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Executive Director: Fundraising and Board Development

After 25 years of growth and service, The Clemente Course in the Humanities ( seeks a new Executive Director (ED) to lead the organization at a time when our mission could not be more critical. We are looking for a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader with demonstrated organizational and fundraising skills in higher education, public humanities, and nonprofits. Primary responsibilities include board development, donor relations, and fundraising efforts to support Clememte’s network of 30+ programs. The ideal Executive Director will be a self-directed strategic thinker with a proven track record in fundraising and working collaboratively with non-profit boards and staff. The ED will lead a national team that supports local Clemente Courses to increase student success and support innovation, new programs, and initiatives developed through local, regional, and national partnerships. 

Since 1996, the Clemente Course in the Humanities, recognized by President Obama with the 2014  National Humanities Medal, has provided transformative educational experiences for adults facing economic hardship by sharing the power of the humanities through accredited college courses in philosophy, art history, literature, history, and critical thinking and writing. Through more than thirty programs across the U.S., Clemente helps students build the confidence to further their education and careers, become effective advocates for themselves and their families, and engage actively in the cultural and political lives of their communities. 

Position Information 

This is a full time position with a starting salary in the $90-100K range. Benefits are negotiable. Remote working is required, with domestic travel necessary to maintain and develop relationships with stakeholders, benefactors, and others, subject to covid restrictions. Occasional evening or weekend hours are required.

Primary Responsibilities

Board Development 

Collaborate with the Board of Directors to:

    Update and implement Clemente’s  strategic plan to  support its mission, values, and objectives.  Work with the Director of Outreach and Engagement to respond to the board of directors’ communication needs, including developing strategies, presentations, brochures, and language for donor solicitations. Increase diversity on the board to ensure our stakeholders are well-represented in strategic planning and program implementation. Ensure employee and business practices comply with regulatory and legal requirements.

Fundraising and  Donor Relations 

    Develop and execute an annual fundraising plan and calendar to meet the organization’s funding goals by cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major donors, foundations. corporate partners, and small-dollar individual donors. Work with the  Director of Outreach and Engagement to plan and execute fundraising activities and donor stewardship events and to align donor journeys with overall organizational messaging. Manage a grants calendar and serve as the lead proposal writer, submitting initial RFPs and follow-up reports for both government granting partners and independent foundations. Work with the Board of Directors and staff to manage outreach and stewardship of board contact lists and databases, serving as staff liaison for the Fundraising Committee.

Institutional Partnerships: Work with the Program Director to maintain institutional relationships with appropriate state and federal agencies as well as with Bard College and other credit-granting partners. 


    Develop and manage an annual budget in collaboration with the treasurer, bookkeeper, and other staff as appropriate. Oversee expenditures and adjust forecasting throughout the year to meet organizational goals. Work with the Board Treasurer and bookkeeper to report and reconcile the organization’s budget.

Organizational Culture

    Promote equity and inclusion through all aspects of program leadership and delivery. Promote transparency and collaboration throughout the organization. Identify potential risks and opportunities within the organization and its environment to protect and enhance program interests.

Preferred Qualifications 

The ideal candidate brings significant  experience working in the non-profit sector with  programs serving underrepresented  communities, as well as an understanding of the adult education and public humanities landscape. They should  have a strong background in board development, fundraising, and donor relations and demonstrated success in these key areas: 

    Three to five years of progressive fundraising experience including grant writing and management, donor cultivation, and soliciting gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations, with a track record of success. Experience managing and analyzing donor data to improve outcomes. 
      Experience with donor CRMs required, DonorPerfect preferred.
    Experience working with foundations and government agencies, such as state Humanities Councils and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Experience directly leading a diverse, geographically dispersed team in ways that  develop robust communication, trust and efficiency.
    Experience tracking grants and preparing grant reports.

 Minimum Qualifications

Applicants must have strong skills in key areas:

    Fundraising for nonprofits. Exceptional oral and written communication skills.
    Organizational development and leadership. Strategic and analytical thinking.  Self-direction and innovation. Experience with Microsoft and Google Suites. Comfort and familiarity with spreadsheets and financial documents.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for two professional references to Dr. Marina van Zuylen .

The Clemente Course in the Humanities is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

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