Executive Director

Land Stewardship Project

Job Title: Executive Director

Reports To: Land Stewardship Project (LSP) Board of Directors

FLSA Status: Exempt

Salary Range and Benefits: $80,000-$90,000/year. We also offer a benefits package including full family health and dental insurance, a retirement plan, and vacation and sick time.

Summary: Land Stewardship Project (LSP) is a 37-year-old, member-led, 501(c)3 non-profit organization of almost 4,400 members that organizes to advance a people-centered vision for the pressing issues in rural communities and our region. We are a people’s organization and seek someone with an organizer’s mindset, who loves building and developing teams of staff and member leaders. LSP is committed to long-term, ground up change around such issues as stewarding the health of our land and water through fighting factory farms and frac sand mining, combating corporate control, land consolidation, and structural racism in agriculture, supporting family farms and beginning farmers, promoting soil health and regenerative practices to address climate change, as well as advocating for issues such as affordable and accessible health care. We have recently expanded our commitment to addressing the ongoing farm crisis and the impact on rural communities and farm families.

We are seeking an experienced leader who is deeply committed to building power in rural areas, has a proven interest in environmental stewardship of the land, and has a dedication to economic justice and gender and racial equity. As the ongoing farm crisis is destroying rural communities and small and mid-sized farms all over our country, we seek someone who can drive our bold five-year plan and our efforts to align our program areas and expertise in a way that expands what we’re doing well, but also addresses the serious challenges our members and communities face.

The current Executive Director is retiring after a number of years with the organization, three of them in his current role. He is planning to work with the next Executive Director to support the transition, and the Board is committed to providing support, including Executive Coaching, if desired. Our search is being led by a transition committee of five Board members, and supported by a search consultant.

The Executive Director will lead the Board, a staff of more than 30 working in three offices across the state, and a strong membership and donor base. The Executive Director will also serve as the director of the Land Stewardship Action Fund, a 501(c)4 organization that was formed in 2018 to allow us to directly engage with political candidates and issues to advance our agenda.

Please note that while we are posting the position seeking one Executive Director, the transition committee is open to considering applications from two or more individuals seeking to co-lead the organization.

Core Functions:

Listed below are the essential leadership needs of the organization, with a recognition that execution will depend on a team of staff leaders to hold some of these roles, with the Executive Director providing oversight and leadership.

Organizational Vision and Board Engagement

  • Lead the strategic direction of the organization in coordination with the LSP (and LSAF) Board, member leaders, and staff.
  • Lead the implementation of LSP’s Vision for the Future, our 2019-2024 five-year plan, including the alignment, development, and innovation of our programs and resources. Combat the ongoing farm crisis through building grassroots people power in rural areas.

Staff Management and Development

  • Oversee the organization’s hiring, supervision, development, and retention of staff members, and the coordination, communication, management, support, and leadership development of said staff members. Directly supervise a leadership team, supporting them to direct and develop our outstanding staff.
  • Oversee internal systems around communications/social media, human resources, fundraising and financial operations, administration, reporting.
  • Lead the organization’s internal and external efforts to promote gender and racial equity.
  • Work with managers/directors and the staff as a whole to support the critical member and leadership development work happening on the ground, and to help staff prioritize their work effectively.

Fundraising and Budget

  • Lead the organization’s fundraising work. Work with staff who carry significant fundraising responsibilities to ensure dollars are raised, and that financial resources are utilized effectively, powerfully, and appropriately to advance our mission.
  • Develop new relationships with funders and major donors to LSP, and support and oversee the work of the staff who are currently maintaining such relationships. Support the work of building out our dues-paying membership.

Leadership and Program

  • Ensure that LSP continues to be a leader in the Upper Midwest and on a national level in organizing for change on critical issues and building partnerships and alliances that reach across geography, race, gender, and political lines.
  • Work as part of our leadership team to advance initiatives that reflect our commitments to lifting up small farmers and combating factory farms, protecting our soil and water, and meaningfully impacting local and statewide policies. Advance our work on these issues alongside those of racial, economic, and gender equity in Greater Minnesota.
  • Drive the organization’s agenda and relationships with allies, and work to ensure they are aligned around building power for the organization, our members, and our allies.

Skills/Education/Experience:

  • Candidates for the position should be able to:
    • Express and articulate their commitment to building long-term progressive power in rural communities.
    • Display how their leadership and management experience prepares them to drive and lead a team and organization, and how they would prioritize staff development.
    • Demonstrate their experience advancing racial and gender equity and economic justice
    • Show a passion for grassroots and coalition organizing and developing member leaders, and communicate the power and impact that a member-led people’s organization can have in empowering rural communities.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact and importance of public policy and explain how policy can be shaped to better support family farms and environmental stewardship.
    • Demonstrate outstanding communications skills, including verbally, visually and in writing, across different types of media, commensurate with leading a broad-based organization.
    • Effectively ask people for money with skill and comfort. Demonstrate an ability to create long-term relationships with donors, funders, and partners.
    • Articulate their passion for healthy rural communities and working people, democracy, and stewardship of the land.

Work Environment:

The job is currently located at LSP’s office space in Minneapolis. LSP also has offices in Lewiston and Montevideo, and the next Executive Director could work with the Board and staff to discuss working part or full time at any of the LSP offices, and in the field, around the state, with our members.

Physical Requirements:

This is largely an office-based and at-times sedentary role; i.e. working on a computer.  Travel by car and plane is required. A valid Driver’s License is required, as is access to a vehicle (rentals are an option).

Commitment to Gender and Racial Justice

LSP is committed to fighting for gender and racial justice. We strongly encourage people of color, indigenous people, women, non-binary people, and people who identify as LGBTQ to apply.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should email a resume, three references, and a cover letter that explains why they want the job to James Haggar, Consultant to the Land Stewardship Project, at jobs@landstewardshipproject.org by December 23, 2019. Interested candidates may also direct questions to James at that email address.

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