Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Alliance is seeking a dynamite Development Director!


Date: October 12, 2011
Job Title: Director of Development, Alliance for Education
Classification: Regular, full time, exempt
Salary: Competitive, DOE
Closing: November 4, 2011

This position reports to the President & CEO of the Alliance for Education. The Alliance is an independent, non-profit organization and has been the strategic partner to Seattle Public Schools since 1995. Through fundraising, advocacy and community engagement, the Alliance brings together business leaders, community members, parents and policymakers to ensure SPS students are prepared for college, career and life. The Alliance is affiliated with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; staff are employees of The Chamber, participating fully in Chamber benefit plans.


The Development Director is the Alliance’s most senior development officer and is responsible for driving and executing fundraising strategy. This includes major gifts, annual giving, corporate support, sponsorships, board development, and special events. Some foundation support is included in the Development Directors’ portfolio. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 


  • Develop and execute on a comprehensive strategy designed to meet the Alliance’s financial goals and significantly expand the organization’s development activities over time
  • Management:
  • Manage two staff (Events Manager and Development Associate)
  • In collaboration with CEO, CFO and program staff, develop annual budget; participate in mid-year reforecasts; report progress against goals on a monthly basis
Donor prospective and stewardship:
  • Lead and institutionalize strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors
  • Place special emphasis on major and corporate donors
Board Development:
  • In collaboration with CEO and Governance Committee, take an active role in identifying, profiling and recruiting highly qualified board candidates
  • Staff the Development Committee of the board
  • In conjunction with CEO, work actively with all board and Emeritus board members to leverage relationships
  • Collaborate with internal staff and external vendors on all printed collateral and online/digital communications to donors, in keeping with Alliance brand guidelines
  • Act as a repository for stories and statistics that demonstrate the organization’s work
  • Effectively represent the Alliance at public events, conferences, workshops and media events


Leadership Profile:
  • Believes strongly in the value of public education and the mission of the Alliance for Education
  • Leads by example, models high expectations, takes a “no excuses” approach, is a problem-solver
  • Exudes confidence and optimism about what we can achieve on behalf of students in Seattle
  • Is eager to be visible in the community
  • Is creative, resourceful, open to new approaches and ideas
  • Can adapt to changing circumstances
  • Has a high degree of personal and professional integrity
  • Has strong organizational skills, is self-directed, and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Is a powerful storyteller; can make emotional connections with education stakeholders
Skills & Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum five years leading charitable fund development
  • Strong knowledge of principles, ethics and practices of successful fundraising
  • An analytic approach to setting & meeting achievable but aggressive revenue targets
  • Finance and budgeting experience
  • Demonstrated success securing major gifts from individuals and corporations
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, ability to listen well and communicate effectively with diverse audiences
  • Established relationships with Seattle-based major donors and corporate donors
  • Demonstrated experience maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Strong computer skills (Excel, PowerPoint and Word), proficiency with donor databases
This position requires an individual to work well independently and as part of a team; someone who can work quickly and effectively in a multi-tasking environment; and someone who is self-motivated and goal-oriented.

Minority candidates are encouraged to apply. We seek a diverse applicant pool, reflecting differences in age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and geographic origin.

Submit a letter of interest and a resume by mail to:

Alliance Director of Development
c/o People Programs
Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2500
Seattle, WA 98101-2611

Or, by email (as a .doc, .pdf or text file) to

Application deadline: Close of business November 4, 2011

The Chamber provides a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to: medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance company-matched 401(k) paid vacation and sick leave; holidays bus pass supplement

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Seattle education events

The Alliance has recently begun curating an events page as part of our new website.  We aim to develop this as a valuable resource that houses information on events from the Alliance, Seattle Public Schools, and the wider community.

Please let us know if you have any ideas for additions to this page!  Leave a comment on this blog or email me:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Common Core Standards: what are they and how do they effect our students?

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which advocates for the adoption of a set of education standards by all U.S. states, articulates the mission of Common Core Standards as: 
"provid[ing] a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy." 
What are the implications of these standards?  Watch this video for a good summary of the context and  implications of Common Core. With Washington State having recently adopted the Common Core Standards, and with Washington chosen as one of 20 states that will help develop new national science standards, this is highly relevant to us in Seattle public education.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Public school parents: classroom materials funding available!

On Oct 5th, all Starbucks stores in King County will be giving out free $10 DonorsChoose gift cards that parents and citizens can use to make a donation toward a classroom project posted on the DonorsChoose website. Right now there are nearly 300 Seattle classroom projects listed from which to choose. Through a generous gift of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, $500,000 will be made available through these gift cards, and anyone can make additional personal donations if they so choose.

Please consider taking advantage of this great opportunity to support your teachers and your schools. All you need to do is:
  1. Stop by a King County Starbucks on October 5th and pick up a free $10 Donors Choose gift card. 
  2. Go to
  3. Enter your gift code. 
  4. Choose a classroom project at a local public school. 
Important: Gift cards will be applied to projects on a first-come, first-served basis until the grant is spent, so be sure to apply yours soon!

About is a nonprofit that empowers teachers to request and receive needed classroom materials and student learning experiences.

The average teacher project request made of DonorsChoose is for just over $400 in student materials. 70% of these are funded each year by citizens, corporations, and foundations. This school year, DonorsChoose aims to bring $40 million dollars in innovative classroom project requests to life.