The Bush School (www.bush.edu), founded in 1924 by Helen Taylor Bush, a supporter of John Dewey’s progressive educational philosophy, is Seattle’s only K-12 independent school and currently enrolls 656 students. The school continues to honor Helen’s legacy by graduating students who are guided by the simple values upon which she established the school — truth, beauty, and purpose. Bush seeks a dynamic, experienced and successful development professional to serve as its next Director of Development. The successful candidate will embrace Bush’s mission and community, have a successful track record as a fundraiser and possess the experience and skills to provide leadership and strategic direction for the school’s fundraising and constituent relations programs.
Bush’s mission is To spark in students of diverse backgrounds and talents a passion for learning, accomplishment, and contribution to their communities. The school provides a progressive, inquiry-based, student-centered program focused on participatory learning designed to produce caring and informed students, artists, athletes, thinkers, and citizens who aspire to live rewarding and purposeful lives. Bush students engage with challenging and robust academic programs and are asked to confront and solve complex problems in the classroom and beyond in a variety of experiential opportunities throughout the campus, Seattle, and the world. As a result of these experiences, they learn how to make an impact on their community that is meaningful and enduring.
The opportunity to serve as Bush’s Director of Development provides a great opportunity to partner with Bush’s Head of School and Board of Trustees as the school moves forward to realize its ambitious and exciting institutional priorities. Under the positive leadership of Head of School Percy Abram (now in his third year) and significant engagement from the Board, the school is poised for substantial advancement, which will require intensifying its fundraising efforts. The successful candidate will be a goal-oriented individual who is excited about serving as a compelling ambassador for The Bush School.
The Director of Development reports to the Head of School and serves as a member of the senior leadership team. The Director manages and inspires a team of six including an Associate Director of Development-Alumni Relations, Constituency Relations Coordinator, Annual Fund Coordinator, Development Assistant, Campaign Coordinator, and Development Information Systems Data Coordinator. The Director works closely with a strong team of volunteers, including the Board’s Development Committee.
In addition to being an accomplished development professional, the next Director will embrace Bush’s mission, philosophy, values, and culture in order to advocate enthusiastically for the school. Currently undertaking a feasibility study, Bush plans to begin a quiet phase of a campaign for buildings and endowment in the fall of 2017. The school has completed a campus master plan and is working on a strategic plan; campaign goals will include new buildings on its main campus, a new satellite campus in the Methow Valley, and endowment funds.
The Bush School Annual Fund provides direct support to the school’s operating budget. Last year, a record $890,000 was raised for the Annual Fund with 100% Board participation, 92% parent participation, and 82% faculty and staff participation. The school has an annual budget of approximately $19M and the endowment totals $17M.
Bush’s development program has made significant progress in recent years. In addition to achieving record Annual Fund dollars and enviable participation rates from key constituents, the school has worked hard to strengthen alumni engagement and to build a culture of joyful philanthropy. Considerable work has gone into building a social media platform for the program and two-thirds of Bush’s recent alumni participate in an active Facebook community. Utilizing Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge, the development office has focused on ensuring a comprehensive and accurate database.
Bush’s Director of Development will partner closely with the Director of Enrollment Management and Communications to ensure consistent advancement efforts, coordinating marketing, outreach, and communications for the school. It is essential for the successful candidate to understand the importance of effectively collaborating with others throughout campus and to possess an interest and facility with strategic, proactive marketing and communications.