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Executive Director

Company: Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc.
Date Posted: August 22, 2016

Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc.
Oakland, NJ

The Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge seeks an experienced Executive Director to build on a legacy of being the leading, no-kill animal shelter in Bergen County dedicated to the welfare of companion animals.

Founded in 1978 after the merger of two organizations, the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge (RBARI) believes that all animals have a natural right to humane treatment including proper care and safe shelter.  RBARI protects the abandoned, abused, and unwanted animals in our care by finding them kind and loving homes. 

The desired candidate will need to be an animal lover who shares a passion for animals and has the ability to work in what can be an emotionally taxing field.  As such, a positive attitude and sense of humor are essential.  This is a unique opportunity for a seasoned and compassionate leader and fund development professional to help RBARI deepen and expand collaborative partnerships with the animal welfare community, donors and funders, as well as our stakeholder volunteers and adopters of the animals in our care.


The Executive Director (E.D.) is accountable to the Board of Trustees and needs the capacity to think strategically, convert that thinking into action, and communicate in a way that secures the enthusiastic support for our mission from an array of stakeholders.

With responsibility for leading and managing agency fundraising efforts, daily operations, and programs, the E.D. will need to demonstrate a proven capacity to identify, develop and pursue new funding opportunities; act as the principal steward of the organization’s resources; and cultivate a high-performing team of staff and volunteers. She or he will oversee an annual operating budget of $1.2 million and serve as the voice of the organization. 


Organizational lead for all fund development activity 

  • Sets the overall strategic fund development strategy to support annual operating expenses, program initiatives and a future capital campaign.
  • Creates a culture of philanthropy within the organization and engages the Board of Trustees when needed and appropriate.
  • Formulates donor appeal strategies, cultivate, solicit, close and steward foundation, corporate funders to diversify and deepen revenue opportunities. 
  • Develop, manage and oversee internal systems and processes inherent to all fund development activity including the writing of grant proposals, management of special events, the development and oversight of a planned giving program, and oversight of a comprehensive donor database and tracking systems.
  • Develop and implement a stewardship program that will maintain a positive relationship between the organization and its major/individual donors, tailored to the type of donor.
  • Remain current on funding trends and animal welfare related initiatives.  

Organizational Leadership and Board Governance

  • Serves as a decisive, credible and motivating leader in the community capable of attracting, retaining and developing top-notch, diverse talent to help achieve the organization’s mission and purpose.
  • Maintains a collaborative work environment that fosters excellent customer service and a passionate commitment to the humane treatment of animals. 
  • Supports an open and healthy culture of teamwork, continuous improvement and mutual respect. 
  • Works effectively and efficiently with a Board of Trustees, fostering solid relationships to help develop and support board members to become effective advisors, champions and leadership donors to support RBARI.  Keeps them fully informed and engaged regarding the status and activities of the organization.
  • Serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization, representing RBARI at community events.  Establishes positive relationships with community leaders.  Seeks advantageous partnerships with community businesses, vendors and individuals. 
  • Effectively articulates the mission, vision, programs and point of view of RBARI. Helps generate increased awareness and understanding of animal welfare issues and RBARI by establishing and managing strategic communications strategies. 

Operations & Financial Management

  • By working closely with the Shelter Manager, ensures the staff team operates with excellence and delivers high quality animal welfare and customer service to RBARI stakeholders.
  • Establishes effective operational systems and workflows based on industry best practices.
  • Participates in development of annual budget and strategic plan with the Board of Trustees.  Is responsible for meeting assigned budget and strategic goals. Provides regular updates/reports to the Board of Trustees.  Attends and actively participates at monthly Board of Trustee meetings and provides ongoing recommendations and communication for mission achievement.
  • Ensures compliance with all local, state and federal regulations and reporting requirements.


  • At least 5 years of nonprofit leadership experience, as either an E.D. or Chief Development Officer/Director of Development.
  • Experience with animal rescues, animal hospitals, animal shelters, or other related animal welfare causes is a major plus. 
  • Bachelor’s degree required; a degree in nonprofit management a major plus.
  • Active and proven comprehensive fundraising experience; an ability to create a culture of philanthropy and an understanding of nonprofit fund development strategies and the importance of donor relations.
  • Demonstrated ability to garner support from corporate and foundation donors, including familiarity with researching grant opportunities and proposal writing.
  • A proven track record of developing strong individual donor relationships which result in major gifts; including the willingness to get out of the office to meet prospective donors and establish effective communications with them
  • Experience with capital campaigns or other major fundraising initiatives in order to meet revenue goals.
  • Superior presentation skills; the presence to deal effectively with senior level donors and animal refuge constituents.
  • Experience and skill in working with a Board of Trustees/Directors; proven ability to develop strong collaborative working relationships.
  • A history of achieving/exceeding goals, improving bottom line performance and growing the organizations under his/her responsibility.
  • Excellent leadership skills, personal integrity, strong work ethic, problem-solving attitude, and excellent judgment; ability to act independently to identify and analyze problems and recommend solutions.
  • Strong verbal and written skills and the ability to effectively communicate excitement about RBARI’s mission of animal welfare.
  • Strong organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation.
  • Extensive personnel management experience; willingness to actively engage with and motivate a team environment between staff and volunteers; a commitment to helping others reach their full potential.



The compensation range for this individual will be competitive and in accordance with the background and experience of the selected candidate.


RBARI firmly supports the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected categories.


To apply for this position, submit resume and cover letter to Bill Moran, The Moran Company - Apply Now