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Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Lord & Schryver Conservancy

07 Jun 2018 10:49 AM | Oregon Museums Association (Administrator)

About Gaiety Hollow and the Lord & Schryver Conservancy

Gaiety Hollow is a new public garden and historic preservation resource located in Salem, Oregon.  It was the home, garden and studio of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, two notable twentieth-century landscape architects who introduced a new style of garden in the Pacific Northwest.  They designed 250 gardens in the region between 1929 and 1969 and were actively involved in civic and horticultural improvement efforts in Salem.  Gaiety Hollow reflects their successful mix of formal and informal garden design and contains an array of plants suitable to cultivation in the Pacific Northwest.  The property is located in a historic district near downtown Salem and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The garden comprises the 4/10-acre property and is currently undergoing restoration to its 1932-1969 period of significance.  Gaiety Hollow is part of a complex of Lord & Schryver designed public properties in Salem.

The Lord & Schryver Conservancy (the Conservancy) received its 501(c)(3) status in 2005.  After a decade of research and restoration of other Lord & Schryver projects, the Conservancy achieved its goal of purchasing Gaiety Hollow, to continue its mission to preserve and interpret the legacy of Lord and Schryver, and is now developing Gaiety Hollow into a cultural and educational center for the community.  The Conservancy is governed by a hardworking volunteer Board of Directors and employs a full-time Garden Manager, who is assisted by volunteers.  

The Board has a successful track record in taking on ambitious projects and completing them with outstanding results and public approval.  The Board is now ready to transition to a focus on fundraising and governance.  It is looking for an Executive Director who will be a partner in managing the organization to the next level of fundraising and program success.  Gaiety Hollow is the primary focus of the Conservancy, which also engages in other mission related educational, outreach and advocacy activities.  For more information see:

The Position: Executive Director, Lord & Schryver Conservancy

This new position provides the opportunity for the Executive Director to assume a leadership role in the Conservancy and a unique opportunity to engage with the horticulture, design, preservation, and civic improvement communities in the region.   

Priorities for the Executive Director, in order of priority, will be to: build strong fundraising and sustainability practices for the Conservancy’s structure; develop successful public programming stemming from the mission; lead community outreach for the Conservancy; support the vision of the Board of Directors; manage staff and operations; and oversee financial operations.  This position is responsible for providing support to the Board, as well as operational, fiscal, staff and volunteer management for the Conservancy and Gaiety Hollow.

This is a full-time position and reports to the President of the Board.  Some weekend and evening work is required.  Salary range is $60-65,000 with competitive benefits, and includes a contribution to health insurance.  

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in nonprofit organizational leadership and management, communications, fundraising, and program development.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Fundraising *(20%)

  • The Executive Director will hold the chief responsibility of raising the annual operating budget of the organization.

  • Plan and execute, with the Board and its Sustainability Committee, an annual fundraising and development plan.

  • Develop and implement, with the Sustainability Committee, a longer-term strategy for financial and organizational sustainability.  

  • Develop and manage donor appeals and corporate sponsorships, including the annual appeal and special fundraising requests.

  • Work with the Board to identify opportunities to enhance fundraising events, programs and other sources of new revenues.  The Executive Director should take an entrepreneurial approach towards developing fundraising strategies and opportunities to generate revenue and communicate ideas to the Board.

  • Research grant opportunities, prepare grant proposals, administer grants, with input from Board members and staff.  


  • Develop, promote and implement educational programs and other activities based upon the Lord & Schryver Conservancy’s mission and legacy.  Develop a calendar of events with a combination of lectures, workshops, tours, and other public events, including fundraising events.  This is a priority.

  • Investigate and develop programs with other community and preservation partners.  

  • Create and promote programs that sustain the mission and gain the awareness, good will and support of the public.  

Community Outreach, Communications*(20%)

  • Cultivate and enhance relationships with neighbors, City of Salem, Historic Deepwood Museum and Gardens, Bush House Museum, Bush’s Pasture Park, and the community.

  • Manage and coordinate Lord & Schryver Conservancy public relations and communications, including print and digital publications, website, press releases, social media, calendars, direct messages.

  • Lead marketing efforts for the garden and house, promote and manage rentals and events and increase number of visitors to the garden.

  • Be the principal ambassador and spokesperson for the Conservancy; be recognized as the chief information resource and leader for the organization.

  • Collaborate with the Conservancy Board to develop strategy and outreach plans.

  • Join and participate in select community organizations to increase visibility of the Conservancy.

  • Present programs to other audiences and organizations to promote the legacy and public awareness of Lord & Schryver and Gaiety Hollow.

*All activities will be undertaken without any compromise to the historic integrity of Gaiety Hollow.

Support Board of Directors(15%)

  • Provide support to the Board to advance its expertise and participation in fundraising and development.

  • Partner with the Board President to provide leadership for the organization by working with and providing support to the Board President and Board committees.

  • Coordinate with the Board President to develop meeting agendas and action plans.

  • Participate in the Strategic Planning process including development, tracking progress and updating the Strategic Plan.

  • Maintain and update policies and procedures, and develop new ones, as applicable.

 Staff and Operational Management(15%)

  • Manage, supervise, and evaluate staff.

  • Manage the volunteer program, including Docent program (aside from the garden volunteer program, which the Garden Manager oversees).  

  • Manage contracts, supervise contractors and consultants, e.g., bookkeeper.

  • Oversee all Board committees.   


  • Prepare the annual budget in collaboration with the Treasurer, with input from committees and staff. Oversee financial projections and performance.

  • Receive, review and monitor revenue and expense reports.

  • Manage financial relationships with the support of the Treasurer.

  • Make and/or authorize purchases that are within the approved budget, bringing exceptions to the Board to address.  


Education and experience

  • Management experience in a nonprofit organization, with at least five years of advancing responsibilities; or, five years demonstrated leadership as a volunteer in a nonprofit organization  

  • Demonstrable fundraising experience, raising funds for operational and/or project goals  

  • Experience designing, implementing and promoting events and programs

  • Proven management experience, including budgets, personnel, volunteers, contractors

  • Strategic thinking and planning abilities

  • Experience working with a board and/or board service, understanding of board relations

  • Strong staff and volunteer management experience

  • Familiarity with preservation, management and interpretation of historic properties and gardens

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree

  • Valid driver’s license


  • Creative and strategic thinker with excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Creative and entrepreneurial spirit, with the ability to motivate individuals and teams to work together

  • Self-starter who can work independently on concurrent projects and meet deadlines; enjoys seeing plans turned into action and evaluated for results

  • Excellent people and communication skills, and ability to manage people and projects

  • Understands the nuances of managing a nonprofit organization and enjoys working in a collaborative atmosphere towards shared goals

  • Consistency in matters of accuracy, presentation and attention to detail

  • A passion for public engagement in preservation and the community

  • Meaningful ties to Salem and Oregon communities preferred

  • Up-to-date computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, Outlook, Power Point) photo management (DAM), on-line storage, and DonorPerfect.

  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends at special events


Please email a cover letter expressing interest and a resume with salary requirement, including three references to: Applications accepted until position is filled.


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