Now Hiring – Executive Director

Now Hiring – Executive Director

During the over 30 year history of the Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound, the work to impact the lives of those with Down syndrome and their families has been mostly volunteer based. The current Board of Directors is comprised of 14 volunteer members who are supported by a part-time (15 hours a week) paid administrative staff member.

In 2018, the Board of Directors held their annual planning retreat and identified the need to hire an Executive Director as the next phase of growth for the DSC. The Board gathered information from other Down syndrome organizations from around the country to help develop an action plan to facilitate this goal. The Board looked at the objectives of hiring an Executive Director, the financial considerations and the long term outcomes that having an Executive Director would achieve. The Board decided to work towards a “mini strategic plan” specifically focused on the recruitment and hiring of an Executive Director, with the goal of developing a full strategic plan once the Executive Director is on board.

On January 26th 2019, the Board held a retreat facilitated by non-profit consultant, Kim Rakow Bernier. The Board spent time discussing the current state of the DSC and envisioning what future success would look like. We brainstormed priorities for a new Executive Director and narrowed our focus to four key areas: Strategic Planning, Membership, Fundraising and Programming. Next, we identified the key outcomes during the first 24 months of the Executive Director’s tenure. Lastly, we spent time talking about the attributes, skills and experience that we will be looking for in our first Executive Director. The Board walked away from the retreat with a clear sense of our shared vision of an Executive Director and action steps to move the process forward. At the end of the day, the Board described their outlook on the future of the DSC as “excited”, “motivated” and “enthusiastic”.

A Board committee was decided upon to take the next steps that were outlined during the retreat. This group will be working on writing the job description for the Executive Director, making recommendations to the Board regarding salary and benefits and creating a timeline for recruitment and hiring. The DSC Board of Directors will continue to update our membership as we move forward in hiring our first Executive Director and growing the impact of the DSC.


POSITION: Executive Director, the Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound




The Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound (DSC) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that is dedicated to building a caring, understanding, and supportive community that is open to all individuals with Down syndrome, and families and friends whose lives include a person with Down syndrome. Our mission is to provide impactful programs and resources for individuals with Down syndrome and their families while evolving perceptions in the broader community. We have a strong financial base and a dedicated Board of Directors. Our service area includes the entire Puget Sound region and Western Washington. Our members include a wide cross section of families and professionals across the state.

The DSC focuses efforts across 5 pillars of work:

  • Outreach: In 2018 we distributed over 120 new parent packets to provide accurate and up-to-date information on Down syndrome to new and expectant families.
  • Community Events: In 2018 over 2000 people attended our community events including the Puget Sound Buddy Walk ®, Fashion Show, Holiday Party, Sweetheart Dance and more. These events provide opportunities for our members and families to connect and have some fun!
  • Community Groups: We sponsor age-based social groups for babies through teenagers to get together, connect and try new things.
  • Education: We provide educational opportunities for our members including Ready, Set, Kindergarten, The Learning Program, and Understanding Puberty and Adolescence.
  • Advocacy: We partner with The ARC of King County and other advocacy groups to provide opportunities for our members to advocate for themselves and their loved ones.



The Board of Directors is seeking the DSC’s first Executive Director to increase our ability to deliver on our mission. The Executive Director will lead the organization in continuing to deliver and expand on successful programs and grow the organization’s reach so that more people in the Puget Sound region can benefit from the DSC’s services. The DSC has a strong community of members and volunteers that has grown through grassroots efforts over the last 25 years. There is solid programming and financial stability to bring the organization into this next phase of growth. We are looking for a dynamic leader to cultivate these strengths, develop systems and structures to institutionalize these wins, and to bring new capacities, focus, vision and perspectives to our work.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and holds responsibility for the daily operations of the organization as well as the strategic implementation of its vision and mission. The Executive Director has one direct report, the Program Manager who is currently a .5FTE.

In the first 18-24 months the Executive Director is expected to focus the majority of their time on the following priorities:

Strategic Leadership:  The Executive Director will lead the Board of Directors through a strategic planning process that will deliver a clearly defined plan with key performance indicators and timelines for incremental goals. This includes focusing on fundraising and on continual expansion and improvement of programs.

Resource Development and Financial Oversight:  The Executive Director will identify and pursue diverse funding sources that deliver long-term or recurring revenue streams. Fundraising will be a central part of the strategic plan as we work to grow and sustain our impact. It is critical that the DSC Executive Director increase overall revenue to a sufficient level that the Annual Operating Budget (which includes all Executive Director compensation) does not operate at a deficit.

Membership:  The Executive Director will lead efforts to develop a robust membership process and database to help the organization better understand and increase our membership.

Operational Leadership:  The Executive Director will support the organization’s transition to a new leadership structure by accepting management responsibility for operational functions. This will allow the board to focus on governance responsibilities, complete their volunteer activities on programs and events to advance the DSC’s mission, and ensure operational goals are completed efficiently and in a timely manner.

  • Experience in non-profit management and working with a Board of Directors
  • Experience with taking grassroots, early stage organizations to the next level
  • Strategic Planning and implementation experience
  • Demonstrated fundraising success with major donors, annual fund giving, corporate foundations and/or private foundations
  • Experience developing and implementing communication/outreach plans for internal and external stakeholders. Ability to direct marketing efforts (online and through other media) to promote the organization and membership
  • Experience managing and expanding programs
  • Excellent people and communication (both oral and written) skills to develop, build, and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Confident and creative problem-solver; open-minded, innovative, and willing to embrace the unknown.
  • Professional work habits: punctual, responsive, organized, ability to manage multiple projects, attention to detail, and ability to see projects to completion
  • Competency with major MS Office products, email and cloud computing
  • Experience with the disability community is a plus, but not required



Travel within King County for DSC business will be required. A car and driver’s license is required.

Salary and Benefits:  This is a full-time position with flexible hours. The salary range is between $65,000 – $75,000 depending on experience and skills. Benefits include paid state holidays off, 14 additional days of paid time off. An allowance for health care expenses is negotiable.

Location:  The DSC is a Seattle-based organization. This position will be remote, but the successful candidate must reside in the Puget Sound area. The DSC will help facilitate setting up a home office.

How to Apply:  To be considered for this position, email a resume, cover letter and contact information for three professional references in one document to Alison Winfield at no later than April 30, 2019.

Your resume and/or cover letter should indicate how your qualifications and experience meet or exceed the desired qualifications for this position. Additionally, the cover letter should explain why the Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound is the next step in your career and should detail your connection with or understanding of the community that the Down Syndrome Community serves.

Timeline:  Full consideration will be given to applications received by April 30, 2019. Early applications encouraged. Initial screening will take place in early May 2019, in-person interviews will take place in early June 2019, with the goal of a hiring decision being made in late June 2019. The position will remain open until filled.

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