Hiring: Executive Director – Groundswell
Position Available: Executive Director
Position Start Date: Early July 2021
Reports To: Groundswell Board of Directors
Employment Status: This is a full-time 40 hour/week, salaried position based in Ithaca, NY and
funded in part by grants. Continuation of the position is contingent upon annual performance
reviews and funding.
Salary & Benefits: Salary is $68,000. Competitive health benefits provided, and Paid Time Off
benefits including holiday and floating holidays, vacation accrual at 10 days in the first year of
employment, 12 personal days, and paid family leave according to the provisions in the current
New York State Paid Family Leave Act.
Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming is an agriculture education and food justice
nonprofit based in Ithaca, New York and serving the broader Finger Lakes area. Our core work,
based on goals outlined in our Equity Statement, is to foster a multicultural and diverse next
generation of sustainable farmers and growers by lessening common barriers to land access,
resources and business ownership.
Summary of Job Description: Reporting to the Board of Directors (the Board), the Executive
Director (ED) is the strategic leader who lays the groundwork for an organization that
emphasizes and develops a sustainable, racially-just and equitable food system. The Executive
Director accomplishes this by making the stated mission and core values a priority while
achieving the organizational goals and fulfilling the promise of Groundswell’s Equity Statement.
Qualifications and Experience:
● Demonstrated Experience in Equity, Justice, and Grassroots Organizing.
● Managerial Experience
○ Empathetic leadership
○ Communication; Good listener
● Non-profit Organizational Leadership Experience
○ Ability to work collaboratively
○ Experience managing diverse teams
○ Fundraising in Nonprofits
○ Experience with budget management
○ Experience with grant-writing (including federal)
● Farming Background and Experience; Knowledge of Sustainable Agriculture & Food
Systems and/or Demonstrated Experience in Food Justice.
● Lived Experience: skills and knowledge acquired and developed through practical work
● Curiosity that fosters continued learning and growth.
Equity & Justice
● Ensure commitment to a just and equitable food and farm system is upheld within the
organization, including through hiring, management, continuing education and
professional development, marketing and community engagement.
● Accountability is key to equity work; value open communication in every direction.
● Ensure that diverse voices are integrated at all levels of the organization and model
cultural competency within the staff, Board, and collaborations with other organizations.
Strategic leadership, governance and oversight
● Provide inspirational, operational and strategic leadership in support of Groundswell’s
vision and mission.
● Cultivate and oversee the active engagement of all Groundswell leadership with
collaborating organizations and stakeholders, prioritizing relationship building with
multiracial and multicultural groups and people.
● Maintain strong and open communication with the organization’s leadership, staff, and
community; involving all stakeholders in strategic planning, fundraising, and
organizational equity & justice work.
● Develop and oversee rigorous evaluation of Groundswell’s impacts on
trainees/participants, the community, and the region; effectively communicating those
● Assess, strategize, and develop an organizational communication and outreach strategy
that improves Groundswell’s messaging about what we do, what we stand for, and how
to support us.
Finance & Development
● Develop and oversee the organization’s budget and bookkeeping.
● Develop organizational templates and policies related to budget and expenses.
● Work with staff and Board to lead fundraising and development efforts:
○ Set annual goals and accountability measures, secure donations, build donor
relationships, and strategize organizational development
○ Work closely with the Board and Development Committee to identify and develop
individual, business and community prospects
○ Identify and procure private, State and Federal grants; oversee grant
● Supervise and support all Groundswell employees through regular, open, transparent
communication, by fostering a positive and comfortable work environment
● Provide supportive feedback on staff performance.
● Develop and oversee organizational policy and procedures including basic human
resource systems, working closely with the Board, and any additional Independent
● Work with insurance brokers on Health, Liability, and Directors’ & Officers’ insurance
● Manage current and future organizational program development in line with
Groundswell’s mission and core values, in support of racial equity & other efforts towards
social justice within farming and food systems.
● Develop equitable and socially-just land access and land-linking efforts for Groundswell
and regional beginning farmers.
How to Apply: Please provide a cover letter and résumé to the Executive Search Committee at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to address in the cover letter and résumé how your work
and lived experiences speak to the Groundswell Center’s core values.
Groundswell is an equal opportunity, living wage employer committed to maintaining and
increasing diversity within our organization and in the regional food system. Employees are
hired based on their merit, ability, experience, and training without regard to race, national or
ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. People of color and persons
of diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Special Requirements: As a mission-based and community-involved organization,
Groundswell staff positions require frequent flexible hours, including some evenings and
occasional weekends. However, to balance this requirement we also strongly support a work-life
balance and offer competitive Paid Time Off benefits.
This position requires a valid driver’s license as frequent travel is required within a 50 mile
distance from Ithaca. Owning a car is not required.