Western Organization of Resource Councils
Extended deadline: September 26, 2023
Note: There is no longer a requirement that the person/people live in Billings, Montana.
We strongly prefer that the executive leadership live within WORC’s organizing region.
The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) seeks experienced leaders
and candidates who are deeply committed to community organizing, building grassroots
power in rural communities, and advancing economic, environmental, and social justice.
We seek candidates who bring a deep understanding of and experience with
member-led organizing, prioritize relationship-building and shared leadership, and have
significant experience working within or leading networks, alliances, or coalitions. We
strongly prefer that the executive leadership live within WORC’s organizing region,
which includes rural areas where our member groups organize in the states of Montana,
North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Western Colorado, Idaho and Oregon.
We welcome applications from single Executive Director candidates as well as
applicants interested in Co-Executive Directorship. Regarding Co-Executive
Directorship, teams who apply together are preferred, but we will consider individual
Co-Executive Director applicants if another applicant provides a strong complement to
their skills and experience.
WORC’s Executive Director retired in December 2021; the board appointed a long-time
senior staff member as Interim Executive Director to manage and lead the organization
220 S. 27th Street, Suite B, Billings, MT 59101
(406) 252-9672 FAX (406) 252-1092 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.worc.org
until new executive leadership is hired. Our executive leader will inherit an organization
that is financially strong, with an 18-member board, a staff of 17, and an engaged
network that is ready to build on our past, evolve with the changing challenges,
opportunities, and landscape that we now face, and create a strategic direction to guide
our next ten years. This is an exciting time to take the helm of this bold and impactful
WORC is a powerful regional network of nine grassroots community organizations (our
member groups) in seven western states with 19,935 members and 39 local chapters.
WORC is nationally respected for its 44 years of winning campaigns on natural
resources, food and farming, and many other issues through community organizing,
policy advocacy, training, leadership development, and voter engagement. Our network
is committed to ushering long-term, ground-up change by building grassroots power
through base-building and leadership development. Our guiding principles provide a
compass and constant reminder of what is most important to us.
Our member organizations are Dakota Rural Action (SD), Dakota Resource Council
(ND), Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, North Dakota Native Vote, Northern
Plains Resource Council (MT), Oregon Rural Action, Powder River Basin Resource
Council (WY), Western Colorado Alliance, and Western Native Voice (MT). Each of
WORC’s member groups is led by its own director and board, and each group appoints
two directors to the WORC board. WORC is incorporated as a 501(c)(4) with a $2.2
million annual budget, with an associated 501(c)(3), the WORC Education Project, that
passes through over $1.5 million to WORC’s member groups each year.
Our interim ED has led the organization since January 2022. These have been exciting
and challenging times, including living through and emerging from the pandemic,
moving to a hybrid and in-person way of meeting and communicating, growing our
network through the addition of our ninth member group — North Dakota Native Vote —
as well as a new organizing project in Nebraska, shifting priorities among our members,
a number of board and staff changes, and internal discussion about ways to fulfill our
intentions for a comprehensive DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) process at all levels of
the organization and network. In other words, this is a time of growth, challenge, and
opportunity at WORC.
You will play a key role in navigating this terrain and will lead the organization and
network in building strong relationships rooted in our core strategies, aligned values,
and a shared vision for continuing to build grassroots power across WORC’s region.
Working with network member groups, our Executive Director(s) will help create and
execute a collective vision for our work and provide motivation and support to our staff
team in service of those goals. The Executive Director(s) will partner with the WORC
board, which sets the organizational direction, priorities, and budget, and lead the
WORC staff team to carry out the organization’s campaign, program, and fundraising
Leadership, Strategy, and Values
● Grounded in aligned values and vision, build trusting and mutually beneficial
relationships with the WORC staff and board, as well as with the leaders and
staff of our member organizations and allies.
● Maintain and strengthen information and feedback loops between WORC staff,
board, and member organizations, grounded in communication practices that
honor respect, transparency, and efficiency.
● Bring big-picture thinking and community organizing values to a strategic
planning process that may include updating our mission, vision, values, core
priorities, and key strategies as well as creating a roadmap for fulfilling our
strategic goals over the next several years.
● Honor and promote the role of member-leaders as spokespersons for the
organization and also serve as a visible leader and voice for WORC when
appropriate and strategic within the network, with funders and supporters, and in
broader coalitions and movements.
● Bring strong skills in the area of facilitation and consensus building to help
identify points of common interest and collective benefit within the network as it
grows in numbers and diversity.
● Model a commitment to shared leadership within WORC and throughout the
network, stressing transparency, openness to others' ideas, and mutual
problem-solving and accountability.
Staff Management and Organizational Wellbeing
● Work with WORC staff managers to ensure strong, transparent, and equitable
systems for staff hiring, training and development, supervision and evaluation,
and ongoing communication.
● Model and strengthen a values-driven, collaborative organizational and network
culture where staff and members are valued for their contributions and supported
in their development and well-being.
● Directly supervise, support, and regularly convene five senior managers to
ensure a healthy organization and healthy team culture.
● Work with staff and board to set clear goals and objectives and ensure sufficient
organizational resources and support to achieve outcomes.
● Ensure development of and compliance with internal policies.
● Maintain and enforce a healthy work-life balance for self and staff, including
reasonable work plans and a sustainable workload.
● Oversee a comprehensive organizational/network assessment process in order
to clarify roles, revisit our staff structure, strengthen our internal culture, build
greater cohesiveness across our complex ecosystem, and address other areas
that will increase our overall impact and sustainability.
Board and Governance
● Report to and partner with the WORC (501(c)(4)) and WORCEP (501(c)(3))
member-led boards and board committees to ensure strong governance,
policies, and fiscal health.
● Cultivate the development of strong board committees equipped with good
information and understanding, a shared analysis, and a strong sense of
● Bring policy recommendations to the board and actively engage the board in
● Provide information to the board and assist with planning and facilitating
meetings in a manner that encourages participation, discussion, questions, and
Fundraising, Budgeting, and Financial Management
● Ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and financially healthy.
● Oversee the fundraising strategy and annual fundraising plans in conjunction with
WORC development staff to ensure sustainable and values-aligned funding
necessary to carry out our program of work.
● Serve as a visionary and inspiring voice to sustain and increase overall financial
support for WORC, our member organizations, and our movement at large.
Cultivate and steward relationships with funders and individual and institutional
donors and coordinate pass-through funding to WORC’s member groups.
● Oversee the annual budgeting process to ensure that financial resources are
utilized effectively and appropriately to advance WORC’s mission, strategies, and
priorities, including budget development, approval by the WORC board, and
monitoring and reporting throughout the year.
We seek candidates who value the power of grassroots community organizing, embrace
our mission and guiding principles, and bring substantial experience in key areas.
● Experience building long-term, grassroots power through member-led community
organizing. Cares deeply about the issues of the member groups and is willing to
fight for them.
● Substantial experience leading a mid-size organization, including in the areas of
staff supervision and development — including hiring, firing, delegation,
accountability, and evaluations, foundation and grassroots fundraising and
financial management, and strategic direction.
● Ability to develop strong, open working relationships with staff, member-leaders,
and others, work through and resolve conflict, build trust, and bring people
● Ability to think strategically, including working at the individual, team,
organizational/network, and ally/movement levels to set and prioritize goals.
● Dedication to and demonstrated skill in advancing justice and equity within
organizations (ideally coalitions or networks), including planning and
implementing inclusive processes to develop shared vision, values, and priorities
that address the challenges and opportunities we face as a multiracial/multiethnic
● High degree of cultural awareness and emotional intelligence; the ability to
effectively navigate and challenge white supremacy, sexism, classism, and other
systems of oppression, and to cultivate accountability and leadership within our
● Experience working with and cultivating a deeply engaged board of directors,
including supporting leadership development and facilitating transparent,
informed, shared decision-making.
● Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to clearly
communicate vision, values, goals, and strategies for various audiences.
● Lived, professional or other experience in the states where our members work
and/or rural communities in other parts of the United States.
● Experience leading, managing, and developing complex networks, coalitions, or
collaboratives of autonomous organizations.
● Experience working with Native American communities.
● Knowledge of and relationships with key foundations and major donors.
● Knowledge of and relationships with other environmental and other social justice
organizations, coalitions, and movements.
● Spanish language speaking skills.
● Experience with shared leadership.
● Experience with public policy at the state, local, national, and tribal levels,
preferably in the WORC region.
LOCATION & WORK ENVIRONMENT
We strongly prefer that the executive leadership live within WORC’s organizing region,
which includes rural areas where our member groups organize in the states of Montana,
North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Western Colorado, Idaho and Oregon. The
position is full-time and will require some travel and flexibility, including several monthly
evening calls or meetings and approximately 8-10 multi-day trips nationwide each year.
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
The annualized salary range for this position is $90,000 - $120,000. WORC offers a
generous benefits package, including fully paid health and dental insurance, with
optional vision insurance with a modest employee contribution; 20 paid vacation days;
12 paid sick and wellness days; ten paid holidays; flex time policy; three months of paid
parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child; four days paid bereavement leave;
policy to encourage the use of alternatives to fossil-fueled transportation by
compensating employees for use of mass transportation and awarding up to three
additional paid days off; employer contribution to a retirement plan after one year of
employment; eligible to apply for a sabbatical including up to three months of paid leave
and up to three months of unpaid leave after five years of employment.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT
WORC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to cultivating and preserving a
work environment built on equity. We welcome qualified people of all backgrounds and
abilities to apply and will not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual
orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran status, disability, marital
status, creed, or other non-job related factors protected by local, state, and/or federal
law in hiring, promoting, demoting, training, transfers, layoffs, terminations,
recommendations, rates of pay, or other forms of compensation. For more information
about WORC and to view our Equity Statement, visit our website at www.worc.org.
HOW TO APPLY
Please send a letter of interest and your resume in one PDF document to
email@example.com by September 26, 2023. In your cover letter, please indicate if you
are interested in the position as a solo ED, as a potential Co-Executive Director with or
without an identified teammate, or are open to considering either structure. Please also
highlight your most relevant experience, areas you may need to grow into, and any
connections you have to WORC as an organization and our people.
For more information, please see www.worc.org.