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As a non-profit, Northwest Film Forum is led and inspired by its community. When you make a donation of $50 or more per year to Northwest Film Forum, you automatically receive membership benefits with us, and at affiliated businesses. Our supporters receive membership discounts on movies, classes and rentals, plus other donor perks!

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Your gift provides critical, year-round support for Northwest Film Forum's programs and services on behalf of filmmakers and film lovers. You can support independence in film by making a donation to support Northwest Film Forum today!

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Roll Up Your Sleeves and Join Your Fellow Film Lovers

It's no secret that Northwest Film Forum runs on the industry, commitment and creativity of our talented volunteer corps. Almost anyone can volunteer here: all it takes is a commitment to a regular schedule or regular team assignment, and an understanding that working here isn't like working for a conventional movie theater, on a conventional production team, or in a conventional office.

We expect our volunteers to be proactive and confident contributors to Northwest Film Forum's community! Volunteering is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about movies and/or making films on a budget, and a great way to meet fellow filmmakers and film lovers. And of course there are the free/discounted movies, equipment rentals and classes. . . 

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Development Director

Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) seeks an energetic, strategic Development Director to drive organizational fundraising, working with the Executive Director to develop and implement strategies for long-term growth in annual giving, major gifts, special events, corporate sponsorships, and grants. The right candidate will join NWFF in a time of exciting change and increased public engagement. The Development Director will build a comprehensive development plan focused on ambitious goals to expand the organization’s capacities and resources to serve more independent film and media makers, students, patrons and community members in King County. Goals are currently $360,000 per year, with an expectation of annual growth. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development will work closely with the Board of Directors and NWFF staff to achieve these goals.

About Northwest Film Forum

Established in 1995, Northwest Film Forum is Seattle’s most comprehensive film arts organization. Northwest Film Forum cultivates independent film production and culture in the Pacific Northwest by exhibiting films, providing artist support services, and offering education programs for children and adults. We facilitate connections between independent artists and audiences, and create access to tools for making and sharing art. Currently, we are setting a new strategic plan, undertaking renovations to improve patron experiences, and adopting a new CRM system. Admissions and attendance are on the rise, and Children’s Film Festival Seattle continues to grow as our largest annual program.

Job Summary

The Development Director will be responsible for developing and implementing the contributed income strategy for NWFF by supporting, maintaining and growing our donor base, and by serving as an ambassador to our external constituencies. The Development Director will work closely with and provide direction and support for the fund development efforts of the Executive Director and the Board of Directors, as well as direct and supervise volunteers and relevant staff in the execution of their individual and coordinated duties.

Responsibilities of the Development Director

  • Create and implement an annual development plan, with specific dollar goals for broadening and diversifying individual, corporate, foundation and government sources as well as strategies for achieving them.

  • Establish and track development goals through the annual budget process together with the Executive Director and the Development and Finance Committees.

  • Evaluate progress toward goals; prepare and analyze reports for the Board, and recommend changes or additions to the plans, as needed.

  • Work with Director of Operations and the Executive Director to create a calendar for projecting cash flow throughout the year, including tracking milestones and benchmarks for the year.

  • Oversee research and identification of all potential sources of funding, and reporting to funders and donors.

  • Collaborate with Marketing to produce all collateral materials and communications (including advertisements, brochures, announcements, invitations, signage, displays, annual reports and website content).

Individual Giving

  • Create and drive major donor portfolios managed by Development Director, Executive Director, and Board.

  • Devise and implement creative donor engagement strategies to grow major gifts

  • Create and implement annual funding campaigns (analog and electronic).

  • Design and execute crowdfunding campaigns around specific goals and projects.

  • Lead donor research and provide appropriate briefings to the Executive Director and Board members who make funding calls.

  • Manage transition of donor information to a new CRM: Art House Cinema Solutions

  • With assistance from a consultant, provide development training to the Board and staff, including presenting key messages, donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

  • Collaborate with ED and Board to identify, cultivate and steward donors.


Special events

  • Work with ED and board to shape long-term event-based giving strategies.

  • Oversee major annual fundraising event, with support from volunteers and event producer; manage guest details

  • With significant support from board and volunteers, solicit in-kind donations, sponsorships and auction items.

  • Craft event program with development committee (speakers, entertainment, etc).

  • Coordinate event vendor relationships, and whenever possible/applicable, cultivate these relationships toward a sponsorship agreement.

  • Attend all appropriate events and actively engage with guests.

Institutional Support

  • Set and maintain high-functioning development operations and systems for managing donor records/relationships, an annual development plan and grant calendars.

  • Ensure that appropriate recognition, stewardship and reporting occurs for all donations, grants and relationships.

  • Manage contract grant writer

  • Coordinate with ED on grant budgets and financial requirements

  • Identify and maintain a grant-development strategy, including relationship management with foundation and government funders.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A minimum of three years of progressively responsible fundraising experience, with a proven record of managing activities to secure individual donors, corporations and foundations. (Particular emphasis will be on creating successful major donor campaigns and growing the numbers of individual donors.)

  • A willingness to think outside the standard channel and experiment with innovative and emerging fundraising and development strategies.

  • A self-motivated spirit of creativity and play within the position’s goals.

  • Experience wearing many hats within a small organization.

  • Passion for NWFF’s mission and diverse portfolio of programs and services

  • Experience tracking projections and producing reports through a CRM; familiarity with Google Applications and Mailchimp

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; ability to inspire a range of supporters

  • Ability to prioritize effectively; flexibility; ability to handle multiple projects at once.

  • Emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

  • An ability to work flexible hours as necessary.

  • Experience with youth arts and education preferred for growth of youth programs.

  • A Bachelor’s degree or more.

  • Experience managing people or willingness to learn management skills.

  • Demonstrated experience creating and implementing successful social media strategy, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

  • Knowledge of regional granting entities and foundations a plus.

  • A commitment to ongoing personal growth and professional development.

  • Experience with member-based and member-driven organizations a plus.


This position is full-time with paid vacation, sick leave and medical and dental insurance. Position includes flexible work schedule and additional time-off. Salary range: $36,000-$40,000, DOE.

To Apply:

Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to Courtney Sheehan ([email protected]) with “Development Director Application” in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted through July 20th. Northwest Film Forum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Ethnic, cultural and racial minorities are encouraged to apply.




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