Development Director

Development Director
Organization Friends of Waterfront Seattle
Location Seattle, Washington, United States
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline Dec 20, 2019

Seattle’s future waterfront park is more than a park—it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity when the community’s values, vision and investments align to achieve lasting economic, social and environmental value — now, and for the benefit of future generations. This will happen through the force of philanthropy leveraging public investment that capitalizes on major, necessary infrastructure projects: the Elliott Bay Seawall replacement completed in summer 2017, and the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in 2019. These publicly funded infrastructure projects open up 20 acres of public right-of-way, which the community is transforming into well programmed park spaces from Pioneer Square to Belltown, funded by a mixture of public and philanthropic resources. The new waterfront park will greatly enhance our nearshore ecosystem; create new, diverse cultural and civic experiences; generate new economic opportunities for people with limited financial resources; and connect people to our urban shoreline and to Elliott Bay in ways that reinforce a sense of shared community, values, and stewardship.


The central waterfront’s transformation is a ~$1 billion capital project. Approximately two-thirds of this cost represents the seawall rebuild, funded by a voter-approved levy, and the rebuilding of the Alaskan Way surface road in the footprint of the Viaduct, paid for by Washington State which then opens up space along the waterfront for the park. Capital expenses for the waterfront park constitute the remaining third of the ~$1B total, with philanthropy and a Local Improvement District (LID) predominantly funding park capital costs. This diversified funding model, which was developed as part of the project’s Strategic Plan by the City of Seattle, in partnership with the community advisors known as the Central Waterfront Committee, allows for the maximization of available resources while creating a fair project budget that does not divert public funds from other community needs. Philanthropy is integral to leveraging diverse funding sources and ensuring success of Friends as the City’s park operating partner over the long term.


As the nonprofit partner established to ensure the park’s successful execution, stewardship, operations and programming, Friends of Waterfront Seattle (“Friends”) has committed to raise $110M by 2024 from philanthropic sources to support the park’s construction, and will manage and program the park spaces at a high level through a mixture of public and private resources. Friends will also raise and contribute $90M from contributions, sponsorship and institutional giving to support its ongoing park operations and programming, and grow Friends’ internal capacity to operate the park in perpetuity for a total $200M comprehensive campaign goal raised over time.


Friends is in the process of building the fundraising arm of the organization to support the comprehensive campaign and become a strong park partner to the City to provide ongoing philanthropic support through annual giving and other programs.  Friends’ Development Director will play a key role in building the fundraising operations of the organization, developing strategies, and steering the comprehensive campaign. This leadership position will report to the Executive Director to build out the team working with an engaged, committed, experienced Board of Directors and fundraising counsel. The Development Director is a full-time position that manages and grows the existing comprehensive campaign team and will lead building out the architecture of the organization’s philanthropic infrastructure which will intertwine with park programming operations and community engagement in a collaborative environment.


Who may apply:  This position is open to all qualitied candidates.  Friends Values diverse perspectives and life experience, and encourages people of all backgrounds, communities and cultures to apply, including people of color, women, LGBTQIA, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, and veterans. We are seeking applicants who possess an entrepreneurial spirit with demonstrated, significant fundraising operations and management experience, who are also committed to stewarding a waterfront that serves all communities and cultures, is passionate about serving the public, and has the desire to continually improve Seattle as a place to live, work and play.


Position Needs, Knowledge & Skill Sets:

  • Demonstrated collaborative leader with the ability to maneuver through complex situations while remaining sensitive to how people and organizations function
  • Strategic agility to lead and grow new operations while managing development team
  • Passion for data-driven performance measures
  • Strong relationship-building skills that support donor stewardship and successful development goals while taking into account the many stakeholders, identities, and team members that are involved in overall park operations and park partnerships
  • Flexibility and ability to adaptively manage fundraising needs that support core mission of access and inclusion to public spaces that are newly created
  • Desire and Commitment to apply equity and inclusion lens to development grounded in analysis of collaboration with other departments like marketing and programming
  • Use of creativity to inspire outside-of-the-box thinking of traditional fundraising tactics with authenticity and transparency
  • The ability to deal with ambiguity and constant change, skilled with thoughtful communication and awareness of team dynamics



Examples of Development Director Responsibilities:

  • With the assistance of campaign counsel, the Executive Director and Friends team members, the Development Director has primary responsibility for comprehensive campaign planning and execution
  • Manages all aspects of ongoing comprehensive campaign, volunteer committees, and associated team members to proactively drive a high level of activity
  • Working with Executive Director, develop strategy for building out the fundraising functions of the organization to generate contributed income for annual park programming operations and execute plan to build out the philanthropic arm of the organization, including annual giving, major giving, institutional giving, donor stewardship, membership, and sponsorship
  • Develop timeline and strategies to meet short-, medium- and long-term financial goals, set campaign priorities, timelines and activities, including planning for public campaign moments in the near term
  • Manage work with Board members to develop and implement prospect cultivation and solicitation strategies, track campaign gifts against performance goals, ensure closing of all leadership gifts
  • In collaboration with the Data, Research and Impact Manager, develop and implement an effective prospect management program, advise on CRM database usage to support campaign needs and beyond
  • Working in partnership Marketing Manager & Executive Director, steer and provide input on collateral materials creation to support the campaign and general donor communications


Additional experience and desired skills include:

  • Demonstrated, senior management experience (10 years+), with a well-developed, broad range of leadership skills, at least some of which gained working in a highly collaborative working environment
  • Track record of inclusive and inspiring leadership to deliver superior results
  • Experience in budget development and financial concepts; use of financial results to inform planning, operations, adaptive management
  • Awareness of how public space programming affects communities who have been historically uninvited or underserved in our community due to institutional inequities
  • Ability to communicate respectfully and diplomatically on sensitive issues
  • Confidence to defend/debate and constructively criticize ideas without ego
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; ability to present complicated information simply and concisely in public forums
  • A bachelor’s degree/equivalent experience is desired
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce or similar CRM


Organizational Values

Friends is an ambitious organization that welcomes diverse qualified team players who, like all members of the Friends team, possess a “do all jobs” mentality and strive to achieve excellence in all tasks. Friends offers team members the opportunity to take on significant responsibilities on multi-disciplinary projects in a collaborative, congenial work environment.  While Friends is a 501c3 non-profit organization, Friends’ culture is more akin to a start-up with an entrepreneurial spirit compared to a traditional non-profit.  Friends is committed to an inclusive, diverse, multi-cultural atmosphere that we envision for the future Waterfront Park. Friends seeks to employ and engage all communities and cultures including people of color, those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community and to create an environment where everyone feels valued.


Compensation & Benefits

The Development Director is a full-time exempt position with a work schedule that requires flexibility to be available on-call and work some evenings and weekends. Starting salary is $150,000.00+ commensurate with experience. Vacation, health care and dental coverage, and transit pass are paid by the organization. Ability to participate in defined contribution retirement plan with contribution by the organization.


TO APPLY:  Send cover letter explaining how your experience meets the qualifications and experience needed for the position, along with a resume, to [email protected]