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Applications Now Open for Our Next Executive Director

Grow Food Northampton seeks an Executive Director to provide vision, leadership, fundraising, and oversight of the administrative, programmatic, financial, and promotional operations of the organization. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.

About Grow Food Northampton

Grow Food Northampton, Inc. (GFN) is a grassroots 501(c)(3) organization whose community farm serves as a hub of food security, social equity, ecological stewardship, and community-building in the Northampton, MA area. 

In 2010, local citizens mobilized to preserve a large tract of prime farmland for sustainable community agriculture. In less than one year, and with more than 1,400 contributors, Grow Food Northampton was incorporated in order to purchase 121 acres along the Mill River in Florence, MA, and create the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm, now the largest community farm in Massachusetts..

Today, GFN initiatives include: four successful farm businesses that produce an extensive range of sustainably-grown food that reaches thousands of community members; a vibrant organic community garden with more than 300 plots; a half-acre Giving Garden that produces food for donation to the emergency food system and serves as an outdoor classroom. In collaboration with community members and allied organizations, GFN pioneered Grow Food Shares, a complimentary set of programs, to make fresh produce more affordable and accessible for those experiencing food insecurity. GFN also manages Tuesday Market, Northampton’s largest farmers’ market, consistently voted “Best in the Valley.” Through its Grow Food Kids program, GFN offers farm-based field trips and food-based workshops to more than 800 local elementary students per year. For more details about our organization and programs, visit our website at www.growfoodnorthampton.com.

As we approach our tenth birthday, Grow Food Northampton is engaged in a planning process to reaffirm core values and set priorities to guide its second decade. GFN seeks a dynamic leader with a passionate commitment to the environment, agriculture, food equity, and community to further develop our farm and programs as essential components for our community’s resilience.

Principal Responsibilities and Qualifications

The executive director is responsible for ensuring that Grow Food Northampton fulfills its mission, achieves the goals and objectives of its strategic plan, and secures long-term financial sustainability.

Executive Director Role and Responsibilities 

Board of directors

  • Serve as principal liaison between board and staff
  • Work closely with board leadership and committees
  • Provide information for decision-making
  • Report on organizational and financial progress
  • Help recruit and orient new board members

Fundraising and Development

  • Develop and manage a multifaceted, robust, year-round fundraising plan
    • Identify and cultivate donors and plan for donor retention
    • Identify and cultivate business sponsorships
    • Enlist board of directors participation in fundraising program
  • Manage fundraising campaigns such as spring and fall appeals, ValleyGrows, SNAP appeal, etc. 
  • Ensure effective donor management system for tracking, reporting, and communication 
  • Research, write, and report for grants, in collaboration with Director of Programs
  • Create fundraising events that support the budget and strengthen the GFN brand

Strategic planning

  • In collaboration with the board and staff, spearhead and implement strategic planning on a five-year cycle 
  • Ensure that outreach, communications, development, and programs adhere to  strategic plan goals

Staff supervision

  • Supervise, advise, and collaborate with Director of Programs (who supervises Giving Garden Manager, Grow Food Kids Leader, Tuesday Market Manager, and Community Garden Manager)
  • Supervise, advise, and collaborate with Communications and Outreach Manager
  • Supervise, advise, and collaborate with Administrative Manager
  • Promote a collegial work environment that fosters collaboration, growth, and leadership among GFN staff

Organization structure and personnel management

  • In collaboration with direct-report staff, ensure effective staff structure and accurate job descriptions
  • For all staff, ensure appropriate salary levels and benefit packages
  • Develop and annually review personnel policies and ensure annual performance evaluations of all staff.
  • Recruit, orient, and train direct-report staff members; when necessary, release direct report staff members
  • Support positive morale and collaboration (e.g., work teams) among staff
  • Ensure direct-report staff’s professional development

Fiscal management

  • Develop a financial business plan to ensure long-term viability and stability
  • Implement and manage organizational forecasting, planning, budgeting, and reporting
  • Ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and standards

Risk-management

  • Secure appropriate legal services and and ensure appropriate insurance coverage
  • Ensure development and implementation of best practices to reduce risk and increase safety in all aspects of GFN’s work. 

Community engagement

  • Identify and develop new opportunities for community and organizational partnerships and formal/informal alliances
  • Support outreach efforts by Director of Programs and managers
  • Represent GFN to the community at large, to funders, and to other key stakeholders and partners at meetings and events

 Brand identity

  • Ensure clear messaging regarding GFN mission and work
  • Ensure clear distinction for GFN among other organizations in the region who are doing similar work. 

Environmental scanning and professional networking 

  • Monitor trends in federal, state, and local funding
  • Monitor trends in regional land use, food policy, and regulations
  • Monitor demographic trends that affect food access

Experience/Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree preferred, and we will consider candidates with commensurate education and/or experience
  • Minimum three years executive-level nonprofit organizational leadership, management, and experience working with nonprofit boards of directors.
  • Experience preparing and managing nonprofit organizational budgets of $375,000 or more. Understand nonprofit financial-management principles, policies, and best practices.
  • Demonstrated success in and enthusiasm for nonprofit fundraising, including grant writing and management, major-gift development, donor development and retention, community-building and fundraising events, and capital campaigns.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and conflict-resolution skills. Team-oriented, personable, professional, and solution-focused.
  • Demonstrated success supervising staff, including setting clear responsibilities and goals, monitoring performance, and providing feedback.
  • Demonstrated success fostering community collaborations, advancing advocacy positions, and building organizational visibility.
  • Knowledge of issues related to GFN’s mission, including sustainable community agriculture, food justice, climate change, water management, etc.
  • Knowledge of the local community strongly preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, strong skills in facilitation, and success in directing organizational communications.
  • Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Google Drive, social media, and database software management. Experience with Salesforce a plus.
  • Ability to build an organizational culture that fosters a culture of care and inclusion. 
  • Knowledge of and commitment to principles/practices of social justice and equity.
  • Valid Massachusetts Driver’s License.
  • Ability to meet the physical demands of directing a community farm such as lifting at least 30 pounds and walking up to two miles on uneven terrain.

Position Details

  • GFN is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
  • Wage: $52,000 to $60,000 commensurate with experience. 
  • Benefits include health coverage, retirement plan, and paid vacation
  • Length of term: Annual contract with initial 90-day probationary period in Year One.
  • Commencement of term: January 2, 2020
  • Hours: This is a full time (40 hours/week) salaried position. Some evening and weekend activities should be expected.
  • Supervision: Reports to the GFN Board of Directors; GFN has a total of seven staff members, including the Executive Director. Direct reports: Director of Programs, Communications and Outreach Manager, and Administrative Manager

Application Procedure: In PDF format, please submit resume, cover letter, and a list of at least three professional references with contact information to EDSearch@growfoodnorthampton.com

or by mail to:

221 Pine St. #349 Florence, MA 01062

Application deadline: Monday, November 25, 2019, 5pm.

GFN ED Job Description 2019

Applications Now Open For Our Next Executive Director
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