Sample Job Description for Nonprofit CEO

Sample Job Description for Nonprofit CEO

Sample Job Description for Nonprofit CEO

What is the role of a Nonprofit CEO?

The Chief Executive Officer is ultimately responsible for justifying the impact and performance of the organization (or lack thereof) to the board. The nonprofit CEO runs many of the organization’s day-to-day operations but is normally more involved in the direction and future strategy of the organization. To assist them, CEO’s assemble teams that supervise various departments. A CEO may not be familiar with every event that happens at the lower levels of the organization, but they have to understand how these processes impact retention, services, and fundraising for the organization.

What are the skills and responsibilities of a nonprofit CEO?

When a nonprofit is looking to hire a CEO, they want to look for a candidate with a defined and thorough understanding of nonprofit practices and the passion for their organization’s missions and programs. The candidate should have prior experience as either an Executive Director or a CEO and have proven experience working with nonprofits. They should also have some experience working with Boards to create and implement organizational and operation strategies.

Ideally, this candidate should be highly skilled in finances and marketing, as they’ll be involved and responsible for the direction the organization is going, as well as their annual budget. Communication with donors is also extremely important, as that is how nonprofits secure their funding.

Nonprofit CEO Job Description Sample

How do you incorporate these responsibilities and duties into a job description? Let’s take a look at one example:

[XZY Organization] seeks a visionary nonprofit business leader skilled in driving organizational success and empowering high performing staff. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the CEO will be based at the organization’s offices in City, State and have overall management responsibility for a growing impactful organization with a $XYZ million annual budget, and XYZ+ employees.

Combining inspirational leadership and sophisticated management abilities, they will advance the organization in terms of culture, capability, processes, and impact. While working closely with the organization’s executive team, the CEO will inspire innovation and ensure that the organization is continually well equipped to advance its mission of XZY.

This full-time permanent position is for immediate hire onsite in beautiful XZY City.


Executive Leadership and Organizational Management

  • Provide thoughtful and visionary executive leadership that is inclusive, transparent, and empowering in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Trustees
  • Present strategic options and plans for organization impact and gain Board approval as needed to carry out the work of the mission of the organization
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization and ensure its overall successful long-term operations
  • Organize, motivate, and mentor internal team leaders to strategically grow the organization’s impact, programs, fundraising, and to effectively fulfill its important mission
  • Apply innovative thinking and performance measurements to analyze and support strategic decision-making
  • Continually foster a culture that encourages collaboration between departments and recognizes positive contributions
  • Contribute to the strategic plan and drive its implementation
  • Manage and motivate staff, overseeing processes such as hiring, separation, ongoing staff development, performance management, and compensation and benefits
  • Inspire a business-oriented, professional, results-driven environment across the organization
  • Perform general management duties overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization
  • Establish goals, objectives, and operational plans in collaboration with the Board of Directors, staff, and other leaders

Board Governance

  • Maintain regular and ongoing communication to build strong relationships with the entire Board, providing leadership and support to members at all times
  • Communicate effectively with the Board by providing members with all information necessary to continually function properly and make informed decisions in a timely and accurate manner
  • Attend all Board meetings and provide reports and updates on staff as well as all current work, project timelines, and project and organizational progress
  • Gracefully manage the board as needed to build consensus, remind of outstanding deliverables, and offer support
  • Implement Board policies and procedures and build support for Board decisions amongst staff
  • Work closely and openly with the Board and its committees, ensuring ongoing communication of risks, issues, as well as successes

Development and Fundraising

  • Drive development and fundraising in collaboration with the Development Director, leveraging the Board as needed
  • Initiate, cultivate, and extend relationships with the organization’s portfolio of individual, foundation, and corporate supporters
  • Ensure the organization’s financial stability and sustainability by maintaining healthy cash flow and adequate reserves

Financial Management and Administration

  • Provide strategic leadership and hands-on management for all of the administrative and operational functions of the organization in accordance with the mission, objectives, and policies
  • Prudently direct resources and manage all financials within budget guidelines and according to current laws and regulations
  • Assume responsibility for the fiscal integrity of the organization
  • Monitor board-approved budget and manage daily financial operations to ensure maximum utilization of resources and optimum financial positioning for the organization
  • Ensure maximum resource utilization, budget management, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position
  • Build and administer the annual budget, with Board approval

External Relations and Communications

  • Represent the organization and serve as chief spokesperson publicly at events, conferences, and partnership meetings
  • Present and promote the organization and its mission, programs, partners, and members in a consistently positive manner
  • Ensure high visibility to prospects and the public, and build interest in engaged philanthropy
  • Manage all aspects of the organization’s marketing and public relations


Candidates may emerge from nonprofit, foundation, government, or industry backgrounds and should possess the following:

  • Five years of prior experience as a CEO, Executive Director, or in a related position at a nonprofit, foundation, government, or industry
  • Strong business acumen and a history of providing visionary leadership at the executive level
  • Proven experience executing organization growth and leading a similar or larger size successful nonprofit and/or related entity
  • Proven experience working with and leading a nonprofit Board and working with diverse groups of people
  • Familiarity with diverse business functions such as Marketing, Public Relations, Human Resources, etc.
  • Experience and success in motivating, recruiting, developing, retaining, and mentoring high performance, mission-driven, and results-oriented teams
  • Excellent written, oral, and public speaking skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with strong interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • A bachelor’s or advanced degree


This wonderful opportunity offers the ability to make significant impact leading and growing an impactful nonprofit leading XYZ. This career opportunity offers a strong starting base salary, a full benefits package, and a team-oriented atmosphere that is both positive and rewarding. Starting compensation includes: a very competitive salary dependent on experience of XZY to ZYX, plus full benefits package that includes [list out as many positive aspects of your package as possible].


For immediate consideration please send your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements in a WORD.docx format to First Last via email to Attn: First Last, Title using the subject title: “XZY ORG CEO SEARCH.”

Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made.

XZY is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity and equity in all facets of the organization’s work. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other protected class.

Scion Nonprofit Executive Search can help you find your next Nonprofit CEO

Are you trying to fill an executive position at your nonprofit organization? We can help. Scion Nonprofit is a staffing and executive search firm that specializes in placing experienced, mission-driven nonprofit staff members from the entry-level to the executive level. Learn more about our nonprofit executive search firm services and how we can help you find the best candidates.