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Executive Director - Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
New York, United States
$95,000.00 - $95,000.00
Closing date
Nov 25, 2022


Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a stated mission of rescuing Thoroughbreds no longer able to compete at the racetrack from possible abuse, neglect, and slaughter.  The TRF was founded in 1983 and has an operating budget of $2M with a herd of roughly 450 horses located in nine states throughout the U.S.  The TRF is seeking a hands-on Executive Director to oversee this established horse rescue.  The organization is well positioned for growth within its Second Chances Program where the TRF collaborates with correctional facilities to offer vocational training in equine care and management to individuals who are incarcerated.  The TRF is accredited by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Global Federal of Animal Sanctuaries.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for the oversight of the TRF. The ideal candidate must possess strong and successful experience in leadership of an animal welfare or comparable organization collaborating with the Board to establish a strong partnership in the development of its strategic plan.  Additionally, the candidate will conduct fundraising, nurture and manage community involvement, and provide administrative and financial management oversight. The candidate should have the ability to assess and maintain policies, procedures and best practices and have exceptional interpersonal skills and relate well to all TRF constituents.

Responsibilities and Duties

The Executive Director will:

  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of all TRF programs including all farms and Second Chances programs ensuring that best practices are followed in the care of the horses and management of the farms.
  • Serve as the voice and face of the organization.
  • Work closely with the board and its committees to inform, engage and capitalize on the talent and expertise of individual board members. Also, work with the board on strategic planning, establishing annual goals and budgets, as well as setting policy for guiding the organization.
  • Build positive and trusting relationships with and among staff, volunteers, vendors, donors and strategic partners.
  • Develop, maintain, and promote positive community relations between TRF and organizations within the TRF footprint and beyond.
  • Implement a long-range strategic development plan including staffing and best practices..
  • Work closely with development team in donor cultivation and stewardship.
  • Work closely with the CFO to ensure the organization’s long-term financial stability.
  • Explore technological advances to increase fundraising opportunities, enhance donor experience, and improve efficiencies within the organization.
  • Oversee compliance and governance to ensure that TRF policies, procedures and guidelines are updated and enforced.

Qualifications and Skills

The ideal candidate will have demonstrable skills and experience in organizational leadership, board development, public relations, financial management, fund raising, compliance and technology. Other minimum qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Five or more years supervisory experience preferably in a non-profit organization.
  • Strong leadership skills with ability to assimilate information and recommendations from all channels including staff, board and donors in making decisions that move the TRF toward common goals.
  • Ability to maximize available resources in achieving the goals of the TRF.
  • Ability to understand financial statements and budgets.
  • Fundraising experience, with proven success in donor acquisition and retention as well as stewardship.
  • Proven ability to bridge relationships between a wide array of people and groups, from diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to understand all federal, state, and local regulations and laws affecting the operation of a non-profit as well as the various accreditation and licensing requirements.
  • Proficiency in the use of computer applications and equipment with an understanding of web-based applications and functions

Job Type: Exempt, Full Time


  • Minimum of 5 years in leadership role in small to mid-sized organization.
  • Prior experience working with a board and board committees.
  • Not profit experience preferred.
  • Prior fundraising experience required.
  • Prior financial management experience preferred.
  • Horse rescue or animal welfare experience and/or knowledge of horses preferred.

Work Location:  Based in Saratoga Springs but must be willing to travel to various TRF locations and events.

Job Tasks:

Board and Governance:

Work with Chairman on a bi-monthly basis to set the agenda for each board meeting and compile the various reports and supporting documents for distribution to the board. Prepare and/or review minutes from each meeting for approval.

Work with board committees and staff liaisons to set meetings and agendas and participate in all committee meetings including Executive, Marketing, Herd, Second Chances, Governance and Budget/Audit committees as well special advisory or ad-hoc committees.

Assist in board recruitment through the development of on-boarding package and training.

In conjunction with Chairman, present key matters to the committees or full board including new farms or farm closures, key personnel issues, policy changes or recommendations, legal matters, etc .


In conjunction with CFO and Executive Committee, set annual increases and review benefits package.

Provide annual performance reviews to key staff members reporting directly to the E.D.

Participate in hiring of key staff.

Hold weekly staff meetings.  Hold one-on-one meetings bi-weekly and/or weekly with key staff including KY Events Manager, Director of Annual Fund and Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving.

In conjunction with HR manager, ensure that all local, state and federal laws with respect to personnel are incorporated into the employee handbook, communicated to staff and enforced.

Herd and Second Chances:

In conjunction with national herd manager, ensure that the needs of the horses and farms are addressed including infrastructure repair and replacement.

Participate in herd intake meetings working within budgetary and capacity constraints.

Working with national herd manager, ensure that all accreditation and re-accreditation applications are submitted in a timely and accurate manner.

In conjunction with the Program Development Manager, explore opportunities for Second Chances expansion and implementation and develop relationships with key individuals at the respective Departments of Correction.

In conjunction with legal counsel, negotiate new Second Chances agreements as well as renewals to ensure the interests of the TRF are protected and that the herd receives the care they need while offering effective programs for the incarcerated individuals.

Participate in periodic update calls with the DOC’s.

In conjunction with Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, participate in Second Chances Advisory Committee meetings for each State.

Make periodic visits to Second Chances Programs hosting donors or prospects whenever possible.


Working with CFO, participate in annual budget process with farms and development staff.

Review monthly financial results and address issues as required.  Review annual audit and tax returns.

Review profitability results for fundraising events and direct mail efforts.


In conjunction with Director of the Annual Fund, prepare an annual calendar of print appeals and newsletters.

Review all print and electronic appeals and press releases for accuracy and content.

Monitor results of appeals for profitability and impact.

Participate in TRF events as well as other local community events to build awareness and collabaoration among agencies and organizations.

In conjunction with CFO, develop annual goals for the team as well as goals for individuals within the development department including incentive plans for review by Executive Committee.. 

In conjunction with the development and administrative staff, develop annual calendar of events.

Participate in grant writing and grant reporting where needed.


Negotiate and review all contracts and contract renewals related to events, programs, leases, equipment, services, etc.

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