Organization: Oak Heritage Conservancy
Part-Time Executive Director Job Description
Established in 2002, Oak Heritage Conservancy (Oak Heritage) is a land trust based in Hanover, Indiana. Oak Heritage conserves natural areas and wildlife habitat through land donations and conservation easements. We strive to protect the natural heritage of southeast Indiana and connect people to the natural world. Southeast Indiana is home to floodplain forests, waterfalls, forested uplands, and a wide diversity of flora and fauna worthy of protection. Oak Heritage currently holds three conservation easements on 563 acres, as well as thirteen nature preserves totalling 591 acres. Our preserves include over 100 acres of old growth forests and over 30 acres of restored pollinator habitats in addition to rolling forests, creeks, and restored wetlands. We host 2-3 programs per month for the public, as well as field trips for school groups and service opportunities at our nature preserves. We are a small land trust, and our capacity is growing each year. Currently, there are two part-time staff positions: Executive Director (first hired in May 2015) as well as Education and Outreach Coordinator (added in June 2021). The Board of Directors is actively engaged in our day-to-day operations, hosting events, coordinating membership and grants records, volunteering on trail building days, etc. Oak Heritage has a growing base of volunteers who help at monthly work days on our preserves, monitor our preserves, and promote our events. We are a membership organization with over 150 member families. We have strong working relationships with many of our community foundations, donor advised funds, and corporate sponsors. Grants provide half or more of our annual income, and fuel our habitat restoration efforts as well as our events and programs. We regularly seek and lead collaborations with other community organizations (example: our Park Hop and our Nature Photo Contest).
SUMMARY OF POSITION The Executive Director will coordinate and oversee all land trust operations and provide leadership as we work to implement our 2021-2024 Strategic Goals and mission. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to advance our conservation and outreach efforts. The Executive Director will ensure the financial health of the organization and will monitor and report progress to the Board and/or standing committees on a regular basis. The Executive Director oversees the day-to-day activities of the organization and the management of the organization’s office, budget, staff and properties, as well as its land protection, community outreach and fundraising activities. Provides leadership and support to the Board of Directors and is under the direct supervision of the President of the Board and reports to the Board. As the principal spokesperson of Oak Heritage, the Executive Director must display the highest standards of professionalism, cooperation and integrity and maintain positive relationships with landowners, funders, members of the community and our many conservation partners. The position is part-time and will require occasional evening and weekend hours and travel.
● BA/BS degree and a minimum of 3 years of experience (or MA/MS degree and minimum of 1 year experience) in land trust work, natural resource management, non-profit management or in a related field
● Demonstrated successful record of fundraising and managing a budget
● Leadership experience, able to set a clear vision, and create and thrive in a team environment
● Experience working with landowners, government agencies, community groups and conservation partners to achieve shared objectives
● Articulate and enthusiastic communicator, both written and verbally
● Familiarity working in rural communities
● Deep commitment to the conservation of wildlife habitat, as well as the creation of hiking trails and nature programs for the public
● Strong organizational skills
● Demonstrated ability to think strategically, develop and manage complex projects from start to finish and ability to adapt to changing circumstances
● Knowledge and experience with the policies and tools of voluntary private land conservation and conservation finance
● Finely tuned negotiation and collaboration skills
● Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g.; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite,) and willingness to learn new software programs (e.g. Adobe InDesign) as well as online platforms (social media, MailChimp, eTapestry, etc) ● Valid driver’s license
RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
A. Fundraising & Outreach
1. The Executive Director has the lead responsibility for raising the operating and capital funding necessary to support Oak Heritage’s mission.
2. Develop and implement fundraising activities including solicitation of donors and grants, membership development, writing letters, making speeches/presentations and assisting the Board in cultivating individual donors.
3. Identify and cultivate new, entrepreneurial opportunities to diversify Oak Heritage’s income.
4. Foster local support for the conservation of wildlife habitat.
5. Increase public awareness and provide membership with information of Oak Heritage’s work through designing and coordinating the spring and fall newsletter, monthly e-newsletter, website, press releases, social media, public speaking and distribution of promotional materials. Education and Outreach Coordinator may take on some of these tasks.
6. Work with the Education and Outreach Coordinator and the Events and Outreach Committee to implement strategic goals related to building the base of supporters and reaching more people from across the community.
7. Work with the Fundraising and Membership Committee to implement strategic goals, including continued roll out of our Planned Giving program, increasing membership to 250 families, etc.
B. Organizational Development
1. Serve as a direct line of communication to the Board of Directors. Monitor and report to the Board regarding progress of the organization.
2. Actively support staff and board development.
3. Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with other conservation-minded agencies, groups and organizations that work locally, regionally and statewide.
4. Cultivate, maintain and support a strong Board of Directors and build board involvement with strategic direction.
5. Recommend and/or provide input on new programs to the Board.
6. Continue implementing Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
1. Supervise one part-time staff, seasonal interns, and volunteers, and inspire them to excel in their respective areas of expertise while providing ongoing mentoring, guidance and tools they need to succeed.
2. Develop and oversee the administration of an organizational budget. Monitor and report to the Board on the financial status and progress in meeting its goals.
3. Responsible for maintaining all of Oak Heritage’s grant records and reports. Work closely with the Board Secretary to ensure maintenance of minutes and records, including those of the Board and committees. Work closely with the Board Treasurer as they handle the filing of tax returns and other government reports.
D. Land Protection
1. Pursue land acquisition projects that protect high quality habitat in southeast Indiana, including new nature preserve and new conservation easements.
2. Lead in negotiation and drafting conservation easements and ensuring adequate financial resources to complete projects.
3. Identify and employ funding opportunities for land acquisitions, including government and private grants and partnerships.
4. Work with the Land and Stewardship Committee to implement strategic goals including a bioblitz on one of our nature preserves, finalizing a scoring system to assess potential land acquisition projects, etc.
E. Restoration & Stewardship
1. Work closely with the Board Stewardship Chair to prepare management and restoration plans and work with landowners to respond to conservation easement stewardship issues as needed.
2. Provide oversight of Oak Heritage’s properties and maintain good relationships with property neighbors and conservation easement property owners. Oversee Preserve Stewards (volunteers who monitor preserves quarterly, and help with stewardship efforts) and hunting program at three preserves.
Work is performed in the office as well as in the field. Travel is required to remote, isolated project sites, meetings, speaking engagements, workshops, professional associations, and other events requiring land trust participation.
SALARY AND BENEFITS Salary: Competitive salary starting at $25,000; to be negotiated depending on experience and qualifications. Hours: 20 hours per week (0.5 FTE) Reports to: Board of Directors Location: Southeast Indiana (staff work remotely, but for practical reasons need to be located within easy driving distance of our preserves) Benefits: Pro-rated for part-time status: 8 Holidays, 15 Vacation Days, 9 Sick Days, 3 Personal Days, as well as a flexible work schedule, work from home, and training opportunities TO APPLY Applications will be accepted until November 1, 2021, or until the position is filled. Please submit a cover letter, resume and references via email to email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed during early November, with an approximate start date of January 3, 2022. We look forward to reviewing your application. Oak Heritage is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity, and we are working to make our nature preserves and our programs welcoming to people from across the community. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.