Ozark Regional Land Trust
Executive Director Job Description
November 2018

Ozark Regional Land Trust (ORLT) is the oldest, most experienced land trust in Missouri and Arkansas working to permanently protect the natural treasures of the Ozarks Bioregion. ORLT achieves its mission by assisting landowners and others in identifying, evaluating and implementing available land protection options, primarily conservation easements and conservation practices. Since its founding in 1984, ORLT has worked with landowners to permanently protect over 28,000 acres of forests, prairies, farms, rivers, bluffs, caves, and other natural resources.

The Executive Director (ED) is a full-time, exempt employee supervised by the Board of Directors. The ED serves as the primary contact for the organization and will work with the Board of Directors, 4 current staff members (Administrative Assistant, Stewardship Specialist, Conservation Projects Manager, River Stewardship Program Coordinator) and individuals and agencies to plan and execute conservation projects across the Ozarks bio-region in Missouri and Arkansas. The ED is responsible for raising funds, financial management, directing and overseeing programs, land transactions and easement monitoring, short and long-range planning, public relations, membership cultivation, staff management and the development, administration, and maintenance of all policies and activities. The ED acts in accordance with applicable laws and the organization’s governing documents, including the bylaws, policies, and plans, and ensures that the organization’s staff is also adhering to these requirements. The ED keeps the board informed about the operation of the organization so that the board can fulfill its governance and fiduciary obligations. The board reviews the performance of the ED at least annually.

The offices of ORLT are currently located in Columbia, Missouri. The ED may be located anywhere within the Ozarks bio-region.

Required Skills and Competencies: 

  • A four-year degree, preferably in related field such as natural resources management, non-profit administration, law, or real estate, plus at least three to five years of experience as a proven leader in land trust work or closely related conservation field (preferred), real estate, or non-profit experience.
  • Proven track record in leading people and working effectively with diverse set of constituents (i.e., board members, donors, landowners, partners, volunteers) for the achievement of common goals.
  • Strong organizational skills and managerial experience; ability to manage multiple priorities/activities, delegate effectively, and motivate others
  • Ability to connect meaningfully with people of diverse backgrounds
  • Proven track record in fundraising and non-profit management, including identifying, developing and sustaining new sources of financial support, preparing budgets and financial reports and working with a board of directors.
  • Strong public speaking skills and ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of audiences.
  • Willingness to attend meetings/events on evenings and weekends as necessary.
  • Effective writing skills, including the ability to write grant applications.
  • Proficiency with computer applications and office systems.
  • Commitment to the Mission of Ozark Regional Land Trust.


Fundraising and Development

The ED is the chief administrative and executive officer of ORLT, and:

  • Takes a leadership role in raising all funds to support organizational operations and land ownership/conservation easements;
  • Cultivates and stewards major donor prospects, including individuals, corporations, and private family foundations;
  • Supports gift solicitations by Board and staff members;
  • Engages the Board’s assistance in the cultivation of major donors;
  • Provides staff support and direction to the Board Fundraising and Outreach Committee;
  • Researches, locates and applies for appropriate grants;
  • Participates in fundraising activities by writing letters, making speeches, engaging in face-to-face solicitation, special events, acknowledgments, and stimulating activities of Board members and others in direct fundraising;
  • Analyzes data to determine effectiveness of fundraising activities, identifying trends, and developing new strategies for future growth;
  • Assures that a donor recognition program is followed to increase ORLT’s ability to recognize and thank its donors at all giving levels, to encourage and motivate and reward participation by all, and strengthen a sense of affiliation by donors and members;
  • Oversees membership and donor management including data entry and processing.

Financial Responsibilities

  • Directs all financial operations of ORLT and protects the 501 (c) (3) status of the corporation;
  • Develops and manages an annual budget and provides information and reporting to the Board that accurately portrays the financial condition and operational activities of ORLT;
  • Oversees ORLT’s financial activities including bookkeeping, bank deposits, bill paying, and payroll.
  • Ensures an annual audit is conducted and reviewed by the Finance Committee and presented to the Board;
  • Assures accounts payable and receivable are properly entered into the bookkeeping database;
  • Ensures that all federal and state tax documents are timely prepared and filed with the appropriate authorities;
  • Assures that grants and restricted/temporarily restricted funds are properly tracked.


  • Assures that systems for the maintenance of the organization’s records are maintained and followed;
  • Ensures that policies, procedures, and guidelines are drafted, revised and updated when necessary;
  • Ensures that records, policies, and procedures are in compliance with the Land Trust Standards and Practices.

Community Outreach

  • Serves as the primary spokesperson for ORLT;
  • Handles public relations activities, client relations, and inter-organizational relations functions;
  • Develops and directs all communications to build and maintain a positive and active presence in the community to maximize community engagement and support;
  • Directs and implements communication activities that will bring the ORLT and its programs to the attention of the public, through direct involvement and through public relations programs, including personal contact, descriptive program literature, and work with the media; works closely with the board for an effective division of labor.
  • Plans ORLT’s annual membership meeting in conjunction with the staff and Board;
  • Oversees the production of a regular newsletter as well as regular e-communication;
  • Oversees the development and maintenance of a high-quality, interactive, and up-to-date website;
  • Coordinates with staff in the creation and maintenance of partnerships with organizations and governmental entities to further ORLT’s mission of private land conservation.


  • Assists the Board in setting the organization’s strategic direction through the development and implementation of a strategic plan, fundraising plan, and outreach and communications plan;
  • Works with staff and the Board to establish goals and strategies;
  • Coordinates staff and the Board to develop annual work plans;
  • Monitors trends and organizational capabilities to ensure the strategic plan is current and accurate; 
  • Evaluates the services being provided by ORLT in relation to specified goals and standards, and recommends modifications, where appropriate;
  • Recommends and/or provides input on proposed new programs.


  • Provides leadership in developing and periodically reviewing the strategic plan and program plans, fundraising plans, and financial plans with the Board and staff, and ensures that such plans are carried out upon their approval by the Board;
  • Assists the staff in efforts to build and nurture relationships with landowners, key stakeholders, and members;
  • Oversees management of existing conservation easements and fee lands;
  • Ensures compliance by the Board and staff with the Standards and Practices of the Land Trust Alliance;
  • Cultivates and maintains a healthy relationship between the Board and the ED;
  • Arranges Board meetings and supplies the necessary information for the Board to prepare for its meetings;
  • Works with and supports the Board, assists to cultivate new Board members, and coordinates training of new Board members;
  • Conducts official correspondence of ORLT and executes routine legal documents and contracts on behalf of the organization, obtaining legal review when necessary;
  • Ensures that ORLT is in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations;
  • Ensures that all insurance policies are renewed and have adequate coverage.

Personnel Supervision

  • Hires and supervises the work of staff and volunteers;
  • Recommends salaries and benefits to the Board to ensure staff is appropriately compensated;
  • Ensures staff is properly trained and follows the Land Trust Standards and Practices.

Salary is competitive based on experience. 

Procedure for Candidacy

To apply, Email a letter of interest, resume, and three references (with email and phone contact) to [email protected]  with “ORLT Executive Director Search” in the subject line.   Please include your last name in the file name.  Review of applications will begin on January 11, 2019 and a new Executive Director may be chosen any time after that date.  All material will be confidential.

Ozark Regional Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Executive Director Job Description November 2018