Executive Director

Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 40/hr
Deadline Apr 28, 2024

ECOSLO, the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been leading environmental programs in San Luis Obispo County, California for over 50 years. We organize our community to educate, advocate, and act to protect and preserve the natural environment of San Luis Obispo County. At ECOSLO, we value:

  • Empowering individuals to make a difference from their unique perspectives.
  • Connecting all beings in taking care of our community collectively.
  • Organizing for shared community efforts. We are stronger together.
  • Respecting the people we work with, including their viewpoints, and respecting the gifts of nature.
  • Sustaining our organization and nature responsibly.

Position Overview
The Executive Director is a crucial role that requires leadership of the organization in several key areas. As the Executive Director, you will be primarily responsible for overseeing an annual operating budget of ~$300k, stewarding existing funding sources, and cultivating new funding opportunities. The position also requires leading the organization's strategic planning and direction, ensuring successful program delivery, overseeing community outreach and communication efforts, and maintaining strong relationships as well as establishing new partnerships with key stakeholders across San Luis Obispo County to strengthen the organization's network, impact, and funding. You will work closely with ECOSLO’s highly engaged Board of Directors (with eight current members), manage a small and mighty team of three staff, and provide additional oversight and support for consultants, interns, and volunteers.

The ideal candidate should be deeply passionate about ECOSLO’s mission and eager to lead the organization through a critical period of change and growth. They should have at least 4-6 years of experience in a leadership or management role, a strong understanding of environmental issues in San Luis Obispo County, excellent fundraising, communication, and organizational skills, and working knowledge and experience with common tools and software for project management, donor management, and/or financial management.
This is a part-time position (25-30 hours/week) with the expectation of eventually increasing to full-time (36 hours/week), based out of ECOSLO's office in San Luis Obispo, California with a hybrid work option. The role will involve some outdoor work, as well as some weekend and evening hours (typically for events).

Essential Functions / Key Responsibilities


  • Develop and manage the annual budget (~$300k) in close collaboration with the Board; operate within the approved budget to ensure effective resource utilization; and oversee financial activities and reporting
  • Develop and maintain sources of funding for ECOSLO, which may include, but are not limited to: grant writing, stewardship of sponsors and donors, and leading other fundraising events and activities with support from a fundraising committee
  • Cultivate strong, lasting relationships with high-level donors, foundations, corporate sponsors, and other community partners
  • Maintain the financial health and fiscal integrity of the organization
  • Foster financial sustainability for the organization by curating a strategic and diversified portfolio of funding sources


  • Facilitate regular review and revision of ECOSLO’s strategic plan to ensure alignment with the organization’s mission and vision
  • Ensure strong programmatic and administrative alignment with the strategic plan and drive successful execution of the plan
  • Oversee and continue to develop ECOSLO’s core programs, with support from staff, Board members, and volunteers on committees


  • Serve as the primary spokesperson and representative of the organization Establish and maintain positive relationships with key partners and stakeholders across San Luis Obispo County to strengthen ECOSLO’s network and impact
  • Oversee community outreach, marketing, and public relations to increase ECOSLO’s visibility, strengthen its reputation, and communicate its impact


  • Foster a safe, welcoming, and productive professional environment for all staff, consultants, and volunteers; provide constructive feedback and mentorship, and
    create learning and growth opportunities for staff
  • Maintain an organized record of official documents and ensure compliance with relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations
  • Oversee Human Resources functions; ensure all labor laws and personnel policies are followed; hire, manage, evaluate, discipline, and dismiss staff as appropriate
  • Work closely with the Board of Directors, presenting important information and providing regular updates via consistent communication and monthly meetings

Preferred Skills, Experience, & Qualities of an Ideal Candidate

  • 4-year Bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant field
  • 4-6+ years of relevant experience in a leadership or management role for a nonprofit organization
  • Deeply connected and rooted within San Luis Obispo County’s community
  • Passionate and knowledgeable about current and past environmental issues and programs throughout San Luis Obispo County
  • Excellent demonstrated fundraising skills, including but not limited to: grant writing and reporting, acquiring and stewarding donor and funder relationships, advancing strategic partnerships and sponsorships, and coordinating fundraisers
  • Full proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Suite. Strong working knowledge and experience with project management, community outreach, donor management, and fundraising and financial management tools and software.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead an organization through change and growth
  • Comprehensive professional leadership experience including hiring, onboarding, and
    mentoring staff and fostering a safe, productive, and rewarding work environment
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to effectively inspire and convey ECOSLO’s mission, vision, and impact to diverse audiences
  • Excellent organization and time management skills
  • Adaptable, creative, and resourceful in the face of challenges
  • Demonstrated ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Confident and
    self-motivated achiever who is dedicated to teamwork, trust, communication, and transparency.
  • Strong commitment to promoting ECOSLO’s core values and a commitment to internal and external diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Requirements & Work Conditions

  • This will start as a part-time position (25-30 hours/week) with the expectation of eventually increasing to a full-time position (36 hours/week).
  • This a hybrid (remote and in-person) position based out of ECOSLO’s office at 1012 Pacific St, Ste B-1 in San Luis Obispo, California
  • The position includes office and outdoor work, including extended hours working at a computer as well as in various outdoor settings for volunteer events. Some amount of stooping, kneeling, bending, lifting, walking, carrying, and other movements may be required.
  • Must be available for periodic work on weekends, evenings, and other after-hour occasions, as deemed necessary.
  • Some travel within and outside San Luis Obispo County will be required.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license, clean driving record, proof of insurance, and reliable transportation.

ECOSLO is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected class under law.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Starting hourly pay: $40/hr, with opportunities for growth based on performance
  • Casual office environment, hybrid work option, and flexible work schedule
  • Paid time off, including sick leave, vacation, and volunteer time off, in addition to 13 days of paid holidays each year.
  • Option to enroll in a CalSavers Retirement Savings Program and contribute a portion of your salary to a Roth IRA.

Additional details on the above will be provided in the interview stage.


Please send a resume, cover letter, and a list of three professional references (including their full name, position, relationship to you, phone number, and email) to ECOSLO Board Co-Chair, Marissa Miller, at marissamiller@ecoslo.org

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until a candidate has been selected. Final deadline for applications will be no later than April 28, 2024, with an ideal start date of May 15, 2024 to overlap with the Interim Executive Director before their departure.

For more information about ECOSLO, please visit our website, www.ecoslo.org 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership , General / Stewardship
Tags Outreach