Development Director, Maritime Education

Washington, United States
Competitive Salary
Sep 11, 2020
Oct 10, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

The Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC) is seeking a Development Director to lead ongoing philanthropic fund development and event sponsorship during a phase of rapid program and business growth. The Development Director will report to the Executive Director, working closely with the board of directors and as a key part of the leadership team be a central part of creating and executing organization-wide strategy to manage the success of this established and growing organization. The Development Director will serve in a role as the champion of philanthropy at both board and staff levels and help shape and inform updating the organization’s strategic plans. The Development Director need not be a subject matter expert in any of the areas of focus, but will need the skills to help the Development team, ED, and event managers to take their success to the next level.



“There are rare moments when organizations have the combination of a talented and motivated staff, a powerful board, a healthy and productive work culture, are executing well on existing programs but still innovating and looking for the next step—we’re in that moment, and it’s exciting.” At least that’s what we were saying in January, and we know we will be there again.

Like all organizations, the current pandemic has had significant impacts on our organization and our ability to serve our community. We shifted activities and made some hard choices, but did so to preserve the resources that would enable us to rebuild when public health again allowed us to return to normal service levels. The Development Director hiring process is part of that rebuilding, and we want you if you have the skills and are excited to be part of the team that does it.

The NWMC is dynamic, growing, and making a difference in our community and taking an increasing role in the region. We serve individual students and program participants, but we also work to help solve community problems like systemic improvements in our public schools, economic development, job training, and working regionally to pair the opportunities in the maritime industry with the need to address systemic oppression in communities of color. Plus, all of the fun stuff like kids’ programs, festivals, and adventure races. Our waterfront campus is vibrant with a multitude of compelling activities, and all of them done to meet or advance industry best practices. In the words of a board member: “We don’t do B work.”

The Northwest Maritime Center’s relative scale to our small town means that the effects of our success can be observed in the success of our community. However, our community is growing beyond Port Townsend into the greater Puget Sound region. You’ll be doing meaningful work for the region, and your efforts will make a tangible difference. On top of it all, you’d be connected to our main campus in Port Townsend: natural beauty, heritage buildings, arts community, wooden boats, zero traffic jams.



  • Acquisition, execution, optimizing efforts, and continuing to regionalize our fundraising as we shape ourselves through significant growth
  • Responsible for the overall strategy and execution of fund development and sponsorship
  • Leading the development team to craft and execute an integrated strategy including:
    • Major Donors
    • Campaigns for strategic initiatives
    • Corporate giving
    • Membership
    • Fundraising events
    • Foundation giving
  • Be a central figure in scoping, staffing, and executing a potential multi-million-dollar campaign for site control and improvements of an adjacent property


Organizational Leadership

  • Drive and inspire development department to performance, currently a team of 3 staff members
  • Drive and inspire Donor Relations Committee and full board to meet or exceed board generated giving targets, including board members’ personal giving
  • In partnership with the Director of Donor Relations, develop and execute a major gift strategy
  • Contribute to the development of NWMC’s strategic goals and objectives as well as the overall management of the organization
  • Be a key player in developing regional expansion projects, especially in terms of feasibility of contributed income streams
  • Support board and ED by tracking performance against budget, and be proactive in both anticipating shortfalls and pivoting when opportunities present themselves
  • Serve as a member of the staff leadership team to shape vision and strategy


Donor and Acquisition and Stewardship

  • Grow our base of new donors and sponsors, with a focus on prospects in the greater Seattle area, and the NWMC’s other “hometowns” of Tacoma, Victoria, Seattle, and Ketchikan
  • Increase corporate giving through new and upgraded sponsors, increased focus on prospect research, etc.
  • Upgrade and implement an appropriate system of policies, standards, and procedures



  • Work with the Finance Director, Executive Director, and senior staff to plan, coordinate to execute the annual planning and budgeting process
  • Assist NWMC in performing to objectives and milestones in the strategic plan
  • Other duties as assigned



While this position’s primary responsibility is in non-profit fundraising and development, the Development Director will work as part of the NWMC team to ensure smooth operations for the organization as a whole. This could include providing information to visitors to the Northwest Maritime Center and helping out in projects and events that require all-hands-on-deck, to helping tie up a vessel coming into our dock because you happen to be standing there. We all pitch in for the heavy lifting now and then—sometimes this is metaphoric; occasionally we all have to actually help lift something heavy.



We are a learning organization. An ideal candidate will have sufficient experience in this or similar roles to help the organization learn and grow, provide meaningful feedback to both improve organizational functionality, all while balancing considerations between financial, community, and mission goals.

  • 5 – 10 years’ development experience with progressive responsibilities
  • Experience working in organizations with annual budgets from $5M – 10M
  • Knowledge and experience in capital campaigns of $5M – 10M
  • Experience managing/mentoring employees within a development context
  • Experience securing and stewarding six and seven figure donors
  • Experience in corporate giving and event sponsorships ($10k – 30k)
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Team player who can see the big picture, prioritize, and then multitask between various needs in our small, but relatively complex organization
  • Self-reliant, problem solver, results oriented
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively impact operations
  • Solid written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively engage with senior management, board of directors, and staff
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical performer as well as a manager and a strategic thinker



  • Undergraduate degree or master’s in relevant field and/or CFRE
  • High comfort with ambiguity/evolving truths – most years (but especially this one) we’re filling in the blank parts of the map as we grow. This role will need to be comfortable making well-reasoned judgement calls with less than perfect information, and creating the right amount of structure as we grow
  • Incredibly competent at all of the above that they would be able to do all of that in their sleep, have a true excitement about the mission and programs of the NWMC, and possess the ability to provide customer service and donor stewardship in a manner that is simultaneously professional and authentic; we do a good job but we aren't sterile. To us, customer service isn't the forced smile and "Have a nice day" as people exit the plane, but honoring people enough to be present and human with them.


The Northwest Maritime Center is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes and encourages individuals of all cultures and communities to apply.


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