Director of Institutional Advancement and Strategy

Posted on 02/03/2023

Open Window School

Bellevue, WA


Open Window School is thrilled to announce a national search for a Director of Institutional Advancement and Strategy charged with building a strong and lasting culture of philanthropy to support the school now and in the future. This new leadership role will bring together the current Director of Development, Director of Parent Relations and Community Events, the Development Associate, and the Director of Communications to form a dynamic, community-oriented Advancement Department. Last year, Open Window began a $10M capital campaign that has three primary goals: Access, Excellence, and Opportunity Capital. To get this campaign off the ground, the school has leveraged the support of a leading external consulting firm to design and execute early strategy. Open Window has not undertaken a major philanthropic endeavor like this for over a decade. The Director of Institutional Advancement and Strategy will drive this campaign to a successful completion and lay the foundation for future giving. The school remains committed to a strong focus on community and connection and a set of vibrant annual giving events. The school seeks a strong leader who takes initiative, is community minded, has high EQ, and loves school. The Director of Institutional Advancement will report to the Head of School and start in the summer of 2023.


Departmental Formation and General Leadership: 

  • Oversee the newly created advancement department, which in 2023-2024 will include a Director of Communication, Director of Development, Director of Parent Relations and Community Events, and a Development Associate.
  • Provide outstanding mentorship, feedback, support, professional growth, and guidance to the advancement department while roles and responsibilities inevitably shift as the school embarks on a new model of institutional advancement.
  • Remain current with advancement trends and cultivate professional standards and development by participating in educational opportunities, reading professional publications, maintaining professional networks, and participating in local, regional, and national professional organizations.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Major Gift Giving & Capital Campaign Management: 

  • Serve as the director for capital and major gift campaigns, and provide strategic oversight for the annual fund. Provide direction and support to the Head of School and other leaders to ensure the success of all advancement initiatives.
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift and leadership prospects, both independently and with the Head of School.
  • Work with the Head of School, Board of Trustees, and leadership team to identify needs and opportunities for future major fundraising, and develop multi-year plans to ensure that OWS develops an ongoing culture of philanthropy.

Mission-Aligned, Strategy-Driven, Community-Centered Philanthropy: 

  • Understand and promote the role of fundraising and philanthropy in the long-term sustainability of OWS as a mission-driven 501(c)(3) to the board of trustees, the administrative team, and the parent and guardian community.
  • Establish and execute strategies to build outstanding relationships between OWS and its varied constituencies, and develop, coach, and mentor colleagues, key volunteers, and trustees to take an active role in building relationships and fundraising.
  • Align advancement and development initiatives to the school’s ongoing goal of improving access to gifted education both within the local community as well as in the broader educational landscape.
  • Implement best practices in data recording and management, gift acknowledgment and reporting, donor relations, giving policies and confidentiality of information.
  • Elevate the current advancement function to increase long term strategy and efficiencies while growing contributed revenue.

Communications, Marketing, & Branding: 

  • Work in partnership with the Director of Enrollment Management and Outreach to develop an outstanding communication and marketing strategy.
  • Ensure that outreach initiatives, publications, social media marketing, and other external-facing messaging are aligned to communication guidelines and brand identity.
  • Collaborate with other leadership team members on marketing and communication initiatives to expand and enhance the school’s visibility and reputation as a national leader in gifted education.

Professional Qualifications: 

  • Multiple years of increasing responsibility in fundraising, preferably in an educational setting
  • Comprehensive understanding of advancement best practices
  • Proven track record of fundraising success, including an ability to cultivate, solicit, and secure major contributions through excellent relationship management skills
  • Experience with capital campaign planning, implementation and management
  • Experience with digital media campaigns for fundraising, capital campaigns, alternative giving programs, alumni giving programs, and marketing and event management
  • Immersion in diversity and inclusion work — both in training and in implementation — and an ability and commitment to aligning principles of DEI to a school’s advancement strategy
  • Demonstrated proficiency with fundraising technology
  • Demonstrated success in supporting and supervising the work of colleagues to identify and achieve strategic organizational goals and individual employee goals
  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, which is a minimum requirement, though preferably possession of a graduate degree

Leadership & Personal Qualities: 

  • Organized, systematic approach to running a mission-critical department
  • Ability to create, analyze, and leverage performance metrics
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Desire to work collaboratively with other leaders throughout the school community
  • Deep appreciation and understanding of Open Window School’s mission and values, and an ability to align the operations of an advancement office to the school’s mission and values
  • Extreme discretion, attention to detail and commitment to excellence
  • A builder with a creative and strategic mindset willing to solve complex problems
  • Proclivity for relationship-building across different constituencies, including alumni, trustees, parents and guardians, staff and faculty, and friends of the school

Applications will be considered through February 28, 2023

An application requires submitting four PDFs:

  • Cover letter introducing yourself to Open Window School search committee
  • CV or résumé
  • A list of four references (include each person’s name, organization, title, phone number, email, and connection to you — though we will not contact any references without obtaining your permission first)
  • A response to the following prompt: Given all you know about Open Window School from this document and your own research, what are three guiding principles you would employ during your early years of leadership as the Director of Institutional Advancement and Strategy?

To apply for this job please visit