Purpose: This position manages the day to day operations of Creative Living based on the policies and goals established by the Board of Trustees. This position formulates and implements the short term objectives of the organization to advance the Board’s long range plan. This includes handling fund raising, public relations, resident relations, human resources and facility issues on a regular basis. Additionally, this position is responsible for establishing operating policies and goals and for assuring adherence by staff. All duties and responsibilities shall be conducted with awareness and understanding of the issues related to persons with physical disabilities and that this individual represents the goals of the organization to the community.

Duties and Responsibilities (duties and responsibilities listed are representative of those performed by this position)

  1. Work with the Board of Trustees on a variety of issues in the areas of meeting content, policy development and implementation, budget preparation, problem analysis and solving, issue recognition, and short and long range planning for Creative Living.
  2. Oversee the effective functioning of the two Creative Living facilities ensuring the maintenance of 34 apartments to be safe and sanitary protecting Creative Living’s investment while adhering to the budget.
  3. Manage resident relations issues, such as the recruitment, selection and review of residents and prospective residents.
  4. Supervise the activities of part-time and full-time staff members. This includes the selection, training, management and evaluation of staff.
  5. Raise funds in support of the organization through effective fundraising and donor relation activities as well as securing public funds through grant proposals.
  6. Perform public relations activities to establish and maintain the awareness and support for Creative Living; establish and maintain effective working relationships with organizations and agencies interested in the issues of persons with physical disabilities.
  7. Ensure Creative Living’s policies, contracts and activities are in compliance with all relevant legislation and guidelines established by various governmental and regulatory bodies.
  8. Monitor the fiscal and budgetary issues at Creative Living, including the preparation of and adherence to an annual budget and the provision of financial information to the Board.
  9. Research and monitor the selection and work of any outside vendors supplying services and products to Creative Living.

    Job Requirements 
    Education: Bachelor degree from an accredited college or university with an emphasis in either business management or social sciences. Has a minimum of eight years management experience with exposure to at least two of the following areas: human resource management; residential property management; financial management and program planning. Proven proficient communication and problem solving skills. Demonstrated a successful history in fundraising and in public relations. 

Board President Signature 01/06


There are few things that cause more problems on a nonprofit board than executive director/board member role confusion.

Yet understanding roles is essential to a smoothly running Creative Living team. So let’s take the time to look closely at how the executive director’s and the board’s roles complement each other!

What does the executive director do?

Originally Creative Living was governed by a volunteer board, made up of people with a shared interest in serving the needs of young wheelchair users. As the organization added programs and staff, managing its affairs became too much for the board to handle.

So, we hired a professional, qualified by training, ability or experience, to run the day-to-day operation of our nonprofit.

That in a nutshell describes what our executive director does. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than this! Here’s a more complete list of the duties that make up your executive director’s job description…

  • Managing staff and making personnel decisions. Any decision affecting hiring, firing, evaluating or disciplining staff members is the domain of the executive director. After all, this is what you hired him or her to handle!
  • Making day-to-day operating decisions. You could say that this is the natural complement of the board member’s role. Why? Because the board makes policy and the executive director carries it out in the day-to-day decisions at Creative Living. These include anything from delegating staffers to work on long-range goals to calling someone to fix the air conditioner!
  • Completing short-term objectives based on the long-range plan. This is where close partnership and teamwork between board and executive director bear fruit. The executive director is responsible for completing yearly objectives based on the nonprofit’s 3-to-5 year plan and is evaluated on how successfully he or she accomplishes them. He or she is also responsible for giving the board regular progress reports on objectives.
  • Working with the board for Creative Living’s betterment. Our executive director is a professional whose expertise is a valuable asset to the board. He or she will often serve as an in-house expert who analyzes, summarizes and recommends action on complex issues. We always include the executive director in all board business!
  • Developing a budget and spending within it. The treasurer, executive director and his or her staff will submit a proposed budget to the board. Board members should study it and ask questions, if needed, before voting to approve it.

Our executive director manages in crises or emergencies too

Creative Living, from time to time, faces a crisis or an emergency. Does the rule that the executive director manages day-to-day affairs still hold? You bet it does! And our responsibility is to give the executive director free rein until he or she specifically asks for your help!

It’s tempting for board members to overreact when a crisis strikes, but a crisis calls for only one commander in chief -the executive director. The worst thing board members can do is try to fix things on their own!

To keep from interfering with the executive director:

  • Get the facts from the horse’s mouth. It’s easy to believe everything you hear in the rumor mill. The only way to know what’s really going on is to hear it from the executive director, the one person who’s closest to the crisis.
  • Determine if the crisis is a management issue. Once the facts are known, the executive director can explain how he or she plans to resolve the crisis. The issue will often be a management situation that won’t concern board members.
  • Be ready with suggestions–if the executive director asks you. As long as the executive director is confident in his or her plan, the board should take a backseat. If the executive director asks the board for its input, however, be prepared to offer your ideas.
  • Don’t second-guess the executive director. Handling any crisis can be trying for even the most experienced executive director. So, let the executive director know that the full board is behind him or her.

What does the board member’s job entail?

A job description for a board member might include the following: The board member sets policies and goals for Creative Living’s executive director to implement and achieve.

That’s a neat capsule description of the board member’s job, but here’s what you can also expect when tapped for board service…

  • Meet the needs of those you serve. The purpose of a board is to run Creative Living in such a way that it continues to serve the people in the community. Your bottom line as a board member should be, “How will this help improve our services?”
  • Make policy to govern Creative Living. The most important part of your job is to make policy that ensures that Creative Living is run effectively, legally and ethically. These policies in turn will serve as a guide for your executive director, whose responsibility is to see that they are implemented.
  • Review a long-range plan for Creative Living. As a board member, you need to keep Creative Living’s future in sight by planning for its continued growth and development. Remember that the long-range plan will also shape our executive director’s short-term objectives over the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Ensure that Creative Living is financially sound and that money is spent wisely. As you set policy and plan for the future, make sure that there’s adequate funding to cover our costs. Monitoring finances, however, doesn’t mean that you have to approve every penny that’s spent. You do need to determine that money is being spent effectively to deliver programs and services.
  • You can do this simply by reviewing financial reports from our treasurer and executive director. As a board member, you’ll also be called on to raise money, including making a personal gift to the various Creative Living fundraising events.
  • Work with and support our executive director. The board and the executive director form a closely knit team–for a good reason. The executive director, because he or she is charged with the day-to-day management of Creative Living, is closest to its pulse beat.

So let the executive director be the administrator, i.e., let him or her do the job he or she was hired to do!

The board should provide direction to the executive director and then step out of the way. As a board member, however, you can expect feedback from the executive director, in the form of regular progress reports on his or her objectives, Creative Living’s finances and any emergencies or other unforeseen events that affect your nonprofit.