Chief Development & Communications Officer (WS)

Join a team that is passionately committed to advancing economic opportunity by inspiring and preparing Washington youth for high-demand careers and lifelong learning through a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Washington STEM and its regional STEM Networks and community partners create solutions and change policies to bring the best STEM education to Washington students, especially students of color, females, and youth living in high-poverty and rural communities. Our goal is for every Washington youth to realize their full potential and thrive in our innovation-driven economy and society. Launched in 2011, Washington STEM has a track record of success, a highly engaged board of directors, and an entrepreneurial and results-driven spirit. Located in an innovation center just south of Puget Sound’s thriving technology hub, our organization has a close-knit team of 19 in which we place a high priority on communication, collaboration, and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion where each person is supported to thrive, and having fun together. Washington STEM recognizes that historical and systemic inequity, especially institutional racism, is the root cause to problems we aim to solve. We acknowledge that it is impossible for us to fulfill our mission without creating an equitable and inclusive environment for our staff, partners, and people we serve. We are in search of a chief development and communications executive who will advance the organization’s values and impact through positive leadership and management. For more information about Washington STEM, please visit


The chief development and communications officer (CDCO) is an outstanding opportunity for a highly-motivated fundraising executive with marketing communications experience to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly-respected organization. Previously, Washington STEM had both a chief development officer and a communications lead. The integrated expertise and functions play an increasingly pivotal role in a fast-growing, highly-respected organization. The successful CDCO is a mission-focused, strategic, collaborative, results-driven, and creative leader and manager with a proven track record of growing a diverse and sustainable revenue portfolio, building and amplifying a positive brand position, and leading a team of diverse, talented individuals.

Reporting directly to the chief executive officer (CEO), the CDCO’s primary responsibility is to effectively develop, lead, and manage the fund development and communications strategies and functions of Washington STEM. The CDCO will play a key role in supporting the organization’s projected annual budget growth from $5M to $8-10M over the next three to five years, generating the resources, partnerships, and platform required to achieve our goals of every Washington student being Future Ready through STEM and tripling the number of students of color, living in poverty or rural areas, and girls being on track to earn high-demand degrees and credentials.

Working closely with the CEO, dedicated board of directors, and key staff, the CDCO designs and implements comprehensive and dynamic strategies and initiatives that will ensure the success of individual, corporate, and foundation giving. The CDCO is responsible for accurately forecasting, cultivating, and closing on revenue opportunities that meet or exceed the organization’s financial and impact goals. The efforts of the CDCO and their team will generate contributed revenue by increasing gifts, sponsorships, and grants through successful relationship building, solicitation, stewardship, and marketing communications. In addition to successfully leading all fundraising activities, the CDCO will oversee marketing, communications, events, and brand strategy for the overall organization, positioning the agency as the leading source of information and solutions concerning STEM education and workforce in Washington state and beyond.


Organizational Leadership and Management

  • Lead team to develop and execute against multi-year strategic goals and annual workplans
  • In partnership with the CEO and board leadership, lead and manage Washington STEM’s strategic board engagement and stewardship
  • Foster efficient and effective cross-functional teamwork and results-oriented deliverables
  • Mentor and coach direct reports and support teams, delegating work streams effectively, fostering professional growth, and motivating and holding team members to a high standard of excellence
  • Model ingenuity in leading the evaluation and development of cost-effective and efficient systems, processes, and contract relationships to maximize staff success and impact
  • Develop and manage budget for all fundraising and marketing activities across the organization
  • Serve as a contributing member of the organization’s Executive Team
  • Foster Washington STEM’s efforts to build an inclusive culture and advance equitable internal policies and external outcomes


  • Develop, lead, and manage effective strategies for obtaining donations and grants that advance the organization’s goals and priorities and contribute to financial sustainability. Model a growth- and results-driven mindset by proactively measuring and reporting on progress against clear goals, assessing efficacy and productivity, and spurring learning and improvement
  • Actively cultivate, solicit, and steward a personal portfolio of high-capacity, transformational donors with major gift track record and/or potential from corporate, foundation, and individual sources
  • Work with the CEO and chair of the governance board to ensure fulfillment of fund development roles amongst the board of directors and facilitate effective engagement between management and volunteers
  • Identify and build relationships with high-impact community leaders, businesses, media, thought leaders, and prospective donors
  • Lead, manage, and model best practices and systems to support stewardship throughout the donor life cycle and with a growing donor pipeline.
  • Provide general oversight of the organization’s fund development activities, manage the day-to-day operations of the development function, and monitor adequacy of activities through coordination with staff, appropriate committees, and the organization’s board of directors.
  • Lead their team to accurately forecast and close gifts and grants to ensure adequate revenue for the organization. Support CEO and finance function to monitor cash flow with timely revenue forecasts.
  • Identify and oversee resources to write grant applications, case statements, major gift and sponsorship proposals, technical reports, communication materials, and other documents as necessary to support ongoing fundraising activities
  • Identify and utilize resources including volunteers, staff, publications, and the Internet to identify linkage, ability, and interest of major funders and key supporters
  • Direct and guide staff to maintain database files and records, including those used to track contributions, communications with donors, and maintain accurate mailing lists
  • Create, implement, and monitor revenue Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to support internal and external dashboards, learning, improvement and reporting needs
  • Provide partnership, training, and support to staff across the organization to help them successfully participate in fundraising efforts for the organization. Continue to build, strengthen, and leverage the strong internal culture of philanthropy.

Brand, Marketing and Communications, and Events

  • Provide strategic direction and management support to the creation and execution of an effective organizational marketing and communications plan to advance fund development priorities and other organizational goals and objectives
  • Use metrics and insights to regularly assess efficacy of the marketing and communications plan against fund development conversion impacts and other key metrics and to support learning and improvement
  • Proactively create and amplify a positive public image, brand, and reputation for the organization
  • Lead active creation, maintenance, relevance, and compliance of organization’s brand and marketing research, assets, collateral, events and messaging
  • Directly oversee the writing and editing of all fundraising and marketing communications, speeches, press releases, letters, and articles
  • Lead and manage the prioritization of and delivery against communications needs across the organization
  • Support and possibly serve as stand-in for CEO or other leaders for public appearances and responses to media inquiries



  • Progressively responsible fundraising experience, including a minimum of five years in a senior director role and seven years of successful track record attracting and closing major gifts of $100,000+
  • Proven track record of identifying, cultivating, securing, and stewarding major donor relationships
  • Proven track record of partnering with high-level boards of directors, volunteers, and organizational partners
  • Experience with collaborative fundraising with multi-site partners strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated passion for Washington STEM’s mission, vision, and values
  • Ability to think and act strategically; understand the role of individuals, corporations, and foundations in contemporary philanthropy
  • Develop and maintain smooth, productive relationships with all segments of the community
  • Experience with proven results in designing, building, and managing to a development plan and function that is experiencing growth

Brand, Marketing, and Communications

  • Demonstrated competency in marketing, communications, and brand management in a related field
  • Exceptional skills in writing and content creation; Demonstrated ability to present complex information in a clear, compelling and concise manner
  • Experience in public relations and relationship management with Washington state media and community thought leaders highly desirable
  • Ability to build and foster collaborative relationships with other departments within the organization to stay informed and abreast of new and current work.
  • Excellent written and oral communication at all levels in an organization
  • Excellent facilitation and presentation skills

Leadership and Management

  • Proven ability to lead strategic planning, manage team execution against measurable goals and objectives, and develop and manage budgets
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work of a team and cross-functional organizational colleagues and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with competing demands
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in excellent written and oral communication at all levels in an organization
  • Ability to recruit, motivate, organize and retain a high-performing and diverse team; ability to foster talent development, growth, learning, and improvement.
  • Motivation and ability to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Exceptional project management skills

Work Environment

  • Thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial, results-driven, and fast-paced environment
  • Ability to lead and collaborate well within a cross-functional team and organizational environment


  • Demonstrated proficiency using Microsoft Office products
  • Experience and proficiency with database tools (e.g. Raisers Edge, DonorPerfect, or similar software); development and communications analytics for performance measurement, learning, and improvement; and web content management systems


  • This position is an outstanding opportunity for a highly-motivated fundraising executive with marketing communications experience to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly-respected organization. As such, compensation for this role is competitive. The starting salary will be commensurate with candidate experience. The salary range is $165,640 – 248,460.
  • Health, dental, vision, Rx, long-term disability, short-term disability, and life insurance.
  • Generous paid time off and holidays.
  • Matching 401(k).


Washington STEM is a proud equal opportunity employer committed to an inclusive work environment and to building a team that reflects the rich diversity of our community. People of color, people with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions, and identities are encouraged to apply.

To apply, please submit your resume and a cover letter. Your cover letter should express your specific interest in and qualifications for this role as well as respond to these questions:

1) What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity and equity?
2) How have you demonstrated that commitment and how would you see yourself demonstrating it at Washington STEM?

Please submit this information to [email protected]. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled. If the position is visible on our website, it remains open.



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