Women’s Wilderness is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the courage, confidence, and leadership qualities of girls and women, through the challenge and support of wilderness and community-based programs.
Women’s Wilderness was founded 20 years ago and serves approximately 700 participants annually. Current programs include:
- Girls’ Wilderness Adventures, five- to nine-day backpacking and climbing courses in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming for girls 8 through 18
- Girls Lead for Life, an after-school climbing program for girls in middle school at Earth Treks climbing gym in both Golden and Englewood
- Women’s climbing, canoeing, backpacking, and outdoors skills courses
- Summit Sisters, a three-day annual summer retreat
- Queer Wilderness Project, an LGBTQ outdoor program
- Trailblazers, a Black, Indigenous, Women of Color outdoor leadership program
- Custom and corporate leadership programs
Girls’ program participants are from diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, and the organization actively recruits from Title 1 schools and programs that serve low-income families. Money raised through earned income, grants, and fundraising is used to generate scholarships for girls who would otherwise be unable to participate in a transformational wilderness program. In the organization’s history, no girl has ever been turned away for financial reasons.
The organization has stabilized and grown after some difficult years following the financial crash in 2008. For the past 4 years, the organization has been led by an Executive Director working part-time, growing the programs, office staff, and budget. The budget has grown steadily by between 11 and 17% each year and the current budget is $278,000. Women’s Wilderness now seeks to hire a full-time Executive Director, focused on fundraising, corporate relationships (for both sponsorships and professional development courses), and organizational leadership and growth. The Executive Director will work with a team including a full-time Program Director, and 3 part-time employees focused on community engagement, admissions, market strategy, tech support and systems development. The Executive Director will grow funding for existing programs, develop new corporate relationships, and lead the team in delivering high-quality and transformational programs focused on empowerment, diversity, equity and inclusion, and promoting access to the outdoors.
Mission Critical Checklist:
- Responsible for strategic vision and growth of Women’s Wilderness operations and expansion and execution of its mission.
- Passionate about Women’s Wilderness programs, mission and values. Motivates board, staff, donors and volunteers to champion the mission and grow the organization. Personality and leadership style is engaging, dynamic, visionary, strategic and collaborative.
- Experienced and energetic fundraiser. Plans and executes all development efforts; including grants, major donor initiatives, annual giving and events. Cultivates and maintains relationships with existing and new donors.
- Leverage external presence and communications to garner new relationships and opportunities.
- Insure organization’s financial management and integrity.
- Lead, coach, develop, and retain Women’s Wilderness senior management team.
Reporting to the Board of Directors and located at the Women’s Wilderness office in Boulder, CO, the Executive Director of Women’s Wilderness will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Women’s Wilderness Institute staff, programs, expansion, fiscal health, and execution of its mission.
Leadership & Management:
- Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
- Actively engage and energize Women’s Wilderness volunteers, staff, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders.
- Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; collaborate and seek board involvement with strategic direction.
- Lead, coach, develop, and retain Women’s Wilderness senior management team
- Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.
Fundraising & Development:
- Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and regional expansion.
- Plan and execute all fundraising efforts; including grants, major donor initiatives, annual giving and events.
- Maintain, communicate and develop relationships with existing and new donors
- Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.
- Lead development of new corporate clients for custom leadership programming.
- Oversee marketing plan.
- Oversee roll-out of new brand identity in 2019.
- Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
- Maintain processes for proper record keeping and internal financial controls.
- Lead development and management of annual budget.
- With the Finance Committee, review and report all financial activities to the Board on a monthly basis.
- Review analysis of financial activities (income and expenses) to discern trends, identify areas of improvement, address problems and develop forecasts.
- Lead development of new programs with Program Director.
- Serve as Program Director during times when PD is absent.
- Work with Program Director to further develop policies and procedures for field courses, admissions, etc.
- Exercise full discretion and responsibility for the recruitment, advancement, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
- Provide leadership through effective goal setting, delegation and communication.
- Conduct staff meetings, as needed.
- Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are conducted, and that sound human resource practices are in place and are consistent with the Personnel Policies developed by the Board of Directors.
- Develop an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession.
- Encourage office staff development and education.
- Maintain an environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates a staff of top quality people.
- Formulate and implement corrective action as needed.
- Bachelor’s degree required. Higher Degree in business or non-profit administration a plus
- Minimum of 3-6 years in leadership roles
- Experience grant writing
- Experience with running fundraising campaigns, including major gift programs
- Experience managing and writing budgets, experience with organizational financial management
- Experience in a supervisory role
- Exceptional public speaking, relationship building, and communication skills
- Knowledge, experience, and demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion
- Demonstrated passion for wilderness programming and girls’ empowerment programming
- $60 – 70,000 annual salary, DOE
- Health care partial reimbursement
- Monthly phone stipend
Please send a resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 professional references to
Applications will be accepted until December 7, 2018.