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Chief Development and Communications Officer

Job Title
Chief Development and Communications Officer
Job ID
Work Hybrid
Seattle,  WA 98118
Other Location
Seattle, WA

NextDeavor is partnering with Friends of the Children-Seattle!


Friends–Seattle, established in the local community in 2000, pairs youth ages 4-6 who are facing systemic barriers with a salaried, professional mentor. For 12+ consecutive years, the mentors assist the youth in developing and amplifying their power to achieve their personal, health, academic, and long-term goals. No matter what.

The organization has deep rooted connections to the community beyond mentorship and consider themselves partners of the youth and their families. Friends–Seattle’s model uniquely showcases long-term mentorship, consistency, and staff who truly care about the youth and families they support. As part of the Generational Change Model, Friends of the Children created nine research-based Core Assets focused on facilitating the social and emotional development of the youth to foster their holistic success with proven, measurable outcomes. 

Friends–Seattle has grown to a staff of 45, a 15-person Board of Directors, a seven-person Ambassador Board, and an annual budget of $4.3 million. Learn more about the organization, its mission, and its model here.

Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1993, Friends of the Children uses a bold, proven, and replicable model to accelerate change and break the cycle of generational poverty. Friends of the Children–Seattle (Friends-Seattle) is a member of a national network of over 30 sites throughout the United States and operates as a separate 501(c)(3).

Over the past few years, Friends-Seattle has prioritized anti-racism. In early 2020, Friends-Seattle staff and Board worked together to take the action steps starting with developing its 2022-25 strategic plan. Friends-Seattle convened a strategic planning committee that included the voices of staff, Board members, Ambassador Board members, caregivers, alumni of the program, and long-time supporters.

Friends has continued their equity journey as the organization goals from the strategic plan will guide teams' FY23 strategic plans. Those goals include, being proactive to ensure the sustainability of Friends-Seattle, establishing policies and processes that prioritize staff wellbeing and development, being an organization grounded in equity, centering programming around the voices of their youth and families, and securing long-term financial stability.

The organization is replacing an outgoing Chief Development & Communications Officer (CDCO) with someone who will join the leadership team (LT) and play a crucial role in fulfilling the recently developed strategic plan. The CDCO role is ideal for a proven fundraiser and relationship builder to take the next step in their career into an executive level role. The CDCO will be vital in the LT’s shared leadership model as they build upon the organization’s successes and enhance internal culture. Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the CDCO will act as a player/coach to the Development and Communications (DevComm) team of five professionals to develop and execute fundraising and communications plans that increase brand awareness, promote community centric fundraising, and acquire the resources needed to support the organizational growth laid out in the strategic plan. 

Essential Responsibilities:

●    Partner with the ED, Board of Directors, and the fund development committee in the cultivation and stewardship process with reliable donor research, solicitation materials, coaching, and follow-up
●    Create and present the Friends-Seattle story and investment opportunity for donors to educate them about our youth and programs in a manner that is authentic and respectful 
●    Responsible for personal fundraising goal for major gift donors
●    Oversee the moves management system for individual donors, corporate sponsors, and volunteers

Marketing and Communications
●    Seek new opportunities to raise the visibility and impact of Seattle Friend’s work, mission, and values with new audiences and potential donors 
●    Guide the DevComm team in their efforts to produce, distribute print and electronic communications, secure media exposure, and raise our profile
●    Ensure that our CRM is optimized to foster efficient and effective donor communications and build upon existing impact reporting to better engage donors
●    Direct the DevComm team in the planning, execution and follow-up of special events.
●    Oversee the creation and regular updating of all collateral materials. 

Strategic Planning
●    Convene the DevComm team and facilitate the creation of strategic action plans to support the organization’s overall strategic plan 
●    Establish, communicate, and monitor long and short-term goals and priorities for all fundraising and communications initiatives 
●    Lead the effort to develop a more diversified fundraising portfolio with an increased emphasis on individual giving.

Team Leadership
●    Monitor and provide support of  individual team member goals to meet KPI’s and reach the target of $4.3 M in annual fundraising
●    Support a culture of continuous improvement and development of systems and people to progress towards key personal and organizational goals
●    Partner with the DevComm team to build individual professional development plans; create redundancies and cross-training; and encourage paid time off and self-care;  providing support where needed
●    Manage and support grants team to ensure grants strategy that builds long-lasting relationships with institutional funders
Organizational Leadership
●    Participate in new board member onboarding, providing fundraising education at a level that is attainable and comfortable for each member
●    Create strategic alignment on the LT and across the DevComm team, ensuring the team understands organizational goals and the LT understands team goals
●    Encourage a culture of philanthropy, where each team member in the organization is equipped to be an ambassador for our programs and can verbalize how each dollar is important to the youth
●    Partner with the outreach and engagement team to raise awareness of the organization and its primary goals through outreach efforts, volunteer engagement, and regular events in the community
●    Participate in intentional learning efforts, including events and opportunities relating to understanding and dismantling institutional oppression and building cultural humility
●    Contribute toward a positive, inclusive work environment, and participate actively in staff meetings and events as required

CDCO candidates will bring intimate knowledge and experience about some of the historical and current challenges youth face in the communities Friends-Seattle serve. They will have experience in a direct service nonprofit and will approach their work and team with self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and humility. They will also bring a strong commitment and understanding of Friends-Seattle’s mission and values.

Each CDCO candidate will be an innovative entrepreneur with a track record of leading diverse groups with differing levels of expertise through successful fundraising and communication plan execution with measurable results. They will be a fearless fundraiser who has built and maintained long-standing relationships with contributors and have secured major gifts to generate consistent, sustainable revenue. The selected candidate will be an excellent storyteller who understands how to engage, educate, and inspire donors. 

Friends-Seattle values lived experience and urges all candidates to apply regardless of current job title. 

They will also bring the following:
●    A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience 
●    At least three years leading development and communications teams
●    Demonstrated success individually raising $500K or more annually
●    Commitment to shared leadership and cultivating an atmosphere grounded in equity, inclusion, and anti-oppression
●    A knowledge of all aspects of fundraising and experience with individual donors, corporations, foundations, government funders, and high net worth individuals
●    A record of building trust and nurturing collaborative relationships with board members, teammates, community members, and partners
●    Demonstrated ability to collect, analyze data and use it to tell a compelling story that is respectful of the youth and their achievements
●    Strong written and verbal communication skills and comfort as a spokesperson of an organization across a diverse audience
●    Experience continually improving processes, systems, and using a CRM/donor database
●    Ability to travel for occasionally (<10%) for events and meetings with Friends of the Children national partners


This is a full-time exempt position. The salary range is between $100,000-120,000  plus a generous benefits package.

Friends-Seattle is located in Seattle, Washington and offers a hybrid work schedule. 

How to Apply
Friends-Seattle is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to addressing discriminatory practices, and to working toward racial equity. The equal employment opportunity policy of Friends-Seattle provides fair and equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state and local law. Friends-Seattle hires and promotes individuals solely based on their qualifications for the job to be filled.
To be considered, please visit Friends of the Children-Seattle CDCO Job  submit your resume and cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role. The role will remain open until filled and candidates are encouraged to submit materials before April 3, 2023. 

The search for the Chief Development & Communications Officer is supported by a team at NextDeavor. Please do not reach out to Friends of the Children--Seattle. Questions and nominations of potential candidates should be directed to:

Chris Nguyen                    Mikkell Jackson Roeland          Essence Buckman-Lesane
Managing Partner             Managing Director                    Recruiting Coordinator
chris@nextdeavor.com     mikkell@nextdeavor.com         essence@nextdeavor.com 

Friends-Seattle Profile

Pay Range
$100,000.00   Annually to $120,000.00   Annually

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