Executive Director

Position Description
Executive Director, Literacy Connection
Hendersonville, NC
Start Date: July 2024
Application Deadline: Friday, April 19, 2024

Literacy Connection is seeking an experienced and dynamic executive director to lead the organization and add to its 34-year history.

Our Mission
To transform lives by cultivating literacy skills that promote economic and social success.

Our Vision
A community that is stronger because literacy is highly valued.

The Organization
Literacy Connection, formerly Blue Ridge Literacy Council, has served the Hendersonville community since 1990. Literacy Connection offers its English Language Acquisition and Adult Basic Education services and materials at no cost to native and non-native English speakers. Using a student-centered beyond basics approach, students are taught within the context of their goals, which may include reaching self-sustaining employment, family literacy/school success, obtaining citizenship, and/or achieving post-secondary credentials including the GED. Programs include: Employee Education, Citizenship Tutoring, Family Literacy, Youth/Teen Literacy, and Digital Literacy. Services are delivered by more than 100 trained volunteer tutors, credentialed instructors, and a small, yet highly effective, and majority bilingual staff. Nearly 200 learners are served by the organization annually, of whom 96% reach one or more of their goals.

Literacy Connection is governed and supported by a 13-member board of directors. The organization has an annual budget of $300,000, funded by grants (70%) and contributions (30%). The organizational culture is mission-driven, service-oriented, and dedicated to supporting the community’s learners.

The Position
The next executive director will build on Literacy Connection’s high-quality programs, dedicated and engaged volunteer base, staff, and board, and history of serving the community by continuing to strengthen its organizational capacity and financial sustainability. The next leader will be a dynamic presence in the organization and in the community and an effective communicator, able to inspire and motivate support for the organization's mission.

Organizational Priorities
The Board of Directors and staff of Literacy Connection have identified the following as the highest priorities for the new executive, board, and staff over the next 12 to 18 months:

Secure sustainable funding from diverse revenue sources by focusing on building an individual and major donor base, while continuing to develop grant revenue and an emerging fee for service model with regional employers.
Increase organizational effectiveness, including systems and practices for outreach, marketing, fundraising, and program evaluation.
Lead a strategic planning process by engaging a diverse mix of community stakeholders, with a particular focus on:
Continuing to strengthen and revitalize the volunteer program;
Assessing programs for mission impact;
Conducting an organizational staff capacity and compensation analysis to hire to fill vacant positions, retain, and motivate talented, dedicated staff;
Deepening partnerships and collaborations to meet the community’s need;
Enhancing community presence and awareness.

Ongoing Responsibilities
Vision, Mission, and Strategies – Work closely with the board and staff to translate Literacy Connection’s mission and vision into clear, evidence-based and data-driven strategic directions, goals, and initiatives.
Accomplishment of Management Objectives – Oversee operational and program objectives that support the organization’s strategic goals and lead the staff in their implementation.
Fundraising and Resource Development – In partnership with the board and staff, develop and implement appropriate and diversified fundraising and development strategies.
Fiscal Management – Ensure that solid planning and budgeting systems continue so that income is managed wisely and that the organization’s goals serve as the basis for sound financial planning. Ensure that systems and staff are in place to accurately monitor, assess, and manage the organization's financial health.
Human Resources Management – Grow and maintain a strong staff in a positive and empowering environment. Oversee staff development activities that build leadership skills and motivate performance. Ensure adherence to the personnel policies in all hiring and employment practices.
External Liaison, Public Image, and Partnerships – Serve as the primary spokesperson and public face for Literacy Connection, representing the organization locally and regionally. Develop and deepen successful working relationships and collaborations with diverse constituencies, including government, education, and nonprofit groups that support the work of Literacy Connection.

Desired Experience, Skills, and Attributes
Literacy Connection is committed to building an inclusive workforce and leadership team that represents its diverse community. Candidates with some combination of the following experience, skills, and attributes are encouraged to apply:

A history of leadership and management success in the nonprofit sector
Demonstrated success in fundraising and relationship building skills with individual and major donors, as well as in grant writing and reporting
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, strong interpersonal and public speaking skills, and success in increasing organizational visibility
Financial literacy and experience with budget preparation and management
A collaborative, “bridge-builder” mindset with an exceptional ability to foster a spirit of cooperation with external partners and among board members, staff, and volunteers
An inclusive, adaptive leadership style characterized by empathy, mutual respect, optimism, and trust that honors and develops staff expertise, knowledge, and experience
Awareness, appreciation, sensitivity, enthusiasm, and experience working with diverse communities and cultures

The following are considered a plus, but not a requirement:
Background in youth or adult literacy, ESOL, or the education sector
Bilingual/Spanish-speaking skills
Knowledge of and/or experience with Literacy Connection’s service area

Literacy Connection welcomes inquiries and applications from candidates with non-traditional background and experience. If you see yourself as having the skills to be successful in this role, please apply or reach out with questions at the contact info below.

The salary range for this full-time, 40-hours-per-week position based in Hendersonville, NC, is $75,000 - 85,000, with the exact salary depending on experience. Benefits include health insurance (70% employer-paid premiums), 12 paid holidays plus 15 paid days off in the first year of employment, and some flexibility to work from home.

Application Process
Email your cover letter and résumé in PDF form to: literacy@onwardnonprofit.com

Application Deadline: Friday, April 19, 2024 at 5:00PM EST

Literacy Connection is an equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting a diverse pool of qualified candidates for the position. For more information about Literacy Connection, please visit the website at www.litconnection.org

Onward Nonprofit Services, LLC, has been retained for this engagement.
Please contact Rachel Zink with questions: rachel@onwardnonprofit.com

Organization Name: 
Literacy Connection
Career Level: 
Salary range: 
$75,000 - $85,000
Job Type: 
Full Time
Northwest NC
Henderson County
Organization Type: 
How to Apply: 

Application Process
Email your cover letter and résumé in PDF form to: literacy@onwardnonprofit.com

Application Deadline: Friday, April 19, 2024 at 5:00PM EST