Director of External Engagement
Seattle, WA Fund Development & Communications
Job Type


Compensation: $130,453 - $208,684/annually, depending on experience. 

Hybrid - 3 days onsite, Monday - Friday.

Who We Are: 

Through the development, ownership, and operations of affordable housing properties, Bellwether Housing has been a trailblazer in transforming the lives of lower-income individuals and families in our region. As the largest nonprofit housing provider in the Pacific Northwest, we have nearly doubled our portfolio in the last 5 years and now own and operate over 3,500 affordable housing homes in Seattle and South King County, with the expectation of another 1,000 under construction in the next few years. 

Bellwether is a leader in State and local housing policy issues, an innovator in financing and housing development strategies, and a trusted partner to a diverse array of organizations in our community, including Muslim Housing Services, El Centro de la Raza, Chief Seattle Club, and FamilyWorks, while providing resident and real estate development services to other mission-driven nonprofits around Western Washington. 

Position Overview:  

In the midst of geographic expansion, operational growth, and continued leadership in the field, Bellwether is looking for a highly skilled and persuasive communicator, an assertive and results-driven leader, and a passionate and strategic ambassador for our mission and organization to be our Director of External Engagement (DEE), leading its external communications, fund development, and public relations function.   

Communications Leadership 

  • Leadership/planning/strategy: Design and implement a thoughtful, forward-thinking, and comprehensive multi-channel/cross-functional marketing and communications strategy designed to promote awareness of and engagement with Bellwether Housing and to advance the organization’s mission and priorities. Lead team of staff and vendors/consultants to execute such strategy. 
  • Build Story-telling Culture: Lead in the development of compelling messaging around Bellwether’s lines of business (resident services, property operations, real estate development) and its overall mission. Support department leaders in understanding and articulating Bellwether’s unique impact and approach. With the Resident Services team, document and share compelling and diverse resident stories.  
  • Create and Distribute Compelling, Consistent Content: Manage the production and editing of high-quality, compelling communications, including press releases, speeches, website copy, social media content, resident stories, project descriptions, and capital campaign materials. Ensure that Bellwether’s marketing and collateral materials align with a cohesive communications plan, the organization's messaging goals, and branding guidelines. Leverage a variety of marketing and communications tools for multi-channel approaches across digital and traditional platforms enhancing visibility of Bellwether and its mission across the region. Continuously explore new platforms, practices, and strategies to broaden Bellwether’s visibility and engagement with critical audiences. Oversee site-based events (groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings). 
  • Build Key Relationships: Cultivate relationships with media outlets including print, online, and broadcast journalists, editors, or influencers, to increase reach and demonstrate Bellwether’s impact and to advance critical housing policies. 

Fundraising Leadership 

  • Strategy, Leadership, and Planning: Develop ambitious annual fundraising strategies that are ambitious, and achievable, and support Bellwether’s strategic plans and initiatives. Create an annual fundraising plan with metrics and areas of responsibility that include activities for the CEO, Board, other staff leaders, and members of the development team.   
  • Individual Donor and Foundation Cultivation and Communications: Develop strong relationships with major donors and key foundations that support or could support Bellwether’s work.  Develop communication and cultivation plans for each donor segment. Create opportunities for donors to engage with the Bellwether mission. Create or supervise the creation of all donor communications including annual campaign materials, social media posts, and fund development materials.  
  • Special Events: Determine strategic direction of the donor engagement events including the annual fundraising luncheon, and ensure expert execution of such events, supported by the Board, volunteers, staff, vendors, and consultants.  
  • Capital Campaign: Drive $15M capital campaign (2024-2025), consisting of $5M philanthropic contributions and $10M low-interest loan funds, to support the next phase of Bellwether’s growth. Develop and implement a compelling marketing and outreach strategy and timeline for the campaign. Manage CEO, Board, and other staff members’ roles in the campaign. 

Public Relations 

  • Advocacy: Support and advise the CEO and other leaders in developing annual advocacy and policy objectives and messaging for those objectives. Promote a culture of advocacy within the Board and staff. Stay abreast of major political dynamics impacting Bellwether’s work throughout the region. 
  • Community Education and Outreach: Support the CEO in developing stories, messaging, and materials for Board, community, and policy-maker education around Bellwether’s work and its mission. Support Real Estate Development and Property Management in major community and tenant outreach efforts related to new developments and significant changes to existing properties. 


Who You Are: 

  • Passionate about affordable housing 
  • 8-10 years working in philanthropy/fundraising, and/or political/marketing campaigns, with increasing levels of responsibility and a proven track record of prospecting, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individual and institutional supporters. 
  • Compelling and inspirational communicator.  
  • Demonstrated success in securing major financial support by acquiring, developing, and sustaining donor and/or foundation relationships.  
  • Think strategically about how external communications, public relations, and special events advance mission and organizational initiatives.  
  • Demonstrated success in leading, mentoring, and managing a team of fund development, communications, and/or public relations professionals. Set clear expectations and performance metrics and hold others accountable to those.  
  • Strong decision-making and problem-solving abilities.  
  • Competent at using Microsoft Office and fundraising database products; Salesforce experience a plus. 
  • Expert in developing comprehensive communications and outreach strategies that align with organizational goals. Proven experience in planning, executing, and evaluating communications/marketing campaigns across various platforms (web-based, social media, traditional, etc.).  
  • Understand brand identity and the ability to ensure consistency across various communications platforms and organizational departments. A strategic and visionary mind for problem-solving around core business challenges 
  • Relate openly and comfortably with diverse stakeholder groups and perspectives. 

What We Offer: Bellwether Housing is your platform for growth, empowerment, and purpose. When you join our team, you will receive: 

  • Competitive compensation accompanied by a generous benefits package. 
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance. 
  • A 403(b)-retirement plan with an employer match, guiding you towards a prosperous future 
  • Fuel for your personal and professional development with up to $1,500 in employer-paid continuing education per year. 
  • An ORCA Transit Pass to navigate the city with ease. 
  • Up to 27 paid days off in your first year and 8 paid office closure days. 
  • The chance to be part of a transformative mission, leaving a mark on the lives of those we serve in our communities. 

At Bellwether Housing, you will elevate your career in a role that's as rewarding as it is impactful, where you’ll be part of a movement that is helping shape the future of affordable housing in Seattle and where diversity, equity, and inclusion are the pillars of our success.  

Note: This role requires successful completion of a background check in accordance with Seattle’s Fair Chance Employment Ordinance. 

Bellwether Housing is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate based on race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. We support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to reasonably accommodate all qualified applicants [and employees] by providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. 

To request Reasonable Accommodation for the application or interview process please contact Bellwether Housing is dedicated to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. We value having employees whose skills, experiences, and backgrounds reflect the populations we serve. We are committed to being an anti-racist organization while acknowledging we have a long way to go. You can learn more about our DEI work on our website. 

Salary Description
$130,453 - $208,684/annually