Job Description for a Non-Profit Executive Director

by Heather Richards ; Updated September 26, 2017
Executive stands in front of team

Executive directors provide leadership in all aspects of non-profit organizations. Job descriptions for these positions encompass a variety of responsibilities and abilities. Some requirements will depend on the work of the non-profit; others are common to all executive directors.

Job Summary

Executive leads a meeting

Executive directors are responsible for the overall management and operation of the organization. They must protect financial assets while ensuring compliance with all applicable requirements.


University graduate holding degree

Most non-profit agencies require a minimum of a bachelor's degree with an advanced degree preferred. Smaller, less complex non-profits may allow experience to substitute for education.

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Finger points to pie graph

Executive directors should have many years of experience with increasing responsibility in non-profit agencies. Experience with financial management, grant writing and grant management is expected.


Business woman talks to workers in meeting

An executive director must have the skills to effectively communicate, manage employees, work with a board of directors and publicly represent the agency.


Executives applaud at meeting

The job description must state who the executive director reports to, usually the board of directors or an executive committee.

About the Author

Heather Richards is a freelance web writer in Rhode Island. Richards has managed non-profits serving senior citizens and individuals with developmental disabilities for 12 years. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Public Administration from UNC Pembroke.

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