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Executive Director
Category: Manager

Bookworm Gardens
Sheboygan, WI

Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014

The Organization.  Bookworm Gardens is a vibrant and engaging destination for families and school children in Wisconsin and beyond.  Founded in 2005 and opened in 2010, this seven-acre property with a two-acre garden based on children’s literature offers educational programs as well as free, unstructured play in a beautiful environment for the young and the young at heart. 

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The Position: Executive Director. Bookworm Gardens seeks a leader with outstanding organizational skills and a broad range of professional experience in the nonprofit sector. The successful candidate must be a self-directed, goal-oriented individual with high integrity and a passion for the mission of Bookworm Gardens. He or she must be a clear communicator and a skilled and effective consensus builder who develops and maintains relationships with donors, volunteers, and garden staff.

The Executive Director (ED) will report directly to the President of the Board of Directors (BOD) of Bookworm Gardens (BWG) and will interact regularly with the BOD Executive Committee, Committee Chairs, and Board members.  The ED will serve as the principal ambassador for BWG to all of its constituents and stakeholders, including the BOD, staff, volunteers, donors, potential donors, area businesses, and the general Sheboygan County community. The candidate will be committed to the enhancement, development, preservation, and stewardship of BWG. The selected candidate will have ultimate responsibility for the development and the financial health of the organization, strategic planning and implementation, day-to-day operations, staff management, and public image.


  • Create diversified revenue streams from both earned income and fund development sources.
  • Identify, review, and manage proposals for grants.
  • Establish, cultivate, and implement donor relationships, including an on-going stewardship program.
  • Use database software and other tools for complete donor tracking and recordkeeping.
  • Collaborate with the BOD to prepare and implement the organization’s long-term strategic plan and policy decisions.
  • Serve as the primary liaison between the BOD, Executive Committee, and staff with regular communication. Provide recommendations to the BOD, staff, and committees to enable timely and responsive reporting and decision making.
  • Oversee and evaluate the design, marketing, promotion, delivery, and quality of all programs of BWG including gift shop sales, educational opportunities, facility rentals, membership program, and other programs as they develop.
  • Create and manage an annual budget in accordance with the strategic and operational plans; providing monthly reports, forecasts, and analyses.
  • Monitor and ensure a positive fiscal condition; report any concerns to BOD leadership with recommendations for resolution.
  • Position the organization and its programs to maximize fund development opportunities.
  • Provide strong leadership for staff and volunteers.
  • Recruit, supervise, and develop staff and volunteers, maintain a positive work environment, evaluate and implement effective human resources policies, and sustain a collaborative goal-oriented team.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization; ensure that written and verbal communication about the organization reflects its mission and goals; and represent the organization at public events, conferences, and workshops.
  • Present Bookworm Gardens in a consistent, positive, and compelling manner to a broad range of stakeholders, constituencies, and communities.

Personal Attributes

  • A passion for the mission of the garden and its programs.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective management of staff and volunteers.
  • Proven record in board recruitment, development, and engagement.
  • Ability to manage a portfolio of donors; individual, corporate, and foundation major gift prospects through identification, research, cultivation, solicitation, securing of gifts, and on-going stewardship.
  • Previous experience in writing and presenting a case for support ensuring there is a clear, compelling, and unified message for all BWG staff, board members, and ambassadors to share with the community.
  • Fluency and thoroughness with financial and accounting functions.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills including excellent use of public speaking, written communications, and social media.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, or nonprofit management or requisite degree.
  • Five years of management experience in a nonprofit or business management position preferable.
  • Proven success in fundraising in the nonprofit sector.
  • Experience in managing professional staff and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated success in organizational planning, budgeting, and financial management.
  • Proven track record in recruitment, development, and engagement of board members.

Working Conditions

  • Position located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
  • High level of public contact.
  • Shared office space and office equipment.
  • Enthusiastic and dedicated support staff.
  • Dedicated and diligent corps of volunteers.

How to Apply

Send resume, cover letter, and references to or mail to Bookworm Gardens, 1415 Campus Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53081. Electronic submissions are preferred.

In your cover letter please state why you are attracted to this position and how your strengths are aligned with the description and responsibilities of the ED position and the mission and goals of Bookworm Gardens.

Kindly do not contact us by phone.

Bookworm Gardens is an Equal Opportunity Employer.








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