Gathering Ground is hiring!
Executive Director position (open)
Position: Executive Director | Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: NJ-based, remote office (no central office)
Position type: Full-time, exempt salaried position
Salary Range: $95,000 — $118,000 commensurate with experience
Benefits: Paid time off: 11 paid holidays + 25 days of additional paid time off; health insurance reimbursement (70% of monthly premium up to $300/mo.)
Start Date: late July / August 2023 (flexible start date)
Read FAQs about the Executive Director Search below the job description.
About Gathering Ground
During its first 12 years, Gathering Ground has experienced significant programmatic and financial growth. The organization is poised to capitalize on its success and create a sustainable staffing model for the next decade of growth and impact. Toward this end, Gathering Ground is seeking to hire a full-time Executive Director. The current part-time Founding Director will transition to a part-time role focused on organizational advancement (board and donor development) to sustain and grow our operations and service to New Jersey’s communities and social sector. Gathering Ground has balanced its budget every year since inception; carries no accumulated debt; and has a decade-long practice of sustainably growing capacity by consistently taking the long-view, surplus strategizing, conservative and realistic budgeting, and successful fundraising.
Mission: Gathering Ground fosters community cohesion and collaborative action by bringing together diverse groups of people with varied backgrounds, lived experiences, expertise, and influence to amplify community dialogue around critical issues, build and strengthen networks, encourage cross-sector and multi-cultural partnerships, and cultivate equitable community-rooted solutions.
Background: Gathering Ground is a multiracial, multicultural, multigenerational, and socio-economically diverse movement of people – changemakers, visionaries, connectors, and influencers from all facets of community life. Launched as an initiative in 2011, Gathering Ground supports community-building among and with individuals representing the whole community with a growing commitment to creating equitable spaces for civic dialogue, uplifting the power and voices of those who are typically excluded from the conversation. The work galvanizes people who are committed to co-creating solutions for safer, sustainable, cohesive, and equitable communities. Over the years, more than 120 innovative, community-rooted actions have been initiated in 18 communities throughout NJ. As our mission and approach has matured, we have deepened our understanding and commitment to racial equity and justice, evolving our mission, vision and programming to prioritize this commitment.
Current core programming includes:
Elevating Equity: launched in 2022 in partnership with Hillombo LLC, Elevating Equity is a multi-pronged approach to identifying oppression in the social sector and designing actions that dismantle those systems, build resistance to those oppressive systems, and advance the creation and commitment of equitable organizations and processes.
Calls to Collaboration: launched in 2011, this community-based engagement initiative supports neighbors in directing their civic energy to shape the future of their community. These city and town-wide gatherings create a shared sense of belonging, design community-rooted solutions, fuel resident-driven decision-making; and foster individual and collective action for the benefit of the community.
Communities in Conversation: provides a virtual platform for dialogue on critical issues in a vibrant, fast-paced, action-focused, cross-sector think tank, with a statewide community.
Executive Director Position Description
Gathering Ground seeks a highly motivated and experienced leader to guide the vision and manage the day-to-day operations of this statewide organization. The executive director will:
- Demonstrate knowledge, experience and passion in the areas of collective action, equity and justice, community organizing, fundraising, financial management, and organizational leadership;
- Foster a culture of collaboration, learning and growth among the staff, Board, and its many partners, and ensure that the organization’s programs and activities leverage and amplify one another;
- Bring rigorous business and operational discipline ensuring that Gathering Ground continues to operate within the highest ethical standards and financial prudence;
- Possess strong written and verbal communications skills;
- Demonstrate inspired team leadership skills coupled with a team player sensibility.
Summary of Responsibilities
- Oversee organizational, strategic, financial, and & programmatic goals; align internal and external priorities appropriate with resources; track and measure programmatic impact; maintain commitment to organizational values and vision;
- Board of Directors: establish a strong partnership and communication system with the board; coordinate and support efforts of the board and its committees;
- Oversee all programmatic community engagement, operations, and communications activities; direct and implement communications and public relations efforts;
- Serve as the chief financial officer; mange all budgeting, reporting, compliance filings, accounts payable and receivable; manage part-time bookkeeper;
- Develop a multi-year fundraising strategy to ensure the organization continues to meet its fundraising goals; identify, cultivate, solicit and steward institutional funders and individual donors; shape and write grant proposals and final reports;
- Cultivate and steward new and existing relationships with community leaders, funders and major stakeholders, and identify and forge new strategic partnerships; serve as the spokesperson;
- Manage contract with individuals and vendors; manage federal and state compliance filings;
- Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization; manage a staff of five and 30+ program freelancers’ responsibilities, processes, and work plans; evaluate staff performance and annual goals;
Successful candidates will bring a minimum of 6 – 10 years of organizational leadership experience and will possess:
- Strategic, collaborative, and communicative leadership skills with experience in
- designing and mobilizing for collective action
- advancing equity and justice, and building trust and belonging in communities
- A track record of building an organization financially, programmatically and operationally;
- Keen business and common sense, and financial acumen;
- A track record of successful fundraising;
- An understanding of racial and social injustices, and experience in designing and implementing anti-racist organizational and programmatic strategies for building justice, fairness, and equity;
- Experience working in and with communities of color and grassroots organizations;
- Well-developed emotional intelligence, sincerity, and ability to build strong relationships with diverse groups of people;
- Strong written/ verbal communication skills;
- An ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines.
To Apply: Hiring Process and Timeline
Candidates are asked to submit their cover letter, resume and writing sample to: Search Committee at HR@GatheringGround.us.
The position is open until filled but applications are requested by May 31, 2023. The first round of interviews will occur in early June 2023. Anticipated start date for the position: late July / August 2023 (flexible start date).
Gathering Ground is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We collaborate with a diverse community of people from a variety of backgrounds, identities, cultures and lived experiences and strive to build a team that is representative of our diverse tri-state region. We employ qualified people without regard to race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; disability; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; credit history; arrest record; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law. We encourage applications from individuals from traditionally underrepresented and marginalized groups. Our experience reinforces that the diversity of people, thought, skills, and lived experience is an essential asset for achieving our mission.
FAQs for Executive Director Search
OUR PLANNED GROWTH
Since its inception in 2011, Gathering Ground has taken a long view in how it has built and sustained its operations and impact. This long-term strategic approach has enabled us to grow from a fiscally sponsored foundation initiative into a fully operational 501c3, balancing our budget every year and carrying no accumulated debt.
Our decade-long practice of sustainable growth incorporates and centers our commitment to:
- deepening the impact of our mission
- balancing our vision with capacity
- conservative and realistic budgeting; sound financial management
- successful fundraising and program development
Currently, demand for our programs and services is growing and our operational needs have expanded.
To meet demand and capitalize on opportunities, we need to expand our staff.
With an eye towards the next ten years of growth and sustainability, we are establishing:
- a full-time executive director position (for which a search is currently underway) and
- a part-time organizational advancement position (which will be filled by our current founding director)
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Gathering Ground’s current founding director, Elizabeth Murphy, leaving the organization?
- No – in fact, Elizabeth is transitioning into a new role focused on organizational advancement, a strategic idea that she brought to the Board of Directors.
- This idea came out of a consistent practice of long-term strategizing, objectively assessing future needs long before they become a critical issue.
- This allows us to act from a position of strength, stability, and solid planning.
2. If the current director isn’t leaving, why isn’t she staying on as the organization’s staff leader?
- Since inception, Elizabeth has served in a part-time capacity, and she’s not able to consider a full-time position with Gathering Ground due to other professional commitments. She will continue in her part-time capacity with Gathering Ground, transitioning into the new position of organizational advancement director.
- Our growth, impact, current opportunities, and demands require us to have a full-time staff leader running the day-to-day operations.
- We see this as the key building block as we look towards our second decade of impact and service.
3. What will the relationship be between the board of directors, the new executive director, and the role of organizational advancement?
- Reporting directly to the board of directors, our new executive director will serve as the organization’s staff leader and will be endowed with and responsible for all of the traditional authority and duties normally associated with an executive director position.
- Reporting directly to the new executive director and working collaboratively with the ED and board, the organizational advancement director will focus on two key areas for growth and sustainability: expanding board membership and impact, and long-term resource development.
4. Was this new organizational structure embraced by everyone at Gathering Ground?
- The adoption of this new structure was a unanimous vote of the board of directors, including its current founding director.
- The new structure is also a welcome and exciting advancement embraced by the current staff, as it brings more support and capacity to meet demands and take advantage of opportunities.