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Director of Development & Communications, at one of North America's top 10 botanical gardens

Bloedel Reserve
Washington, United States
$100,000.00 - $120,000.00
Closing date
Jan 5, 2022

View more

Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Membership, Other Fundraising
Arts, Environment, Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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Bloedel Reserve (Reserve) is looking for a dynamic, effective, and collaborative Director of Development & Communications to join our team and further advance our mission “to  enrich people’s lives through a premier public garden of designed and natural Pacific Northwest landscapes.” The Reserve connects people to nature through its key mission priorities of horticulture, conservation, well-being, and creativity. With recent successes, the Reserve has now raised $25,000,000 to complete its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which provided vital funding to support mission delivery, capital projects, and endowment building. The Reserve is serving a record number of guests, and new membership sales and renewals continue to accrue at a healthy pace. 

Bloedel Reserve still has an eye on organizational sustainability and is focused on completing key initiatives in process, including funding remaining phases of the Environmental Horticulture Center and an endowment for the Creative Residency Program. The Reserve’s next phase of philanthropy will build on recent success and create lasting impact by funding future phases of the Reserve’s Master Plan and furthering new initiatives in sustainability and inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. Success will balance the needs for annual support, special initiatives, and growing the endowments. 

The scope of responsibilities will include creating, planning, and implementing successful initiatives in major gifts, planned giving, annual giving, and membership programs in partnership with the Reserve’s President/CEO, Staff, and Board members.  The Director will manage the Development and Communications department and assigned staff, including the development and implementation of a philanthropy plan to guide future direction and strategies and the selection and hiring of individuals to support the strategy.  

 About Bloedel Reserve

Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre wonder of nature, created by the imagination, vision, and a passionate love of the natural world shared by our founders, Prentice and Virginia Bloedel. Working with the rugged geography of the land, they artfully transformed a rough-hewn Northwest forest into a harmonious series of curated gardens, structural features, and distinctive landscapes. The Reserve is on the north end of Bainbridge Island, a short 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. We share the wonders of nature with visitors from both around the world and close to home, through unguided walks and targeted programs to support a connection with nature, horticulture, and the environment. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Develops and implements creative and compelling initiatives and strategies for identifying and engaging diverse constituencies and expanding the donor base to meet Bloedel’s fundraising goals.

  1. Develops strategies for the identification, solicitation, cultivation, stewardship, and growth of major gift donors.
  2. Manages a portfolio of leadership and major gifts donors, including solicitation and gift completion.
  3. Creates and implements comprehensive strategic fundraising and membership development plans to support annual and multi-year institutional vision and goals. Assures effective planning processes are established for strategy development, goal setting, reporting, metrics, and evaluation of results.
  4. Develops compelling philanthropic cases for support aligned with institutional vision and goals through the engagement of key stakeholders.
  5. Serves as the staff lead for Board Development Committee and develops and supports Board engagement in donor development and giving activities.
  6. Manages the performance of assigned staff, to include hiring, developing, and evaluating. Exercises expertise in evaluating and aligning development and communications functions and processes needed to meet objectives.
  7. Builds and maintains strong collaborative relationships with staff across the organization with a focus on strong partner relationship with the Leadership Management Team (Director colleagues) to advance development and membership initiatives in accordance with the Master Plan.
  8. Develops and manages development, communications, and membership program budgets.
  9. Represents Bloedel in speaking engagements at internal and external events as appropriate.
  10. Ensures successful communications, public relations, and marketing efforts in support of strategic and annual plans.


  1. Development Experience: five (5) years of nonprofit philanthropy experience or equivalent. Brings progressive thinking and understanding of development trends and best practices in fundraising. Knowledge of all facets of Campaigns. Direct experience in setting and implementing prospect/donor stewardship, cultivation, and solicitation strategies. Proven major gift solicitation skills and success.
  2. Leadership & Planning: proven track record in building a culture of philanthropy. Significant strategic planning experience and the ability to influence leadership and mobilize stakeholders behind a vision and supporting plan.
  3. Relational & Collaborative: ability to successfully develop and build relationships and strategic alliances resulting in collaboration across the organization with volunteers, staff, and board members.
  4. Building & Leading Teams: successful experience building, developing, and leading a team, including excellent facilitation skills and the ability to engage assigned teams in the collective work and success of the group.
  5. Working with Board Members and Volunteers: experience working with board members and volunteers; ability to create appropriate avenues for their successful participation infundraising strategy and activities, including the skills needed to help volunteers identify and qualify new prospects.
  6. Communication: exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  7. Emotional intelligence: demonstrates the ability to work in harmony at all levels, listen toand respect the viewpoints of others, and share recognition.
  8. Education: undergraduate degree from a college or university is preferred. Evidence ofcontinuing education through a graduate degree, conferences, seminars, and workshops infundraising techniques is a
  9. Demonstrated passion for horticulture, the arts, and/or community involvement 
  10. Must pass background check
  11. Must comply with and maintain a smoke-free and drug-free work environment

  Authority & Reporting Structure

This position reports directly to the President / CEO and oversees the Development & Communications Team, which is comprised of Development Manager, Communications Manager, and Development & Communications Coordinator. The Director of Development & Communications is one of the Bloedel Reserve’s most public faces and will be responsible for interacting with volunteers, staff, and Board members every day. 

Salary & Benefits

This is a full-time, exempt position. Starting salary is $100,000 – 120,000 annually, depending on the candidate’s skills and experience. 

The Reserve also offers a generous benefits package.

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance – 97% of the premiums paid by the Reserve
  • Life Insurance, Short-Term Disability, and Long-Term Disability – 100% of the premiums paid by the Reserve
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – Health Care, Dependent Care, and Transportation plans
  • 401k Retirement Plan – discretionary 4% employer match after one year of service
  • Support for professional development and training
  • Generous vacation and sick leave, plus 8 paid holidays, and 2 personal holidays

 To Apply

Please paste the following url in your browser to apply for the opening

  • Please include a cover letter that explains what lead you to choose Bloedel Reserve as the next step in your career, and details your connection with or understanding of the experience and benefits the Bloedel Reserve provides its visitors and community.
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