About SEA

Sea Education Association (SEA) is a non-profit educational institution and an internationally recognized leader in ocean education. Since 1971, SEA has educated undergraduate, high school and gap year students about the world’s oceans through its Boston University accredited study abroad programs, gap year and high school programs. SEA is located on Cape Cod in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole (Falmouth) and owns and operates two sailing research vessels: the SSV Corwith Cramer in the Atlantic Ocean and the SSV Robert C. Seamans in the Pacific.

SEA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ candidates. SEA is committed to the development of a multicultural environment. We value input of multiple viewpoints and perspectives across the organization; our goal is to create an academic and working community that is rich in cultural, social and intellectual diversity.

This position enjoys a 4-day work week with Fridays off. You may be required to work on an occasional Friday if needed. SEA is open to a hybrid schedule.

Job Description

Position Summary 

The Director’s primary responsibility is the strategic design, execution and administration of a comprehensive fundraising strategy for SEA.  A key component of this position is establishing the necessary Development capacity and infrastructure required to support the organization’s sustained growth. The Director will provide effective leadership and management of all aspects of SEA’s fundraising efforts. Beyond immediate fundraising goals, this visionary leader will ensure SEA’s long-term financial sustainability by helping to set and achieve revenue and relationship-building objectives. The Director is responsible for strategically positioning SEA for success in terms of dollars raised; percentage participation across constituent groups; donor identification, acquisition and retention; and timely donor gift acknowledgement and stewardship. The Director of Development will take a leadership role in employing the activities of the overall development operation. 

Key Responsibilities 

Reporting to the President, the Director of Development works to achieve the fundraising objectives of SEA, which are guided by the Strategic Plan and approved by the Board of Trustees.  

Strategic Leadership 

  • Serve as a pivotal member of the senior management team 
  • Engage and motivate the Board in its role in Development; manage their involvement in fundraising activities, and collaborate with them to identify, qualify, and engage prospects 
  • Provide strategic vision, tactical direction, and long- and short-term planning for the annual giving program while also strategizing ways to expand and support broader, ambitious yet achievable contributed revenue goals; donor relations and stewardship; and alumni relations.   
  • Play a key role in determining and hiring possible additional staff positions to achieve elevated goals 
  • Foster an understanding of philanthropy within SEA. Advance cross-functional organizational collaboration that engages staff across program areas in raising awareness and support of SEA’s mission 
  • Create and implement a comprehensive, data-driven fundraising plan 

Development and Fundraising 

  • Develop and implement plans and systems for prospect identification and all aspects of the gift cycle (cultivation, solicitation, stewardship)  
  • Manage the Development team, including Director of Leadership Gifts and Stewardship, Alumni Relations Coordinator, gift entry and systems reporting positions and functions, and the shared support of the Executive Administrative Assistant  
  • Engage the Development team and the various functions performed within, which include major/leadership gift cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship; gift entry and acknowledgements and all aspects of database management including prospect research; foundation giving; and alumni relations 
  • Work collaboratively with President and the Director of Leadership Gifts and Stewardship to develop solicitation strategies and achieve fundraising goals 
  • Identify and qualify donors and prospects, and lead coordinated cultivation/engagement processes 
  • Manage and cultivate own donor portfolio, and work closely with Director of Leadership Gifts on coordinated individual giving planning and activities and planned giving initiatives 
  • Develop and manage proposals, solicitation materials and reports for distribution to individuals, foundations and corporations 
  • With team, manage Board and Development Committee relations and activities and develop strategies to effectively engage volunteers 
  • Manage the publication of recently rebranded e-newsletter Following SEA, an annual report to donors, and other development publications 
  • Develop and produce reporting and tracking dashboards to evaluate progress and determine strategies 
  • Prepare and assure adherence to the Development budget 
  • Participate in Trustee meetings and the annual and semi-annual meetings of the corporation 
  • Act as liaison to the Development Committee and the Committee on Governance  
  • Work collaboratively with fellow SEA team members, volunteers, Trustees and Members of the Corporation 

Qualifications, Experience and Education 

  • The successful candidate will have proven leadership and managerial experience with demonstrated excellent communication and interpersonal skills 
  • They will have a minimum of five (5) years of progressive experience in Development, with proven success in leading annual fundraising programs, development and execution of strategic plans aimed at increasing donor support, donor stewardship and events, and elevating organizational contributed income  
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with the ability to plan, manage strategically, set priorities, and focus on the details of daily operations while not losing sight of the expanding big picture and long-term goals  
  • Deep understanding of gift cycle activities 
  • Demonstrated success in personally soliciting and securing major individual gifts, and donor relations  
  • Willingness, ability and availability to travel as required 
  • Understanding of database and moves management (Raiser’s Edge preferred), gift processing and donor relations 
  • The ability to motivate and coach 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills vital to establishing cooperative, tactful, effective relationships with colleagues, donors, volunteers and the public 
  • Discretion and confidentiality a must, humor a plus 
  • Experience in capital campaign planning and execution preferred 
  • Previous experience in an educational setting or non-profit organization 
  • Bachelor’s degree required 

Benefits and Compensation 

  • The salary range for this position is $108,000 – $118,000, commensurate with experience.  
  • SEA offers a full benefits package which includes health, dental, vision and life insurances; retirement plans; flexible spending accounts; and generous vacation/sick/personal time and holidays. 
  • SEA also offers a hybrid 4-day flexible work week in Woods Hole (Falmouth), MA.   Scheduling, including Fridays as necessitate, will be mutually agreed upon with the SEA President.  

Please send a cover letter and resume to DODsearch@sea.edu by March 08, 2024. Questions may be sent to this email address too.