Development Director (WTA)

Applications received by February 24, 2020 at 5pm Pacific time will be given full consideration, but candidates will be considered as they apply. Early applications are strongly encouraged!

Washington Trails Association has a unique opportunity for a strategic and innovative leader to help us leverage this time of exciting momentum for our organization’s vision of trails for everyone, forever.  

WTA’s next Development Director will be an experienced trailblazer who wants to guide a strong team to take WTA’s resource development to the next level, foster a robust culture of philanthropy across the organization, and help the organization unlock its potential to achieve even greater mission impact.  We are well-positioned to transition tens of thousands of our members and hikers into active donors, and we need a Development Director with the skills and strategy to help us grow our community and our impact.  

The successful candidate will join WTA’s leadership team as a key partner to the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors and will lead a team of seven fundraising professionals, helping WTA explore our mountain of funding opportunity and significantly increase investment in our new programmatic campaigns.  

Beyond a personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are looking for candidates who are motivated to integrate equity and inclusion best practices into WTA’s fundraising strategy and tactics. People who have personal experience in historically marginalized and excluded communities are especially encouraged to apply.


About Washington Trails Association


VISION: Trails for everyone, forever 

MISSION: Mobilizing hikers and everyone who loves the outdoors to explore, steward and champion trails and public lands

Washington is home to extraordinary hiking destinations, including desert dunes, wild beaches, tranquil mountain tops and raging rivers. Washington is also home to a community of people who are passionate about exploring and protecting these places. This constituency—our members and supporters—is key to the future of trails in Washington.

Washington Trails Association (WTA) is the nation’s largest state-based hiking and trails organization. Powered by hikers for more than 50 years, we help our community of 20,000 members, 5,000 volunteers and more than 100,000 online constituents to discover, preserve and protect trails and public lands. WTA's strength is in our community and our future success depends on fostering an inclusive organization and hiking community, where everyone feels welcome and represented. For more information about WTA’s work, please visit our website HERE.

Trails for Everyone, Forever

WTA’s vision of trails for everyone, forever is the north star that will guide our work over the next five years. Bringing together all of WTA’s functions communications, engagement, trail maintenance, advocacy, partnerships and leadership development our new programmatic campaigns will ensure that Washington’s trails stand the test of time and that everyone has connections to the outdoors, from backyard adventures to backcountry explorations.  

Faced with booming demand and decades of underinvestment, the challenges facing Washington’s trails are significant, but we believe our hiking community can lead the way to a sustainable trail system. Our four coordinated Trails for Everyone, Forever campaigns mobilize our community and amplify its impact by providing focused opportunities to give back and speak up to ensure Washington’s trails go the distance and are enjoyed by all. 


We are working to reverse the trends we’ve seen in recent years by enhancing Washington’s robust and diverse network of trails in remote places, within easy reach of population centers, and close to home. Because the challenges and solutions for remote trails are very different from those for urban trails, we’ve organized our work around three campaigns: Lost Trails Found, Trails Rebooted and the Trail Next Door, each working on an important piece of Washington’s trail system.

For Everyone.

We know that social inequities impact all aspects of our lives, including connection to the outdoors, and that significant barriers have prevented many people from hiking. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience the many benefits of hiking and nature. Still in the planning stages, WTA’s fourth campaign, Trails for Everyone, works to break down the barriers people face in experiencing Washington’s natural wonders and to create new opportunities for people to connect with nature and discover the joys of hiking.

WTA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We believe Washington’s trail system and its hiking community must grow and evolve along with new generations of trail users, while honoring all the ways that people hike based on their history and identities (including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender identity, class, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, ability and background). WTA has a responsibility to ensure all people have equitable opportunities to experience trails and discover hiking. We are committed to:

  • Fostering an inclusive hiking community, where people of all identities are represented and feel welcome;
  • Cultivating an inclusive culture and environment at WTA where staff, volunteers and program participants of all identities feel valued; and
  • Advancing equitable access to trails so that barriers don’t stand in the way of people getting outside.

To learn more about WTA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, please visit our website HERE.

The Opportunity

The Development Director position is an exciting opportunity for a motivated and strategic leader to help WTA achieve greater reach and impact for Washington’s hikers and trails. The successful candidate will spearhead WTA’s diversified fundraising program to unlock our substantial resource development potential over the next five years. As a key member of WTA’s leadership team, the Development Director will also have an important role in shaping the organization’s future direction and mission advancement strategies. 

Key Responsibilities of the Development Director

The full-time, exempt Development Director will build and execute WTA’s multi-year fundraising strategy to significantly grow income from individuals, corporations and foundations over the next five years. The development team is tasked with raising $4 million in 2020, with expectations to grow the team’s fundraising goal to $6-7 million over the next five years.

The Development Director reports directly to the CEO and leads a seven-person team. The Development Director has four direct reports: Annual & Institutional Giving Manager, Donor Services Manager, Major Gifts Officer, and Administrative Assistant. They will work closely with the CEO, Board of Directors and Communications Director to develop and implement fundraising strategy and engage donors. They will also partner with the Director of Business Operations to guide WTA’s overall revenue plan.  

Key priorities and primary responsibilities include:

Leadership & Strategy

  • Develops, executes and evaluates individual and institutional fundraising goals and strategy to achieve increased investment in WTA's programs.
  • Collaborates with and supports the CEO and Board of Directors in setting strategy and monitoring results.
  • Works with the CEO and Leadership Team to identify resource development priorities, ensuring alignment with funding opportunities and organizational goals.
  • Fosters an organizational culture of philanthropy where fundraising is embraced as an essential part of building WTA’s community and advancing its mission.
  • Manages the development team and direct reports to achieve results by encouraging collaboration, leveraging strengths and skills and supporting professional development.
  • Collaborates with the Communications Director to deliver compelling multi-channel fundraising appeals, donor-centered impact stories, and print and online donor communications. 

Planning & Implementation

  • Leads the development and execution of the annual fundraising plan and team work plan to achieve income goals, including overseeing a robust annual and institutional giving program and a growing major gifts program.
  • Guides donor management systems and processes to ensure accurate information and strong donor stewardship.
  • Partners with Director of Business Operations to prepare annual and multi-year revenue projections and funding priorities, and manages development team budget.

Donor Stewardship & Fundraising

  • Supports and guides the CEO, Board of Directors and other fundraising volunteers to steward donors and engage in fundraising.
  • Collaborates with the Major Gifts Officer to identify major donor prospects, develop major gift proposals, and manage a portfolio of 20-30 donors and prospects, including cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Represents WTA at community and partner events.

Ideal Candidate

First and foremost, you are passionate about our vision and mission and committed to building an equitable organization and outdoor community.  

You will find WTA’s Development Director position a compelling opportunity if you are an innovative leader with at least 5 years experience driving strategy and managing high-performing teams, and fit one of these profiles:

  • An accomplished fundraising leader with experience managing a team and demonstrated experience in individual giving, institutional partnerships, and donor engagement in growth-oriented organizations with annual budgets of $2 million or more; OR
  • You’ve worked as an executive director for a growing nonprofit with a paid staff of at least 5, and are looking to take your diverse leadership and philanthropy skills to an organization with an inspiring vision and endless opportunity for mission impact;


  • You’ve cut your professional teeth in the private sector as a marketing or business development professional managing strong teams, but now want to bring those transferable skills to a mission-driven organization in the nonprofit sector.

You are also:

  • A strategic and entrepreneurial thinker who is eager to build funding strategies that achieve income growth through a combination of proven approaches, experimentation with new tactics, and exploration of new funding opportunities;
  • An intuitive and authentic communicator with executive presence, who is able to persuasively communicate across diverse audiences in ways that instill confidence and inspire people to action;
  • A highly skilled internal and external relationship builder, who engenders trust and deepens commitment and engagement;
  • An exceptional manager of people and teams. You have a strong track record of inspiring excellence, creating a culture of feedback and supporting staff members in their growth through mentoring and professional development;
  • Motivated to integrate equity best practices into fundraising strategy and implementation, and have a strong personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. People who have personal experience in historically marginalized and excluded communities are especially encouraged to apply.


Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time salaried position requiring a willingness to work some evenings and weekends and occasional travel throughout the state of Washington. The salary range is between $90,000 - $105,000, depending on qualifications and experience. WTA offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, vision, retirement, disability, transportation, paid leave (holiday, vacation, sick). The organization’s offices are located in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood.


Commitment to Equity

Washington Trails Association is committed to advancing equity through our work and becoming a more inclusive organization. People of color and others with underrepresented identities (including but not limited to: gender identity, class, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, ability and background) are strongly encouraged to apply. 

WTA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, gender identity, marital status, military status, national origin, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking or any other characteristic protected by law.

How to Apply

Apply online using the link below:

Online applications only, please no email or paper submissions. You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please describe how your experience, interests and values are a fit with WTA and the Development Director position. 

Applications received by February 24, 2020 at 5pm Pacific time will be given full consideration, but candidates will be considered as they apply. Early applications are strongly encouraged! All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt. Phone interviews will take place in February and in-person interviewing will begin in early March. A final hiring decision is expected in early April.   

The search for this position is being facilitated by the team at Clover Search Works, a firm that provides a full range of search services to nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Clover Search Works is honored to partner with Washington Trails Association in the search for Development Director to ensure WTA has the resources it needs to realize it’s vision of trails for everyone, forever.   

Questions regarding this opportunity are welcomed and can be directed to Jill Sheldon of Clover Search Works.

Email: [email protected]  | Phone: (206) 909-4678






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