Urban Farming, Garden Education Director Job, California

URBAN SPROUTS, A FARMING AND GARDEN EDUCATION ORGANIZATION IN CALIFORNIA IS HIRING FOR THE POSITION OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PART-TIMEUrban Sprouts Garden California Who we are By cultivating school gardens in San Francisco’s under-served neighborhoods, Urban Sprouts partners with youth and their families to build eco-literacy, equity, wellness, and community. Urban Sprouts grew out of a doctoral thesis project on the benefits of school gardens for middle school youth, and the organization has grown since 2003 to serve 700 youth each year. Urban Sprouts is a fiscally-sponsored organization led by an Executive Director and Advisory Board of 7-9 members. Two program staff supervised by a program director provide garden-based education for youth and their families at San Francisco middle and high schools. Our budget of $250,000 is funded by state and local government grants, foundation and corporate grants, individual gifts, and fees for service from our partner schools.

Urban Sprouts pioneered garden-based education in under-served urban schools, giving us a strong 6-year track record at a time when school gardens are exploding in popularity. Our greatest asset is our Garden Educator staff team, who work independently at school sites but collaborate for mutual support and learning. We have documented and evaluated our programs since the beginning,
showing strong gains in youth health, nutrition, ecoliteracy and youth development. We work as educators and organizers within partner schools, building the school community’s capacity to develop their own school garden and connecting them to information and resources. Urban Sprouts’ school gardens are simple and streamlined, at a scale that youth and schools can manage. Plus, we use school gardens to do more than cultivate youth and their families’ wellness and wellbeing, but to develop their leadership within schools and communities. The outward ripples of a school garden can impact individual health, school food, neighborhood food access, and even the regional food system.

Urban Sprouts is now at a moment of change. The current economic climate has caused us to scale back our programs at a time when the demand for school gardens is greater than ever. Public school funding is threatened and schools are restructuring, also causing us to reexamine the nature of our partnerships with schools. We are looking for new leadership to succeed the founding Executive Director. This person will strengthen our sustainability before we can reposition ourselves for future growth. As a small grassroots organization, how can we help schools everywhere to create high-quality school gardens? As public schools struggle with major cuts, how can our partnership be empowering rather than just charitable? How will we respond to shifting funding opportunities in our field? How can our internal structures and culture best fulfill our mission? Our new Executive Director will lead our team to take a stand on these issues.

The Position
The Executive Director (ED) of Urban Sprouts oversees all aspects of Urban Sprouts’ activities and ensures strong systems for staff supervision and leadership development.  The ED is responsible for the day- to-day operations and management of the organization, including staffing, program management and development, administration, finances, budgeting, fundraising, advisory board development, and coordination with the fiscal sponsor, Neighborhood Parks Council. The ED leads the development of strategic plans in a manner that builds unity among all stakeholders, and is responsible for evaluating the cost, effectiveness and mission-fit of programs. The ED is the organization’s primary fundraiser who secures and oversees funding to sustain the organization. Externally, the ED represents Urban Sprouts in the community with program partners, donors and funders, government agencies, the media, and other organizations. This position is part-time with potential to increase to full-time.

Who you are
The Executive Director of Urban Sprouts has experience in the Executive Director role and is skilled at managing the nuts and bolts of a small nonprofit organization. You are an analytical thinker who can strengthen the business operation of an organization in service to its mission. You are visionary and up-to-date with issues in the fields of youth development, sustainable food systems, public education, and public health. You are a professional and collaborative staff leader who mentors staff to do their best work and to succeed as a team. You are a social entrepreneur with superior communication skills and the instinct and judgment required to position the organization as a leader in the field. You are able to identify opportunities for new funding and partnerships with stakeholders, including foundations, local government agencies, the school district, and other community organizations. You are aware of the needs and culture in our multi-racial constituent communities and strongly connect with the people and organizations we serve. You are experienced with change management and have the skills required to lead Urban Sprouts through a strategic planning process and into its next organizational phase. You are excited to be a part of the evolution of Urban Sprouts as we consider internal and external shifts and determine how to best position the organization going forward.

Required Qualifications
• 3 + years of experience as an Executive Director of a nonprofit organization or as the head of a major component of a nonprofit, public or private sector organization
• Demonstrated success in effective management and supervision of staff and volunteers
• Demonstrated success in financial management and budgeting for a nonprofit organization
• A successful track record in grantwriting, grant cultivation and management, including foundation, corporate and government grants
• Successful fundraising experience, including individual donor cultivation and solicitation and annual giving campaigns
• Experience working successfully with a nonprofit Board of Directors
• Ability to align key stakeholders around the mission and vision of the organization
• A self-starter who is able to learn on the job and make decisions quickly; a quick learner, with excellent critical thinking skills and the ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced environment
• Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills
• Computer skills necessary for the performance of the duties of the Executive Director in Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Salesforce, and QuickBooks or similar applications
• Ability to read, write and speak English required

Desired Qualifications
• Masters Degree in Nonprofit Administration, Business Administration, Public Administration or related field
• Experience with change management
• Bicultural and/or bilingual in a language common to the communities we serve
• Experience in education and a desire to engage and empower community members
• Experienced in garden-based education, outdoor or popular education, youth development, sustainable food systems, public health, or other related field
• Experience with public relations or news media

People of color, bilingual persons, and applicants with experience working with low-income communities of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

This is a part-time position working 20-25 hours per week, at a competitive salary commensurate with experience. Health, sick and vacation benefits are included.

Application Process
Applicants should send their resumes and cover letters describing their qualifications, salary requirements, and interest in the position to hiring@urbansprouts.org by September 16, 2011. Please reference US ED Search in the subject line. Resumes without cover letters will not be considered. www.urbansprouts.org

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