Recruitment Profile for the position of Executive Director
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Equality North Carolina
Reports to: Board of Directors
Location: The Triangle, NC. Candidates for this position should be in (or open to relocation to) the greater Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area.
ORGANIZATION & OPPORTUNITY:
Headquartered in The Triangle in North Carolina, Equality North Carolina is the oldest statewide organization in the country dedicated to securing rights and protections for the LGBTQ+ community. Equality NC Foundation was originally founded as the North Carolina Human Rights Fund in 1979. In frequent collaboration with other progressive organizations, Equality NC builds LGBTQ+ power through advocacy, education, and uplifting the stories of queer and trans North Carolinians in pursuit of racial and social justice.
Equality NC works toward these goals by advocating on behalf of LGBTQ+ North Carolinians before the North Carolina General Assembly, the state’s executive branch, and local governments; by broadcasting LGBTQ+ news, stories, and content; and by mobilizing LGBTQ+ and allied communities on issues that matter most to them. These priorities include securing LGBTQ+ inclusive public accommodations and non-discrimination laws, parental and family rights, inclusive anti-bullying and comprehensive sex education policies, equitable access to reproductive health care (including abortion and gender affirming care), and increasing the number of informed and engaged “New Majority” voters – LGBTQ+, Black, Latinx people and communities, young and new voters, and immigrants. Equality NC also provides North Carolinians with educational programming, vets candidates for public office, makes endorsements and campaign contributions, and produces a Voter Guide.
Today’s Equality North Carolina is comprised of three connected nonprofit entities:
- Equality NC, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that conducts lobbying and advocacy efforts and works to elect pro-equity/pro-equality candidates
- Equality NC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational programming on LGBTQ+ issues and conducts campaigns to build public support for equal rights
- Equality NC Action Fund, a PAC that makes independent expenditures on campaigns and issues of concern
Equality NC, Equality NC Foundation, and Equality NC PAC, have a combined revenue and expense budget of ~$1.5 million and employ a team of 12 passionate and committed staff members who work remotely throughout the state. Equality NC’s current COO – who was previously the Director of Development – is exiting the organization at the end of June; the COO role is being replaced by two positions, a Director of Operations and a Director of Development. Equality NC and Equality NC Foundation are governed by volunteer Boards of Directors. These Boards have 15 members in total, representing a cross-section of North Carolina’s LGBTQ+, nonprofit, business, and philanthropic communities. Equality NC Action Fund PAC also has its own Board, comprised of allies and advocates from around the state.
Since 2016 when HB2, the infamous “Bathroom Bill” was passed, Equality NC and North Carolina's community of advocates have defeated every anti-LGBTQ+ bill introduced in the General Assembly. After the sunsetting of key parts of HB142 (the "compromise bill" that replaced HB2), Equality NC and its partners passed 22 fully inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, protecting a quarter of the state's LGBTQ+ population from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and housing. Equality NC and pro-equality elected officials have also introduced five pro-equality bills in each lawmaking session of the General Assembly since 2016, aiming to guarantee comprehensive statewide nondiscrimination protections, ban conversion therapy, end the gay/trans panic defense, repeal the remnants of HB142, and guarantee domestic violence protection orders for LGBTQ+ people. In 2023, Equality NC brought more than 100 people to the capital to advocate for pro-equality measures and against the slate of 13 bills targeting the rights of trans and gender non-conforming youth.
In a state with a conservative, gerrymandered, anti-urban majority in the General Assembly – which remains actively opposed to social and civil rights legislation that would affirm full legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ people – Equality NC continues to hold a vision of a thriving, liberated North Carolina with a powerful LGBTQ+ community united in service of racial and social justice.
Triangle Area. (Equality NC Staff work remotely throughout the state, but the Executive Director will need to be located in The Triangle.)
Reports jointly to the Boards of Equality NC and Equality NC Foundation. Manages and supports a team of 12, including the following direct reports: Director of Operations, Director of Development, Director of Organizing, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Director of Education Policy, Director of Communications, Finance Manager, and Policy Director (for which the organization is currently recruiting).
The Executive Director will assume executive leadership responsibility for Equality NC, Equality NC Foundation, and Equality NC Action Fund. In partnership with Equality NC’s Boards of Directors, the E.D. will provide strategic, administrative, and financial stewardship of the organization, and will lead organizational development, fundraising/resource development, staff management, external relations, policy & advocacy, and strategic communications efforts. They will work collaboratively with internal and external partners and stakeholders to advance Equality NC’s vision and mission.
A key responsibility for the new E.D. will be operationalizing and implementing a newly created Strategic Framework, centered in leveraging and empowering New Majority voters, that will serve as a guiding vision for Equality NC over the next three to five years. Among the key tenets of this framework are goals and objectives encompassing Policy, Coalitions & Partnerships, Education & Training, Base Building, and Organizational Development.
The new E.D. will provide motivational and equity-centered leadership of Equality NC with a particular focus on the following organizational priorities as identified by Board, Staff, and external Stakeholders – all with deep and intentional focus on equity and inclusion:
- MEMBERSHIP Growing political power by expanding Equality NC’s base, membership, and engagement efforts
- FUNDING Increasing revenue and diversifying income streams and sources
- POLICY/ADVOCACY Maximizing the impact of legislative, policy, and advocacy efforts
- PARTNERSHIPS Strengthening relationships with partners and allied organizations and movements
- ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Continue improving and professionalizing the systems and structures that support Equality NC’s people, programs, and organizational growth
[NOTE: It is understood that no single candidate will have equal expertise across all of these areas of responsibility. Successful candidates will demonstrate a compelling combination of many of them and the self-awareness and professional maturity to leverage existing or new resources in the area(s) where they lack personal experience.]
1. Organizational Leadership & Development
- Collaborate with Board and staff to refine and implement a recently completed, multi-year Strategic Framework;
- Solidify a clear vision for Equality NC and its work, and inspire internal and external stakeholders in working collaborative to achieve it;
- Provide leadership to the development of organizational infrastructure – including processes, systems, tools, and protocols – to maximize efficiency and support future growth;
- Provide bold leadership and oversight to advancing Equality NC’s mission and vision.
2. Fundraising & Revenue Generation
- Work with the Development Director and Development Committee of the Board(s) to grow financial resources through expanded individual, corporate, and foundation giving, as well as special events, grants, and fee-for-service offerings;
- Maintain positive, personal relationships with key individual and institutional funders;
- Ensure effective grant administration and management, including setting up realistic goals and deliverables, and providing timely, accurate reporting to funders;
- Drive efforts to expand the organization’s base of membership and financial support.
3. Legislative Advocacy
- Continue efforts to advance social and racial justice-centered, proLGBTQ+ policies and legislation and build effective working relationships with policy makers;
- Work in partnership with pro-equality lobbyists and progressive coalitions on advocacy efforts at the state level and ensure Equality NC’s continued visibility at the capitol;
- Lead PAC work in support of pro LGBTQ+, choice, and racial equity campaigns and candidates;
- Support and strengthen regional chapters/groups to extend Equality NC’s reach, organizing, and mobilizing abilities in all areas of the state;
- Act as an effective, trusted public advocate and spokesperson before public bodies.
4. Staff Management and Support
- Manage and support Equality NC staff with an emphasis on mentoring, professional development, and alignment of workplans, skills, and job descriptions;
- Develop and implement plans for recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse, representative, and highperforming team;
- Develop and implement performance metrics with clear accountabilities and measures for success;
- Establish an environment of trust, respect, openness, and collaboration.
5. External Relations
- Build strong working relationships with local, regional, and national LGBTQ+ and allied social and racial justice organizations, and work collaboratively to accomplish shared goals;
- Strengthen partnerships and build alliances amongst diverse partners and allies in the business, philanthropy, education, civic leadership, and policy communities;
- Seek out public speaking, community engagement, and other public messaging opportunities for Equality NC and its members and partners across the state;
- Act as a public advocate and media-ready spokesperson for the organization and its mission at both the local and national level.
6. Finance & Administrative Management
- Provide transparent fiscal stewardship, ensuring appropriate resource utilization and the ability to operate all three Equality NC entities in a positive financial position;
- Work with the Finance Manager and Finance Committee of the Board(s) to develop, approve, and manage annual revenue and expense budgets;
- Manage the organization’s resources within budgeted guidelines and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations;
- Provide timely and accurate financial reporting to the Boards of Directors.
7. Board Relations
- Support the operations and administration of the Board(s) of Directors, including meeting logistics and preparation, documentation of Boardapproved organizational policies, etc.;
- Prepare and present appropriately detailed management, program, and financial reports for the Board(s) of Directors;
- Support Board development efforts by identifying and recommending emerging leaders who represent of the full diversity of the LGBTQ+ community in NC, and lead and/or participate in Board training as appropriate/necessary;
- Attend all Board meetings and participate in ongoing executive and other committee calls as required.
The new Executive Director of Equality NC will be an experienced, motivational, and equity-centered leader with a professional track record of organizational development and mission advancement. They will bring a transparent, inclusive, and collaborative leadership style, and the ability to direct, mentor, support, and coach staff at all levels of experience and professional development. Key to success in this role will be passion for, and expertise in, building and leveraging political power to affect positive social change for vulnerable individuals and communities.
Candidates for this position should have a personal style that is empathetic, warm, and engaging, along with the ability to set healthy boundaries, hold people accountable, and actively listen/respond to the needs of a wide range of internal and external constituents. They should be empathetic, accessible, and people-centered and, at the same time, bring the professional skills and knowledge to lead Equality NC to new levels of success and impact. Regardless of professional background, a personal understanding of and commitment to intersectional issues/identities (race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic status, etc.) in the LGBTQ+ community is essential.
Desired Skills and Experience (Should Have):
- Minimum of five to seven years of organizational leadership experience (including as an Executive Director/CEO, Deputy Director/COO, VP, Senior Director or similar) in a progressive nonprofit environment;
- Previous experience and expertise in policy/advocacy, lobbying, electoral politics, capacity building, and/or community organizing;
- Deep understanding of social justice, racial and gender equity, and LGBTQ+ issues in the South, and an intimate knowledge of the North Carolina political landscape;
- Strong diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) lens, with the experience to lead by example in centering racial, sexual, and gender equity, as well as disability justice, in all facets of an organization;
- Proven track record of nonprofit fundraising, including individual giving, corporate and foundation support, grants and contracts, fee-for-service/earned revenue, and/or special events;
- Previous financial oversight and budget management responsibility for an organization (or department) of comparable – or larger – size and complexity;
- Excellent people and team management skills to positively coach and mentor staff across departments and functions while also ensuring accountability for results and outcomes;
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills including media relations, marketing, and messaging, and comfortable and credible in on-camera and print interviews;
- Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to build and work in coalitions and to grow and maintain individual and institutional relationships;
- Organizational leadership abilities including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation, as well as budgeting, and grant/contract management skills;
- Ability and willingness to travel up to 50% of the time – much of it within, but some outside of, the state of North Carolina.
Supplemental Skills and Experience (Nice to Have):
- Previous experience in a similarly structured, C3 and C4 (or ideally, C3, C4, and PAC) organization;
- Existing knowledge of/connections to Equality NC’s partners, funders, and allied organizations;
- Familiarity with local, state, regional, and national LGBTQ+, social, and racial justice advocacy movements and leaders;
- Previous experience designing, leading, or running an issue or political campaign;
- Training in and familiarity with project management strategies, tools, or practices;
- Experience managing remote staff and building cohesive teams in a virtual work environment;
- Formal marketing, branding, and/or communications training;
- Knowledge of developing and implementing HR practices, policies, and protocols;
- Experience working with a Board of Directors or similar volunteer leadership group.
Desired Personal Qualities and Characteristics:
- Strong interpersonal skills and high level of self-awareness;
- Demonstrated commitment to centering the needs of the most marginalized LGBTQ+ individuals and operating within a broader social justice framework;
- Ability to connect authentically with people at all levels of power, privilege, ability, socio-economic status, and ideologies across the political spectrum;
- Deep understanding of marginalized identities and a trauma-informed approach to management;
- Open and collaborative by nature but can be decisive when necessary. Not afraid to make difficult or unpopular decisions;
- Bridge builder, collaborator, and reliable partner – internally and externally;
- Humble, approachable, and an active listener. Welcomes new ideas, approaches, and perspectives;
- Able to set and respect personal and organizational boundaries (for self and others), practiced in self-care;
- Flexible, adaptable, and rooted in compassion and empathy;
- Patient and resilient with a sense of humor;
- Shares Equality NC’s Core Values: Inclusion, People First, Safety, Respect, and Transparency.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
Equality NC is offering a comprehensive compensation package including a starting base salary in the range of $125,000 to $140,000 and generous benefits. Benefits include Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC health, dental, and vision insurance (ENC covers 80% of employee cost for health coverage and 100% of vision and dental), 16 paid holidays plus 15 days of PTO in the first year, long-term disability, AD&D, and basic life insurance, and a 403b retirement plan with an employer match up to 3%.
Inquiries, nominations, or applications (including a resume and cover letter framing interest and fit with this Recruitment Profile) can be sent in confidence to: email@example.com. We are pleased to answer any questions or supply further information.
Kevin Chase Executive Search Group has been retained to lead this recruitment effort on behalf of Equality NC. Equality NC is an equal opportunity employer that champions a diverse workforce and anti-racist principles and practices. Equality NC and Kevin Chase Executive Search Group welcome applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, ability, or veteran status. LGBTQ+-identified and/or BIPOC candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
Kevin Chase, Managing Partner
Catie DiFelice, Senior Consultant
Kevin Chase Executive Search Group
1800 Hi Point Street Los Angeles, CA 90035
All inquiries or referrals will be held in strict confidence.
Please note that all education, dates of employment, compensation and other information provided will be verified prior to an offer of employment.