Applications will be accepted until October 4, 2021, or until
position is filled
Kramden Institute is seeking
its next collaborative, strategic Executive Director who is excited
by the opportunity to help a nationally recognized team scale up to
help underserved children, adults and families cross the digital
divide. Candidates should have a keen interest in providing access
to technology that improves lives, along with the vision, energy,
leadership and business management skills to move the organization
to new heights of service. The Executive Director will
support an experienced staff and strong volunteer culture centered
on providing the technological tools and education that prepare
Kramden Institute’s clients to thrive in a digital world.
About Kramden Institute
Kramden Institute was founded in Durham, NC, in 2003 by Mark and
Ned Dibner, a father and son who set out to address the need of
classmates in Ned’s middle school who lacked access to computers.
Using donated equipment, Mark and Ned refurbished 42 computer
systems and gave them to students on the school’s honor rolls who
could not afford home computers. Kramden Institute was formed
around a critically important mission that was not being addressed
elsewhere in the community: providing technology tools and training
to bridge the digital divide. Kramden’s innovative structure
combines its 501(c)3 nonprofit mission with a business model that
partners with the corporate community to provide computers at no
cost to qualified recipients while earning income from the sale of
refurbished equipment and keeping tons of materials from being sent
to the landfill.
On its 18-year journey from a residential basement to its new
15,000 square foot building in Durham, Kramden has partnered with
hundreds of schools, nonprofits and military aid organizations,
awarding more than 42,000 refurbished computers to low-income
families in 83 of North Carolina’s 100 counties as well as to
children of servicemen and women on the state’s military bases. In
2014 Kramden began to offer educational programs for members of the
community who lack basic computing skills. Since then, more than
7,500 children and adults have completed Kramden’s computer
classes, taken part in STEM after-school programs, or enrolled in a
workshop, technology camp or computer skills certification
Kramden Institute is governed by a 10-member Board of
Directors. The Executive Director will lead a team of four
direct reports (Director of Programs, Director of Technical
Operations, Director of Development, and Office Manager) who manage
eight long-tenured staff members. Volunteers are pivotal to
Kramden’s success. Thousands of volunteers, including a dedicated
group of Super-Geeks and corporate-sponsored Geek-A-Thons for up to
200 volunteers at a time refurbish computers to be given away or
sold at deeply discounted rates to qualified recipients. Equipment
that cannot be reused or re-sold is recycled, keeping up to 150
tons of e-waste per year out of landfills.
The 2021 budget is set at just over $1 million representing 63%
in earned income, 18% in corporate and private foundation grants,
12% in program revenue, 4% in individual philanthropic funding, and
3% from other sources. In August 2021, Kramden publicly launched a
$1 million Campaign for Tech Equity to complete renovation
of its new facility and restore reserve funds used to purchase the
building. Nearly two-thirds of the campaign goal has been raised
and the campaign team, working with moss+ross as campaign
counsel, has its sights on a path to success.
Kramden’s new Executive Director will join a team of passionate
professionals who find fulfillment and joy in what they do. Key
attributes for the next leader include a spirit of inclusion and
empowerment, integrity and honesty, a strategic and collaborative
management style and a drive to understand the needs of the
individuals and communities that Kramden Institute serves.
More specifically, the Executive Director will:
- Initiate strategic planning for growth and
Kramden’s past trajectory of growth has evolved incrementally
and steadily. The new facility and deep experience of the staff
makes this an ideal time for more intentional strategic planning.
The Board and staff are looking for a new Executive Director who is
skilled at bringing key stakeholders together and creating a
process to continue growth and maximum service impact.
- Make diversity, equity and inclusion living
Digital inclusion and bridging the digital divide are at the
core of Kramden’s work. As an organization, they seek to further
promote ways for diversity, equity and inclusion to operate within
Kramden. The next Executive Director should have experience helping
an organization address these values.
- Be an effective community collaborator, leader and
Kramden and the movement to make access to technology equitable
will not succeed without defining the need in terms of a larger
social context. The organization’s next leader has the opportunity
to help policymakers, funders, and the general public understand
the impact of digital inclusion and the important role Kramden
plays. The new Executive Director should be comfortable and
competent in the role of public speaker and an experienced
networker who can advocate effectively for Kramden’s mission.
- Diversify and expand financial support
With a steady earned-income stream and strong relationships with
corporate and foundation partners, Kramden is in a fortunate
financial position. The capital campaign has shown that there is
still significant untapped opportunity. The new Executive Director
will play a critical role in fundraising, partnering with the
Director of Development and the Board to ensure that existing
donors receive appropriate stewardship while seeking larger
commitments and identifying new sources of income and revenue,
including annual giving and government grants. The Executive
Director must be an effective fundraiser, comfortable with asking
for large gifts with an understanding of both the art and the
science of fundraising. Because the sale of refurbished and
surplus equipment also plays such an important role, an
understanding of methods for growing sales would be an advantage to
- Work with Board and staff on short- and long-range strategic
planning focused toward program growth and generating resources to
maintain the organization’s financial health.
- Create a safe, productive, healthy and enjoyable work
environment for staff and volunteers based on trust, transparency,
and mutual respect.
- Develop and model strategies that ensure diversity, equity,
accessibility, and inclusion as organizational values.
- Serve as Kramden’s lead spokesperson and advocate in
communities, with government agencies, and with state and national
- Build strong working relationships with policymakers,
government agencies and service providers.
- Keep the organization informed of national, state, and local
trends and policies.
- Support the Director of Development in creating a diversified
fundraising and communications plan.
- Work with Board and staff to complete the $1 million
Campaign for Tech Equity.
- Manage a personal portfolio of top donors and prospects.
- Encourage and support fundraising activities by the Board.
- Develop a thorough knowledge of Kramden’s history and its role
among state and national organizations, agencies, and communities
working on the digital divide.
- Communicate authoritatively and confidently with media of all
Finance and Operations
- Develop a thorough knowledge of the organization’s finances,
maintain sound financial management practices with effective
internal controls, and lead the preparation of an annual
- Monitor grants and contracts to ensure fulfillment of agreement
- Maintain official records and documents that ensure compliance
with federal, state, and local laws, regulations and funders’
reporting requirements including an annual audit and the timely
filing of tax returns and payments.
- Manage human resources including hiring, position descriptions,
compensation, employee policies and benefits, payroll, vendor
contracts, and supervision of management and administrative
Board of Directors
- Provide accurate and timely reports and information necessary
for informed decisions.
- Play an active role in the recruitment and development of new
Board members and work to maximize each member’s contribution to
the success of the organization.
- Assist in growing a Board culture of philanthropy through
individual giving and participation in fundraising and awareness
- Advise the Board on governance best practices.
- At least five years of relevant executive-level experience in
nonprofit, business or government leadership.
- Proven experience helping an organization achieve ambitious
goals in innovative ways.
- Experience supporting and addressing issues of digital
inclusion in underserved communities is a plus.
- A reputation for integrity and a demonstrated track record of
creating and nurturing healthy, productive, and collaborative work
- A history of working effectively with all people regardless of
their history, economic status, ability, race, gender identity,
education level or sexual orientation and ensuring organizations
are diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive.
- Politically savvy and an effective advocate with elected
officials and government staff.
- A capacity to establish, build and manage diverse alliances and
- Leads by example, an excellent listener and facilitator who is
collaborative, diplomatic, and trusted.
- Exceptional communicator/networker who inspires, educates and
moves people to act.
- Experience raising gifts from individuals, businesses, and
foundations, along with federal, state and local government grants
- Strong leader with humility, compassion, and emotional
maturity, who is confident, energetic, creative, and has the
ability to make difficult but necessary decisions.
To apply: In one document please
submit a cover letter (including how you learned about this
opportunity) and resume and send via email to:
Search Committee Chair
Salary range: Up to $100,000 plus benefits,
commensurate with experience and abilities and reflective of salary
levels in Triangle-area nonprofit organizations.
Five references will be required of finalists. A short
presentation and writing samples may also be required from
semi-finalists or finalists. Academic, credit, and criminal
checks will be conducted before a final offer is made.
The consulting firm of moss+ross has been retained to
assist with the search.
Kramden Institute, Inc. does not discriminate against race,
color, religious affiliation,
gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical
appearance, national origin, language,
educational background or veteran status.