishments of other team members.
• Leadership. Possesses a high degree of emotional intelligence. Exhibits confidence in self and others; inspires and motivates others to perform well; effectively influences actions and opinions of others; inspires respect and trust; provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates; displays passion and optimism; mobilizes others to fulfill the vision.
• Managing people. Includes staff in planning and decision-making; clarifies expectations of others; anticipates needs in sufficient time to avoid stressing others; takes responsibility for subordinates’ activities; develops subordinates’ skills and encourages growth; fosters quality focus in others; improves processes, products and services; continually works to improve supervisory skills.
• Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Shows respect for, and sensitivity toward, cultural differences; demonstrates a high level of cultural competency, educates others on the value of diversity; promotes a harassment-free environment; builds a diverse workforce.
• Ethics. Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity; upholds the School’s values.
• Adaptability. Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
• Initiative. Volunteers readily; undertakes professional development activities; takes independent action and calculated risks; looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; asks for and offers help when needed; capable of generating and executing new ideas and initiatives.


Salary is highly competitive with top independent schools in the region and commensurate with education and experience. The Northwest School offers an excellent benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability, and life and accident insurance coverage, fully paid for employee only coverage. A retirement program matches up to 6% of an employee's salary after one year of service in a 403(b) plan. An intentional, mission focused school culture, generous time off, lunch, access to the on-site fitness facility, an exceptional commitment to professional development, and a unique urban location are also benefits of working at the Northwest School.

Application Process:

Please submit a cover letter and resume online:
**Please note: we are unable to fully consider materials submitted through other avenues such as without a corresponding application through our website.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer that values workplace diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, genetic information, or marital status.

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Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 •
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