Getting the Right People
Job Profile - Executive Director
- Chief Executive Officer
Tools and Templates
Sample Job Descriptions
- Sample #1 - Local Recreation/Sports organization (DOC - 117KB)
- Sample #2 - Local Social Services organization (DOC - 115KB)
The Executive Director is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities*
The Executive Director performs some or all of the following:
- Participate with the Board of Directors in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the organization
- Identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization
- Act as a professional advisor to the Board of Director on all aspects of the organization's activities
- Foster effective team work between the Board and the Executive Director and between the Executive Director and staff
- In addition to the Chair of the Board, act as a spokesperson for the organization
- Conduct official correspondence on behalf of the Board as appropriate and jointly with the Board when appropriate
- Represent the organization at community activities to enhance the organization's community profile
Operational planning and management
- Develop an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the organization
- Ensure that the operation of the organization meets the expectations of its clients, Board and Funders
- Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day operation of the organization
- Draft policies for the approval of the Board and prepare procedures to implement the organizational policies; review existing policies on an annual basis and recommend changes to the Board as appropriate
- Ensure that personnel, client, donor and volunteer files are securely stored and privacy/confidentiality is maintained
- Provide support to the Board by preparing meeting agenda and supporting materials
Program planning and management
- Oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of the organization's programs and services
- Ensure that the programs and services offered by the organization contribute to the organization's mission and reflect the priorities of the Board
- Monitor the day-to-day delivery of the programs and services of the organization to maintain or improve quality
- Oversee the planning, implementation, execution and evaluation of special projects
Human resources planning and management
- Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery
- Oversee the implementation of the human resources policies, procedures and practices including the development of job description for all staff
- Establish a positive, healthy and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations
- Recruit, interview and select staff that have the right technical and personal abilities to help further the organization's mission
- Ensure that all staff receives an orientation to the organization and that appropriate training is provided
- Implement a performance management process for all staff which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an on-going basis and conducting an annual performance review
- Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to improve performance
- Discipline staff when necessary using appropriate techniques; release staff when necessary using appropriate and legally defensible procedures
Financial planning and management
- Work with staff and the Board (Finance Committee) to prepare a comprehensive budget
- Work with the Board to secure adequate funding for the operation of the organization
- Research funding sources, oversee the development of fund raising plans and write funding proposals to increase the funds of the organization
- Participate in fundraising activities as appropriate
- Approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Board
- Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed
- Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization
- Provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on the revenues and expenditure of the organization
- Ensure that the organization complies with all legislation covering taxation and withholding payments
- Communicate with stakeholders to keep them informed of the work of the organization and to identify changes in the community served by the organization
- Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, politicians, and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the organization
- Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization's people (clients, staff, management, volunteers), property, finances, goodwill, and image and implement measures to control risks
- Ensure that the Board of Directors and the organization carries appropriate and adequate insurance coverage
- Ensure that the Board and staff understand the terms, conditions and limitations of the insurance coverage
*Note: The Duties and Responsibilities are written for an Executive Director who oversees the work of other staff. In some organizations the Executive Director will be the only staff person and will be responsible for doing all the tasks as well as fundraising and volunteer management. See the job profiles for Director of Fund Development and Manager of Volunteers for the range of duties associated with these areas of responsibility.
- University degree in a related field
Knowledge, skills and abilities
- Knowledge of leadership and management principles as they relate to non-profit/ voluntary organizations
- Knowledge of all federal and provincial legislation applicable to voluntary sector organizations including: employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety, charities, taxation, CPP, EI, health coverage etc…
- Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization
- Knowledge of human resources management
- Knowledge of financial management
- Knowledge of project management
Proficiency in the use of computers for:
- Word processing
- Financial management
The Executive Director should demonstrate competence in some or all of the following:
- Adaptability: Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and/or tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
- Behave Ethically: Understand ethical behaviour and business practices, and ensure that own behaviour and the behaviour of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization.
- Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the organization.
- Communicate Effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
- Creativity/Innovation: Develop new and unique ways to improve operations of the organization and to create new opportunities.
- Focus on Client Needs: Anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of internal and external clients to meet or exceed their expectations within the organizational parameters.
- Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
- Lead: Positively influence others to achieve results that are in the best interest of the organization.
- Make Decisions: Assess situations to determine the importance, urgency and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization.
- Organize: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities
- Plan: Determine strategies to move the organization forward, set goals, create and implement actions plans, and evaluate the process and results.
- Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.
- Think Strategically: Assesses options and actions based on trends and conditions in the environment, and the vision and values of the organization.
- 5 or more years of progressive management experience in a voluntary sector organization
- Executive Directors usually work in an office environment, but the mission of the organization may sometimes take them to non standard workplaces.
- Executive Directors work a standard work week, but additionally will often work evening, weekends, and overtime hours to accommodate activities such as Board meetings and representing the organization at public events.