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Current Openings

Director of Development

Apply now Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: University Advancement

Position Title Director of Development
About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department

University Advancement supports Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. University Advancement works internally and with numerous colleagues across campus on diversity initiatives, and is actively engaged in moving forward the University’s mission through supporting core themes, specifically advancing inclusive success. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity. 

The Division of University Advancement is comprised of 44 staff members who support the engagement and philanthropy work. The three leadership units are: advancement services including financial and database work; major giving including donor relations and research; and alumni and constituent relations, advancement communications and marketing, and annual giving. Advancement transitioned to the Ellucian CRM in 2020. Main offices are on campus with satellite offices in downtown Bellingham and Seattle.

The WWU Foundation manages assets of over $115 million. Current extended campaigns include a one-year $20 Million capital campaign as part of a state-funded electrical engineering and computer science building and a multi-year Campaign for Student Success, which focuses on recruitment and retention scholarships plus program excellence.

The WWU Alumni Association informs, connects, and engages the 125,000 alumni with each other and with Western. More than half of Western alumni live in Washington with significant pockets along the West Coast and in major cities across the U.S. Signature programs include Distinguished Alumni Awards, Paint B’ham Blue, an annual welcome back to students event, and WeConnect, an online mentoring program connecting alumni with each other and with students.

Leadership volunteers serve on the boards for the Foundation and Alumni Association to set strategic direction and policy, raise friends and funds, and steward the community of donors and potential donors.

About the Position

Serving as the primary development officer, this position is charged with creating and implementing a comprehensive development program to engage and solicit alumni, parents, friends, community members, business, and civic leaders to achieve the development goals for Western and make a big impact on the lives of students. The Director of Development is personally responsible for soliciting and closing major gifts of $25,000 or more. Furthering Western’s mission requires strategy, creativity, and innovation, which are cultivated by an inclusive, diverse environment that respects and appreciates differences. Western is seeking professionals for these positions who will contribute to our mission of enhancing, increasing, and supporting a diverse and inclusive environment.

This is a full-time position reporting to the Senior Director of Development, Major Gifts, in University Advancement. Annual success metrics are determined from both the activities associated with fundraising and the actual donation results. The Director of Development is responsible for the discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of Western donors. In this ever-changing profession, multiple channels are utilized to connect with and cultivate donors, including face-to-face, phone and video, with a key success metric focused on substantial contacts. This position requires travel in and out of state with a heavy focus on the Puget Sound area.

Position Duties and Responsibilities

Fundraising (70%)

  • Focus on strategically identifying, engaging, qualifying, cultivating prospects and then soliciting major gifts of $25,000 or more.
  • Travel regionally and nationally to connect personally with constituents.
  • Complete at least 250 substantial contacts and 15-24 major gift solicitations per year.
  • Prepare written proposals, background reports, and other development materials for use during donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities.
  • One Team, Our Team. Work collaboratively with members of the Annual Giving, Corporations and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Alumni Engagement, Communications, and Special Events teams in order to further the fundraising goals for the University.
  • Design and implement a comprehensive development plan to increase philanthropic support for funding priorities established by the University and Academic Partners.
  • Develop effective fundraising strategies in coordination and collaboration with the Senior Director of Development and members of the University Advancement team.

Relationship Development and Prospect Management (20%)

  • In collaboration with the Director of Prospect Research, build, develop, and manage a portfolio of 100-125 major and principal gift prospects.
  • Execute timely contact reports. Consistently record and track all activity using the University’s prospect management and tracking system. Prioritize reporting activities and recording asks in the database.
  • Follow up with donors and prospects in a timely manner.
  • Cultivate relationships with diverse communities and individuals that have not otherwise been approached.
  • Steward donors by consistently and thoughtfully reporting on impact in creative and meaningful ways.

Leadership, Philanthropic Strategy, and Planning (10%)

  • Collaborate with staff who provide support to college and department development efforts.
  • Collaborate with other unit-based gift officers, the Corporate Relations and Foundations team and Director of Planned Giving to enrich the fundraising team, build cross-unit partnerships, and bring in multi-disciplinary gifts.
  • Take time to continue to learn the fundraising profession, benchmark, and make professional connections.
  • Utilize current engagement opportunities presented by the Alumni Engagement team, and in collaboration, create new engagement opportunities for constituents.
  • Participate in and collaborate with the Alumni Association, Foundation, and unit -based Advancement Boards.
Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3 years of experience in frontline fundraising or related field.
  • Experience working with or for a non-profit
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a customer service orientation. Poised, professional manner with the ability to express oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others including written and in-person.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering and promoting an environment of accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (for information, please see Western's page on Advancing Inclusion and Diversity).
  • Demonstrated proficiency in using technology – e.g., Microsoft Office suite; proficiency with Teams, Zoom, or similar video conferencing platform also preferred.
  • Ability to travel (including a valid driver’s license) at least once a week within Washington State, and outside the state for overnight travel. Ability to work occasional nights and weekends.

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including COVID vaccination by time of hire and Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience working on a campus in the higher education environment
  • Experience with a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
  • Proven success in face-to-face asks and the closing of gifts valued at $25,000 and above
  • Experience working on a large-scale, organized fundraising campaign
Salary $73,478 - $85,724 commensurate with experience and includes an excellent benefits package
Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.

Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins January 7, 2021; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 499148
Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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