Seeking Executive Director | The Carrot Project
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17 May 2021

The Carrot Project team envisions a just and resilient farm and food system, where successful farms and agricultural businesses are increasing in number and racial diversity, and are contributing to New England’s economic, environmental, and social well-being. Over the last 15 years, our small non-profit has earned an outsized reputation and impact across New England by leading strategic collaboration with peer and complementary organizations. Through education, advocacy, and research, The Carrot Project breaks down financial barriers for agricultural businesses and supports them in building a path to sustainability. We address the most important gaps at the intersections of financial security, racial and economic justice, financial barriers to farmland access, and farmers’ ability to weather major disruptions.

At our core, we are business advisors, but we are also researchers and policy advocates. We provide business management services and financing that support small and midsized farms and food entrepreneurs to become economically viable and expand. Our work is a combination of on-the-ground 1:1 business technical assistance with clients, training, research, and policy. During the pandemic, The Carrot Project assisted 90 clients to meet the challenges of this unique period, in addition to reaching another 900+ through the business resources on our website. Most of our clients (89%) are farm and food business owners who are just getting started and earn low-to-moderate incomes, and 5% are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). While still a very small percentage of our client base, this is notable, as BIPOC farm ownership in New England is near 1%. We want the farms and businesses that we work with today to be here in 5, 10, and 15 years, as their success is the cornerstone of a strong local farm and food economy. For more information, visit thecarrotproject.org.

The Carrot Project is looking for an inspiring leader to be its next Executive Director. This person will need experience in systems-thinking to analyze complex problems down to the root level, the vision to design responsive and sustainable solutions, the start-up mentality to adapt and pivot as the landscape shifts, the patience and resolve to fully implement extensive projects, the passion and skill to engage and maintain diverse partnerships, as well as an ability to craft compelling narratives for fundraising and development. The successful candidate for the Executive Director position will be a collaborator with the board, staff, consultant team, lending and program partners, and our farm and food business clients in reaching these objectives. This is a remote position from a home office in New England.

The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of The Carrot Project, securing and managing a current annual operating budget of approximately $500,000. This individual must have strong financial acumen and will report to a fiscal sponsor. Working closely with an engaged Advisory Board, the Executive Director provides leadership to set and carry out the organization’s vision and strategic plan, and is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the organization’s operations and programs.

Responsibilities

  • Ensure core organizational values are demonstrated throughout all aspects of work: internally, publicly and with our clients
  • Implement the current strategic plan and lead the creation of future plans
  • Prepare and administer both project-based and annual organizational budgets corresponding to the strategic plan and yearly work plans
  • Oversee drafting of offering memorandums and raise guarantee funds to support loan programs
  • Build and maintain collaborations with peer organizations throughout the region
  • Lead proposal development for major grants and new programs
  • Support the Agricultural Viability Alliance, a collabortive alliance of business advisors to cultivate food and farm entrepreneurs (up to 20% of the Executive Director’s time is spent on this initiative)
  • Hire, supervise, and support direct reports, ensuring all staff members have the resources to implement effective programs, including evaluation and measurement of program outcomes
  • Ensure clear, consistent, and frequent representation of The Carrot Project to the press, financial supporters and community stakeholders, including proactive use of The Carrot Project website and social media platforms to alert investors and clients of new successes and opportunities
  • Lead and ensure program research is conducted to support progress on development of new programs and strategic planning goals
  • Develop and lead implementation of the resource development plan to raise operating budget, including maintenance of diverse funding sources (grants, government contracts, strong donor base, and earned revenue from social enterprise opportunities)
  • Support and collaborate with the Advisory Board and its committees
  • Participate in external boards and committees important to facilitating implementation of our mission

Qualifications

  • A leader who is charismatic, thoughtful, approachable, and inspiring
  • 10+ years of non-profit project and executive management experience   
  • Expertise in fostering collaborative relationships and convening strong and productive networks, internally and externally
  • Proven success as a leader who is attentive to multiple constituencies and delivers results
  • Demonstrated ability for vision, strategy, and implementation, seeing the macro and micro levels of issues simultaneously
  • Proven success raising and increasing amounts of charitable gifts, grants and donations, and securing state and federal awards
  • Experience managing program and organizational budgets
  • Comfort with ambiguity and complexity, and willingness to ask and seek answers to hard questions
  • Adaptability and nimbleness
  • Excellent computer literacy skills in Micorsoft Suite including Excel
  • Able to both articulate vision/ strategy and be directly involved in implementation
  • Experience managing staff of all levels and consultants
  • Knowledge of and passion for sustainable agriculture, equitable food systems, business advising, agricultural lending, and social impact investing
  • Demonstrated expertise working effectively with non-profit boards
  • A commitment to serving the needs of farmers and food entrepreneurs
  • Graduate degree in related field or equivalent experience and expertise
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial thinking and problem-solving, and experience increasing the capacity of a non-profit organization
  • Excellent public speaking abilities
  • Experience researching and developing new programs
  • Regional travel required
  • Occasionally available nights and weekends
  • Valid driver’s license required

There are many fantastic benefits to joining The Carrot Project. The Carrot Project envisions a society grounded in principles of social and economic justice. As such, we strive to achieve excellence through a diverse and inclusive workplace that honors each individual as a whole person.  Our vision and values are reflected in all our employment-related decisions, including hiring practices. Accordingly, The Carrot Project actively seeks people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work. We value the unique talents and contributions of each of our employees.

The salary for this position is in the $80K – $100K range, depending on qualifications and experience. Generous vacation, holiday, sick, and personal day allocations are included, along with significant employer subsidies for medical and dental, no-cost life insurance, a pension plan, and many other benefits, including intangibles such as being a part of a network of regional food system thought leaders.

If you want to be at the forefront of creating a just and resilient farm and food system, please submit your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to jobs@kkandp.com with “Executive Director” in the subject line.

A background check and writing skills evaluation are part of the recruiting process for final candidates.

Qualified candidates will be contacted by phone or email.

As an EOE/AA employer, The Carrot Project will not discriminate in their employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status or any other factor prohibited by law.