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
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
- 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
- Implement a long-range strategic development plan including
staffing and best practices..
- Work closely with development team in donor cultivation and
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Prior experience working with a board and board
- Not profit experience preferred.
- Prior fundraising experience required.
- Prior financial management experience preferred.
- Horse rescue or animal welfare experience and/or knowledge of
Work Location: Based in Saratoga Springs
but must be willing to travel to various TRF locations and
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
In conjunction with the development and administrative staff,
develop annual calendar of events.
Participate in grant writing and grant reporting where
Negotiate and review all contracts and contract renewals related
to events, programs, leases, equipment, services, etc.