Hiring – Executive Director

Position and Candidate Specifications

Eugene Parks Foundation (EPF) seeks an experienced, goal oriented, self-starter to act as Executive Director (ED) of the Parks Foundation. This is a high profile position for an individual with a passion for parks and recreation. Ideal candidates possess proven leadership skills and the fundraising experience required to drive a renewed and energized organization. Successful candidates must be knowledgeable about fundraising and grantmaking, nonprofit administration, basic fiscal management, and possess strong verbal and written communication skills. The person in this leadership position must have the demonstrated ability to work with diverse interest groups, audiences, stakeholders, park staff, foundations, board members, elected officials, and other community leaders. The Executive Director has no direct reports; short-term administrative support may be available. Coordination between the ED and the City of Eugene (COE) is required and includes effective collaboration and relationship-building with key support staff and with various departments, in particular: Parks & Open Space and Recreation Services Divisions.

Organization Background 

Starting with the Hendricks family’s land donation more than 100 years ago that became the City’s first public park, Eugene has had a long history of sporadic philanthropy to improve the parks system and increase recreational opportunities. With the hiring of its first Executive Director, the Eugene Parks Foundation will set the stage for stable and permanent efforts to expand parks and recreation for all. As parks and recreation have become an essential part of how we define our community, we have continued to build on our legacy of public support and partnership.

Eugene now has 130 public parks, 50 miles of trails, over 4,000 acres of natural areas, and more than 6,000 recreation programs for all ages and abilities. While the City of Eugene excels at serving the public with its available resources, the needs of the community have outpaced its funding. Established in 2004, the Eugene Parks Foundation has operated in a public-private partnership with the City of Eugene. As an independent 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation works to provide resources for special projects the City cannot fund, helping to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability or background, are able to enjoy Eugene’s parks and recreation services.

The Eugene Parks Foundation is growing. This is an exciting and transformational time. As the Foundation expands its vision and project goals to reach more of the community, the relationship between the Foundation and the City of Eugene continues to strengthen. With City support, the Foundation is currently working with a consultant to increase its impact and capacity. The focus of the work is three-fold: expand the Board of Directors with strategic recruitments; fundraise for the Foundation’s core operations, allowing the hire of a part-time executive director; and, create a campaign council of community leaders, attracting significant philanthropic investment in a public-private partnership with the City for both expanded access to recreation and a capital project.

Parks and recreation benefit the community far beyond their aesthetic considerations. They offer benefits to the individual through better health and reduced stress. Communities as a whole benefit through reductions in juvenile crime, improved family connections, and enhanced quality of life. Parks and recreation add significant economic benefits through increased property values, greater employee productivity, more desirable business locations, and boosts in tourism. Finally, they promote environmental benefits through improved air, water, and soil quality. Going forward, the aftermath of the pandemic will pose new challenges to maintaining the powerful influence our parks have on community. As a result, the importance of the Eugene Parks Foundation will grow and present new leadership opportunities.

Position Details

  • Reports to: President of the Board of Directors
  • Classification: Exempt; 0.6 FTE; flexible schedule anticipated
  • Supervises: No direct reports at this time; oversight of consultant services
  • Annual Compensation: $45,000-$50,000 DOE, plus health stipend of $6,000
  • Benefits: Vacation, holidays and sick time
  • Start Date: June 2021 or later
  • Workspace/Work Hours: Workspace choices include office space in Eugene (board now seeking donated space); home office location is also an option. The position is 24 hours per week, and there is flexibility in establishing the work schedule.

Key Responsibilities

  • Create and oversee fundraising and resource development strategies to achieve EPF goals in coordination with the Board of Directors. The ED is expected to have direct involvement in fundraising, as well as mobilize Directors to:

– Cultivate strong relationships with existing donors and partners to retain and increase the number and size of financial contributions.

– Identify prospective major donors and business partners and develop relationships and mutually advantageous alliances.

– Plan and implement strategies to increase membership in the Legacy Circle (annual donors of a minimum $1,200 per year for operational support) throughout the Eugene region in support of EPF general operations.

  • Maintain and increase the size of the EPF Board of Directors, by recruiting high energy and qualified prospects who value EPF’s fundraising role.
  • Lead and collaborate with City staff to refine all aspects of communications — from social media presence to external relationships with the goal of increasing a stronger brand for fundraising.
  • Initiate and cultivate partnerships within the community and represent the Parks Foundation at events.
  • Build a strategic network of recognition and support of the Parks Foundation to aid in the fundraising focus.
  • Maintain professional working relationships with a diverse group of elected officials and governmental representatives with wide-ranging political views and objectives.
  • Plan and execute meetings and events (virtual and in-person) to meet goals and to maximize strategic community engagement.
  • Effectively collaborate with COE staff, particularly from the Parks & Open Space and Recreation Services Divisions.

Secondary Responsibilities

  • Work with Board President to develop an effective annual self-evaluation procedure, quarterly performance standards, and to prepare annual goals and objectives for presentation to the Board.
  • Coordinate capital and programmatic campaigns, including overseeing grant proposals; participate in meeting and event preparation.
  • Prepare and submit to the Board an annual budget and forecasts for projects and programs and general operating expenses.
  • Ensure EPF retains its IRS charitable status.
  • Prepare agendas and supporting materials for Board, Executive Committee, Task Forces, and other meetings.

Qualifications and Relevant Experience

Key Attributes:

  • Success and enjoyment in fundraising and resource development
  • Strong relationship-building and stewarding background
  • Skilled at working independently and communicating with others
  • Effective use of time
  • Results driven and detail-oriented

Successful candidates will possess a background in senior level management at a nonprofit organization. Ideal candidates will have a minimum of ten years in proven fundraising success, board development and stewardship, and executive management. Ideal experience will include designing and implementing programs, raising money from diverse sources, building stakeholder relations, managing cashflow and financial planning in a small nonprofit organization. Experience working with volunteer boards to build a strong organization is important; experience with donor data base management preferred. A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university is highly desirable. Compensation is commensurate with demonstrated experience.

To Apply

The following information is required:

  • A cover letter (2 page max), introducing yourself, sharing your interests in the position, and addressing this question:

What role does private philanthropy play in supporting parks and recreation when the public sector is charged with delivering parks and recreation services to the community?

  • A resume or CV

Submit information as soon as possible for first consideration to Scott Sanders, EPF Board President, at the following email address: parks@eugeneparksfoundation.org (as a single pdf document with “Executive Director” in the subject line).

This posting remains active until filled with the second review of applications on June 15, 2021.

Eugene Parks Foundation provides equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, handicap, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or criminal history in accordance with applicable federal laws.