Now Hiring: Executive Director

Are you our next Executive Director?

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (FGRP) has an extremely strong foundation and is positioned to grow and expand its role as a change agent in the community. As the City of Grand Rapids continues to grow and prosper, FGRP is uniquely suited to work collaboratively with the Parks and Recreation Department to plan and manage increased investment in parks and green spaces.

The Executive Director of FGRP functions as the chief executive officer of the corporation.  In this capacity the executive director is responsible for implementation of policies set by the Board of Directors as well as annual goals and objectives, and financial, program, and administrative management of the corporation. Guidance and direction is provided by the president of the Board, and by the Board and its Executive Committee. The Executive Director is an officer of the Corporation and an ex-offico, non-voting member of the Board.

Essential Duties

development and growth

Develops and provides leadership for the implementation of fund raising and public relations strategies to meet the Board’s growth objectives (e.g. develops and manages fund development plans, develops and presents grant proposals, prepares fundraising materials, organizes events, and evaluates progress toward goals).

 Strategy and Vision

  • Creates a clear vision for the organization; the vision aligns with the organization’s mission, but also recognizes the current needs of the community and anticipates how those needs may change in the future.
  • Works with internal and external stakeholders to develop a strategic plan around the vision.
  • Works with staff and Board to ensure the successful implementation of the strategic plan; updates the plan and/or creates new plans as the need to do so arises.

board functions

  • Facilitates the work of the Board and its committees by developing resource materials, providing appropriate information and reports, and assisting committee chairpersons as necessary.
  • Provides advice and counsel to the Board to assist in setting policies and monitoring the performance of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.
  • Recommends new policies, programs, and action plans consonant with the vision of the organization; executes all policies and decisions of the Board.
  • Recruits new Board members with the skills needed to further the goals of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Management Functions

  • Identifies areas requiring planning; develops and recommends goals, objectives and action plans for the approval of the Board.
  • Manages Friends of Grand Rapids Parks business activities.
  • Oversees the development of budgets for submission to the Board; ensures compliance with approved budgets; proposes revisions as necessary.
  • Provides for the appropriate control and accountability of all funds, physical assets and other property.
  • Oversees the development and management of digital and paper administrative, filing, and fiscal systems to support effective record keeping and tracking of institutional memory.
  • Protects Friends of Grand Rapids Parks legal interests and maintains its operations within the law; retains and works with outside counsel to obtain opinions and minimize risk.
  • Oversees the human resources function to ensure optimum staffing and use of competent staff, recommending policy changes to benefits, compensation, employment, training, professional development, and other areas as appropriate.
  • Maintains a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse group of top quality people, both as staff and volunteers.
  • Oversees and coordinates the recruitment and engagement of volunteers, including development and implementation of procedures, scheduling, and recognition.
  • Reviews current organizational practices and methods and initiates development of new ones as necessary to reduce costs, encourage growth and improve efficiency.


  • Establishes and maintains an effective system of communications throughout the Friends organization, with appropriate departments of the City of Grand Rapids, and with the community to build and maintain a positive image.
  • Publicizes the activities of the organization, its programs, and its goals.
  • Advocates for the preservation and expansion of green space and parks with a focus on access for all community members.
  • Establishes sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups, neighborhood associations, and other organizations.
  • Represents Friends of Grand Rapids Parks in its relationships with city government, the media, community organizations, suppliers, professional organizations, and similar groups.
  • Demonstrates an excellent level of cultural competency in all communications (internal and external) that reflects and enhances existing and potential relationships and connections with community stakeholders.


  • Commitment to the mission and vision of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
  • Demonstrated leadership ability
  • Demonstrated talent and success in strategic visioning, planning, and implementation
  • Demonstrated strategic relationship management   ability
  • Experience with diverse populations; commitment to equity and    inclusion
  • Competence in fund development and enthusiasm for fundraising    activities
  • Practical and technical knowledge of nonprofit   management
  • Strong communications skills and understanding of target    audiences
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Commitment to ethics and ethical behavior
  • Preference for educational/professional background in natural resource management and environmental sciences
  • Experience with community engagement and stakeholder    outreach
  • Demonstrated high-­‐level of cultural competency

Please send a cover letter and resume with references to apply@friendsofgrparks.org (any questions or inquiries can be directed there, as well) by January 26, 2017.

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