JOB POSTING: Executive Director

Role: Executive Director
Posting date: October 18
Closing date: November 19 (we are reviewing applications on a rolling basis until closing)
Start date: Ideally January 1
Location: Flexible, Preference for Toronto or Vancouver
 
The Organization
Since its launch before the 2011 federal election, Leadnow.ca has redefined online and offline campaigning in Canada by organizing and empowering thousands of everyday people across Canada to make a difference in the big fights of our time — fighting for economic and social justice, pushing for action on the climate crisis, and fixing our broken democracy.

We are looking to bring on a leader with a deep understanding of the power of movements to create change, amazing organizational management and fundraising skills, and an exciting vision for Leadnow’s next stage of growth as a powerful progressive force in Canada.

In the 2015 federal election, we ran a high-profile campaign called Vote Together, that connected millions of people who wanted a change in government with the information and tools they needed to make a difference on election day.  

And more recently, we influenced the groundbreaking cooperation deal in BC to defeat the right-wing government, we ran a massive voter contact campaign in the Ontario election, and we’ve scored major victories in our campaigns to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline and get some of the worst parts taken out of NAFTA.
 
Now we’re running a massive organizing campaign in BC for electoral reform, fighting against Ford’s anti-democratic agenda in Ontario, and running national rapid response campaigns that are responsive to the energy of our community and the main issues of the day.
 
We’ve successfully brought a new model of member-driven, high-tech, multi-issue, rapid-response, grassroots campaigning to Canada. We have a unique ability to run nimble progressive campaigns to make policies and electoral politics accessible to people, independent of party politics. Our community has grown to 500,000 people who sign and start petitions, volunteer, and show up at MP offices, protests, and town halls across the country.

In addition to our campaigns, we are known for our independent work in elections, for our ability to use technology to organize both online and offline, and for our multi-generational community. We want to build an organization and a community that reflects the Canada we want: a just, sustainable, and equitable Canada, built and defended through the democratic power of an engaged public.

Now we’re ramping up for a major independent campaign for the 2019 election, as well as maintaining the provincial fights that are meaningful to our members. Over the last 4 years, we transitioned out of a start-up phase into a mature organization. We are now looking to grow into the next phase, with a new leader at the helm.  

The Role
We see politics differently than most. We believe that in an era of deep distrust of institutions and massive social, economic and ecological challenges, our role is to help people build power together through participatory campaigns that lead to practical “wins” while laying the foundation for deeper systemic changes.

As Executive Director you will be responsible for leading this exciting not-for-profit into the next stage of its development, shaping its day-to-day operations and overall direction as it empowers a community of hundreds of thousands across Canada to work together for a healthy environment, just society, fair economy and open democracy.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, your role will include:
  • Setting vision to inspire staff and membership
  • Developing and executing organisational strategy to ensure that we are reliably contributing to a more progressive country, while remaining independent and serving the priorities of the Leadnow community.
  • Supporting the Campaigns Director to develop and implement Leadnow’s short- and long-term political strategy through national and local campaigns
  • Growing, diversifying and developing the Leadnow community
  • Overseeing all human resources decisions, structures, and talent management processes
  • Managing the full staff team, including and especially through your direct reports
  • Managing Leadnow’s finances, including long-range financial projections and proposing and executing on the annual budget
  • Overseeing the development, implementation and support of fundraising plans and activities
  • Identifying, evaluating and mitigating against risks to the organization
  • Supporting the tech team in overseeing technology development and deployment
  • Ensuring that Leadnow develops effective working relationships with national decision makers, partner organisations, funders, and other stakeholders
  • Ensuring Leadnow adheres to the day-to-day conditions as set out in the Collective Agreement between Leadnow and the Staff, represented by BCGEU (local 703). Representing the board and leading in bargaining with the bargaining unit when necessary
  • Ensuring Leadnow complies with all legal regulations and requirements
 
The Qualifications
We are looking for a new Executive Director who can steer the ship, overseeing and executing strategic and operational plans.
Understanding that the individual combination of skills and experiences will vary, we are seeking candidates with a strong mix of the following characteristics:

Essential qualities:
  • Empowering leadership style: We are looking for someone who can help Leadnow’s 500,000 community members and staff team become the most effective and powerful force possible. A core belief that a movement of ordinary people can have a transformative impact on Canadian politics is essential. This person needs to both be able to help build consensus and make tough decisions. Decisions that will not always make them the most liked person in the room. Someone who will be able to see opportunities, prioritize, and manage resources with the future of the organization in mind. We need a leader who is self aware, understands their limitations, and is ready to lead in all of its dimensions.
  • Entrepreneurial outlook: We’re looking for someone with a proven ability to grow new projects or organizations, and to set a clear, executable, and inspiring vision. A can-do attitude, an open mind and a creative, solutions-focused approach is essential.
  • Excellent management skills: The Executive Director will be charged with managing the staff team -- a proven management track record, ideally in the not-for-profit sector, is necessary. Leadnow employs a close-knit team of ~15 people, and we are looking for someone who can create and maintain a supportive, effective and creative working environment with a strong culture of accountability. Experience managing remotely using a variety of online platforms is a plus. Familiarity with the rules and regulations governing not-for-profits in Canada is a strong plus. The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for the fiscal health of the organisation, and budget management experience is critical.
  • Fundraising experience: The Executive Director will play a lead role in fundraising. Ability to oversee a strong program of fundraising from small monthly donations, online donations, major gifts, and grants that will ensure the sustainability of the organization is required. Part of the job will be to identify and seek out new sources of funding.  
  • Hunger for practical and deep progressive change: This will be a demanding job which requires passion and commitment on a full range of progressive causes as well as the broader project of building and serving a lasting base of active citizens. Deep policy expertise in any one issue is not required, but familiarity with a range of issues is important. A proven track record for quickly learning and responding to new issue terrain and strategic challenges is a must. Most importantly, we need someone who agrees on the importance of building a bridge between actions that can make a difference in the world we have today, to deeper systemic changes that will create a more participatory and democratic tomorrow.
  • Strategic outlook: Awareness and analysis of Canada's political, media and culture landscape and how Leadnow can strategically position itself to gain power and position itself for impact is a must.
  • Strong communications abilities: The Executive Director must be able to clearly and concisely communicate Leadnow’s vision and strategy to internal stakeholders and the public.
 
The following are a strong bonus:
  • Experience with creative and effective grassroots campaigning: The nature of online, multi-issue engagement is that every campaign is different from the last and plans change with the speed of a 24-hour news cycle. Success lies in moving quickly, and constantly innovating new strategies and tactics that enable ordinary people to have a real impact on policy, politics, society and elections. While the Campaigns Director will be primarily responsible for campaign execution, a demonstrated capacity for designing and executing original, impactful grassroots campaigns - preferably on a national scale – is a plus.
  • Excited about the potential for technology: The Executive Director need not be highly technical, but must be capable of becoming familiar and comfortable with the latest technologies and online trends. Leadnow uses innovative custom-built technology to empower supporters to take meaningful action online and offline, and everyone in the organization shares a commitment to innovation and data-driven decision-making
  • Media and government relationships: The Executive Director should have a deep understanding of the role advocacy plays in the overall political change ecosystem. Standing relationships in the Canadian media and political landscape are a strong plus.
  • Language skills: Command of both English and French (in addition to other languages) is a strong plus.
 
We highly value an equitable and inclusive workplace. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, women, people identifying as LGBTQI, members of ethnic minorities, immigrants and people with disabilities and other individuals with diverse backgrounds. We recognize that this list is neither exhaustive nor representative of the intersectionality present within each individual. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Please indicate in your application if you would like to be considered for employment equity.

The Logistics
This is a very important job at a very important time. It is going to be a competitive process. Help us make the decision by letting us know why you would be the best possible candidate.
Please send, in a single PDF joining all documents:
  • Your CV
  • A cover letter telling us about your unique past experience and your vision for the future of progressive politics in Canada
  • Your social media handles
  • A brief articulation of why you’re excited about Leadnow and how you envision Leadnow’s impact growing (max. 300 words)
  • Your favourite recent Leadnow campaign, why, and how we could potentially have improved it, expanded its reach, or scaled its impact (max. 250 words)
Selected candidates will be invited to a second round.

The location for this position is flexible within Canada with a strong preference for Toronto or Vancouver, where our staff teams are based. The compensation package is $91,000 with generous benefits. In exceptional circumstances, we may offer below this salary for high potential candidates with less experience or above it for candidates with significantly more experience.

Preferable start date is January 1, 2019.

Please send applications to edsearch@leadnow.ca, in a single PDF joining all documents.