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Portland Parks Conservancy

Executive Director

About the Organization

Mission:  Support Portland, Maine’s parks, trails, and open spaces by raising philanthropic capital and encouraging civic engagement in alignment with community priorities.

The Portland Parks Conservancy was established to support the numerous parks, trails, open spaces, programs, and recreational facilities of the City of Portland, Maine, for public benefit, in order to enhance quality of life, protect the environment, and promote the economic well-being of Portland.  Through its activities, the Conservancy will deepen philanthropic support for Portland’s parks and enhance the value of the parks and programs to the community.

Launched with three years start-up funding in early 2018, the Portland Parks Conservancy has 14 members serving on its Board of Directors and has developed a strong working framework for collaboration with the City, outlined in a memorandum of understanding approved by the Conservancy Board and the City Council.  The Conservancy is seeking candidates for the position of inaugural Executive Director to serve as the key management leader.

The City of Portland currently has a total of 63 parks encompassing 721 acres. The City of Portland also has 24 additional land bank properties, covering 483 acres. While the City’s operating and capital support for parks and recreation has increased in recent years, it is not at the level needed to realize the 2016 “Portland Open Space Vision and Implementation Plan,” developed jointly by the City and The Trust for Public Land.

With a passionate, committed and skilled Executive Director, the Portland Parks Conservancy and its Board of Directors will be poised to raise the profile of Portland’s stellar parks and recreation programs and facilities, to support their upkeep and use by the City’s diverse populations, to support the City’s talented Parks, Recreation and Facilities staff, and to secure philanthropic support for Portland’s public open spaces.

For more information, including a full position description and detailed organizational overview, please visit

Position Description

Overview: The Executive Director is the key management leader of the Portland Parks Conservancy (Conservancy). The Executive Director will be responsible, first and foremost, to oversee the development of a fundraising plan to generate significant philanthropic support for Portland’s parks and programs and lead its successful execution in collaboration with the Conservancy Board of Directors. Other primary responsibilities include coordinating the Conservancy’s role with the City of Portland, developing strategic partnerships, community outreach, and general management of the Conservancy’s affairs. 


Fundraising (65%)

  1. Lead development of a comprehensive fundraising plan including, but not limited to, feasibility study, annual fund, major and planned gifts, grant-seeking, and special events.
  2. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, implement the fundraising plan.

Community Relations and Programming (20%)

  1. Lead implementation of the collaboration between the City and the Conservancy as defined in the official Memorandum of Understanding between the Parties.
  2. Establish and maintain relationships with strategic community partners and constituencies.
  3. Work with the Board of Directors to establish initial and longer-range programmatic and funding priorities and procedures.
  4. Serve as the Conservancy’s primary spokesperson with the media, supporters, and the public.
  5. Participate in state, regional and national networks, seek out best practices, and inform the Conservancy’s strategic direction.

Management and Administration (15%)

  1. Oversee distribution of Conservancy funding.
  2. Support and guide the Board of Directors and its officers and committees.
  3. Oversee and manage the Conservancy’s day-to-day business operations, ensuring adherence to applicable fiscal and legal standards and best practices.   


  • A passion for civic engagement with parks, open spaces, recreation, and related programs.
  • Demonstrated experience and success with fundraising or sales, and desire to lead implementation of comprehensive, collaborative fundraising plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish effective relationships with public officials, diverse community stakeholders, and interested citizens.
  • Strong writing, public speaking, and media skills.
  • Experience with nonprofit boards of directors.
  • Strong organizational abilities and applicable management experience.
  • Highly self-motivated to take on new challenges with a start-up organization.

Job Type: Full-Time
Reports to: Portland Parks Conservancy Board of Directors
Salary: Competitive salary and benefits
Specific Location: Portland, Maine

To Apply

Please submit your cover letter describing your interest in the position and how your background and experience make you uniquely suited to achieve success in this role, resume, and a list of three reference names with their contact information by September 14 to:

Portland Parks Conservancy
Attn: Sally Oldham, Search Committee Chair

Application deadline: Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm Eastern. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.