Green Jobs

Executive Director, Savannah Tree Foundation (Savannah, GA)

By Conni Kunzler | August 31, 2017

Deadline: Open until filled.

Savannah Tree Foundation (STF) is seeking qualified candidates for the Executive Director position. Savannah Tree Foundation is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and planting trees across Chatham County, GA through education, advocacy, and action. STF’s volunteers have been planting and caring for trees in Savannah and across Chatham County, GA since 1982. The Savannah Tree Foundation works with local government, community partners, Chatham County citizens, and youth to grow the tree canopy for a healthier, safer, economically-strong, and environmentally-sound community.

Governed by a Board of Directors, the work of the Savannah Tree Foundation is currently carried out by the executive director, two part-time staff, contracted professionals to help with specific projects, and a dedicated team of volunteers. STF is funded by supporters’ donations and grant funds. For more information, visit

Position Summary

The executive director, under direction from the STF Board of Directors, has overall responsibility to manage the programs and day-to-day operations of the Savannah Tree Foundation, including supervision of staff, interns, and community volunteers. This position requires an excitement for continuously learning and teaching about trees and the role they play in society. The STF executive director must be an energetic, experienced, and ardent leader who will continue to increase community support and organizational capacity for Savannah Tree Foundation’s tree planting and stewardship, advocacy outreach, and education programs and ensure the organization’s long-term viability and effectiveness.

The ideal candidate will have proven experience in:

  • Developing effective working relationships with government officials.
  • Relationship building with community non-profits and partner organizations.
  • Independent leadership for organization and administrative soundness.
  • Financial development with community fundraising, initiating earned income opportunities, and grant funding.
  • Creating compelling outreach and education programs.
  • Community event management and coordination.

This full-time position is scheduled to begin in fall 2017.


Community Relations

  • Advocate for trees and the urban forest throughout the community and in particular with government, special projects, and community organizations.
  • Foster strong working relationships with elected officials, partner agencies, government representatives, and industry partners.
  • Serve as a liaison with the community, other organizations, and the general public.
  • Promote effective partnerships and cooperation with private, public, and non-profit entities to achieve programmatic goals.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for Savannah Tree Foundation at public forums and events.
  • Ensure the Savannah Tree Foundation website provides up-to-date information.
  • Produce and send an e-newsletter to members and volunteers.
  • Produce timely, appropriate social media content to further the mission of the
  • Savannah Tree Foundation.
  • Promote the achievements of STF and its work with trees.

Fund Development

  • Develop and implement fundraising techniques seeking financial commitments and contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, and corporations.
  • Manage the Savannah Tree Foundation membership program, maintain donor database and records, and provide donor recognition.


  • Collaborate with the Board for ongoing development of the organization’s vision and strategic plan with short- and long-term goals to guide the work of Savannah Tree Foundation. Create a clear vision that works in line with the organization’s mission while also recognizing the current needs of the community and anticipating how those needs may change in the future.
  • Work with the Board and staff to maintain and improve existing programs and to develop new programs and services which serve the mission and vision of the Savannah Tree Foundation and achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Take a leadership role in local and regional efforts that affect the urban forest.

Program Managemen

  • Manage the development, coordination, implementation, evaluation, and ongoing improvement of all Savannah Tree Foundation programs, including tree planting, tree maintenance, educational outreach, research, and advocacy.
  • Maintain accurate records on program activities and participants to meet grant requirements and ensure ongoing organizational effectiveness.
  • Envision and develop new programs in collaboration with the Board.

Fiscal & Financial Management

  • Work with the Board to develop annual budgets for Savannah Tree Foundation.
  • Collaborate with the Board to secure adequate funding for Savannah Tree Foundation programs.
  • Identify funding sources, write grant proposals, develop fundraising plans, and solicit in-kind and financial donations.
  • Ensure that accounting, billing, and payments are conducted in a timely and accurate manner. Invoice expenses for reimbursable grants and contracts and fulfill reporting requirements. Monitor cash flow and keep excellent financial records.
  • Manage Savannah Tree Foundation regarding insurance policies, permits, licenses, and filing of local, state and federal taxes and reports as required. Assure that complete and accurate records are kept of such.
  • Provide for the appropriate control and accountability of all funds, record-keeping, physical assets, and other property.
  • Ensure Savannah Tree Foundation is in compliance with all current federal, state, grantor, insurance, and human resource requirements and record keeping.

Board Relations

  • Provide open, clear, and effective communication to maintain a strong collaborative relationship with the Board.
  • Participate in Board meetings and appropriate committee meetings. Prepare Board meeting agendas in collaboration with the Board president and assist in the general administration of Board business.
  • Provide timely, accurate and complete financial and management reports to keep the Board updated on the achievements, needs, and challenges of Savannah Tree Foundation.
  • Prepare an annual report on the general operation, program and financial affairs of Savannah Tree Foundation.

Staff Supervision

  • Ensure appropriate staff levels to carry out Savannah Tree Foundation programs.
  • Recruit and train highly qualified staff members and contractors. Operate within budget levels.
  • Provide staff with constructive feedback on an ongoing basis and ensure achievement in line with organizational goals.
  • Terminate staff as needed.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent skills and experience
  • 5 or more years of relevant professional work experience
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Creativity and flexibility.
  • Commitment to trees and the environment.
  • Interest in the environmental issues and generally socially conscious individual.
  • Experience in fundraising and community development.
  • Experience working independently and leading a team.
  • Flexibility and willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed
  • Organized and detail-oriented
  • Self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Ability to work collaboratively with people of different backgrounds
  • Basic computer and administrative skills (MS Office, record-keeping, etc.) and ability to learn new technologies quickly
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license
  • Willingness to step in and carry out operational or program activities as needed.
  • Ability to work outdoors in inclement weather, stand for long periods of time, and to safely lift and move more than 50 lbs.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience in a non-profit setting (preferably in urban forestry or a related field)
  • Knowledge of urban forestry, arboriculture, and/or horticulture
  • Experience with community outreach, volunteers, partnerships, and fundraising
  • Experience working with children and the public.
  • Experience successfully writing and managing grants
  • Experience managing and supervising staff
  • Communications experience including social media, press, and newsletters
  • Knowledge of GiftWorks CRM, Quickbooks, Constant Contact, and/or Adobe products


Salary based on experience.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants submit the following items via email:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Contact information for 3 references

This position will be open until filled. Applications will be reviewed beginning September 15, 2017. Submit application to Heather Gordon at

A background check and references will be required.

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