KidsGardening (KG) is seeking an Executive Director to join the organization in early 2018. KidsGardening is the nation’s leading resource for school and youth gardening. Based in Burlington, VT, the organization creates opportunities for kids to learn through the garden, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder by providing inspiration, community, know-how and resources. Garden-based learning creates a generation of kids connected to their food and community and engaged in nurturing a healthy planet.
Beginning with 50 youth garden grants in 1982, KidsGardening has benefited an estimated 1.5 million children and contributed close to $4.4 million dollars in funding to youth gardening initiatives across the U.S.
The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for leading and advocating initiatives that make KG the hub for school gardening nationwide. The ED has overall responsibility for all of KG’s activities, including strategic planning, fundraising, program execution, financial management, marketing communications, to ensure KG achieves our mission and goals. In addition to strong organizational leadership, the ED is the public face of the organization and regularly interacts with public and private partners, philanthropic audiences, and the public at large. This position will require frequent travel. The executive director reports directly to the Board of Directors.
The ED oversees the creation and implementation of the organization vision, mission, and strategic business plans.
The ED works closely with the Board of Directors and the director of development to see that ambitious fundraising goals are set and met each year while growing the donor base. The ED recruits and stewards major donors to the organization through frequent meetings, events, and communications. S/he establishes good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, garden educators, key influencers, and other organizations to help achieve KG’s goals.
Programs and Curriculum
The ED works with the Director of Programs and Partnerships (DPP) to provide oversight of KG’s existing programs. This includes sponsor grant programs, as well as developing strategic alliances with local and national organizations. The ED provides oversight of curriculum and publications development and marketing.
The ED is seen as a collaborative thought leader and advocate for the youth garden movement nationwide. The ED works closely with Director of Outreach & Community Relations and DPP to ensure KG is well represented in industry collaborations, media, and public relations. The ED helps maintain mutually-beneficial working relationships with other organizations, corporations, city, state and government agencies and private companies and individuals.
Operations and Finance
KidsGardening has a smart, motivated staff that enjoy a flexible, results-oriented workplace. The ED oversees organization operations and staff. The ED is responsible for supporting this team and providing them the resources needed to excel in their roles. The ED is expected to help maintain a collaborative work environment focused on learning and continuous improvement.
The ED develops an annual budget and provides oversight of overall organizational finances, including regular reporting on the financial and operational health of the organization.
The ED work with the director of marketing and communications, overseeing the development of a marketing communications plan that demonstrates knowledge of key drivers of organizational success, including effective strategies that leverage the kidsgardening.org web site, which is the hub of the organization.
Work with the Board of Directors
The ED works collaboratively with the Board and staff to achieve the goals and mission of the organization. The ED prepares for and staffs board and committee meetings in consultation with the Board Chair. The ED maintains KG’s calendar, including submitting required government filings and reports.
- Possess a strong commitment and passion for experiential education, gardening, environmental stewardship, children’s health, and community building.
- Innovative, with an understanding of (or strong desire to learn about) trends in the education landscape and challenges facing youth.
- Strong financial management experience and proven record of fiscal responsibility.
- National business and/or nonprofit management with proven record of creating and achieving goals and growing an organization.
- Proven experience in strategic and communications planning in a multi-channel business or organization.
- Sales and/or fundraising experience, including membership development, individual donor programs, corporate sponsorships and special events.
- Experience with and willingness to be in a hands-on working environment, with a wide range of responsibilities including marketing/public relations, event management, program development and implementation, and financial management.
- Demonstrated leadership ability and experience coordinating project development and implementation, involving multiple partners and/or participants.
- Experience working with voluntary boards and volunteers.
- Flexibility and ability to handle several projects simultaneously.
- Willing and able to deal easily with a variety of people in social and professional situations. Experience with diverse communities.
- Ability to speak and present materials publicly.
- Successful record of working within a team environment as well as independent thinking and self- motivation.
KidsGardening is an equal opportunity employer.
To apply, please send cover letter and resume to [email protected]