Executive Director

GROWINGGARDENS seeks a highly skilled and passionate individual to serve as Executive Director and uphold our mission of promoting home-scale and school- based organic food gardening to improve nutrition, health and self-reliance while enhancing the quality of life and the environment for individuals and communities in Portland, Oregon. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for oversight of all management, fiscal, program and planning activities of GROWINGGARDENS. The Executive Director works closely with the Board of Directors to develop policies and strategies for the organization and holds primary responsibility for implementation of board decisions. Additionally, the Executive Director is responsible for establishing and maintaining positive relations with funders, community leaders, policy makers, the Portland area’s non-profit sector, and creating a motivating and nurturing work environment for staff, volunteers and gardeners.


Organizational Leadership:

- Provide day to day leadership and management of staff and encourage strong engagement and accountability as well as personal and professional growth

- Oversee human resources such as performance evaluations, staff questions and concerns, benefits management, etc.

- Develop and implement effective strategies for organizational fiscal health and program development

- Provide leadership in the implementation of the organization’s newly adopted strategic plan

- Continually engage and strengthen connections with volunteers, community members, policy makers, donors and foundations

- Negotiate and assure compliance with contractual agreements

- Oversee acquisition and maintenance of all organization facilities and equipment

- Occasionally attend evening and weekend meetings and events

 Fundraising and Development:

- Develop and execute strategies that ensure sustainable and diverse funding

- Cultivate a strong and expanding major donor base

- Serve as the face of the organization with strong ties to the community, advocating on behalf of Growing Gardens at fundraising events and networking opportunities

- Manage applications and reports for foundation and government grants

 Board of Directors:

- Collaborate closely with the Board to execute the strategic plan and vision for long-term growth and sustainability

- Provide regular program and finance updates to the Board and attend monthly board meetings; provide support by ensuring effective communication between staff and board

- Work with the Board to identify, cultivate and enlist new members, use the strengths of each member effectively, and provide orientation to new members

- Work with the Board to ensure safe and legal operation of the organization for staff and volunteers


- A commitment to the vision, mission and values of GROWINGGARDENS is essential.

- The ideal candidate will be a nonprofit leader with a minimum of 5 years experience and demonstrated success in leading a similarly sized organization or a major program of a larger organization.

- Work experience and/or understanding of issues related to local food security and nutrition is highly desirable.

- The candidate selected will have a solid track record of successful fund development, with an emphasis on individual and major giving and stewarding relationships with private foundations.

- Solid financial operations skills are important for this position. The candidate selected should have experience creating and evaluating annual and long-term organization, department and project budgets.

- Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential to this position.



- Results Oriented - Meets or exceeds agreed-upon goals/objectives. Very bottom-line oriented; steadfastly pushes self and others for results

- Managing Vision and Purpose - Is prepared and excited to lead a successful organization to higher levels of achievement through transformational, entrepreneurial and inspirational vision and leadership

- Integrity - Is widely trusted and seen as direct, truthful individual; keeps confidences and admits mistakes

- Decision Maker - Makes good decisions based upon a mixture of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment; sought out by others for advice and solutions

- Interpersonal Skills - Relates well to all members of the community and organization; builds appropriate rapport; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; can defuse even high-tension situations comfortably

- Motivates Others - Creates a climate in which people want to do their best; empowers others; invites input from each person and shares ownership and visibility; makes each individual feel his/her work is important; is someone people like working for and with.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. GROWINGGARDENS offers a highly competitive benefits package.


Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume in pdf format to edsearch@growing-gardens.org. Please include salary requirements in your cover letter. This position will remain open until filled.

 GROWINGGARDENS is committed to diversity in the workplace. This organization does not discriminate against employees, participants or volunteers with regard to age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or physical ability.

Portland, Oregon
Publicaton Date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 12:00am
Company Name: 
Growing Gardens
Job Type: