Employment Opportunity – Executive Director

POSITION:  Executive Director

ABOUT RAWK:  Founded in 2012, Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) is a nonprofit organization based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, devoted to nurturing intellectual and creative confidence in youth in Kalamazoo County through creative writing workshops, community partnerships and reading-themed events.  

RAWK’s mission is to celebrate and amplify youth voices through the cultivation of reading and writing skills via joy, creativity, equity, and access. Only people who are undoubtedly passionate and wildly capable of fulfilling this mission should choose to read on.

ROLE:    Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for RAWK’s staff and contracted facilitators, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.  This will require someone with the guts to go for it, the operational chops to make it happen and the relational savvy to get others in the game.  She/he/they will lead the conversation about RAWK in the community, explore new frontiers to maximize the potential of programs and community support, and become an expert in RAWK’s core programs, operations, business plans, and strategic goals. 


Leadership and Management:  You report to the board, but the ultimate success of RAWK will be in your creative and capable hands.  You should be willing and able to make timely and sound decisions; have the self-assurance to confidently and competently set direction; and the empathy to create a safe place where authenticity and imagination ooze from the brilliant minds around you.  With your leadership moxie, you will:

● Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals. 

● Actively engage and energize RAWK volunteers, contracted facilitators and/or staff, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders.

● Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction and mission alignment for all programs.

● Communicate effectively with the Board and providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.

● Lead, coach, develop, and retain RAWK’s high-performance staff and contracted facilitators.

● Ensure effective systems to assess growth and planning in terms of equity, access, and sustainability.

● Regularly evaluate program components, to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other stakeholders.

Fundraising, Development and Marketing: The forest of money trees behind the building was unfortunately lost in the wildfire of 1947, so we will need you to be intentional and enthusiastic in the pursuit of the greenbacks, the cheddar, the moolah, the cash money that is needed to keep the world of RAWK spinning strong, and the stories of our youth flowing.   To conquer this challenge, you’ll need to: 

● Ensure and articulate the fiscal integrity of RAWK, to include submission to the Board of a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.

● Demonstrate sound fiscal management that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.

● Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations including grant writing, and community fund development campaigns.

● Deepen and refine all aspects of consistent communications—from web presence and social media outreach, to other external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.

● Lead the operations and execution of a creative, exciting, and unique storefront experience which drives curiosity, community engagement, and awareness of RAWK programs.  

● Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.

QUALIFICATIONS: As the ED, you will be whole-heartedly committed to RAWK’s mission and should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.  We will be eager to hear and explore strong examples that demonstrate your:

● Personal and professional commitment to creating equity and inclusion across various races, gender identities, socio-economic statuses, abilities, religions, cultures, and upbringings.

● Unwavering commitment to quality programs and insightful, data-driven program evaluation and recommendations.

● Preference for getting things done quickly and handling a variety of activities and changing priorities. 

● Commitment to organizational excellence with the ability to assess effectiveness, develop a high-performance and diverse team, set and achieve strategic objectives while managing the budget.

● Outgoing, poised and persuasive communication style (both written and spoken) with an emphasis on collaboration, motivation, and building rapport and relationships with individuals and groups from all walks of life.  

● Comfort and strength in public speaking with an ability to be captivating, compelling, and concise.

● Self-directed dynamism, positivity, passion, integrity and idealism.

● Emphasis on results, and effective systems that achieve results through and with people, including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation.


● College degree with minimum 2+ years experience in nonprofit management OR high school diploma and 5+ years experience in nonprofit management.

● Past success working with a diverse Board of Directors and cultivating personal and productive relationships within the board.

● Strong fund development experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures through effective marketing and public relations.

If you’re a humble superstar with confidence, competence, and compassion, we want to hear from you.  Please send your cover letter and resume to: WorkWithRAWK@gmail.com by February 11th

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *