Northwest Film Forum is Hiring a New Executive Director

June 7, 2018

Mission, Vision, and Values

Northwest Film Forum incites public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. Our vision is a world where all people have the power to express themselves and connect with each other through visual storytelling and culture. We acknowledge that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. In recognition of the role of the arts as a vehicle for social change, we are committed to undoing systems of oppression in our work and lives. We share the values of the Capitol Hill Arts District, a coalition of arts advocates galvanized to keep Capitol Hill a thriving art scene invested in the creation of daring work, independent artists, and emerging ideas. These values are: Equity, Advocacy, Solidarity, Creativity, Courage, Self-Determination, Accountability, Risk Taking, and Dignity.

Role Summary

The Executive Director is a collaborative, visionary leader joining Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) in an exciting time of programmatic and operational evolution. No longer focused on film as art for art’s sake, NWFF’s current model centers equity, collective action, and community coalition-building as instrumental to creating and presenting film and media arts. The Executive Director will leverage collective resources to build and maintain community alliances and equitable operations. Our current growth is marked by vibrant programs overseen by a talented team, increases in membership and public attendance, grassroots community partnerships, and positive fiscal health. The Executive Director will champion the organization and build resources and capacity for NWFF’s mission and programs. As leader of a small but mighty organization, the Executive Director will balance high level roles and responsibilities to oversee NWFF’s artistic vision, strategic and financial direction, charting a dynamic course for the organization’s ongoing evolution and growth.

About Northwest Film Forum

Established in 1995 as a member-based filmmaker collective, today NWFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with comprehensive programs and services in three major areas: film and media arts exhibition, education, and artist support. Our 8,000 square foot venue in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood includes 2 theaters, a workshop room, edit lab, gear cage, film vault, and offices for NWFF, partner nonprofits, and filmmakers. Each year NWFF serves more than 30,000 local patrons with more than 500 events, including film screenings, festivals, community events, multidisciplinary performances, educational workshops, professional development events, and public discussions. NWFF offers classes and training for film and media creators at all stages of their development, including a growing suite of youth programs. NWFF’s artist services include access to space, gear, fiscal sponsorship, mentorship, and an edit lab.

NWFF enhances its programs through strong partnerships with peer organizations and community groups. Venue subtenants include the Seattle Globalist, Longhouse Media, Tasveer, and Brave Sprout LLC, all of which are regular program partners. NWFF is also committed to building a creative, strong team and maintaining reliable, modern facilities. Recent organizational developments include expanded youth education and community programs, a new website, a renovated lobby, a new awning, and a new CRM system. NWFF operates with a budget of nearly $1 million. The team of 2 full-time and 8 part-time employees have roles in programs and services, marketing and communications, technical production, and finances and operations. Volunteers provide vital support for NWFF’s programs.


Key Responsibilities


  • Represent the organization publicly and engage a diverse group of stakeholders in a wide range of settings.
  • Build and manage relationships with partners, funders, public officials, community leaders, the Board, donors, and members.
  • Lead strategic planning (the current strategic plan covers 2017-2019), working with staff and Board to set organizational direction, priorities, and goals.
  • Build upon Northwest Film Forum’s reputation as a recognized leader in the local, regional, national, and international film and media arts communities.


  • Oversee annual development activities and events; drive planning and strategy for increasing and diversifying individual, corporate, foundation, and government sources.
  • With Managing Director, set standards for high-functioning development operations, systems for managing donor records/relationships, an annual development plan, and grant calendars.
  • Oversee marketing to produce messaging, campaign strategies, and collateral.
  • Manage major donor portfolios; collaborate with staff and Board to identify, cultivate, and steward donors.
  • Manage grants program and contribute to grant-writing with the support of a contract grant writer.
  • Ensure that appropriate recognition, stewardship, reporting, and relationship maintenance occurs for all donors, grantors, funders, and corporate sponsors.
  • Guide decision-making, strategy, and planning for any future capital campaign projects.


Financial management conducted in partnership with Managing Director

  • Work closely with the Board and Managing Director to set the annual operating budget, manage the assets and financial affairs of NWFF, monitor expenses carefully, and maintain an appropriate balance of earned and contributed income sources.
  • Monitor financial health of NWFF and take action to ensure future financial stability.
  • Coordinate management of expenditures across departments.
  • Manage protocols to ensure compliance with appropriate accounting systems; maintain internal controls consistent with current federal, state, and city accounting best practices.
  • Oversee financial procedures and processes, including the authorization of payments for contracts and expenditures, and the maintenance of a chart of accounts.


  • Oversee marketing strategy and implementation to increase and deepen public engagement with NWFF’s programs and services.
  • Serve as a chief spokesperson for the organization.
  • Enhance NWFF’s visibility by establishing comprehensive messaging goals and communications plans.
  • Cultivate membership through marketing efforts.


  • Provide management oversight of programs, services, and projects that reflect NWFF’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Support program staff in setting goals and metrics for tracking progress and evaluating program impact.
  • Provide leadership in strategic planning, program evaluation, and development.


  • Serve as the chief executive, overseeing all day-to-day operations and programs.
  • Recruit, hire, and manage the staff of full-time, part-time, and contract employees.
  • Maintain a positive work environment where staff are empowered to share ideas, be creative, and develop their professional skills and interests.
  • Support development and implementation of racial and social justice policies and practices across the organization.
  • Review current employee review practices and keep the Employee Handbook updated, making necessary changes as needed.
  • Maintain and build employee benefits packages and professional development offerings.
  • Provide leadership in strategic planning processes and implementation.


  • Serve as an ex officio non-voting member of the Board of Directors.
  • Work with the Board President, Treasurer, Secretary, and relevant committee chairs to prepare Board agendas and packets.
  • Attend Board Meetings, reporting to the board regularly.
  • Meet with each Board Member at least once a year to discuss programming and the state of the organization.
  • Work with the Board and relevant staff to devise and employ strategic planning goals.
  • Support individual Board members in achieving their fundraising responsibilities and strengthening their nonprofit governance skills.
  • Participate in annual executive performance review by the Board.

Qualities, Qualifications, and Experience

  • A minimum of five years of supervisory experience, e.g. experience managing, developing, and motivating staff and volunteers.
  • A minimum of three years of progressively responsible fundraising experience, demonstrating ability to implement innovative strategies for fundraising and organizational development.
  • Ability to see, value, and adapt to cultural differences. Experience working with people of diverse ages, genders, sexualities, ethnicities, cultures, races, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Passion for and dedication to NWFF’s history, mission, vision, values, and programs. Familiarity with and passion for independent film and arts communities.
  • Experience with nonprofit organizations with multiple programs serving diverse constituencies in film, arts, and/or media.
  • A propensity for thinking in creative, non-traditional channels.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, high emotional intelligence and self-awareness, ability to build meaningful relationships with a variety of stakeholders, community-oriented, outgoing, energetic, and perceptive personality. Demonstrated ability to successfully problem-solve, build consensus, and resolve conflicts.
  • Commitment to providing NWFF’s resources to community members with limited access to media education and programs.
  • Lived commitment to and investment in racial and social justice and anti-oppression analysis.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, ability to inspire a range of supporters.
  • Ability to work flexible hours as necessary.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, experience meeting and managing multiple deadlines, and a high level of self-motivation.
  • Ability to prioritize effectively, flexibility, ability to handle multiple projects at once, agility, and adaptiveness.
  • Familiarity with G Suite (Google) applications, MailChimp, and CRMs preferred.
  • Knowledge of regional granting entities and foundations preferred.
  • Experience with member-based and member-driven organizations preferred.

Employment Information, Compensation, and Benefits

This full-time exempt position reports to Northwest Film Forum’s Board of Directors. The starting annual salary is $65,000-75,000, depending on experience. Benefits include company paid medical, dental, and vision insurance and a subsidized ORCA card. NWFF offers salaried employees a flexible time off program for various kinds of leave including vacation and sick leave, with no specific cap on time off. In addition to free entry to NWFF events and unlimited free popcorn, perks include free entry to most screenings at Grand Illusion Cinema and SIFF Cinemas. Some remote work possible.

To Apply:

Submit cover letter, resume, and three references to

Applications will be accepted through July 20, 2018. The target start date for this position is October 1, 2018. Northwest Film Forum is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, gender identity, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, religion, immigration status, or any kind of disability. NWFF is committed to working for racial and social equity in the workplace and throughout our organization. Applicants from historically underrepresented and minority communities including people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ identifying people are highly encouraged to apply.


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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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