The Foundation is Hiring!

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Senior Director of Development works with the development and communications team, CFO, Foundation Board of Directors and Library staff.  This position is responsible for major giving from institutions and individuals.  He or she is also responsible for having a deep understanding of the impact of the Library’s work and using this knowledge to create compelling investment opportunities, grant requests and high impact communications that inspire donors.

The Seattle Public Library is proud to be one of the nation’s premier public library systems.  Part of its success is owed to the dynamic and committed Library Foundation which is a separate 501(c) 3, established in 1980 to enhance the Library above and beyond what tax-based funding provides.

The Foundation’s overall purpose is to ensure the long-term vitality of The Seattle Public Library by raising philanthropic funds from individuals, foundations and businesses. Since its founding, The Seattle Public Library Foundation has raised more than $150 million for the Library to support building new and revitalized libraries, provide programming for people of all ages, expand the Library’s collections, and provide services for those with special needs. It is the largest public library foundation in the US based on assets under management.

The Foundation currently seeks an experienced development leader with a proven record of achievement who likes high level strategic work but is also willing to put together a grant report or a newsletter.

If you are an experienced fundraising professional who loves developing relationships and raising money, can create compelling investment opportunities, and inspire donors/funders through storytelling and high-impact communications, this is your opportunity to join a talented staff, work with a high-profile volunteer board, and share your passion for libraries and what they mean to our community.

Essential Job Functions

Development (50%)

  • Primary responsibility for planning, managing and implementing institutional giving and a major gifts program including strategy development, securing grants/gifts and stewarding relationships.
  • Provides strategy and support to the CEO and the Library’s Chief Librarian who hold major gift portfolios.
  • Develops deep product knowledge of the Library’s programs and services, especially those funded by the Foundation.
  • Identifies external funders and works with Library staff to prepare and polish both grant requests and program impact reports.
  • Helps develop strategies that engage and inspire donors through cultivation events and stewardship reports about the use and impact of donors’ gifts.

Communications (30%)

  • Prepares and manages the annual communications budget and work plan complete with timeline and deliverables.
  • In collaboration with development team, creates messaging and content for Foundation print and online communications that illustrates the impact of philanthropic support on the Library and in the community including newsletters, appeals and annual reports.

Leadership and Staff Management (20%)

  • Maintains a close and effective working relationship between the Foundation, Library staff, and other stakeholders.
  • Serves as staff lead to assigned Foundation board committees insuring meetings are set, agendas developed and assignments carried out.
  • Manages the work of the Communications and Events Coordinator.
  • Helps with Foundation events, participate on teams, special projects and other related duties as assigned.



  • Minimum of 10+ years progressive experience in non-profit fundraising including 4-6 years in major gifts and institutional giving.
  • Experience creating and implementing a communications plan and message frameworks.
  • Proven management experience and demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Experience working in a nonprofit organization with small flexible teams is preferred.
  • Knowledge of the Seattle nonprofit and philanthropic landscape.
  • Baccalaureate degree in Liberal Arts, Communications, Marketing or a related field.


  • Excellent communication skills plus imagination, flexibility, and organization.
  • Depth of experience preparing grants, proposals and impact reports.
  • Experience writing results-oriented campaign materials that generate gifts.


  • Skilled at donor-centered fundraising.
  • A good storyteller who can inspire audiences.
  • Knows how to get things done in formal and informal networks.
  • Thrives in an environment with firm deliverables, multiple priorities and frequent deadlines.
  • Demonstrates creativity and leadership and is an ideas person.
  • Relates well to all types of people, builds constructive relationships.
  • Deals well with ambiguity, effectively copes with change and can shift gears comfortably.
  • Willingness to work some nights and weekends.
  • Unequivocal passion for the mission of libraries.

 How to Apply

Follow this link:

Please submit a cover letter, resume and salary history using the online application.

Applications will be reviewed beginning August 21st and remain open until we find our hire.