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Executive Director, Children's Literacy Nonprofit

SMART Reading
Oregon, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Nov 17, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Programs, Community Outreach, Program Administration and Management, Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Community Development, Education, Social Services, Youth
Salary Band
Commensurate with Experience
Employment Type
Full Time
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SMART Reading is Oregon’s largest volunteer-based nonprofit literacy organization focused on the state’s youngest children (PreK - 3rd grade). This year, we celebrate our 30th year of operation, as we continue to expand and innovate in new ways to help kids learn to read. Our basic delivery model is reading engagement and books for kids to keep. 

Our organization has a statewide footprint and generally engages over 5,000 volunteers to work with more than 10,000 students in 300 elementary schools and other sites across the State. We are a team of 38, with an annual budget of $4 million and 8 locations across Oregon. 

We are looking for a passionate, creative and experienced professional to lead our statewide organization and its energetic team through our next stages of growth and accomplishment. This position will focus on supporting a strong 

culture of inclusion for our team members, maintaining a focus on strategic objectives, and ensuring the overall viability and sustainability of our program and organization. This is an excellent opportunity for a person who is committed to the success of our State’s youngest students and engaging the community in our work. 

Our ideal candidate will enjoy engaging with people--community members, volunteers, and donors--be a thoughtful listener and excellent communicator, be someone who can represent SMART across the State with confidence and commitment and know or be willing to understand both the urban and rural parts of our state--what unites and what divides us. Our next Executive Director will also understand that behind every great organization is a supported and well-resourced staff team and have the courage and creativity

to listen to, represent, and lead this team with conviction, compassion, and heart. 

The Executive Director will be based out of our Portland Office--the Support Center Office for the State. We are committed to supporting our staff with remote work and flexible work options. We know life happens. 

Who you are: 


○ Strategic and inspiring leader who is visionary and has “big picture” perspective; 

○ Experienced manager who can successfully perform the planning, directing, reporting, and administrative responsibilities of the position; 


○ Demonstrated success in executing fundraising campaigns and in personally securing gifts from significant donors (i.e., 

comfortable completing “the ask”.); 

○ Experience in and energized by public speaking and an excellent communicator orally and in writing 

○ Demonstrated interest in and understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and the ability to lead a team of people with these principals in mind; 

○ Strong track record of leading organizations 

○ Ability to create a structure and work environment that develops and empowers staff, engages team members working remotely, and create the energy and enthusiasm to fulfill SMART’s mission; 

○ Knowledge, experience, and understanding of public education and ability to build relationships across the state of Oregon; and ● You have: 

○ Minimum 10 years experience in a leadership role in a complex organization, with proven ability in planning, team-building, fundraising, and operational delivery, 

○ Bachelor’s Degree or greater in business administration, education administration, nonprofit management or related field (graduate degree preferred), 

○ Some combination of comparable education and work experience.

If that’s you, here is what we can offer: 

  • A salary in the range of $140 - $160K (commensurate with experience) and a generous benefits package.
  • Support for remote work, flexible schedules (early or late start) or a compressed work week, while covering “core” hours as necessary. ● A team of equally-committed, passionate and experienced individuals. ● An engaged, talented, and motivated Board of Directors who support the work of SMART and a committed network of volunteers and donors. ● Plenty of opportunity to put your creativity and ideas to good use. We have a well-established system but new ideas, and ideas that are appropriate for the organization are encouraged.
  • An organizational culture that values team, plays to the strengths of its members, works to advance equity and inclusion, and is tirelessly devoted to serving our kids well.

What you will do: 

  • Leadership: Work with the Board of Directors to determine and promote the organization’s mission. Lead the Executive Team in development and implementation of strategic goals and annual work plans. Communicate SMART’s mission and strategic plan to staff and constituents. Maintain a culture of change, growth, and learning within the organization and foster strong internal communication. 
  • Development: Enhance the organization’s fundraising strategy and ensure that the organization has the resources necessary to fulfill its mission and meet fundraising goals. Maintain strong relationships with key donors and community leaders, and cultivate prospective donors. Pursue support for SMART through public funding sources. 
  • Community & School Relations: Expand the network of friends of SMART through personal contacts, public speaking, and media cultivation. Represent the organization at community events and seek opportunities to present the mission and the work of SMART. Support enhanced partnerships with schools and school districts throughout the state. Maintain a positive statewide image for SMART. 
  • Thought Leadership: Position SMART as a leader on literacy issues, including developing support from policy makers. Support development of literacy expertise within the organization.
  • Organizational Sustainability: Ensure that SMART meets all financial, legal, and ethical obligations. Operate SMART within the confines of state and federal laws applicable to nonprofit corporations. Assure written policies and procedures that maintain the viability of the organization. Provide strong leadership to the SMART staff team and direct the work of the Executive Team. Build and maintain the appropriate infrastructure to support SMART’s people and programs over the long term. 
  • Board of Directors: Work with the Board Chair and Executive Committee to plan and execute quarterly Board meetings. Maintain positive Board relations. Support Board development as directed by the Chair and Executive Committee. Implement Board Committee meetings, projects, and planning sessions. Meet regularly with the Board Chair to review organization/Board planning, progress and issues. Complete related tasks as assigned by the Board of Directors. 

SMART’s Commitment to Equity

As an early literacy program focused on helping children succeed with reading and learning, SMART Reading can’t ignore that deep racial, cultural, social, and economic inequities in our country and state make it harder for some children to succeed compared to others. SMART Reading’s vision is an Oregon where all children can realize their full potential through reading, and we make equity a top priority as we deliver on that vision. As part of this, we particularly seek staff members, volunteers, and board members whose personal or professional background gives them a unique perspective to further SMART Reading’s work in serving children of color and children from other marginalized groups. 


To apply for this position please visit the following link: 


To read the complete job description please click here: 


Please provide a resume with a brief cover letter that tells us how you meet our needs, what your experience and commitment is to equity and why this position is of interest to you. 

People of color, people living with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on November 19, 2021. 


Please direct question about this opportunity to: 

  • Chris Otis, SMART Reading Executive Director (
  •  Anna Madill, Chair, SMART Reading Board of Directors (
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