The Land Conservancy of West Michigan (LCWM), an accredited land trust dedicated to the permanent conservation of natural areas, is seeking an Executive Director. LCWM’s current Executive Director is retiring, leaving the organization positioned for continued growth through a talented and dedicated team, solid finances, and a new strategic conservation plan to guide and accelerate land acquisition and long-term stewardship.
LCWM’s office is located in Grand Rapids, a growing and vibrant mid-sized city surrounded by the natural splendor of the Lake Michigan coast and interior woodlands. The mission of LCWM is to help people protect, enjoy, and care for natural land in West Michigan. A non-profit organization, the LCWM is dedicated to the permanent conservation of natural areas in an eight-county region of West Michigan (Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, Newaygo, Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, and Lake Counties). Since its inception over 40 years ago, LCWM has protected more than 12,000 acres through acquiring publicly-accessible nature preserves, establishing private conservation easements, and partnering with local communities to establish parks and other natural areas. Beyond land acquisition, LCWM is dedicated to effective land management, focusing on restoring ecological integrity, diversity, and health to the natural areas under its care. Learn more about LCWM’s work at www.naturenearby.org.
As Executive Director, you will drive the strategic direction of LCWM within the vision and mission of the organization. Under the direction of a committed and engaged Board of Directors, you will lead and grow the organization through effective operational management, outreach to key constituents, and use of financial resources. You will lead, develop, and engage a staff of 10 responsible for fundraising, land protection, stewardship, and outreach, and will work with staff, board, and the community to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization. You will also be instrumental in executing LCWM’s new strategic conservation plan, a proactive, science-driven, climate-responsive strategy to focus and accelerate LCWM’s work over the next 10-15 years.
LCWM is poised for growth and this is an excellent opportunity to make a meaningful difference for future generations as we work to preserve important natural spaces.
● Strategic Leadership: Execute the initiatives of the strategic plan to attain short-and long-term goals aligned with the mission and vision of the organization. Communicate and direct activities of staff toward strategic objectives. Provide a broad perspective of strategic planning that pushes outward and balances opportunities with the organization’s capacity.
● Conservation: Tirelessly promote and communicate the land protection and land stewardship activities of LCWM. Maintain and build strong relationships with prospective and current partners. Ensure reporting and compliance with funding organizations, Land Trust Alliance accreditation, and governmental units. Oversee and manage grant programs.
● Organizational Leadership: Inspire and empower a staff of professionals and rising conservation leaders. Foster a positive, inclusive, and collaborative culture. Optimize operations and budget through effective utilization of resources. Provide leadership that diversifies and grows revenue, maintains financial health, manages risk, meets reporting and auditing requirements, and plans for the future.
● Outreach and Fundraising: Develop and build strategic relationships with community leaders, friends of LCWM, and business partners to grow the planned giving program and increase donations. Nurture long-term, positive relationships with major donors asking for and securing contributions.
● Communication and Board Relationship: Share the story of the Land Conservancy in compelling ways to increase awareness and expand the network. Actively engage the Board of Directors, volunteers, partners, and supporters of the LCWM. Assist in the recruitment and support of an actively engaged Board of Directors.
● Diversity: Pursue a commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the organization, including hiring and partnership building. Lead efforts to improve equitable access to and engagement with conservation properties.
● Bachelor degree, master’s preferred
● Experience or strong aptitude in fundraising to develop and nurture relationships with major donors, securing ongoing philanthropic support
● Demonstrated passion for conservation and the ability to translate that passion into compelling stories that communicate LCWM’s mission and vision
● Demonstrated ability to lead a non-profit organization, effectively manage financial resources, leverage board expertise, and fulfill strategic plan initiatives
● Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to successfully establish, sustain and strengthen relationships with the team, key funders, regulators, partners, and public officials
● Clear record of success in strategic and operational management; ability to lead in a collaborative way
● Outstanding oral, written, presentation, editing, and interpersonal skills
● Valid driver’s license and ability to drive to properties throughout West Michigan
● Ability to walk/hike for several miles on both developed and undeveloped properties
Compensation and Benefits:
LCWM is committed to pursuing fair and consistent compensation for all of its staff. Our goal is that staff salaries fall between 10% below and 10% above the typical median salary for their position, taken as a composite of salary data published by the Land Trust Alliance, Michigan Nonprofit Association, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Where a candidate falls within that range will correspond with their life experience, not their negotiating ability. Removing the focus on compensation allows candidates to base decisions on what they can learn, how they can grow, and how they will contribute to our mission.
The Land Conservancy of West Michigan is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.