The Animal Rescue League (“ARL/B”) of Boston, one of the nation's leading animal welfare and protection agencies, seeks an accomplished and inspirational President to lead this highly respected nonprofit, committed to promoting a humane society and serving as a model and innovative leader in addressing animal welfare needs.
Founded in 1899 by Anna Harris Smith, a Dorchester resident, the ARL/B is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. Headquartered in Boston, the ARL/B operates shelters in Boston and Brewster, Massachusetts as well as a newly renovated, state-of-the-art facility in Dedham. The organization’s outreach includes animal rescue and adoption, law enforcement, shelter and veterinary services as well as a unique program to improve lives for dogs in shelters nationally. The ARL/B employs a staff of 92 (combination of full time and part time) with over 407 unpaid volunteers and reports annual revenues of approximately $9.5 million with an endowment of $75 million.
Building upon its strong foundation and national reputation, the ARL/B seeks a seasoned nonprofit executive and strategist to serve as the chief architect of its next stage of growth, service and impact in the field of animal welfare and protection. In close partnership with an engaged and enthusiastic Board and dedicated and passionate employees, including one of the most highly trained animal rescue teams in the country, the incoming President will be responsible for ensuring that the ARL/B continues to achieve its mission, implementing strategic goals and policies set by the Board of Directors as well as overseeing the financial, program, and operational management of the organization.
Specifically, the incoming President will continue to foster and build upon the ARL/B's existing culture of respect, compassion, achievement, and fiscal stability; recruit, retain, and develop a skilled, diverse and highly motivated staff; increase philanthropic support; build external visibility with funders, strategic partners, political leaders, and other constituents, and proactively explore and pursue ways to deepen the ARL/B's reach and impact through strategic partnerships.
The ideal candidate will demonstrate a passion for the ARL/B’s mission, possess exceptional integrity and will be a highly skilled leader, communicator, and relationship builder. Moreover, s/he will understand the unique challenges of balancing a service/mission driven nonprofit culture, philanthropy, and public relations. S/he will have a minimum of eight to ten years of senior nonprofit leadership experience including fundraising, strategic planning, direct service management, and must exemplify a compassionate approach to the management of people, programs, and animals or vulnerable populations.
History and Mission
Since its founding in 1899, the Animal Rescue League of Boston has advocated the philosophy of its founder, Anna Harris Smith, that “Kindness Uplifts the World”. The ARL/B is committed to accomplishing its mission – to rescue domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment and neglect - by focusing on the following objectives: to be a national leader in humane rescue of animals in need; to be the community leader for humane investigation and the prevention of cruelty to animals; to enrich the quality of life for the region through outreach and educational programs; to maintain state of the art facilities that emphasize humane care and treatment and encourage adoption; and to develop and implement long range plans that ensure the future of the organization. Embracing its collaborative culture, the ARL/B is highly respected by peers in the animal welfare world, as well as the general public.
The ARL/B’s comprehensive facilities and programs in the Boston region include the following: extensive animal housing; adoption centers; outpatient veterinary clinic; a pet cemetery; a livestock rehabilitation center for large animals; rescue services; a Spay Waggin’; the Center for Animal Protection; and the Center for Shelter Dogs. Among notable “best-of-class” services, the ARL/B is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts that has an entire department dedicated to field animal rescue services, and its members respond to a range of emergencies that include injured wildlife and stray pets, assisting local police and fire departments with hazardous situations that threaten animal and human safety, as well as pets trapped in difficult and inaccessible places. The ARL/B’s rescue service has been called upon to partner with other animal welfare groups to assist with rescues in the aftermath of major natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake. Rescue specialists also assist the ARL/B’s law enforcement division in responding to cases of animal abuse. The ARL/B’s Law Enforcement Department is seen statewide as a leader in the prosecution of cases of animal neglect and cruelty, in part due to an increased investment in veterinary forensic investigations.
Opportunities and Challenges Facing the President
The incoming President will work with the Board, staff, and key stakeholders to maintain and support on-going veterinary and animal protection services and advocacy agenda to further the ARL/B’s continued work in animal welfare.
The challenges and responsibilities in which the President will engage in the first 12-18 months of his/her tenure include:
Strategic Planning and Leadership
With an unwavering commitment to maintaining the ARL/B’s position as a prominent leader in animal welfare, best practices, and services, the President will promote Board and staff engagement in critical thinking, strategic planning, resource/financial development, and overall organizational wellness. Specifically, s/he will work closely with the Board and staff, including Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the Vice President of Animal Welfare, who is a nationally respected leader in the field of animal welfare, to develop and implement a concrete plan for the short- and long-term future of the organization that aligns with its mission and core values, while being nimble, strategic, and fiscally minded. The ARL/B has paused its formal strategic planning process until the President can fully participate in this serious undertaking.
Operations and Finance
The President will utilize professional savvy, administrative expertise, and outstanding communication skills to identify areas for operational improvement. S/he will work actively with the Board and senior staff to ensure that critical resources are in place to support the ARL/B’s vision and strategy and to continue to support programs, services, and infrastructure (ARL/B’s property, shelters, and operations).
S/he will act in a fiscally astute, disciplined, and conservative manner to maintain the organization’s commitment to financial stability through sound fiscal leadership, while identifying additional ways to broaden revenue streams. S/he will understand and convey to staff the importance of efficient and seamless operations management in a mission-driven environment and will work with the Chief Financial Officer and Board Finance and Audit Committee to create a long-range financial and development plan that ensures continued fiscal health and supports future programs, services, research, and capacity building projects.
The President will oversee all programmatic, finance, fundraising, facilities, marketing, human resource, and information technology strategies, ensuring they are effectively implemented across all segments of the organization.
S/he will serve as a champion and guide to the ARL/B’s staff (Animal Welfare and Protection, Veterinary Medical Services, Shelter Operation, the Center for Shelter Dogs) with the direct assistance of the Vice President of Animal Welfare and will more closely direct Advancement, Communications, Human Resources, Finance and Administration, working to ensure that each individual is adequately supported to perform at his/her highest level. S/he will oversee all aspects of hiring, separation, ongoing training and professional development, and will foster a culture that embraces teamwork, seamless communication, accountability, integrity, and high levels of morale.
The President will ensure the ARL/B stays aware of and considers the current thinking on best practices in animal welfare. In close partnership with the Vice President of Animal Welfare, s/he will provide leadership and management for ongoing performance assessment and continuous improvement, striving for excellence by evaluating programs and practices and changing course as needed.
The President will work to nurture existing relationships while cultivating new sources of revenue that will enhance the ARL/B’s financial stability, strengthen programs and partnerships, and increase and diversify the overall funding base. S/he will be responsible for ensuring that existing programs are adequately funded and will work to expand the ARL/B’s reach by generating new sources of revenue from individuals, foundations, and corporations and by creatively exploring funding opportunities through collaboration with other agencies on local, state, and national levels.
Strategic Relationship Building
The President will actively work to expand the impact of the ARL/B by fostering and maintaining vibrant, productive relationships with a variety of stakeholders including partners, donors, agencies, nonprofit organizations, government, foundations, and other key constituents, while cultivating new and strategic partnerships, alliances, coalitions, and networks.
As chief spokesperson, the President will develop opportunities to expand the ARL/B’s profile and “voice” through broad and diverse engagement including networking and coalition building with professional associations, advocacy organizations, current and prospective partners, public officials, policymakers, the media, and the public-at-large. S/he will actively promote the organization's mission, programs and services, ensuring that the ARL/B is consistently presented in a strong, positive image to key stakeholders and the general public.
Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial and compassionate leader who possesses both the vision to inspire and the skills to lead an organization into its next phase of growth. S/he will utilize extraordinary communication skills and personal savvy to effectively lead and direct programs and operations to ensure that all initiatives are consistent with mission and organizational priorities; will be highly organized and self-motivated with the ability to multi-task and meet multiple deadlines; and will have a tenacious commitment to animal welfare and protection.
While no one person may embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
- A minimum of eight to ten years of executive level experience in a dynamic nonprofit environment combined with solid strategic thinking; an ability to manage multiple priorities while leading in a manner that embodies respect, teamwork, and collaboration from a diversified and dedicated staff;
- A deep understanding of, and unwavering commitment to, animal welfare and protection issues; strong intellectual capacity to help guide ARL/B's programs and services, in collaboration with senior staff who are highly knowledgeable, experienced, and confident in the operation of their various program areas;
- A strategic and comprehensive approach to planning and decision making; the ability to back assertions with facts and data;
- A proven ability to analyze and understand programmatic strengths and weaknesses and a proactive approach to developing and initiating policies and procedures that can move the programs forward in a sustainable way;
- Demonstrated budget development experience and the proven ability to interpret, forecast, and manage financial statements;
- A strategic approach to fundraising, possessing an ability to take an organization to the next level of sustained philanthropic support through increased revenues from individuals, major donors, foundations, government agencies, and corporations;
- An enterprising spirit to nurture current relationships, partnerships and alliances while identifying and establishing new and strategic collaborations that capitalize on unrealized opportunities;
- A team builder who is participatory and inclusive in style when appropriate as well as a decision maker who is able to successfully implement strategic priorities; a willingness to roll up one’s sleeves to accomplish any task;
- Outstanding written and verbal communication skills that compellingly and concretely convey the ARL/B’s work, raise the organization’s profile, and navigate the diverse (and sometimes competing) interests and expectations among stakeholders;
- A desire and demonstrated ability to work with, and be advised by, others including community partners, organization leaders, and local agencies as well as staff with various ethnic/cultural and educational backgrounds; and
- Enthusiasm, focus, drive, and a good sense of humor.
Applications and Nominations
More information about the Animal Rescue League of Boston can be found at: http://www.arlboston.org.
Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), salary history and where you learned of the position should be sent to: ARL-PRES@nonprofitprofessionals.com. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston is an equal opportunity employer.