Shipman, Virginia
$26.44 An Hour
Executive Director
Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary
Date Posted:
Date Needed:
United States
Primary Category:
$55,000.00 yearly
Type of Position:
Education Requirement:
Experience Requirement:
3-5 years
Description & Details
About Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in beautiful Nelson County, Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to bettering our environment through wildlife rehabilitation and raising public awareness about the importance of wild animals. Serving Central Virginia from our modern facility in Shipman, the Sanctuary's 4 permanent staff and dozens of volunteers rehabilitate almost 900 wildlife patients annually. Animal care is provided across 2 indoor nurseries and 50 outdoor enclosures on the property. The Sanctuary also offers free educational programming in schools and community centers with the help of our team of education ambassador animals. This combination of rehabilitative care and community outreach constitutes the Sanctuary's deep and lasting commitment to creating a vibrant and compassionate future for our wild neighbors here in Virginia.
Position Description
Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary (RWS) is seeking a strong, experienced professional who is passionate about wildlife and its importance to the environment. The Executive Director (ED) will lead the Sanctuary forward in advancing its three-pronged mission:
Rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned native wildlife in Central Virginia and releasing them back into the wild.
Informing the community about what to do when an injured or orphaned wild animal is found and who to contact for help with the animal.
Educating the residents of Central Virginia about the habitats and needs of native wildlife and how to best support wildlife conservation.
The ED will have experience leading and managing a nonprofit organization and will also have demonstrated experience in wildlife rehabilitation and/or wildlife advocacy. The successful candidate for this position will have strong development skills and will have experience in building authentic partnerships within and across communities to advance the mission of a nonprofit organization. The ED will be able to measure the organization's success and advocate for financial resources to create improvements.
The successful applicant will furthermore have demonstrated initiative, creativity, flexibility and inspirational leadership for implementing program enhancements in their workplaces. The ED will work collaboratively with the RWS Board of Directors to identify priorities, contribute to strategic planning, and create fundraising strategies. Ultimately, the ED will be a dynamic and devoted individual who is excited to share our mission with our established donor base, prospective supporters, foundation representatives, and corporate partners. The ED will be expected to work with the Board and RWS staff to develop and implement strategies for accomplishing organizational goals.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
Reporting to the Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the organization's staff, programs, expansion, fundraising and execution of mission. The ED is expected to have a sound knowledge of effective wildlife rehabilitation practices as well as exemplary skills in managing a nonprofit organization.
Development (Fundraising and Outreach): 50%
Lead all fundraising activities and assume final responsibility for successfully meeting annual fundraising goals; work closely with the RWS Board to ensure its members are effective partners in fund- and friend-raising initiatives.
Maintain effective Board relations by staying in regular communication with Board President and members; participate as a resource member to the Board for all activities as requested.
Assist in recruiting and vetting new Board members to support advancement of the Sanctuary's mission.
Oversee and lead donor cultivation efforts ensuring that donors are appropriately recognized for their contributions in a timely manner.
Maintain CRM software donor database, ensuring both Board and Staff members are reporting donor or potential donor contacts regularly; effectively utilize donor information to identify prospects for further cultivation, major gifts, and appropriate stewardship.
Direct communications for RWS by guiding all digital, print, and earned media, including managing the Sanctuary's social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok), writing content for the RWS website, and collaborating with RWS staff to write and develop the printed fall and spring newsletters; write press releases and cultivate relationships with news outlets/reporters to showcase the efforts and successes of RWS; serve as the Sanctuary's public face by appearing on news and radio stories when needed.
Lead and implement community education and outreach strategies utilizing board members, RWS staff and volunteers as needed to effectively reach into the community; monitor effectiveness of these strategies on an annual basis.
Support grant writing activities by providing statistics, information and other data to grant writers as requested; identify annual grant funding goals and priorities with the Board.
Management (Human Resources and Administrative): 40%
Lead hiring activities for all RWS staff and interns; ensure appropriate practices and protocols are in place for onboarding new employees.
Supervise, evaluate, and provide guidance to the Rehabilitation Program Manager (RPM) to ensure that the highest standards of animal care are followed.
Conduct annual performance review for the RPM; co-conduct performance reviews for other staff with the RPM, such as rehabilitation and outreach employees.
Ensure a positive, professional, and safe working environment at all times for both humans and animals; ensure daily and systemic commitment to diversity and inclusion and ensure RWS remains a welcoming space for all personnel.
Oversee implementation of policies and practices approved by the Board.
Manage overall RWS budget, ensuring effective and efficient use of resources; request emergency funding from Board as needed and make payments for all RWS invoices.
Process biweekly payroll using Intuit QuickBooks; schedule payroll tax payments; work closely with Board Treasurer to accurately categorize expenses in QuickBooks.
Manage shared general inquiry RWS email account and train staff on appropriate responses to public inquiries about animals in need, outreach programs, volunteer interest, etc.
Write monthly Operations Report and attend monthly meetings with the Board of Directors.
Serve as point of contact between Board and Staff, implementing Board initiatives and advocating for Staff needs where appropriate.
Rehabilitation (Animal Care): 10%
Apply for and maintain an annual wildlife rehabilitation permit through VDWR.
Provide guidance for Rehabilitation Program Manager as needed; work with the RPM to develop and improve rehabilitation protocols and make final rehabilitation decisions.
Answer the phone and respond to rehabilitation-related questions from the public; collaborate with RPM staff and interns to ensure consistent and clear communications with the public and community.
Assist RPM in developing biosecurity protocols and monitor standards of cleanliness in nurseries, kitchen, laundry room and outdoor enclosures to ensure health and safety of animals and RWS team members.
Provide back-up support for animal care if needed.
Applicant Requirements
A Bachelor's degree in Biology, Environmental Studies, Zoology, Communications, Marketing, or a related field to wildlife and/or nonprofit management.
An up-to-date Tetanus shot and rabies-vaccine series. If you do not have a current rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis series, RWS will cover the cost of these important immunizations.
Current COVID-19 vaccine series and a willingness to abide by all organizational COVID restrictions.
A valid Driver's License for operating vehicles in Virginia.
A firm understanding of animal welfare best practices and how to reduce patient stress.
Demonstrated experience in public speaking and thinking creatively to establish novel connections with donors, other nonprofit organizations, and corporate partners.
Enthusiasm for the work, time-efficiency, an ability to nurture teamwork and step in as needed to support the other RWS staff.
A deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and accountability. RWS strives to be an anti-racist workplace and welcomes individuals of all lived experiences and identities.
Preferred Qualifications
A working knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife management, and/or natural history for species native to Virginia.
Knowledge of state and federal regulations related to the handling and care of wildlife.
Ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
Ability to work outdoors in a variety of conditions, as needed.
Experience working with donor management databases like Salesforce or Little Green Light and e-marketing tools like Mailchimp.
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