About Western States Center   

Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, Western States Center works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy. For 35 years, our work has advanced social, racial, and economic justice by convening, developing, organizing, and supporting the communities most affected by inequities. We’ve played a catalytic role, working with community partners to build people-centered movements, develop new leaders, and shift culture with our eyes on the prize of a society where all can live, love, and work free from bigotry and fear. 

In 2018, in response to the current climate of heightened threats to inclusive democracy, we refocused our work into four pillars: Movement Building, Leadership Development, Shifting Culture, and Defending Democracy. 

Position Overview  

Western States Center is expanding to meet the urgent challenges facing our country and the growing threat of white nationalism and organized bigotry. We need a dedicated and talented Development Director to oversee our c3 and c4 fundraising strategy with a combined annual budget of $4.5 million. This is a unique leadership position for a dynamic senior level director who can drive our overall fundraising program while also communicating the vision, values and impact of Western States Center’s work. The ideal candidate will have a strong commitment to our mission and be enthusiastic about working with a team of colleagues who share equity values. This is a full-time position supervised by the Executive Director. 

Principal Responsibility  

The Development Director provides the leadership, strategic direction, management, and evaluation of Western States Center’s donor engagement and fundraising efforts. Foundation grants are the primary revenue source, and this position will have the opportunity to build and expand on individual giving and major donor cultivation, events and program sponsorships.   

Ongoing Responsibilities  

  • Provide guidance and support to the Executive Director, staff, and board of directors in the areas of donor engagement and fundraising. 

  • Develop, cultivate and maintain close working relationships with individual donors and foundation staff. Establish trust and rapport with longtime donors and identify and cultivate new donor communities. 

  • Maintain a proactive, creative leadership role in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of individual, foundation, and business contributions; cultivate and directly solicit key donors, working with staff, board, and key volunteers. 

  • Oversee all development activities and operations, including event production, donor and gift record-keeping, gift processing and acknowledgement, and databases, records, and files. 

  • Oversee production of donor communications, and work with the communications and development team to create and maintain stewardship tools such as donor newsletters and website donation platforms. 

  • Represent the breadth of Western States Center’s work and our values through all fundraising endeavors. Ensure representation of our diverse constituencies in volunteer teams, materials, presentations and outreach strategies.  

  • Manage all grant writing, prospect research, and reporting to funders. 

  • Supervise development staff, volunteers, and various consultants. 

Professional Experience  

  • Established and effective communicator; highly skilled in writing and speaking; the ability to communicate Western States Center’s mission and interests to a broad audience; adept at crafting proposals, donor correspondence, and other kinds of materials. 

  • A successful track record of personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting individual donors, businesses, and foundations for support.  

  • Strong and relevant experience in fund development strongly preferred, with significant experience securing major gifts from individual and institutional donors. 

  • Three or more years staff supervision experience. Experience managing consultants also preferred. 

  • Knowledge of major gifts, annual funds, corporate and foundation giving, planned giving, and special events. 

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including board and staff members, donors, foundation and civic leaders, volunteers, and community partners. 

  • Very strong technology skills; must be proficient in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Excel; familiarity with donor software, ideally EveryAction or similar. 


Remote working arrangements available with some travel required. 

Salary & Benefits  

This is a full-time exempt position. Benefits include health and dental insurance, retirement benefits, paid sick leave, and vacation. Starting annual salary is $75,000. 


Please submit the following to , with the subject line “Development Director Application:”  

  • Cover letter clearly outlining one example of donor cultivation experience, your equity values and the knowledge you would bring to the role. 

  • Resume detailing relevant experience, work history, education and accomplishments.  

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  

  Western States Center is an equal employment opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on merit and organizational needs, and not on race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, weight, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law.