Executive Director - Friends of the National Elk Refuge

  • Grand Teton Association
  • Hybrid
  • Nov 17, 2023
Full time Executive

Job Description

Background Information:
The National Elk Refuge, with fiscal support from Grand Teton Association, is seeking applicants for an Executive Director for a new organization, the Friends of the National Elk Refuge. The Executive Director will be responsible for launching the organization for the Friends of the National Elk Refuge.

The goals of the Friends are to:

  1. Facilitate a capital campaign to raise additional funds to support the construction of a new National Elk Refuge and Greater Yellowstone Nature Center.
  2. Foster connections between the local community and the Refuge through events, volunteers, and other projects as determined by the Friends and National Elk Refuge.
  3. Recruit and manage a local volunteer base to support staffing the Nature Center, have a presence at local events, and support Refuge events and projects.
  4. Enhance and leverage the capacity of existing non-profit and agency partners to accomplish on-the-ground projects and seek opportunities to coordinate among groups.

The National Elk Refuge received $11 million in Great American Outdoors Act funding for 2025 for the construction of a new nature center. Based on the design of the new facility completed in 2021, additional funds are needed to complete the project. Friends of the National Elk Refuge would serve as the fundraising partner for this upcoming project.

Job Duties:

Year One Focus: lay the foundation to launch and sustain the non-profit organization

  • Gather information from similar efforts to inform the development of the Friends of the National Elk Refuge.
  • Recruit members and complete/file required paperwork and applications for becoming a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Develop Friends Partnership Agreement, Supplemental Agreement for Use of Service Property, and Fundraising Agreement.
  • Identify and follow-up on potential sources of funding to sustain the Friends group
  • Research potential capacity grants and prepare applications where success is likely
  • Develop public outreach materials and host events to introduce the Friends group to the public and potential donors
  • Provide regular updates to the Friends Board of Directors and Refuge leadership
  • Create a capital campaign action plan
    • Set fundraising goals
    • Develop a preliminary capital campaign gift range chart
    • Review the fundraising strategy and considerations to establish a new Visitor Center(2019)
    • Begin building community relations

Year Two Focus: launch capital campaign

  • Build strategic relationships with capital campaign donors
  • Maintain a reasonable capital campaign timeline
  • Prepare public “buzz” around the new Nature Center project, including media coverage
  • Host a celebration event to continue building momentum for stewardship and support for public lands and the National Elk Refuge and Greater Yellowstone Nature Center
  • Hold regular steering committee meetings and provide regular updates to GTA

$100,000 to $150,000, depending on experience

Office Location
National Elk Refuge Headquarters
675 East Broadway
Jackson, WY 83001

Working from home or other in-town location is acceptable

Housing and Computer
Not provided, must have own computer


  • Passion for public lands and their stewardship.
  • Knowledge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission.
  • Familiarity with the National Elk Refuge is desirable.
  • Self-directed with high initiative; organized with attention to detail.
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector. Experience in non-profit development desirable.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including interpersonal and social media skills.
  • High emotional intelligence with ability to develop sustained relationships.
  • Documented success in managing a large capital campaign.

How to Apply
Please submit the following by December 15, 2023 to: [email protected]

Friends of the National Elk Refuge
PO Box 510
Jackson, WY 83001

Cover letter stating why you are interested in this position and your ability to start working in late winter or early spring 2024.

Resume including work experience and specific skills relevant to this position; 2-3 references.

For more information about this position, please contact: Raena Parsons, Visitor Services Manager, National Elk Refuge, (307) 201-5433. Email: [email protected]