Executive Director

Job Type

Full Time


Details: We expect to be competitive with experience in the field.



Start Date


Application Deadline



36355 Russell Boulevard
United States


The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a membership organization guided by a board of directors that includes family farmers and others who are passionate about food, farming, and the environment. CAFF’s mission is to build sustainable food and farming systems through policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs that create more resilient family farms, communities, and ecosystems. We help farmers increase their income and sustainability and make it easy for community members and businesses to find and choose local food. 

CAFF works on-the-ground with family farmers to assist them with sustainable growing practices, food safety plans, and introductions to new markets. CAFF has taken exciting steps to further expand its reach and ensure its ongoing vitality by merging with The Farmers Guild (Jan 2017) and merging the California Small Farm Conference into our organization (Fall 2018). This year CAFF celebrates its 40th year as the leading organization in California advocating for a sustainable food and farming system. See http://www.caff.org for more information.

Position Summary

The ED leads and implements the strategy for the organization, is responsible for its overall effectiveness, and manages staff members to ensure organizational goals are met.  Major areas of responsibility include: strategic planning, fundraising, external relations, financial management, operations management, personnel management, and Board relations.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

·      Strategic Planning and Leadership: Work closely with the board and staff to develop / update the organization’s strategic plan and vision; Develop and implement a communication plan to inspire and motivate donors, staff members and volunteers; Provide leadership in the implementation of strategic plans to continually refine and improve operations while meeting measurable goals and objectives; Continuously monitor developments in the sustainable agriculture arena and research successful programs and introduce new ideas to advance the organization’s programs.

·      Fundraising: Has responsibility for fundraising by providing leadership and direction for the organization's ongoing financial sustainability. Establish and build relationships with major donors, corporations and foundations to support strategic fundraising goals; Lead efforts involving the Board of Directors and development staff to develop and implement activities to identify, solicit, involve and retain major donors, corporations, and foundations; Provide support and leadership for grants, special projects, events or fundraisers.

·      External Relations / Networking: Develop and maintain a strong, supportive working relationship with the external stakeholders; Serve as the voice and face of the organization and provide leadership in the community and media for organizational issues; Establish and cultivate collaborative and strategic partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies, and community leaders.

·      Financial Management: Develop the annual budget; Ensure proper fiscal accounting and controls in accordance with the guidelines of funding sources, organizational policies, and sound accounting practices; Monitor cash flow and budget variances and facilitate regular budget and other finance-related reports with assistance from the Finance Department and Finance Committee.

·      Operations Management: Develop and communicate an implementation plan with specific goals, time frames and financial requirements; Develop and oversee programs / services to achieve organization goals; Ensure consistent and responsive delivery of high-quality programs / services; Establish metrics to document and ensure that programs meet stated objectives, oversee data collection and analysis for program / service evaluation purposes; Oversee the preparation and distribution of reports analyzing the progress of projects, programs and operations; Maintain and strengthen the organization’s infrastructure, including IT systems, financial controls, and related business processes necessary to sustain and improve services.

·      People Management: Develop and administer sound personnel procedures to keep the organization in compliance with required laws / regulations; Develop personnel programs and policies to promote an organizational culture that fosters strong teamwork, effective communication, and commitment to the organization’s vision, goals and objectives; Identify staffing needs and oversee the recruitment, selection and orientation process; Manage, mentor and supervise direct reports, providing on-going support and feedback, and formally evaluate performance at least annually and address performance issues in a timely manner; Implement staff development programs to enhance skills and abilities to provide for professional growth.

·      Board Relations: Provide leadership, support and information to facilitate Board members’ efforts to increase revenue and improve governance and decision-making; Work with board chair to host monthly board meetings (mixture of phone, video, and in-person); With the Board chair, engage all board members and coordinate the efforts of Board committees and ensure that all committees achieve their objectives; Implement Board policies, program goals and objectives; Communicate regularly to the Board regarding achievement of strategic plan objectives, financial status of the organization, updates on current projects, and other issues relevant to the Board.

Other Duties: Performs other duties within the express or implicit terms of assigned duties that may be necessary for the best interests of CAFF.



A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent required. Advanced degree or equivalent experience in social sciences, public administration/policy, business, or related fields is preferred.


At least five years of senior level leadership and management experience, preferably as an executive director in a nonprofit with a proven track record of success in staff, Board and program development, and operational oversight.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

·      Job Knowledge: Relevant and up-to-date knowledge of nonprofit management and sustainable agriculture.

·      Leadership: Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people. A team builder who has experience in scaling up organizations. Ability to connect staff both on an individual level and in large groups. Capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower leaders from the bottom up, lead from the top down, cultivate entrepreneurship, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team so as to put people in a position to succeed.

·      Financial: A strong record of raising funds from diverse sources for nonprofit organizations; keen understanding of funding strategies and opportunities and the ability to expand the CAFF donor base. Demonstrated success in financial and operations management, including managing financial plans, forecasts, budgets and oversight.

·      Planning and Organization: Ability to think analytically and strategically in order to anticipate future consequences and trends and incorporate them into the organizational plan. Demonstrated track record of setting and meeting goals. Strong decision making, organization, planning and implementation skills. Ability to set priorities, analyze and resolve problems, and make decisions in a timely fashion.

·      Organization / Personnel Management: Experience developing and managing financial plans, forecasts and budgets. Demonstrated experience attracting, managing, developing, evaluating and retaining staff. Ability to lead, influence and motivate individuals and teams. Skill in holding people accountable and developing their abilities to do their jobs.

·      Interpersonal Skills / Communications: Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with Board of Directors, investigators, peers, subordinates, outside organizations, regulatory bodies, and the general public. Experience in marketing and building organization brands. Ability to keep information confidential. Good interpersonal skills with an ability to mediate and negotiate effectively.

·      Computer Skills: Must be able to use Excel, Word, and other technology and applications necessary to perform the job.

·      Other: Must be able to travel to CAFF offices, local programs, conferences and meetings throughout the state. Must have access to reliable transportation. If staff member is driving, must possess a valid California Driver’s License, a clean driving record, and provide proof of insurance.

Physical Abilities

·      Ability to sit for long periods of time working at a computer.

·      Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.

·      Requires a full range of physical mobility, such as bending, stooping, lifting, turning, carrying objects, and grasping.


CAFF’s policy is that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume with the subject line “Executive Director Application” to jobs@caff.org. Applications without cover letters will not be considered.