An executive director is the equivalent of a CEO for a non-profit organization. These directors hold the top-level position in any non-profit, and are responsible for all daily operations of the organization and working closely with the board of directors.
The executive director of a non-profit is primarily responsible for guiding the vision and direction of the organization as established by the board of directors. This includes managing community outreach programs, day-to-day policy, and financial oversight, as well as overseeing development and management of the organization's web presence, staff management and training, fundraising, and marketing operations. Executive directors are held directly responsible by the board for performance in any of these areas and the organization as a whole.
Executive directors generally work in offices at their organizations' headquarters during standard business hours. They may need to remain available 24 hours a day in case of emergency, and nights and weekends are not uncommon. Most organizations also require executive directors to travel, which varies, but can range from 10% to 50% of a business year. Those in this position are often assisted by an administrative assistant or secretary, as well to help coordinate scheduling and daily agendas and with tasks such as communication and transcription.
Qualifications generally include an advanced degree, and many employers require a master's degree while some smaller organizations may only require a bachelor's degree. Leadership and interpersonal skills are essential for this position, and many employers prefer those who have 5 to 10 years of experience in management.
Executive Director, Non-Profit Organization Tasks
May act as a source of everyday operations for members on the Non Profit’s executive board.
Supervise and direct Non Profit staff.
Oversee and direct general fundraising activities and grant application and funding for the Non Profit Organization.