The Volunteer & Education Director (Director) enables and supports people and communities to take personal action to protect and restore the Great Lakes. The Director believes in the power of individuals as change agents and the necessity of collaborating with communities around Great Lakes and water issues. S/he creates programs and participation that spark action and enduring commitments.
The Director is responsible for the organization’s Culture of Clean Water program, through which the Alliance engages thousands of people annually to learn about, use and give back to the Great Lakes. S/he guides and grows the program participant base as a reflection of the communities the Alliance serves. S/he seeks out new community partners and works to establish collaborative agendas that protect the Great Lakes and advance community priorities at the same time. S/he identifies and elevates volunteer leaders that are committed to advancing the Alliance’s goals, and seeks ways the Alliance can support them in their own communities. The Director makes volunteering a fun and social way to make the Great Lakes a better place to live for all people and wildlife.
The Director motivates an Alliance staff team to listen to communities and seek out ways that water and the Great Lakes can create community benefits that are shared equitably. S/he manages and evolves existing programs, and develops fresh approaches that build collaboration with priority Great Lakes communities. S/he is an inspiring speaker who is intentionally social, deeply innovative, and ever curious about how people of all ages and backgrounds can be part of protecting the Great Lakes. The Director is the program lead, working in collaboration with the Development Team, to create sustainable revenue for current and future efforts.
The Volunteer & Education Director reports to the Vice President of Operations.
The Alliance for the Great Lakes sets a protection agenda for the Great Lakes, a resource of global significance and the world’s largest source of surface freshwater. The Alliance seeks to protect the Great Lakes from their greatest threats, build a resilient future for communities and instill the value of clean water throughout the region. The Alliance is a four-star Charity Navigator organization. Learn more about the Alliance at www.greatlakes.org.
Ensures that all aspects of the organization’s volunteerism and education work build connections to the Great Lakes, grow the quality and quantity of the volunteer base, and help create capacity to advance overall organizational strategy.
Regularly reviews and assesses effectiveness of volunteer and education programs and makes recommendations for strategic shifts.
Evolves our approaches to reaching young people with opportunities to take action on Great Lakes issues.
Enhances and invigorates volunteer and education programs by reflecting the values and priorities of Great Lakes communities in our work.
Manages and inspires a staff team in multiple locations, including the recruitment of seasonal staff and identification of additional skill needs for the team.
Manages volunteer resources including: assessing where organizational need and capacity for volunteers is greatest, directly managing volunteers, and providing guidance, support, resources and tools to staff who supervise volunteers.
Communicates about the Alliance’s work within the organization and to external audiences in a way that heartens resolve, galvanizes action and cements personal commitments to the Great Lakes.
Develops vibrant relationships with individuals and institutions needed to achieve organizational goals, with an emphasis on collaborations with communities of color, youth, young professionals and recreational users of the lakes.
Grows a culture of listening and community responsiveness in our volunteer and education programs.
Oversees multiple projects that require collaboration across internal teams and the management of colleagues and volunteers in multiple locations, across the Great Lakes region, including Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Grand Haven and Racine.
Grows and mentors high caliber staff team members through metrics, professional development and direct feedback.
Ensures the fulfillment of short and long-term work plans including completion of critical grant deliverables.
Builds and proposes annual expense budget to leadership team.
Creates and implements evaluation metrics for the Culture of Clean Water program.
Bachelor’s degree required, graduate degree preferred.
7+ years of experience as a volunteer manager, community organizer, formal or non-formal educator, or other relevant profession.
Demonstrated experience building relationships with communities of color, youth, young professionals and recreational users of the lakes.
Track record of new program plan creation, implementation and management.
Experienced, inspiring and positive people manager.
Highly self-aware and driven to create and cultivate positive interpersonal relationships.
Creative, collaborative innovator who can work across sectors.
Experienced with budgeting and financial oversight.
Exceptional quality communication skills are essential with an emphasis on public speaking and visual communication.
Experienced and comfortable with setting and working within an annual budget at the regional non-profit scale.
Eagerness to work at both the “nuts and bolts” and strategic levels of our education and volunteers efforts.
Driven by a strong commitment to public interest work and the values of the organization.
Bilingual Spanish speaker preferred.
Software experience: Microsoft Office Suite
This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy. Salary to be commensurate with experience.
Excellent benefits, including health, vacation and retirement plan, are included.
Regular overnight travel required. The responsibilities of this position are regional.
Location is flexible including Alliance headquarters in Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; or Detroit, Michigan.