We’re Hiring: Executive Director!
Author: Maxwell Scales
May 12, 2022
About Lambda Literary
Lambda Literary is the most comprehensive LGBTQ literary nonprofit in the US, serving writers at every stage of their careers, and readers of every age. Lambda Literary, believes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of their culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when their stories are written, published, and read.
Lambda Literary’s longevity in the LGBTQ literary space as well as the wide array of services it has provided to the community for over 30 years have positioned the organization as a hub for LGBTQ literature nationwide. Its unique value is the holistic and centralized support it can and does offer to the community of authors, readers, agents, publishers, teachers, librarians, and others who turn to Lambda for touchstone resources that enrich their personal and professional engagement with LGBTQ literature at various stages of their development and work.
Lambda Literary is poised to thrive. Undergirded with a new, community-driven strategic roadmap and an expanded donor base, Lambda Literary is at the threshold of a new phase in its institutional lifecycle, where the formidable strength of its 34-year history and the unique scope of its programmatic offerings and services converge with expanded public discourse about the diversity and range of LGBTQ stories as well as a broader societal interest in justice and equity.
Now more than ever, they need to ground themselves in the power of their words, nurturing their individual and collective creativity and artistic capacity as a means to fuel and sustain their communities, preserve and expand their rich creative legacy, and resist the forces that continue to try to undermine them. Centering these goals remains a radical act.
Lambda Literary has a vibrant and engaged national Board of Directors and a diverse and dedicated donor community comprised of individuals, foundations, corporations, and the public sector. They are proud of what the organization has achieved so far, and are energized by the possibilities ahead.
Lambda Literary is seeking an experienced, visionary, strategic, inspirational Executive Director with the track record, skills, and energy to lead them on the next stage of their journey. The Executive Director will partner with the Board to implement the new strategic roadmap and manage a talented and dedicated staff in developing and executing a plan to realize the goals and mission of the organization. The ideal candidate will be a skilled, persuasive communicator capable of dynamic engagement with a diverse array of stakeholders, partners, and constituents. They will have a strong record of achievement in fund development and will lead the organization in crafting and delivering a fund development plan that not only sustains the needs but also enable Lambda Literary to achieve future growth and aspirations.
The ideal candidate will be tenacious, adaptable, empathetic, patient, diplomatic, and unpretentious. They will have a personal connection to the LGBTQ reading/writing communities. They will have the capacity to support and lead effective advocacy, and a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with working within oppressed and marginalized communities.
The Executive Director is responsible for the overall leadership and management of Lambda Literary. Specifically, the Executive Director is charged with achieving the following:
- Develop strong, positive working relationships with the Board of Directors
- Support Board leadership in advancing the work of the Board, including new member recruitment, team building and engagement, and individual Board member performance management and support.
- Inform the Board regularly of progress, developments, and significant events
Program and Staff Management
- Supervise a fully remote, national staff of six and a cadre of consultants to deliver on the programs offered and the promises made to constituents and donors
- Lead the Board and staff in a process to continue to refine and expand successful programs, and to conceive, design, and launch new programs and initiatives to further amplify the organization’s impact and reach
- Serve as lead staff to ensure the success of the annual Lambda Literary Awards Gala, Lambda’s signature and primary fundraising event
- Maintain sound financial policies and practices
- Produce monthly financial reports
- Prepare annual budget for Board approval; manage revenues and expenses to that budget; forecast and adjust to variances as they occur to maintain financial stability
- Ensure compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as accurate, informative reporting as required by the Board, constituents, and law
- Develop and execute a comprehensive fund development strategy and plan to secure adequate resources to sustain their efforts, and to support strategic, planned growth. The annual budget for the organization has been growing steadily for several years, and is currently $750,000. The growth is expected to continue in line with strategic goals
- Oversee key fund development efforts, including (but not limited to) major donor cultivation and stewardship, seasonal appeals, grant preparation and reporting, backing from corporations and nonprofits, and Lambda Literary Awards sponsorship campaigns
- Develop and execute strategies to elevate the visibility of Lambda Literary’s work and of the contributions of LGBTQ writers
- Serve as an articulate, enthusiastic spokesperson on behalf of the organization; cultivate Lambda Literary as a go-to resource for media and public commentary on pertinent issues affecting Lambda’s communities and constituents
- Maintain excellent relationships with peer organizations and major stakeholders.
- Develop and execute advocacy campaigns around issues affecting Lambda Literary communities
- Cultivate strategic partnerships with other organizations and key stakeholders to advance Lambda’s mission and goals
Results and Impact
- Develop ways to track and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of Lambda Literary’s programs to allow for course correction, inform planning, and further engage donors
The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and has the following supervisory responsibilities:
- Communications Manager
- Two Communications Interns
- Individual Giving Manager – new position, vacant
- Lambda Literary Awards Manager
- Poetry Awards Fellow
- Writers in Schools Manager
- Two Program Coordinators
- Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices Manager
- Administrative Program Coordinator
(Bold indicates direct report)
Education + Experience
- Bachelor’s Degree and/or equivalent work experience in nonprofit management
- Proven leadership abilities and acumen to successfully assess and further develop the strategic framework, talent, and resources to position the organization for growth
- Experience successfully developing and managing operational budgets
- Demonstrable commitment to leading staff and strategies with a justice, equity, inclusion, and belonging (JEDI) lens
- Ability to build relationships and lead a collaborative, inclusive approach in working with diverse cross-functional teams
- Proven success managing through change; comfort working under tight timelines in a fast-paced environment with grace and good humor while ensuring quality and accountability
- Experience as a skilled spokesperson a plus
- Strong record of fund development
- Knowledge of or experience in the LGBTQ literary landscape a plus
Skills + Competencies
- High emotional intelligence; able to understand the needs and concerns of partners and colleagues
- Ability to foster dynamic engagement with a diverse array of stakeholders, partners and constituents
- Comfortable with change; flexible and agile in a constantly transforming environment
- Highly organized with excellent time and project management skills
- Experience working in a diverse and geographically distributed organization
- Ability to cultivate and maintain strong relationships remotely
- Strong problem-solving skills; resourceful, proactive, self-motivated with a strong sense of ownership and accountability
- Passionate belief in LGBTQ writers
- Possess the following personal attributes: Tenacious, Adaptable, Empathetic, Patient, Diplomatic, Unpretentious, Trustworthy, Strategic, Organized, Results-driven, Self-starter, Inclusive, Transparent, and Collaborative
- Ability to balance time, care, and trust-building
- Integrity in every word and action
Compensation + Benefits
The salary range for this position begins at $110,000.
A competitive benefits package is provided, including:
- Medical* and Dental*
- Paid Time Off (12 days in year one, increasing with tenure)
- Lambda Literary observes ten (10) paid holidays per year
- Short-term disability insurance*
- 403(b) retirement account
*Medical and dental premiums are covered in full for the employee.
As a reflection of our firm’s commitment to equity and equal pay for all, it is Cooper Coleman’s requirement that salary ranges or salary starting points be published for every search we conduct. The practice of not posting salaries perpetuates the gender and racial wage gap and discriminates against women, people of color, and other historically excluded populations by causing individuals to negotiate from a disadvantaged starting point.
Location + Travel
This position is fully remote and will require periodic travel throughout the United States.
EEO + Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Lambda Literary is an equal employment opportunity employer. We strongly encourage people with multiple marginalized identities to apply, including people who identify as queer or trans, people with disabilities and/or people of color. Lambda Literary does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex (including pregnancy), gender, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, medical condition including genetic characteristics, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity (including transgender status), weight, height, linguistic characteristics (such as accent and limited English proficiency, where not substantially job-related), citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by law.
Before sending your resume for this position, please read it over for accuracy. Cooper Coleman verifies its candidates’ employment and academic credentials represented at the time of offer.
Submission Instructions (read carefully)
Cooper Coleman is leading this search on behalf of Lambda Literary. To apply, please visit this link (www.coopercoleman.com/current-searches). Inquiries and nominations of qualified candidates can be sent to:
Kindly use the position title as the subject line of your email. All inquiries will be held in confidence.
A cover letter is not required with your initial application but is welcomed to help us understand your fitness for this role during our initial evaluation. Candidates invited for interviews will be asked to provide a thoughtful letter of interest indicating their specific qualifications for the opportunity, desire to join Lambda Literary, and connection to its mission.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.