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25 Jul 2022

Full-Time Executive Director

Prairie Rivers Network – Posted by vnudelman Champaign, Illinois, United States

Prairie Rivers Network logo

Job Description

Prairie Rivers Network seeks an Executive Director to lead, mentor, and empower a qualified and committed staff to achieve the transformational goals of the organization; communicate an inspirational vision for the flourishing of the community of life on the Illinois landscape; foster and strengthen partnerships with other change-makers; develop and implement a fundraising plan that cultivates and builds enduring relationships with donors and foundations; and work effectively with and leverage the skills of a dedicated board.

The Executive Director will be leading one of the most-effective and respected environmental advocacy organizations in Illinois, with a strong history of successes in achieving change, including momentous recent policy victories. At a time of great need for transformative change to heal past wounds and implement a new vision for caring for the world and each other, this position presents a remarkable opportunity for an individual passionate about realizing healthier communities of life and inspiring the public to join with us in pursuing this mission.

About Prairie Rivers Network

At Prairie Rivers Network we protect water, heal land, and inspire change. Using the creative power of science, law, and collective action, we protect and restore our rivers, return healthy soils and diverse wildlife to our lands, and transform how we care for the earth and for each other.

Our programs confront many of the root causes of environmental degradation in Illinois while addressing the sources and impacts of climate change. Learn more at

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership and Vision

  • Articulate a clear vision that inspires support for PRN’s mission; advocate and speak for clean water, river protection, wildlife conservation, and climate mitigation and adaptation; collaborate with local, regional, state and national partners to pursue resources, policies, programs and strategies that will ensure the long-term health and beauty of Illinois’ communities, rivers, and landscapes.
  • Provide strong, collaborative leadership with the staff and board to achieve the organization’s mission and goals consistent with a Five-Year Strategic Plan.
  • Establish and implement a plan to ensure that the values driving the social change we advocate for are reflected in the organization’s internal culture, particularly with regard to equity and justice.

Organizational Management

  • Ensure PRN’s operations and programs progress toward long term goals; assess and develop opportunities which align with organizational priorities while retaining the flexibility to act quickly and opportunistically.
  • Collaboratively develop and oversee the implementation of strategic, effective work plans; regularly evaluate programs and projects to measure success.
  • Lead, mentor, challenge, and retain a qualified and motivated professional staff; inspire confidence and trust; effectively delegate program responsibilities, cultivate a culture of accountability, and successfully manage a staff that may telework and/or live and work remotely around the state of Illinois; foster open communications with staff and board.
  • Work closely with the Operations Manager to develop, administer, and regularly report on an annual budget approved by the Board.
  • Work closely with the Board to ensure strong governance and capacity and establish clear lines of communication, providing the information necessary for the Board to function effectively and to make informed decisions.


  • Develop, direct, and maintain a focused fundraising program that includes foundations, members, corporate, and major donors; cultivate and maintain key relationships.
  • Together with the staff and Board, actively pursue a strategy that increases support from new donors while strengthening existing relationships and ensuring continued commitment to PRN’s work.


  • Be the chief advocate and external face of and effectively represent the organization in order to increase its impact and visibility.
  • Oversee a creative and effective communications program, enhancing and maintaining public understanding and support of PRN’s goals, programs, and priorities.

Qualifications and Application

The ideal candidate will–

  • Be an established leader with experience in nonprofit management, programs, advocacy, and fundraising;
  • Have strong communications and interpersonal skills;
  • Bring passion and excitement to the mission of creating social change that improves lives, communities, and landscapes;
  • Have a genuine interest in and understanding of the goals, priorities, and programs of the organization;
  • Demonstrate a desire to lead the staff, manage the organization, and work collaboratively with the Board to achieve success; and
  • Commit to equity, inclusion, and transparency as organizational practice and culture, and demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to addressing environmental injustice.

Compensation and Benefits

The Executive Director is a full-time professional position located in Champaign, Illinois with a starting base salary of $80,000.

We believe staff is more effective in a work culture that values a work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere with flexible scheduling. Benefits include:

  • Paid time off: up to 20 days vacation; sick leave as needed, 12 holidays
  • The office typically closes for a paid winter break between December 25 to January 1
  • 403(b) retirement pan with 5% employer match
  • Up to 12 weeks parental leave (4 weeks paid; 8 weeks unpaid)
  • 100% employer paid health insurance for the individual employee
  • Employee assistance program

COVID Considerations

Prairie Rivers Network closely follows CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 and proof of vaccination will be required to join Prairie Rivers Network.

How to Apply

  • We want to get to know you. We value great writers with creativity and inspiration. Tell us why you really want to lead our team.
  • Interested candidates should email their cover letter, resume, and writing sample (grant application, press release, or whatever makes you shine) to: [email protected].
  • Subject line of your email should be “Executive Director Application” and attach your cover letter, resume, and writing sample with the file name consisting of “Last name, First name Resume/Cover Letter/Sample.”
  • Please: no phone calls, drop-ins, or paper applications.

Hiring Process
  • Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. We will acknowledge, by e-mail, receipt of each application within 5 business days.
  • Prairie Rivers Network is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice in all aspects of our work and organization. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law.
  • We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 80,000 - 100,000.

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