Jobs & Internships


Northwest Folklife Development Director

Position Overview:

The Development Director will have a part time leadership role and will oversee and manage the development program of Northwest Folklife. This position is responsible for achieving the organization’s fundraising goals, directing activities and events related to securing the organization’s contributed income, and managing an ongoing donor cultivation program including Planned Giving.

Responsibilities and General Duties:

- Design and activate fundraising strategies based on best practices to attract a broad base of financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Current annual giving initiatives include major gifts, events, foundation, individual and corporate giving
- Oversee all grant-writing activities
- Collaborate with all departments and our board of directors to develop and implement fundraising strategies
- Manage all annual giving initiatives including the Friends of Folklife Annual Donor Program, major individual gifts, fundraising events, foundation and corporate grants and support
- Collaborate on the solicitation of corporate underwriting (sponsorships) for events and programs including the annual Northwest Folklife Festival and other year-round opportunities
- Cultivate relationships with corporate giving and program officers at funding agencies
- Oversees donor cultivation, engagement, recognition and stewardship practices
- Guide the organization’s development committee and work with the board of directors on their participation in development
- Hire  staff and select volunteers engaged with fundraising activities at the annual Northwest Folklife Festival and throughout the year, and provide them leadership, training, and support
- Direct strategic vision for Folklife’s development, including Planned Giving
- Manage staff support, and work toward the organization’s ability to strengthen its development and sponsorship presence

Desired Qualifications:

- At least four years of nonprofit development work, management level preferred
- Knowledge of and familiarity with Seattle’s philanthropic community
- Demonstrated grant research, grant writing and grant management skills
- Willingness and ability to work with board of directors to cultivate donor relationships
- Ability to organize and prioritize work efficiently and to meet deadlines
- Experience as a creative, collaborative team member
- Demonstrated management skills, including staff supervision
- Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively
- Excellent planning, presentation, and communication skills
- Familiarity with donor database management (Folklife uses GiftWorks) and online donor technology
- Ability to work under pressure with a positive attitude
- Manage member recruitment and retention campaigns
- Interpret membership recruitment and retention statistics, review member research and make recommendations
- An understanding of and appreciation for Northwest Folklife’s mission
- Sensitivity to working with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds

Reports To: Executive Director

Staff Managed: Office and Donor Coordinator

Time Commitment: Three days per week*

Compensation: DOE, Inquire

*Compensation will reflect that March – May are peak months for Folklife and additional hours may be worked during this period of time. Scheduling will be negotiated with your supervisor.

To apply, please attach a cover letter of interest and resume by email to with Development Director and your name in the subject line or send by postal mail to Northwest Folklife attn: Development Director Search, 305 Harrison St. Seattle, WA 98109-4623. Position is open until filled with a desired start date of January 5th, 2015. Date is negotiable if the right candidate is found before this time.

Northwest Folklife is a $1.1 million dollar independent year-round nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all people to appreciate, share, and participate in the evolving folk and ethnic traditions of the Pacific Northwest. We do this in a number ways throughout the year, most notably through the annual production of the Northwest Folklife Festival presented without admission fee every year since 1971 at Seattle Center on Memorial Day Weekend.


Northwest Folklife Programming Internship

Interning at Northwest Folklife can be the experience you need to gain a career in event planning, festival production, the music industry, nonprofit management, marketing, fundraising and a whole host of other fields. Interns at Northwest Folklife take on a significant role in executing the largest free community arts festival in the nation and learn how to increase visibility and strengthen the sustainability of a nonprofit organization.

Before you apply:

  • Housing and transportation are not provided. Prospective interns should carefully consider their financial needs as the internships are unpaid.
  • Start and end dates, hours per week, and days of the week are all negotiable based on the intern’s availability
  • All applicants must be able to commit to working Memorial Day weekend, (May 22rd – 25th, 2015) NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Academic credit for internships must be arranged by the intern with their sponsoring institution. Academic credit is up to the discretion of the intern’s college or university
  • Computer resources are limited; prospective interns with laptops are encouraged to apply

Title: Programming Intern

Internship Length: January 2015 – June 2015

Hours per week: 20-25

The Programming Internship is central to the programming Northwest Folklife has to offer. This Intern plays a key role in ensuring smooth festival production from a programming standpoint.


  • Work with the programming staff on Northwest Folklife’s public programs, which include organizing and scheduling specific areas of the annual Northwest Folklife Festival
  • Assist with research, telephone and face-to-face contact with representatives of different ethnic, regional and occupational communities from the Pacific Northwest
  • Complete tasks such as data entry, initiating and following up on correspondence, managing travel for out-of-state performers, scheduling performers
  • Assist in the composition of short articles for the festival program guide or for Festival publicity
  • Help manage performer information for other departments for Northwest Folklife’s use
  • Assist with creating the festival fundraising pitch schedule by working with both the programming and development departments
  • Assist Programming department during the Festival as needed


  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to work as part of a fast-moving team
  • The ability to work with grace under pressure
  • The ability to deal with small details and connect them to a larger whole
  • Knowledge of or experience with cultural arts in the Pacific Northwest
  • An open mind and desire to discover new kinds of music and dance
  • A working knowledge of Word, Excel, Outlook, and databases
  • Ability to work individually as well as in groups
  • A desire to obtain the skills for event production
  • Strong organizational skills
  • A healthy sense of humor

Additionally, anyone with a love of music, arts, and culture is encouraged to apply.

Identified Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn to program performances for large-scale festival production
  • Develop an understanding of event production by working with programmers, production teams, volunteer coordinators, and development teams
  • Create and compile technical requirement books and tech sheets/stage plots for stages and stage managers (an essential skill for anyone interested in a programming career)
  • Gain networking skills – make connections with artists, performers, sponsors, and production teams

To Apply:

Please attach your resume and cover letter to an email to with Programming Internship and your name in the subject line. Although we prefer electronic methods, you may also submit your resume to:

Northwest Folklife

Attn: Programming

305 Harrison St.

Seattle, WA 98109

This position is open until filled, priority given to applications received before January 19th, 2015.