Director of Major and Planned Gifts

Hiring Organization Information

Organization Name: 
The Seattle Public Library Foundation
United States

Position Information

Employment Type: 
Full time
Experience Level: 
Salary Range: 
Job Category: 
Development | Fundraising
Organizational Overview: 

The Seattle Public Library Foundation of Seattle, WA is looking to hire a full-time Director of Major and Planned Gifts. This is a great opportunity for an outgoing, goal-oriented person to combine their nonprofit fundraising skills with their deep love for Seattle and our exceptional community services! Do you love people, books, and public programs to support our Seattle neighbors? If so, please read on!

This Director of Major and Planned Gifts earns a competitive salary and generous benefits including class-leading paid time off, outstanding employer-paid medical coverage with health savings account contribution, dental, vision, a 401(k) retirement plan with employer contribution and employee match, disability insurance, life insurance, an employee assistance program, fully paid ORCA pass, casual work environment, and a flexible work schedule.


We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the largest public library foundation in the United States based on assets under management. We have a talented staff who are mission-driven and dedicated to running a very successful foundation to benefit the libraries Seattle loves. Libraries enrich the lives of everyone in our community, and the Foundation’s investments help The Seattle Public Library expand learning opportunities, build community, and create a more equitable society.

We place great value on attracting and retaining a talented team. Our community-minded employees enjoy playing an important role in the Seattle community, excellent benefits, a casual work environment, a solid benefits package, and a flexible schedule.

Role Responsibilities: 


As the Director of Major and Planned Gifts, you are a strategic leader who helps us achieve the revenue goals necessary to support the inspiring programs the Library offers. You oversee a vital segment of our total fundraising activity, leading our major and planned giving programs. While a vast majority of your time is spent on major and planned gifts, you also oversee the activities of our contract grant writers who solicit grants from other foundations and corporate funders.

Your leadership skills come into play as you develop and implement a comprehensive plan to identify, solicit, and steward major and planned giving donors. You help develop and manage processes to support the team’s collective focus on major gifts, including processes for research, prospecting, and activity reporting.

You’re great at building relationships, which is essential as you get to know a portfolio of between 100 and 150 supporters who believe in the power of public libraries to transform lives. Every week, you’ll be out meeting one-on-one with these supporters, learning about their connections to the Library, sharing information about Library programs, and securing gifts of $2,500 or more.

You’ll also manage our Legacy Society program, where you’ll interact with library lovers who pledge their support through generous estate plans. Helping these donors see the joy in leaving their legacy is satisfying and rewarding.

A pair of experienced contract grant writers will take your guidance on organizational funding to pursue. You’ll help the grant writers identify programs in need of funding and work with the Library to ensure compelling proposals and reports are produced.

You’ll enjoy putting your creative skills to use as you work with our communications team to create collateral, materials, and reports to support major and planned gift efforts. You’ll also produce low-volume, high-impact, and highly personal direct mail to select donors.

If you’re a great coach, you’ll fit right in! Because you’ll help the Foundation’s board and the Library’s leadership team as we embark on building major gifts ambassadors across both organizations.

You’ll bring energy and enthusiasm to the Donor Relations & Communications Board Committee, and you’ll love connecting with donors at numerous donor cultivation events, including salons, house parties, and author receptions.

You know great data when you see it, and you’ll help build on the Foundation’s stellar database by helping to document donor interests, running performance reports to help the team stay organized, and using the data to identify giving trends and opportunities.

Candidate Qualifications: 


  • Bachelors degree in business, communications, marketing, management or related field; masters-level degree preferred
  • A least five years of progressive experience in major gifts or planned giving work, with demonstrated ability to build successful relationships
  • Proven track record of using donor-centered fundraising strategies to guide successful acquisition, growth, retention, and reactivation
  • Proven ability to develop major gifts systems and processes; outstanding CRM skills, including proficiency with Raisers Edge
  • Strong writer/communicator with sharp attention to detail
  • Experience managing staff and small teams preferred
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Seattle philanthropic community preferred
  • High proficiency with Microsoft Office, and especially Excel
  • Outstanding time and project management skills
  • Willingness to work some nights and weekends in support of donor events

A masters level degree is preferred, but multiple factors will be considered. Do you have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal? Are you detail-oriented? Are you assertive but tactful? Do you have great project management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks effectively? Are you passionate about the important role that library systems play in communities? If so, you might just be perfect for this position.


This is a full-time management position which requires some non-traditional hours for special assignments and donor events which occur on nights and weekends.

How to Apply

Application Contact: 
Brian Lawrence, Deputy Executive Director
Application Deadline: 
Applicant review will begin on October 11, 2019 and position will remain open until filled.
Application Instructions: 
Are you ready to put your friend and fundraising skills to work to further the goals of an organization our community loves? We promise that our application process is simple and straightforward. We can’t wait to meet you!