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Executive Director

Pittsboro, NC
Carolina Tiger Rescue is a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary whose mission is saving and protecting wild cats in captivity and in the wild. Founded in 1973 as a captive breeding facility for endangered carnivores, our 55-acre site originally housed more than 300 animals who played key roles in their native eco­systems.
In 1996, we updated our mission, redirecting the focus to sanctuary for abandoned and rescued animals and conservation education. We began rescuing wild cats from private owners, mom and pop zoos, traveling circuses, and other facilities at which animals had been abandoned, relinquished, or confiscated by the authorities. We launched a range of educational programs, including tours, presentations, exhibits, field trips, alternative service breaks, summer camps, and internships to teach people of all ages what they can do to protect wild cats. As advocates for the conservation of wildlife habitat and the respectful treatment of all animals, we started educating legislators and other policy-makers as they pursued legislation and ordinances that ensure public safety and animal welfare, such as the Big Cat Public Safety Act.
Carolina Tiger Rescue holds a Chatham County Animal Control Permit, is a member of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance, and is accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, which is the highest accrediting body for sanctuaries in North America. We continue to work cooperatively with numerous zoological, scientific, and educational institutions to support ongoing conservation efforts.
Carolina Tiger Rescue is seeking an inspiring leader and animal welfare champion to serve as Executive Director (ED) and usher the organization into its next phase of growth and impact. Joining an organization with strong financial and programmatic footing, the ED will galvanize a dedicated 20-member diverse staff (working in administrative, education, and animal care roles), an engaged board of directors, and hundreds of community volunteers. Working with the board,  staff, and volunteers, the ED will lead in articulating and implementing a future vision for the organization as it continues to evolve and work toward a day when wild cats are living in their native habitat and are not exploited by humans.
Specifically, the Executive Director will:
  • Provide forward-thinking strategic leadership, including building short- and long-term strategic plans, and setting priorities and goals that advance Carolina Tiger Rescue’s mission and values.
  • In partnership with the Associate Director, oversee the continuous improvement of a strong infrastructure, ensuring that systems, policies, tools, and processes drive operational excellence in all administrative and programmatic functions i.e., personnel, resource allocation, facilities management, animal care, volunteering, education programs.
  • In partnership with the board treasurer, oversee the financial management of the organization, inclusive of creating and managing an annual budget, ensuring financial controls are in place, and setting financial priorities.
  • Oversee a 20-member staff, creating and modeling a positive and healthy work environment, encouraging open communication and collaboration, and enabling people to do their best work. Directly oversee an 8-member management team, empowering direct reports to lead in their area of expertise.
  • Build and sustain a trusting and transparent relationship with the board of directors, working collaboratively to set the organization’s strategic direction and operational/financial goals. Leverage the board in fundraising, community engagement, and external relations.
  • Serve as chief fundraiser, advocate, and spokesperson for Carolina Tiger Rescue. Build and maintain relationships with community stakeholders, elected officials, grassroots activists, and key allies. Lead efforts to build greater awareness and ensure that Carolina Tiger Rescue is a visible and credible voice within national advocacy efforts. 
  • In partnership with the development team, create and implement a fundraising plan to grow annual revenue ($1.1M in 2021-22) from a diversity of sources, including annual events (Black Tie & Tails Ball, Tiger Day 5K), foundation grants, corporate giving and sponsorships, annual giving, and major individual gifts.
  • Above all, operate with the utmost integrity, spirit of teamwork and innovation, and relentless commitment to the welfare of animals.
The Executive Director will embody Carolina Tiger Rescue’s values and lead with compassion, conviction, and a heartfelt commitment to mission. Specifically, strong candidates will be: 
  • A passionate believer in Carolina Tiger Rescue’s mission and values. You care deeply about animal welfare and the importance of saving and protecting wild cats. You thrive in an organization that values integrity, transparency, authenticity, and, above all, respect for all animals and humans.
  • A well-rounded nonprofit leader with a track record in effective leadership of organizations. You bring at least 10+ years of nonprofit leadership experience, and 3+ in a senior leadership position, inclusive of strategic planning, operations and fiscal management, and fund development.
  • A capable and enthusiastic fundraiser with the ability to grow a donor base. You bring know-how in a range of fundraising activities, such as events, individual and major giving, institutional giving and grant writing, and corporate giving. You are a willing front-line fundraiser and enjoy all aspects of donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • A collaborative people manager who leverages others’ strengths and promotes teamwork. You have experience in recruiting and hiring talent, building strong teams, and coaching and mentoring direct and indirect reports for high performance and accountability. Must have experience managing professional staff and working closely with a diverse board of directors.
  • An effective communicator and relationship builder who develops rapport easily and inspires trust. You have a warm, energetic, and authentic personality that translates to building lasting relationships both internally and externally (i.e., staff, board, volunteers, donors, community members, legislators, advocates.) You express an organization’s vision and programs in ways that inspire others to take action.
  • A charismatic and knowledgeable ambassador for an organization. You are experienced at raising the profile of an organization both locally and nationally, and forging alliances with a range of stakeholders. You enjoy serving as the face of an organization.
  • An adaptable, agile, and resourceful team player. You thrive in a lean nonprofit setting with the ability to stay focused and nimble. You possess a “get it done” attitude, with the ability to drive innovation, solve problems, and maintain a high degree of flexibility in a dynamic environment.
These additional skills, knowledge, and experience are preferred but not required:           
  • Knowledge of environmental/conservation education concepts
  • Experience directly in environmental, conservation, or animal related field
  • Public relations and/or marketing experience
  • Bilingual in Spanish
Carolina Tiger Rescue is situated in the heart of the one of the fastest growing areas in North Carolina. Pittsboro is easily accessible to Chapel Hill, the Research Triangle Park, and Raleigh/Durham, where some of the top universities, healthcare systems, technology companies, and research facilities in the country are located. Pittsboro is also central to the new Chatham Park development, an expansive and sustainable community designed for living/working/playing.
Salary is commensurate with experience in the range of $75,000 - $95,000. Benefits include generous paid time off, company-wide holidays, and health and supplemental insurance.
If this opportunity speaks to you, click Apply Now to submit a resume and targeted cover letter addressing your interest in Carolina Tiger Rescue and the Executive Director position. Please address cover letter to Search Committee. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be treated with confidentiality.

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