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Executive Director - Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Savannah GA

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) is Georgia's underwater park. The natural live-bottom reef is teeming with marine life, including fish, sea turtles, sponges, crabs, sharks, and whales. Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation aims to develop ocean stewards through education, public awareness, and supporting the research and conservation initiatives of Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. A chapter of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (Foundation), we promote the sanctuary’s initiatives, raise funds on their behalf, make grants to the sanctuary, and develop events to raise awareness for ocean conservation in close collaboration with the sanctuary management team.

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation seeks a highly motivated part-time Executive Director with experience in fundraising and organizational management to capitalize upon the Foundation’s successful initial two years. Applicants should possess knowledge of non-profit organizations and have experience working with a Board of Trustees. The position represents the only paid employee for the Gray’s Reef National Marine Foundation, and presents a unique opportunity to showcase leadership skills and organizational management in support of our ocean. The Executive Director works very closely with the leadership and staff of Gray’s Reef NMS. While the Foundation and sanctuary are two separate entities, close coordination and open communication is a key to the success of the Foundation and its working relationship with the sanctuary. The successful applicant should attend most staff and Advisory Council meetings at Gray’s Reef NMS and plan to work at the office one or two days per week.

Currently, the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has two major events per year that bring in a significant portion of its funding. The Executive Director, with excellent support from the Board of Trustees, the Foundation, and Gray’s Reef NMS leadership and staff, will be responsible for organizing and hosting those events and raising additional funds to reach and hopefully exceed the fundraising goal of $87,500 within a year from beginning work.


Role Purpose

To support and strengthen the Gray’s Reef NMS by fulfilling the objectives set by the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the Foundation, and leading the daily activities of the organization through fundraising, communication, and administration as outlined in the organization’s operational plan. The Executive Director is expected to develop an annual work plan engaging the Board of Directors, the Foundation, and the Gray’s Reef NMS.


Scope of Work

The Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Operational Plan for FY 2016-2019 outlines the following goals, activities, and correlating targets, which form the significant majority of the Executive Director’s responsibilities.

GOAL 1: Fundraise to support the educational and conservation programming of GRNMS to expand the impact of its programs and awareness about Gray’s Reef.

● Raise at least $87,500 in FY 2018 (July 2017-June 2018) through the following activities:

o Annual fund development and major donor solicitation

o Grant writing

o Organizing and fundraising for two major events

• A Fishy Affair: Malicious…but Delicious is the foundation’s signature event, first hosted in 2015. This Lionfish Chef’s showcase sold out quickly with 230 diners enjoying over 400 pounds of the invasive Lionfish. The event raises awareness about Lionfish and Gray’s Reef.

• Gray’s Reef Film Festival (GRFF) uses film to combine art, education, and enjoyment to inspire ocean stewardship and conservation in our community. The Foundation’s role is to drive attendance, help improve the event, and fundraise for the film festival through evening parties.

o Several other fundraising methods are included in the operational plan, including festivals, merchandise sales, small events, partnerships, and campaigns.

GOAL 2: Build excitement in Savannah about Gray’s Reef, to increase community pride and support

● Add at least 500 names to our email and donor database per year

● Add at least 50 new donors per year

● Secure at least one major grant per year

GOAL 3: Develop programs to educate the community about Gray’s Reef and ocean stewardship

● Continue raising funds to support the Gray’s Reef priority projects and programs

● Educate at least 500 children per year about ocean conservation (student film day during GRFF)

● Increase funding sources and audiences through education and art programs

GOAL 4: Build internal capacity of GRNMSF to become a fully functioning and thriving organization

GOAL 5: Build awareness and support of GRNMS among city, state, and district national representatives by meeting with elected officials.



● Required

o Demonstrated commitment to ocean stewardship or environmental protection

o Proven experience meeting fundraising goals

o Success in writing and securing grants

o Strong public speaking skills

o Proactive, dynamic personality with outstanding leadership skills

o Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline

● Preferred

o Non-profit management experience

o Relationships with foundations or donor communities in Savannah or Georgia

o Master’s degree in a relevant discipline or advanced fundraising training

o Major event planning experience

o Knowledge of Gray’s Reef or national marine sanctuaries

o Experience with website management, social media, and newsletters



The Executive Director position with Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is a part-time, position based in the offices of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary at 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA, 31411. The position is approximately 20 hours per week at $25 per hour. The anticipated duration of the initial employment is six months from the initial date of employment. The Foundation’s fiscal year is 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018. This employment is offered as a six month probationary period and may be extended depending on completion of goals, objectives and outcomes listed above.

This position will be supervised by the President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and report to both the Foundation and the Board of Directors of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, with operational support from the Foundation and Gray’s Reef NMS staff.

Start Date: As soon as possible. The position will remain open until filled and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No phone calls please


To apply: Applications should include a cover letter, resume, list of references and several writing samples to applicants@marinesanctuary.org. Be sure to reference GRNMS Foundation Chapter Executive Director in the subject line of all email correspondence.

For a full description: https://www.marinesanctuary.org/career/

NMSF is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to insure fair and equal treatment of its employees.

Posted May 8, 2017

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