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Executive Director

Organization Overview

At Big City Mountaineers, we work alongside the transformative powers of nature to leave a lasting impact on the lives of students from disinvested communities. By providing free, fully-outfitted, and professionally-led backcountry trips, we’re able to give young people ages 8-18 the opportunity to connect with nature and more fully develop their strengths, skills, and resilience. A powerful experience and education that is rooted in nature challenges the students to go beyond what they thought possible and explore different parts of themselves.  Big City Mountaineers engages youth in 7 cities across the country including Boston, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Over thirty years young, the BCM idea and organization has showed staying power beyond the norm, and has stable operating budget to match.  Headquartered in Golden, CO, Big City Mountaineers is an organization of a dedicated team of full-time staff, seasonal trip instructors, and volunteers.

Position Overview

The Executive Director role calls for an impactful and inspiring leader with exceptional operational and financial acumen, including proven skills in organizational leadership including collaborative and decisive decision making.   The successful candidate will have a track record of growing and diversifying revenues, ideally through donor relations, grant writing, donor cultivation, and the identification of new funding sources. A passion for the outdoors and youth development are essential, expressed in professional, personal, or volunteer activities. The Executive Director should bring experience leading and implementing a strategic visioning process and managing through organizational change.  A lived experience or extensive work experience with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion practices is a must.

Reporting to the Board of Directors and located in Golden, CO, the Executive Director will execute the Board’s strategic vision for BCM, leading the organization in fulfilling its mission. With the Board, the Executive Director helps to set the vision and strategic plan, inspiring internal and external stakeholders to work toward the organizational mission and goals.  They will partner closely with the Board and communicate actively to provide the Board with all information necessary to make informed decisions.

The Executive Director will lead, inspire, and grow the team of full-time staff, seasonal trip instructors, and volunteers throughout seven regional areas across the United States. They will collaborate with the Board to direct the organization’s budget towards growing the BCM’s most critical and impactful programs.

Position Summary

The Executive Director will provide executive management for Big City Mountaineers and be its cultural leader.  Responsible for the day-to-day guidance of BCM, executing on the strategic vision of the Board of Directors.  Responsibilities include program operations, staff management, fundraising and revenue generation, financial management, administrative management, and communications.

Responsibilities include but not limited to:

Strategic Direction- Setting & Execution

  • Responsibility for defining and leading the strategic direction of the organization as defined by the Board of Directors.
  • Take a leadership role in driving a collaborative process with the Board and staff for ongoing development and execution of strategic and operational plans, to incorporate programs, policy work partnerships, communications and fundraising.
  • Responsibility for effectively championing and living BCM’s mission, vision, and values to staff, volunteers, youth development agency partners, and donors.

Program Operations

  • Oversees and supports the delivery of BCM’s programming and ensures alignment with the strategic vision of the Board
  • Responsibilities include but are not limited to program design and logistics, transportation logistics, contracted services, staffing and training, and post-program evaluation.
  • Responsibility for the safety of BCM programming and related risk management practices.    
  • Responsibility to influence desired outcomes of BCM through programmatic changes

Staff Management

  • Leads, motivates, and develops BCM’s full-time, temporary, and volunteer staff, exhibiting a high level of emotional intelligence.
  • Ensures the organization recruits and retains a diverse staff with skills appropriate to the needs and mission of BCM.
  • Fosters a collaborative and inclusive work environment, bringing people together as a team and making them feel valued and connected to the organization’s mission.
  • Performs day-to-day staff management, including but not limited to performance management, staff development, compensation, benefits, and relationship management.
  • Strives for continual improvement of all staff and addresses conflict when it arises.   
  • Ensures compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Partners with the Board to develop, implement, and improve related policies and procedures.    

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Model leadership that advocates for, and generates specific support that works toward eliminating race, socio-economic status, and other differences as predictors of success.
  • Leveraging diversity, equity and inclusion to increase BCM’s relevance, reflecting the broadest interpretation of the community.
  • Responsibility and commitment to viewing organizational operations through a DEI lens and embedding practices to enhance a truly inclusive workplace.
  • Demonstrate understanding and experience with multiple modes of educating diverse constituencies about complex issues.

Fundraising/Revenue Generation/Donor Relations

  • Manages all fundraising and development activities (both financial and in-kind), including donor relations, grant writing, donor cultivation, and the identification of new funding sources.
  • Creates and implements fund development strategy with specific benchmarks and metrics for success.
  • Actively develops and maintains a diverse donor base, including individual, corporate, foundation, and government sources.
  • Responsibility for ensuring the financial growth and adequate reserves as specified by the Board of Directors.
  • Oversees all donor communications.

Financial Management

  • Responsibility for budget management in coordination with the Board and Finance committee.
  • Responsibility for developing and successfully managing an annual budget for approval by the Board.
  • Responsibility for managing annual financial audit under the supervision of the Board.

Administrative Management

  • Responsible for the day-to-day administrative management of the organization, including facilities, human resources, legal/regulatory compliance, risk management, and marketing communications.

Desired Experience and Qualifications

A successful Executive Director candidate will have many of the following qualifications and attributes:

  • Experience leading a comparably-sized or complex organization with multiple operating locations, diverse stakeholders, and various funding streams;
  • An ability to work with stakeholders to develop a strategic vision based on an understanding of what makes BCM distinctive; the management savvy to execute that vision in a practical and inspiring way;
  • Proven track record leading through transitions and change, including confidence making hard choices and experience establishing clear decision-making processes and channels;
  • Passion for the environment and youth development demonstrated through professional experience or volunteer service, including how to influence outcomes through programmatic changes;
  • Passionate about the intersection of outdoor benefits/access for youth, youth development, and social justice;
  • Lived experience or extensive work experience with diversity, equity and inclusion practices within organizations;
  • Commitment to building diverse teams and to fostering a culture that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion organization-wide;
  • Success in fundraising; exceptional communication, story-telling, and relationship-building skills; the ability to think creatively and outside-the-box in partnering with private and corporate funders;
  • Proven management abilities with a record of broad operational oversight, including overseeing complex budgets;
  • Experience cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with a governing board;
  • The highest level of integrity, compassion, inclusivity, energy, empathy, and emotional intelligence; adept at conflict management;
  • An inspirational and transparent communication style in diverse settings, ranging from large groups to one-on-one conversations; a capacity to connect with and relate to members of the BCM community on a personal level.  Self-awareness and the tendency to respond to dissonance with curiosity and inquiry.


Salary range as $80,000-$110,000. Benefits include: Medical, Dental, Vision, Paid Time Off, Parental Leave.

To apply: 

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be emailed to:  BCM values diversity, equity and inclusion. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2021.

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