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Executive Director at Wells Mountain Initiative

New York City | Boston

  • Organization: DH - Dana Hagenbuch Search
  • Location: Remote | New York City | Boston
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - Senior Executive
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Youth
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Closing Date: 2023-04-15

Wells Mountain Initiative (WMI) fosters social change by building a global network of grassroots leaders (WMI Scholars) who are catalyzing community transformation across 54 countries. Since 2005, we have partnered with young people in the most remote corners of the world who are deeply committed to leading change in their communities. Through access to tertiary education, professional development, collective action and community development grants, our network of engaged leaders and social entrepreneurs are tackling issues such as gender inequity, educational access, health disparities and climate change through a locally-rooted and community-driven approach, resulting in more just and sustainable solutions.

Today, we are over 640 students and alumni scholars strong. In 2021, WMI Scholars performed over 60,000 community service hours and served 89,440 individuals through paid and volunteer positions. Forty percent of WMI Scholars have launched a nonprofit or business in their home regions. WMI is proving that when local knowledge is paired with individual commitment, education, volunteer experience, resources and a professional network, there is no limit to the impact an individual can have.


WMI seeks an inspiring, strategic, and relational leader to serve as Executive Director (ED) and usher the organization into its next phase of growth and impact. Joining an organization with strong programmatic and financial footing, the ED will galvanize a dedicated 13-member (and growing) multicultural team, engaged Board of Directors and Advisory Board, a Scholar Global Advisory Board and Medical Scholar Board, and a strong community of volunteers and donors. With oversight of both internal and external functions, the ED will play a highly visible role in elevating WMI's profile domestically and internationally, expanding its funder base, and securing the resources needed to take WMI to the next level. Specifically, the ED will: 

Design, implement, and lead fundraising efforts that drive growth and sustainability, diversify the funder base, and elevate WMI's brand. (~70% of time)

  • Create a comprehensive fundraising strategy to 1) grow year-over-year (approximately 20%) revenue above current ~1M revenue target, 2) steward and increase support from existing supporters, and 3) identify and pursue new supporters that are aligned with WMI's values and mission.
  • Identify, cultivate, and steward a portfolio of foundation, corporate, and individual funders. Personally solicit major gifts from new and existing funders.
  • Activate, coach, and support board members in fundraising activities, including leading the Development Committee. Partner on donor-specific strategies, meeting preparation, and timely follow-up.
  • Oversee the full range of activities required to prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals and reporting.
  • In collaboration with the Development Manager and Office Manager, oversee the smooth execution of the development operations. Build robust systems for donor prospecting, moves management, gift processing, and general donor information management.
  • In collaboration with the Communications Coordinator and external consultants, oversee the creation and distribution of donor-facing communications, such as pitch decks, reports, videos, and written and online appeals. Leverage data, results, and stories in communications.
  • Serve as a knowledgeable and passionate ambassador for WMI. Build and maintain relationships with key community, education, media, nonprofit, business, and other partners to build greater awareness and ensure that WMI is a visible and credible voice within the grassroots international development field.  

Provide forward-thinking leadership that advances WMI's programmatic, operational, and financial goals. (~30% of time)

  • In close collaboration with the Board of Directors and senior staff, set short- and long-term strategic priorities and goals that position WMI for further expansion and growth, including leading the next strategic planning process starting in 2024.
  • Oversee, coach, develop, and retain a global and remote team comprised of full-time and part-time program, operations, development, and communications staff, creating and modeling a culture of collaboration and setting a high bar for performance.
  • Build, energize, and sustain an effective and diverse Board of Directors and Advisory Board, ensuring that members have clear roles and committee work (e.g., strategic planning, finance, fundraising) and feel invested in the future of WMI. Plan, prepare for, and attend two in-person board meetings annually.
  • In support of the Assistant Director and program team, oversee the excellent delivery, measurement, and evaluation of all programmatic components, inclusive of scholarships, community development grants, community service projects, fellowships, alumni academy, scholar leadership boards, and the signature Dream Big Conference.
  • Oversee the financial management of the organization, inclusive of creating and managing an annual budget (currently ~$1M), ensuring that resources are allocated and stewarded appropriately.


  • You are an enthusiastic advocate for WMI's mission, values, and approach to global development. You are inspired to grow a successful organization that is building a global network of grassroot leaders and catalyzing community transformation. You thrive on a collaborative team that values learning, integrity, vision, flexibility and efficiency, and is community-centered. A connection to the countries where WMI works is a plus.
  • You are a well-rounded nonprofit leader with a track record of success in growing organizations. You bring at least 10+ years of nonprofit leadership experience, with significant experience in fund development and oversight of and/or exposure to strategic planning, operations, fiscal management, programs, and communications, ideally during a time of growth and change.
  • You are a capable and enthusiastic fundraiser with the ability to grow a donor base. You bring know-how in a range of fundraising activities, such as events, individual and major giving, institutional giving, and corporate giving. You are a willing front-line fundraiser and enjoy all aspects of donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • You are an analytical thinker with the ability to implement tactically. You hold the "big picture" and have a proven ability to translate an organization's vision into tangible activities and goals. You possess an unwavering commitment to programmatic outcomes and data-driven program evaluation.
  • You are a thoughtful relationship builder who develops rapport easily and fosters long-term connections. You have a warm, energetic, and authentic personality that translates to building lasting relationships with a range of personalities. You are a natural networker with the ability to deepen existing relationships and networks and develop new ones.
  • You are a compelling writer, storyteller, and communicator. You are skilled in analyzing, breaking down, and communicating ideas in ways that inspire others to action. You leverage data and stories to create narratives that articulate the “why” behind an organization’s mission and impact.
  • You are a collaborative people manager who leverages others’ strengths and promotes teamwork. You have experience in recruiting and hiring talent, building strong teams, and coaching and mentoring others for high performance and accountability. You have worked effectively with boards of directors and lay leaders.  Experience leading geographically dispersed teams is a plus and working with multi-country/international teams strongly preferred.
  • You are an adaptable, agile, and resourceful team player. You possess a “get it done” attitude, with the ability to stay focused and nimble in a dynamic environment. You work effectively across teams, time zones, and with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.


This position may work from anywhere in the United States, with a strong preference for a home base in the Northeast. WMI has a physical office located in Bristol, VT and the majority of staff work remotely. This position will entail domestic and international travel. Salary is $150,000 with a benefits package valued at $20,000, along with 15 days paid vacation, 5 paid flex days, and 11 paid holidays. Salary will be reviewed and upwardly adjusted based upon meeting and/or exceeding fundraising goals.


WMI values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply.

As an equal opportunity employer, our hiring decisions are based solely on qualifications, merit, and business needs at the time of hire. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws. This policy applies to all employment practices within our organization.

WMI is not able to sponsor work visas at this time.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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