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Executive Director, Food Cooperative Initiative

Executive Director, Food Cooperative Initiative

The Food Co-op Initiative (FCI) paves the way for new food co-op excellence, leading to better fed, healthier communities with local control and connections. FCI’s work impacts diverse communities across the United States. We provide information, training, technical assistance, and other support, and engage in research to blaze, maintain, and improve the development path for new food co-ops. FCI is committed to providing services that are free and accessible to those who need them the most.

Position Description
The Executive Director of FCI is responsible for the organization’s mission to support the creation and development of new food cooperatives in the US. The position provides direction and oversight to a small staff and reports to the board of directors. FCI operates a $500,000 annual budget and supports more than 100 start-up food cooperative projects nationwide.

This is a full-time position that requires some extended hours and weekend work, travel, and a home office with high-speed internet and reliable telephone service.


  1. Administration and Management
    1. Manage all administrative functions for FCI including, but not limited to:
      1. Financial reporting and support for annual reviews or audits
    2. Draft and monitor annual budgets
    3. Processing payments, invoices, and payroll
    4. Ensure timely filing of tax returns and charitable registrations
    5. Maintain appropriate insurance policies
    6. Personnel Engagement
      1. Ensure compliance with employment policies
    7. Hire, evaluate, supervise, and provide professional development for all staff
    8. Engage staff in strategic planning and decision-making
    9. Foster a collaborative, caring workplace community
    10. Board Governance
      1. Provide regular reports on the organization’s financial status, fundraising, program activities and other areas as requested
    11. Coordinate board meetings
    12. Support the board with strategic planning
    13. Communicate effectively with the Board and provide information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions, including around unusual situations or crises
    14. Fundraising
      1. Create and implement an annual fundraising plan
    15. Coordinate with staff and board efforts to diversify and generate funding for FCI’s activities
    16. Write the application and secure federal funding that includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant program and other funding opportunities
    17. Report regularly to and maintain strong relationships with existing funders
    18. Identify and cultivate new funding partnerships
    19. Program Administration
      1. Create, oversee, and evaluate effective development programs for start-up food co-op organizers from all demographics and community sizes. Provide technical assistance support including:
        1. i. Planning and providing resources and training start-up co-op organizers
      2. ii. Meeting with co-op organizers to provide customized training and planning support
      3. iii. Guiding FCI clients in finding other available and relevant resources
      4. iv. Participating in live and web-based presentations, workshops, and conferences
      5. Evaluate Program Successes and Opportunities
        1. i. Collect and analyze data that confirms FCI’s impact and helps to evaluate effectiveness of programming
      6. ii. Collaborate with development partners to ensure consistency, expand the capacity of FCI, and gain deeper understanding of innovations and trends
      7. Strong understanding of democratic and values-driven organizations and engagement
      8. Intimate familiarity with retail food co-op or grocery structures and operations
      9. Basic understanding of nonprofit regulations, finances, and operations
      10. Experience in grant proposal writing and reporting for federal and other funding entities
      11. Demonstrated commitment to racial and economic justice
      12. Ability to collaborate effectively with other cooperative development organizations
      13. Ability to communicate effectively in writing and in person
      14. Experience supporting or starting new retail food co-ops
      15. Strong computer skills including financial spreadsheets, web-based file sharing, constituent data tracking and presentations
      16. Experience working with a board of directors
      17. Experience managing a small staff and balancing multiple areas of responsibility; entrepreneurial spirit
      18. Able to work independently from a home office while maintaining strong staff relationships and accountability

How to Apply

NCBA CLUSA is handling this recruitment on behalf of FCI. Please send your resume and cover letter to by August 12, 2022. Wondering what to include in the cover letter? Here are some things we’d like to know about you! Let these questions inspire you, not limit what you share about yourself and why you want this job at FCI.
1. What excites you most about FCI?
2. What role have you held in the past that you sense is most comparable to the role described or what life experiences have you had that you sense have prepared you most for this role?
3. What experience and skills – professional and/or otherwise – do you most look forward to utilizing in this job?
4. If you had this job, what would you want to learn about?

The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed in this role. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all functions, knowledge, skills, and abilities required, nor will all functions need to be performed by every incumbent.
All are welcome to apply!

FCI, an equal opportunity employer, seeks to reach a broad and diverse candidate pool when filling positions. FCI does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. People of color, women, working-class, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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