Title: Development Director 

Reports to: Executive Director 

Full time, Exempt 


Since 1987, Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) has cultivated transformative experiences through  story and language with readers and writers of all generations. SAL fulfills its mission through  educational, public, and community programming, in person and online. Our public literary  events bring the most talented and thought-provoking writers of our times to local stages. Our  youth programs include Writers in the Schools (WITS) and the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate (YPL)  program. WITS places local, professional writers in classroom residencies to inspire K-12  students in discovering the power of their creative voices as they develop lifelong writing skills.  Our YPL program elevates the powerful voices of local youth poets committed to community  engagement, education, and equity in our region. 

SAL plays a unique role in our community by using the literary arts to invest in essential  community conversations that are national in scope but local in scale. We offer thoughtfully  curated experiences through programs that are intergenerational in nature, bolstering both  emerging and established literary artists, and inviting change and new perspectives in our  audience. We believe these activities are essential to continuously and courageously revitalize  equity, justice, and belonging.  

As a predominantly white-led organization, SAL is committed to actively working to dismantle  white supremacy culture and institutional racism. We value a diverse workforce and an  inclusive culture and are committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in all areas of our  work and workplace culture. SAL is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals from all cultures  and communities are warmly encouraged to apply. We believe that having a board of directors,  staff, interns, and volunteers with diverse backgrounds enables us to better meet our mission  and we strongly encourage applications from people of color and other historically  underrepresented and marginalized groups. 

Strong candidates will bring a diverse set of skills, characteristics, and experiences, both  professional and lived. SAL strives to mitigate inherent biases that influence hiring practices by  focusing on a holistic view of potential candidates and understanding that no single candidate  will offer every desired skill and characteristic. The following offers an aspirational view of the  ideal candidate profile, and we encourage applications from candidates with a wide range of  experiences and backgrounds. 


Working in partnership with the Executive Director, the development team and the Board, the  Director of Development has primary responsibility for creating, planning, and implementing SAL’s annual development plan to raise $1.5M in FY2021/22. The Development Director reports to the Executive Director and serves as a member of the SAL Leadership Team. They supervise  two staff as well as a contract grant writer. The Development Director is responsible for annual  giving strategies, a major gifts program, two annual fundraising events, corporate sponsorships  of SAL’s public events, and foundation, corporate, and public grants & contracts.

Title: Development Director Reports to: Executive Director Full time, Exempt 

The ideal candidate for this position will have progressively responsible experience in nonprofit  leadership and fundraising practices with experience in all major fundraising strategies. They  will bring outstanding interpersonal skills and a track record of building rapport and engaging  donors and funders in meaningful ways. They will be passionate about the transformative  power of story and language to revitalize equity, justice, and belonging. They will embrace and  live into SAL’s values of belonging, racial equity, transparency & trust, curiosity, and joy. They  will demonstrate exceptional judgment and integrity. They will be able to balance strategic  vision with operations to keep their eye on SAL’s long-term strategic goals while tracking a  multitude of details and deadlines in day-to-day operations. They will be a team player who  understands how to create and nurture a collaborative environment as well as a skilled mentor  and coach for development staff and board members. They will actively listen to and seek out  staff input and develop methods for inclusion so that all internal stakeholders feel heard and  valued. 


The Development Director actively participates in SAL’s ongoing efforts to further an  organizational culture that supports and reinforces our inclusion, diversity, equity, & access  goals. Our 2020-24 Strategic Plan and SAL’s Equity Accountability Report are available on the  SAL website under “About.” This commitment and understanding should be demonstrated  throughout the performance of the Development Director’s job responsibilities and staff  activities. 


  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, the Development team, and the Board, create, plan, and implement strategies to achieve annual fundraising and multi-year organizational vison and goals, including individual giving; corporate, foundation and public support; and  special events (currently our WITS Back to School campaign in the fall and the Words  Matter gala in the spring). 
  • Develop strategies for the identification, solicitation, cultivation, stewardship, and growth of major gift donors. This includes, in partnership with the Executive Director, managing a portfolio of major donors. 
  • Assure effective planning processes are established for strategy and budget development and management, goal setting, reporting, metrics, and evaluation of results. Develop compelling philanthropic cases for support aligned with SAL’s mission, vision and goals.  
  • Serve as the staff lead for SAL’s Board Development and Fundraising Event Committees and develop and support Board engagement in donor development and giving activities. Supervise and support two development staff positions – an Events & Annual Giving  Manager and Donor Relations Associate – and a contract grant writer. 
  • Collaborate with SAL’s public programs, marketing & communications, and youth education program staff to support donor and funder cultivation and stewardship and leverage event 

Title: Development Director Reports to: Executive Director Full time, Exempt 

receptions and other opportunities to further donor engagement with SAL’s programming,  fundraising events, and development communications including SAL’s annual report. Ensure that effective systems are in place for managing donor cultivation and stewardship,  grants and contracts, corporate sponsorships, and development events. 


  • A passion for SAL’s mission and programs. 
  • A commitment to racial equity and social justice.
  • At least 3 years of experience in a fund development leadership role with responsibility for planning, leading, and executing a diversified annual fundraising plan that raised $1M or more. 
  • Successful experience with major gifts fundraising, including cultivating new relationships and personally asking for five– and six-figure gifts.
  • Successful experience with building and engaging staff, board, and volunteer teams to work together to achieve common goals.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Experience and comfort working with CRM databases, wealth screening programs, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, fundraising and financial data.
  • Knowledge of and/or connection to local, regional and national funders, especially in the  arts and youth education sectors. 
  • Experience with planned giving and/or endowments a plus. 


  • Valid driver’s license and access to an automobile for driving to periodic off-site events a  plus. 
  • Evening/weekend hours required. 
  • Openness to a dog-friendly work space. 
  • Note: Seattle Arts & Lectures is a fully vaccinated office and all medically eligible new staff  members will be asked to provide proof of vaccination. 


This is a 40 hours/week full-time exempt position. Salary range is $92,000 – $105,000 per year (commensurate with experience and qualifications) with a robust benefits package, including: Generous paid time off, including 20 vacation days/year starting your second year (15 days in  year one) as well as sick, personal, and holidays. 

  • 100% of medical, vision, and dental insurance, long-term disability, and group life insurance  covered, including an Employee Assistance Program. 
  • 403(b) retirement plan pre-tax distribution with a 3% gross salary match funded by SAL. Flex time as appropriate.

Title: Development Director Reports to: Executive Director Full time, Exempt 

  • Hybrid/remote schedule as appropriate with a laptop and support for some home office  equipment. 
  • Support and budget for professional development and growth.  


  • We will begin scheduling phone interviews the week of November 29, 2021. We will begin 45-min zoom or in-person interviews for the week of December 6.  Finalists will be invited to a second-round, two-hour interview (comprised of several shorter  

interviews with different teams), and we will make an offer shortly thereafter. Ideally, the selected candidate will start in early January. 


  • Send a resume and cover letter that tells us why this position is a good fit. Submit applications electronically in one PDF document to [email protected]. The email  subject line should be “SAL Development Director”. 
  • Open until filled. For best consideration, please submit no later than, November 28, 2021. 

Contact Information for inquiries related to this position (email preferred): Liz Keenan 

Hiring Coordinator 

[email protected] 

206.621.2230 x22

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