Director of Development




Located on Olympia’s East Bay waterfront, Hands On Children’s Museum (HOCM) is the leading play-based, early learning institution in Southwest Washington and the most visited children’s museum in the Pacific Northwest, hosting over 300,000 guests annually. Founded in 1987, HOCM has a long history of growth including three expansions in two decades prior to building its permanent home on the waterfront.

The Museum’s mission is to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking through fun, interactive learning experiences. HOCM’s award-winning education programs include camps, workshops, an onsite preschool, parenting classes, field trips, community outreach, and family support programs.

Hands On is a regional treasure featuring a state-of-the-art LEED Gold facility with 150 indoor exhibits, a half-acre Outdoor Discovery Center and nature play space, Art Studio, MakeSpace for tinkering and inventing, café, and gift shop. Focused on the arts and early STEAM learning experiences, the Museum encourages children to build, garden, cook, create, and get their hands dirty.

Frequently voted a “Best Place” in regional and statewide competitions, the Museum attracts visitors from every state and 20+ countries each year. Hands On is featured in numerous Blippi videos, ranks as a top attraction on Google, Yelp, AAA, and was awarded the Traveler’s Choice Award by TripAdvisor.


This position will build on the fundraising success achieved by current and past leadership, the Board of Directors, and the surrounding generous community, evolving the development program into its next phase of growth. With record-setting visitation for the size of the museum and the community, Hands On is planning its next major expansion campaign. With 27 years of steady growth and successful financial performance, we are looking for a leader to help take us to the next level—an experienced leader who can plan and execute a successful strategy to achieve both capital and operating fundraising goals. The Director of Development will report directly to the CEO and will work closely with peers and colleagues to craft and tell the story of the Museum. This position is responsible for the strategic direction, development, organization, expansion, and assessment of all philanthropic avenues to increase financial support for HOCM.

The Director of Development is responsible for overall leadership and supervision of all development work and leads all aspects of the organization’s fundraising plans including, but not limited to, major gifts, annual giving, leading campaigns, partnerships, grants, sponsorships, planned giving, volunteers, and special events.

A successful Development leader will demonstrate expertise, as well as a willingness to learn. They will be a great storyteller, and exhibit creativity and adaptability. This leader will oversee 3-4 positions and work closely with the Director of Data & Administrative Systems, the Senior Manager of Strategic Communications, the Assistant Director of Visitor Engagement, and other leaders across the organization to achieve shared goals.

This role requires an individual who is a strong relationship builder and demonstrates confidence in navigating relationships with senior leaders, donors, and community members. This position also requires active participation with the team in hands-on work whenever necessary. All employees are expected to center, model, and champion the values of the Museum.


• At least four or more years of progressive leadership experience in development or advancement; experience leading major and planned giving, capital campaigns, and partnerships preferred.

• A genuine commitment to the mission, vision, and values of HOCM and a general interest in the work of the Museum; experience in children’s museums is an advantage.

• Proven track record of achieving fundraising goals, major gift solicitation, stewardship, and donor cultivation; thorough understanding of earned revenue in addition to contributed revenue and the value of a diversified funding base.

• Record of cultivating and securing significant 6-and 7-figure gifts.

• Past experience working with a CEO to further develop a nonprofit into a development-centered organization.

• Experience collaborating with a Board of Directors to achieve fundraising goals.

• Ability and commitment to working with diverse groups of people.

• Experience managing staff.

• Demonstrated ability to prospect, cultivate, and manage new donors, while effectively stewarding and re-engaging the Museum’s existing donor base.

• Strong financial analysis skills; ability to develop and manage both revenue and expense budgets. Knowledge and experience balancing earned and contributed revenue.

• Comfort and expertise in leveraging metrics and data for reporting and goal-setting.

• Demonstrated success in building productive, collaborative, long-term relationships with senior leaders, staff, boards, volunteers, and donors; a flexible and creative workstyle that prioritizes both relationships and evidence-based results.

• Persuasive writing and verbal skills, including public speaking and strong interpersonal skills.

• Well-developed sense of and/or appreciation for detail-oriented work.

• Strategic, collaborative, an adept storyteller, with strong relationship building capacities, as well as comfort working in a dynamic, energetic environment.

• Entrepreneurial, curious, self-starter, comfort navigating ambiguity, growth-oriented, and has a general interest in continued learning.

• Familiarity with Altru by Blackbaud, Raiser's Edge, or Greater Giving software is an advantage.

• Stays current and up to date with industry trends and leading development practices.

• A bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant experience is required; an advanced degree is desirable.

• Alignment with HOCM’s Workplace Values.

Job Responsibilities:    


Within the first 12 to 18 months, the Director of Development will achieve the following major objectives:

• Build strong, trusting relationships with the CEO, the leadership team, staff, the Board, and key donors; establish a visible and dynamic presence as a leader throughout the surrounding community.

• Work with the CEO to plan and manage a major campaign to lead the Museum through its largest expansion to date.

• Work closely with the CEO and CFO to ensure ambitious yet achievable goals are set and achieved.

• Leverage the Board’s experience with the Museum, utilize their networks and skillsets to get to know the philanthropic community in Olympia and increase philanthropic engagement.

• Actively manage development team ensuring best practices in development operations.


The Director of Development will have the following responsibilities:

Strategy & Leadership

• Partner with the CEO and CFO to clearly define the Museum’s strategic philanthropic vision and achievable fundraising goals.

• Participate as an effective member of the leadership team, including leadership in quality improvement activities, providing input on earned revenue generation as well as contributed revenue.

• Identify points of intersection across the organization and create a through-line for comprehensive, inspiring storytelling and external communications.

• Attend Board of Directors and Development Committee meetings, and regularly prepare and present development reports.

• Oversee the visioning and execution of HOCM’s efforts to further increase its connection to relevant business, nonprofit, government, education, children-focused, and philanthropic communities; foster these relationships to both increase revenue and enrich programming, offerings, and reputation.

• Leverage leading practices in all areas of work and represent HOCM well when interacting with individuals, organizations, and the community.

• As a representative of the museum to the community, serve as an ambassador in support of the museum’s mission, vision, values, institutional goals, Board, and staff.

Development & Fundraising

• Establish and execute a comprehensive strategic development plan in collaboration with the CEO, CFO, Board, and Development Committee to cultivate new donors and maximize the capacity of existing donors. Create clear short-term and long-term goals, objectives, and timelines.

• Obtain new revenue funds for the organization through the acquisition of gifts, donations, and by diversifying revenue streams. Maintain an active portfolio of major donors and sponsors.

• Build the profile and amplify the brand of the organization by acting as a liaison with donors and the public.

• Plan, manage, and ensure sponsorship for the annual Summer Splash! Festival & Gala, the Museum’s largest annual fundraising event.

• Advance the team’s understanding and use of data and analytics in all aspects of Development work to improve performance and gain key insights to achieve results.

• Work closely with staff, Board members, and other volunteers to maximize the effectiveness of the Museum’s special events to help develop, attract, and retain donors.

• Collaborate with the CFO, CEO, and key staff members to ensure that funds are collected and expended to the best possible advantage and in accordance with any benefactors’ or grant makers’ restrictions and requirements.

• Develop and maintain annual development budgets; oversee all development related expenditures and establish methods of maintaining budget control.


• Manage and motivate the fundraising team of 3-4 staff to meet annual fundraising goals, with clear expectations and measures for success.

• Responsible for hiring, supervising, and directing a fundraising team to effectively cultivate, solicit, and steward individual, corporate, foundation, and government funders in support of the Museum.

• Ensure best development and acknowledgement processes are followed.

• Lead department meetings, provide on-going coaching, and complete performance evaluations.

• Build upon the culture of excellence, relationships, collaboration, and the well-being and education of all children at the core of all practices.


More details

Deadline: 07/15/2024
Date Listed: 05/13/2024
Web Address:
Job Status: Full Time
Exemption Status: Exempt
Salary: $115,000 - $140,000
Application Instructions: Hands On Children’s Museum has retained Campbell & Company to conduct this search. You may explore the full position guide here: To apply, please follow the link here:

Ad details

Organization : Hands On Children's Museum
City : Olympia
State/Prov : Washington
Country : United States