Executive Director, The Land Connection


Champaign, Illinois


Salaried Exempt.  Salary Range Begins at $60,000 and is commensurate with experience, includes healthcare benefits, vacation/sick days, and possibility of bonuses

Download the job description


Personal health depends largely on food choices we make, and of whose hands we trust for our food. In the hands of farmers, we leave the care of our food supply. It is also in the hands of farmers to nourish and protect the resources of the land for future generations. TLC is a 501(c)3 organization working to grow the local food economy, both on and off the farm, for a healthy, resilient future. Here at TLC, we support and guide sustainable, entrepreneurial farming practices, and work to expand community access to the nourishing and flavorful food produced by the hands of local farmers.


As Executive Director, you will be responsible for all aspects of managing our organization, including the office and employees, programming, and finances. You will raise revenue through grant writing and cultivating relationships with foundations, corporations, and individuals. Working closely with staff, you will develop, manage, and evaluate our programming: farmer training, farmer’s market, food access programming, and other education and outreach programs.  You will also develop and maintain the organizational budget, and track income and expenses.  You will partner with other staff members in developing and achieving our overall goals and strategic plan.


Grant Writing and Management (35-40% effort)

    • Research and write grants to support all TLC programming
    • Develop grant budgets based on work required
    • Gain access to new funding streams through collaborative grants with other NGO’s
    • Manage implementation of the statement of work in grants received
    • Maintain the grant files, grant tracking, and required grant reports
    • Ensure compliance with grant reporting deadlines

Community/Donor/Fundraising Development and Management (20% effort)

    • Build name recognition and support for TLC and our programs
    • Interface with farmers, market patrons, donors, and the media
    • Grow our donor base and fundraising capabilities by networking with local and regional foundations, organizations, and individuals
    • Establish and maintain relationships with partners/allied organizations and individuals
    • Ensure that our website is well-maintained, and updated regularly with fresh contnt

Fundraising Campaign Development (15-20% effort)

    • Diversify our income streams to reduce dependence on grant funds
    • Oversee, plan, direct, implement, and execute annual fundraising efforts such as events, direct mail, and electronic campaigns

Financial Analysis and Management (15% effort)

    • Create and manage organizational budget
    • Perform or assign all general accounting activities of income and expenses in accordance with standard practices, and within the guidelines of our fiscal policies
    • Oversee the annual audit process
    • Prepare monthly financial reports, ensuring the accuracy of all financial transactions
    • Manage all financial activity related to programming to ensure budget goals are met

Personnel and Program Management (10% effort):

    • Actively supervise and inspire staff to ensure smooth and efficient operation
    • Build and maintain a supportive environment conducive to high morale and strong productivity, to maximize staff retention
    • Work with staff to develop incentives to increase overall job satisfaction
    • Increase our capacity through staff development
    • Lead staff to develop farmer training, farmers’ market, and education and outreach programs.
    • Hire and manage staff as needed and as funds allow
    • Manage the hiring and administration of all outside contractors, ensuring all projects are completed as specified; record all payouts to contractors for timely 1099 production
    • Manage payroll and timesheet activities
    • Manage day-to-day operations

Strategic Planning (2.5% effort)

    • Collaborate with the board with input from staff to develop long-term strategic goals
    • Fulfill our vision, mission, and strategic goals
    • Work closely with Program Managers and Outreach/Marketing Coordinator to develop, implement, and evaluate a communications plan

Board Communication (2.5% effort)

    • Attend board meetings
    • Provide the board with monthly reports of finances, organizational activities, potential problems, and notable achievements
    • Maintain close communication with the Board of Directors between meetings
    • Assist board committees on tasks relating to programming and other relevant areas


    • Demonstrated successful grant writing experience
    • Demonstrated ability to network with new and existing donors and project collaborators
    • Professional experience in fundraising and donor stewardship
    • Experience leading a staff or team of at least 3 individuals
    • Experience with non-profit organizations
    • Experience working with diversified funding streams (grants, foundations, donations, sponsorships, etc.)
    • Experience with local food systems, including local agriculture, farming, and farmers’ markets
    • Deep understanding of issues facing small farmers
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Motivated self-starter with a proven ability to work independently
    • Excellent communication skills, including writing, inter-personal communication, and presentation
    • Proficient with MS Office Suite, and a working knowledge of database and financial software
    • Experience developing and maintaining electronic file structures
    • Proficient at online research


    • Master’s Degree
    • Experience overseeing/managing a non-profit organization (or similar)
    • Ability to partner with staff to achieve results within tight deadlines
    • Existing relationships with central-Illinois farmers and local food organizations
    • Existing relationships with local businesses and leaders
    • Familiarity with Salesforce


    Please email your resume, cover letter, and the names of three references to careers@thelandconnection.org

    Please use the following subject line: Executive Director Application

    Applications will be accepted through Sunday, March 11, 2018 (Interviews may occur prior to the deadline.  We will be reviewing applications as they are received).


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