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Executive Director - Highline Schools Foundation

Posted on October 16, 2020


Highline Schools Foundation (HSF) is a stable, 21-year-old organization that is the only non-profit organization to support all 33 Highline Public Schools. Highline Public Schools serves around 18,000 students grades K-12 in the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and White Center in Washington State. The district has 33 schools, employs more than 2,000 staff members, and offers a wide variety of educational opportunities from early childhood to college preparation.

While an independent 501(c)3 organization, HSF works closely with Highline Public Schools to ensure that students and teachers have the resources necessary to be successful. The Foundation’s oversight is provided by a 24-member Board of Trustees that is committed to equitable public education. The Executive Director works closely with the board and supervises a staff of two employees.


Working closely with the Highline Schools Foundation Board of Trustees, the Executive Director sets the strategic direction for the organization, oversees all programs and staff, and generates support for its growth. The Executive Director leads the development and implementation of all Foundation goals, strategies, fund development, and serves as the point of contact of all Foundation programs and initiatives. This role includes a major emphasis on fundraising activities, including four annual fundraising events. The Executive Director will report directly to the Board of Trustees and collaborate with the board to meet the annual budgetary and program goals. The Executive Director will serve as the Foundation representative, promoting its mission amongst all stakeholders within the community, Highline Public Schools, local government, the non-profit community, corporate partners, and beyond.

Specific responsibilities include:

Strategic Leadership:

  • Work with Board of Trustees to design and implement a strategic plan every three years and annual operational plans.
  • Drive continued progress on strategic initiatives to increase the resources and programs of the Foundation.

Revenue Strategy and Fundraising:

  • Develop an annual fundraising plan to meet budgeted needs.
  • Cultivate relationships with individuals, corporations, and foundations and actively solicit their support for HSF.

Program Management and Expansion:

  • Implement Foundation programs within established timelines and budgets.
  • Work closely with Highline Public Schools to identify needs for program expansion and develop a plan to meet those needs.

Revenue Strategy and Fundraising:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive and diverse fund development strategy to sustain and grow the revenue of HSF.
  • Oversee all aspects of Foundation fundraising activities including events, planned giving, annual giving, employee giving, corporate partnerships and other opportunities as identified.
  • Research and identify grant opportunities that align with core funding priorities and programs. Serve as the lead grant writer on all applications.
  • Provide leadership to the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • Supervise Events and Communication Coordinator, providing direction and support for their goals, strategies and progress throughout the year.
  • Provide leadership and support for the four annual fundraising events: corporate breakfast, golf tournament, 5K run, and dinner/auction.
  • Report development activities to the Board of Trustees.
  • Oversee the donor database (DonorPerfect) including data management and gift processing, donor gratitude and stewardship.

Team Management and Board Leadership:

  • Recruit, develop, motivate and retain a strong team by supporting a positive workplace culture. Ensure that job descriptions are developed, regular performance evaluations are held, and that human resource practices are in place.
  • Motivate and inspire the Board of Trustees to grow the culture of philanthropy among the board and the community.

Community Leadership:

  • Build relationships throughout the Highline Public School community to support HSF’s program and fundraising goals.
  • Building relationships with community leaders in Burien, SeaTac, Des Moines, White Center, and Normandy Park to support HSF’s program and fundraising goals.

Fiscal and Administrative Oversight:

  • Report regularly to the Board of Trustees to facilitate timely, informed decision-making by the Board.
  • Work closely with the Board President and Executive Committee to lead all Foundation Board of Trustee meetings.
  • Provide sound fiscal and administrative management and oversight of the organization to ensure its healthy functioning.
  • In partnership with the Business Manager, develop an annual budget including revenue and expense projections.
  • Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.


  • An optimistic, goal-oriented, adaptable leader with at least 8 years of experience in a philanthropy or development role
  • A proven track record of operating and leading a non-profit with an annual budget of at least $1,000,000; growing operating budgets; leading organizational planning and implementing strategic initiatives; building programs; and developing fundraising, marketing and communication campaigns
  • Proven success in implementing successful fundraising strategies and building productive, long-term relationships with donors and volunteers
  • At least 5 years of direct supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated ability to exude compassion, understanding and empathy while working with diverse staff, guests, volunteers, and donors in a multi-racial and multi-cultural environment
  • Experience leading strategic planning processes and then developing operational plans
  • Experience creating and managing budgets, using financial analysis and reporting to inform strategic decisions, and assessing and measuring results
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and assignments, meet tight deadlines, coordinate and communicate effectively, in a fast-paced and compassionate work environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication and public speaking skills
  • CFRE or CEFL preferred, but not required
  • Proficiency with Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel
  • Excellent working knowledge of fundraising software applications, preferably DonorPerfect
  • Ability to work non-standard hours, including evenings, weekends and periods of high-intensity due to project demands
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable access to a car, and proof of insurance


  • A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 8 years’ experience in non-profit management and fund development/fundraising
  • The ability to pass a background check and provide documentation of proof of eligibility to work in Washington state.


  • Ability to converse with and listen to people in many different settings
  • Ability to use a computer and telephone, as well as other standard office equipment
  • Frequently required to stand, walk, use fingers, hands and arms
  • Ability to occasionally push, pull, lift and/or carry supplies up to 25 pounds


  • Highline Schools Foundation offers a generous salary plus the following benefits to this position:
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance with the cost for the employee’s coverage paid at 100% by the company.
  • 13 annual holidays
  • A $5,000 annual stipend that can be used towards a retirement plan
  • A Flexible Paid Time Off Policy allowing employees the opportunity to take vacation and sick leave at-will, subject to the performance of employee’s duties.


To apply for this position, send your resume, cover letter and salary expectations to First review of applications will happen at the end of October.

Highline Schools Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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