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Ithaca Children’s Garden seeks Executive Director

Several young children sit in the grass together.

Ithaca Children’s Garden is seeking its next Executive Director. The ideal candidate is an experienced, compassionate leader with exceptional interpersonal skills, who believes in and will work toward our vision that every child has the basic human right to play, learn, and grow outdoors, and develop a life-long relationship with the living world.

This is a full time, benefits-eligible exempt position with an annual salary of approximately $62,500 – $66,000 commensurate with qualifications.  Applications will be accepted until October 30 or until the position is filled. To apply, or for questions, email your resume and cover letter to

Please download the full position description to learn more.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities


  • Lead a diverse, resourceful, and dedicated team of approximately 10 permanent staff and 15 seasonal staff members; 100+ volunteers; and 11 board members
  • Along with the Board of Directors, provide vision and lead strategic planning to guide Ithaca Children’s Garden’s initiatives
  • Identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external challenges and opportunities that affect ICG
  • Act as a professional advisor to the Board of Director on all aspects of ICG’s activities
  • Foster effective teamwork between the Board and the Executive Director and between the Executive Director and staff
  • Act as a spokesperson for ICG
  • Along with the Board of Directors, identify and court potential Board Members who reflect ICG’s values, leverage networks, resources, and support for the benefit of ICG, and who reflect ICG’s values of bringing unique and diverse voices to the Board.
  • Conduct official correspondence on behalf of the Board as appropriate and jointly with the Board when appropriate
  • Represent ICG at community activities to enhance ICG’s community profile
  • Foster staff leadership, professional development, decision-making, and teamwork amongst staff and with volunteer committees and partnering organizations.  
  • Collaborate with community organizations in Ithaca to advance ICG’s mission 

Operational planning and management

  • Develop a yearly operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the mission and strategic plan of ICG 
  • Ensure that the operation of ICG meets the expectations of its audience, Board and Funders
  • Oversee the effective and efficient day-to-day operation of ICG
  • Draft policies for the approval of the Board and prepare procedures to implement ICG policies; review existing policies on an regular basis and recommend changes to the Board as appropriate
  • Provide support to the Board by working with the Executive Committee of the Board to prepare meeting agenda and supporting materials

Program planning and management

  • Serve as a main liaison to city, county, and state government agencies and representatives for funding, site development, and capital improvements.
  • Oversee the planning, implementation (monitoring the day-to-day delivery) and evaluation to maintain or improve quality of ICG’s programs 
  • Oversee the planning, implementation, execution and evaluation of special projects

Human resources planning and management

  • Determine staffing requirements needed for successful delivery of all ICG programs
  • Oversee the implementation of human resources policies, procedures and practices, including the development or review of job descriptions for all staff
  • Establish a positive, healthy and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations
  • Recruit, interview and select staff that have the right technical and cultural competencies to help further ICG’s mission
  • Ensure that all staff receive an orientation to ICG and that appropriate training is provided
  • Implement a performance management process for all staff which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an on-going basis and conducting annual performance reviews
  • Coach and mentor staff to improve performance, encourage decision-making, and carry out their job responsibilities, and facilitate professional development in alignment with organizational and professional goals
  • Release staff when necessary using appropriate and legally defensible procedures

Financial planning and management

  • Work with the Board and Director of Development to develop and secure adequate pipelines of funding (from foundations, businesses, granting agencies and individual donors) for the operation and future growth of ICG
  • Provide guidance and support to the director of development to research funding sources, oversee the development of fundraising plans and write funding proposals to increase the funds of ICG
  • Participate in fundraising activities as appropriate including donor discovery, relationship building and solicitation
  • Work with staff and the Board and the Finance Committee to prepare, monitor, and manage ICG’s approximately $500,000 annual budget
  • Approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Board
  • Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed
  • Oversee annual CPA review of ICG’s financial statements
  • Ensure all necessary tax and other regulatory filings are completed appropriately and filed timely
  • Administer the funds of ICG according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of ICG
  • Provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on the financial activities (revenues and expenditures) and position of ICG
  • Ensure that ICG complies with all legislation covering taxation and withholding payments

Community relations/advocacy

  • Communicate with stakeholders to keep them informed of the work of ICG and to identify changes in the community served by ICG
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, funders, politicians, and other organizations to help achieve the goals of ICG
  • Ability to make compelling presentations to establish and strengthen the case for ICG’s services to new and existing stakeholders

Risk management

  • Identify and evaluate the risks to ICG’s people (audience, staff, management, Board, volunteers), property, finances, and brand and implement measures to control risks
  • Ensure that the Board of Directors and ICG carries appropriate and adequate insurance coverage
  • Ensure that the Board and staff understand the terms, conditions and limitations of the insurance coverage

Technical proficiencies

  • Working knowledge of or ability to learn with or ability to learn web-based applications for team communication and project management such as Google Drive, Asana, Excel, Slack, Google meets, Zoom, and other communication platforms. 
  • Understanding of Google drive and/or other office suite platforms that include presentation programs.
  • Understanding of and ability to support organizational customer relationship management (CRM) use to collect and track data to advance ICG’s mission

Working conditions

  • The Executive Director will work a standard work week, plus evenings, weekends, and overtime hours as needed to accommodate activities such as Board meetings and representing ICG at public events.
  • Personal transportation is required to be able to travel locally and periodically- regionally or nationally to meet with collaborators and donors.
  • The Executive Director will be able to participate in ICG activities in person and also be able to conduct and facilitate work remotely to accommodate remote personnel.

This is a full time, benefits-eligible exempt position with an annual salary of approximately $66,000 commensurate with qualifications.  Applications will be accepted until October 15 or until the position is filled. To apply, or for questions, email your resume and cover letter to