Director of Development

World Ocean School
Massachusetts, United States
$68,000.00 - $90,000.00
Closing date
Oct 14, 2023

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Annual Fund
Education, Environment, Youth
Employment Type
Full Time

About World Ocean School


On the tall ship Roseway, ship’s bells replace school bells. Teamwork takes the place of busy work. And salty breezes power an appetite for learning — about the ocean, community, and purpose.


For 20 years, the World Ocean School and Roseway have been changing lives. More than 20,000 students have sailed on our historic vessel for hours, days or weeks. As they plot a course with chart and compass, hoist 2,000-pound sails up towering wooden masts, or stand watch in her tapered bow, these young people learn new skills and absorb an entirely new perspective. They come to see themselves as capable of so much more than they understood before. They return to shore with newfound confidence, pride, and the tools to be changemakers who can bring their communities together and work for a future where everyone can thrive.


As our schooner nears its centennial in 2025, World Ocean School stands at a pivotal juncture. Our beloved wooden ship needs a major restoration to remain seaworthy for more decades of service.  Another schooner, Denis Sullivan, has recently joined our fleet, enabling us to expand our impact and continue to deliver our programs uninterrupted while Roseway undergoes a historic project. This moment invites us to honor the past and invest in the future. 


We are looking for a powerhouse leader to join us to be part of this exciting and historic season for World Ocean School. 


To learn more about our exciting work, please visit


Position Overview

The Director of Development is a key partner on the Senior Leadership Team at World Ocean School, providing critical leadership and implementation of development activities at this exciting moment in our organizational history. Reporting to the Executive Director and managing the Development Associate and part-time Database Administrator, the Director of Development is responsible for sustaining and growing the annual philanthropic support for World Ocean School. World Ocean School is currently a $1.3M organization annually, planning for a multi-million dollar campaign that would double our programming at the completion of the project and ultimately require doubling the annual fund. 


We are seeking an inspired leader and relationship builder to reinforce and expand the World Ocean School Development Program to sustain our transformative educational programming in Boston and St. Croix, during a time of exciting organizational evolution and growth. Specifically, but not limited to: 

    Manage, implement, and steward the Annual Fund, including Annual Fundraising Events in Boston and St. Croix. Steward annual fund donors through a moves management program in Raisers Edge NXT, including the timely production of customized acknowledgment letters, donor recognition communications, and thanking donors by phone and email.  Manage the Development Associate and Database Administrator to support the communications and administrative efforts of our Development initiatives.  Work closely with the Director of Operations, Port Captain, and Executive Director as the Senior Leadership Team, to manage the budget, financial goals, and the coordination of events and fundraising activities in the midst of and parallel to programming.  Develop and maintain a pipeline of major individual, foundation, and corporate donors.  A strong working relationship with the Board of Directors, key stakeholders, volunteers, and our small dynamic team.

Qualifications: Strong candidates for this role will exhibit many, if not all, of the following attributes, experience, and qualifications: 

    An interest in the mission and vision of World Ocean School and the ability to communicate passionately about the impact of our work with various audiences and across multiple channels Experience in fundraising, with a preference for at least 3-5 years of experience in annual fundraising Demonstrated skills in event management  A team player with the desire and skills to lead and build community as we grow organizationally Talent for developing meaningful, genuine relationships through volunteer management and leadership Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written, with comfort in public speaking and presentations An ability, grace, and sophistication to interact with colleagues, donors, and clients of all levels and backgrounds Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail Technologically savvy and confident, computer literate - specific experience with Raiser’s Edge NXT, and the Google Suite preferred  Energetic, flexible, and able to work in a dynamic environment Comfortable working independently as well as being an active leader of a small dynamic team Mature well-grounded sense of personal ethics, evident in the individual’s integrity, fairness, and openness—upholding the highest standards in public and personal relations

Please note: This role involves travel and time on evenings and weekends for events on board Roseway, Denis Sullivan, or in the community to support our Development activities. 


World Ocean School is an equal-opportunity employer. We seek to build a team that reflects the diversity we celebrate in our community. We  welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share our vision, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to our work and mission. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law. 


Compensation for this position will range from $68-90K depending on experience.  World Ocean School provides a benefits package that includes health insurance, 401K with a matching option, two weeks of vacation in addition to federal holidays, and office closure between Christmas and New Year’s Day. 

The Director of Development is a full-time, exempt, 12-month staff position,  entitled to full benefits. The position could be a hybrid work arrangement, with the requirement that certain events and meetings will require in-person participation. World Ocean School is committed to relationship building and values face-to-face engagement as our educational programming embodies this, especially for an integral leader in a small, dynamic team. This position includes travel and work in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, specifically. Travel and accommodations will be provided for duties outside of Boston. 

To Apply: Please send a resume and compelling cover letter addressed to Eden Leonard, Executive Director, to

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