Chief Development Officer

Development Seattle, Washington



The Chief Development Officer (“CDO”) reports directly to the President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Northwest Center, Gene Boes, and serves as a corporate officer of the organization. In collaboration with the President and CEO and the Board of Directors, the CDO will take a hands-on approach to our existing fundraising and development efforts, working to build out a full philanthropy department with effective programs that operate in tandem with Northwest Center’s goals and priorities. The CDO is chartered with designing and building the development engine that will fuel the innovation and expansion required for Northwest Center to drive significant social change and transform our programs and services to the next level. This executive will create and oversee a significant expansion of philanthropic support—growing us from our current base of $900K – $1.1M per year to $10M annually—including desired and targeted comprehensive campaigns to be initiated.


  • Minimum of 8 years of experience in progressively responsible development and/or sales positions, including participation in a major comprehensive campaign.
  • Demonstrated progressive leadership experience.
  • Track record of success in translating strategic priorities into comprehensive, enterprise-wide strategies that support the overall mission, values, and objectives of a complex entity.
  • Demonstrated management acumen and an ability to lead within a culture that is transforming and focusing on performance, outcomes, and metrics.
  • Proven fundraising success in a complex institution with demonstrated ability to work in partnership, with a sense of transparency, with the executives, senior leaders, Board, staff, and other key stakeholders for specific programs and initiatives.
  • Proven ability to develop the case for support, as well as strategic and complex fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Track record of goal setting, measuring success, and holding professionals accountable; ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.
  • Ability to relate to an intelligent and savvy business community, represented on the Board of Directors, the executive management team, and in external audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize and implement a program of comparable size and for multiple entities. Flexible to a changing environment and evolving internal factors.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, the importance of philanthropy and fundraising, along with mission and impact, to volunteers, board directors, donors, corporations, foundations, individuals and various stakeholders.
  • Experience identifying, recruiting, nurturing, and motivating volunteers.
  • Undergraduate degree required; advanced degree highly preferred.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Participate with the CEO, Board, and staff in translating Northwest Center’s strategic priorities into a comprehensive, enterprise-wide fundraising strategy that supports the overall mission, values, and objectives of Northwest Center.
  • Evaluate the effect of internal and external forces on Northwest Center and its fund development.
  • Provide the Development staff with the vision and hands-on leadership to carry out Northwest Center’s

Fundraising and External Relations

  • Lead the effort to effectively secure annual, major and planned gifts from individuals, corporations, family and private foundations, and community organizations.
  • Work in partnership with leaders throughout the organization and Board to drive fundraising efforts.
  • Build and shape the development program, which includes creating annual and long-range operating plans, monitoring their implementation and achievement of goals, and ensuring that appropriate policies and procedures are developed, documented and followed. Provide leadership in the design, formulation and implementation of proposed campaign operations. Initiate and manage approaches to productively involve community leaders and key volunteers in the strategic planning of a proposed campaign or new initiatives.
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with Northwest Center’s external constituencies to assure successful integration and implementation of programs. Staff development committee and task forces. Represent Northwest Center at various community functions and activities.
  • Ensure that philanthropy and fund development are carried out in keeping with Northwest Center’s values, mission, vision and plans.

People Management

  • Lead and develop our fundraising professionals—currently a team of two—focusing on issues of program development, organization, direction, motivation, and evaluation. Provide guidance, support, productivity, accountability and professional training.
  • Direct the formation, organization and development of volunteers using the Board of Directors, Board sub-committees, and communities where appropriate and necessary, with the primary objective of meeting fundraising goals while developing long-term relationships.
  • Direct the design of an overall plan for volunteer involvement, including the identification and recruitment of volunteers to fill key roles in any proposed campaigns. Meet with the Outreach and Partnerships Director and Board members to develop strategies to increase their individual and collective involvement in programs.


  • Collaborate with the CFO to design and implement effective fund development programs, while maintaining an acceptable level of quality and solid return on investment.
  • Assure sound fiscal operation of development function including timely, accurate and comprehensive development of charitable contributions income and expense budgets, reporting, monitoring and implementation.

Board of Directors

  • Partner with the CEO and Board to ensure fund development roles are staffed, and facilitate the optimum interaction between management and volunteers.
  • Participate on the Board of Directors Governance Committee and staff the Philanthropy Standing Advisory Committee.
  • Regularly inform the CEO and volunteer leadership on the condition of the organization’s fund development program and on all important factors influencing it.


The successful candidate will be:

  • Passionate about Northwest Center’s mission and vision.
  • A confident presence: comfortable with and energized by being “the face” of the philanthropic function of the organization.
  • A secure leader willing to listen, ask questions, and be comfortable not having all the answers.
  • Culturally competent, with an appreciation of and comfort level with working with a wide array of diverse stakeholders.
  • Deftly able to collaborate and develop consensus among multiple stakeholders, including staff, Board, funders, volunteers, and donors.
  • Skilled at inspiring, mentoring, developing, and retaining staff.
  • Respectful of Northwest Center’s fundamentals that contribute to successful programs while engendering future success via creativity and innovation.
  • An excellent oral and written communicator, with the ability to be equal parts passionate and persuasive.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances, particularly in an organization undergoing positive cultural transformation.
  • Someone with a sense of humor and a containable ego.


Vision Statement

“We envision a world where individual value meets unlimited opportunity.”

Until everyone is allowed to engage and contribute according to their abilities, society cannot reach its potential.


Northwest Center’s mission is to promote the growth, development, and independence of people with disabilities through programs of therapy, education, and work opportunity.  


When People of all Abilities Learn and Work Together, Everyone Benefits

The purpose of Northwest Center is to change society so that people of all abilities engage with each other fully in classrooms, workplaces, and the community. Legally structured as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, Northwest Center is more broadly a "for-purpose" organization that uses and blends the best techniques of human services, business, and philanthropy in innovative ways.

As a human services organization, Northwest Center provides early intervention therapy to families of young children with developmental disabilities and learning delays. Its inclusive early learning and childcare centers welcome children of all abilities who all share the same high expectations while receiving expert support focused on the individual needs of each child. Northwest Center also supports employment of adults with developmental and other disabilities through training, job placement, job coaching, and ongoing support.

As a social enterprise organization, Northwest Center proves to the world every day that employing people of all abilities can be a powerful competitive advantage. Our businesses employ over 400 people with disabilities who would otherwise be excluded from the workforce. Profits from these businesses generate over $5 million annually that Northwest Center reinvests in human services while covering 100% of the overhead expense of the organization and building cash reserves for future sustainability.

Northwest Center’s multi-channel approach to social enterprise has positioned us to begin leveraging philanthropy in extraordinary ways. At Northwest Center, we view philanthropy as a partnership and a powerful accelerator of innovation rather than a dependency—an investment that delivers strong returns, perpetual flows of human value, and a better world for everyone. We envision that philanthropic investment from community partners will provide critical sustaining support for our programs. Aspirationally, our philanthropy engine will also be a primary source of capital for Northwest Center’s growth and expansion.

Compensation & Benefits:

A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered, commensurate with experience. 

At Northwest Center, we do not just accept diversity and inclusion — we celebrate it, we support it, we live it and we flourish in it for the benefit of our employees, the community, and our clientele. It is our belief that our strength lies within our diversity and the forward motion towards a day when people of all abilities can learn and work together. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.