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Seeking an Executive Director

January 9th, 2014

Executive Director (Full-Time)

Position Open Until Filled

The Ruckus Society is seeking a skilled, passionate, and visionary Executive Director with a collaborative leadership style to spearhead Ruckus's support of frontline communities in their struggles for justice.

The Ruckus Society is a nonprofit organization that provides training and support in creative nonviolent direct action to communities fighting for social and environmental justice. Through our volunteer network of direct action trainers and practitioners, Ruckus has trained thousands of activists since 1996. We prioritize working with communities on the front lines of injustice, moving towards a vision of sustainability and self-determination.

Overview of Position:

The Executive Director (ED) is a full-time position responsible for providing leadership and vision to carry out the Ruckus mission and raise the profile of the organization in the world.

We are seeking a dedicated, experienced, and enthusiastic leader, fundraiser and communicator with the commitment, skills, and capacity to ensure that Ruckus continues to fulfill its mission and thrive in a dynamic political landscape.

The Ruckus Society takes a collaborative and inclusive approach to leadership and planning among our stakeholders, and we are looking for an individual with the experience and desire to work in a shared leadership model, and who is flexible and committed to the overall advancement of the organization.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

The Executive Director will have four primary areas of responsibility:

  • Organizational Leadership & Vision
    • Drive organizational development cycles, including strategic planning and evaluation, to develop and implement organizational vision and programs
    • Facilitate a healthy and functioning staff team overall, with appropriate mechanisms for transparency and accountability among all staff members
    • Manage the Board of Directors, Leadership Team, and a staff of three
  • Fundraising & Sustainability
    • Assure generation of funds to sustain and grow the organization (currently a $250k budget for 2014)
    • Supervise fundraising strategies for Foundations, Major Donors, and Grassroots Giving programs
    • Manage relationships with funders and prospective funders

  • Communications
    • Raise organizational profile and generate excitement about Ruckus's programmatic work through public speaking, writing, and other methods
    • Drive strategy for online & offline communications for the purposes of documenting and promoting our work, and growing our base of followers and supporters
  • Financial Management
    • Monitor and sustain the financial health of the organization with the Ruckus staff and Board
    • Manage budget development and tracking with Program, Administrative, and Bookkeeping staff
    • Oversee financial reporting and bring reports to Board and other stakeholders

In addition, the ED will play a co-equal role in staff-wide requirements:

  • Contribute to fundraising efforts by participating in strategic fundraising planning, meetings, events and activities;
  • Co-Plan Organizational Development, working with the team to help Ruckus continue to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our network and our mission, including regular staff meetings, and organizational planning and evaluation retreats;
  • Participate in Ruckus Events, including action camps, trainings, fundraisers and social functions;
  • Demonstrate leadership and solidarity in network development, engaging and growing the diverse spectrum of stakeholders and communities that Ruckus seeks to serve and empower.

In order to fulfill the stated responsibilities of the role, the ideal candidate will have the following skills and experience:

  • Passionate commitment to the principles of nonviolent struggle for social change;
  • Experience working successfully on a multi-racial team;
  • Commitment to the theories and concepts in Ruckus's Action Framework;
  • Experience in the world of nonviolent direct action for social and environmental justice;
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in the areas listed above under “Primary Duties & Responsibilities” (organizational leadership and vision, fundraising and sustainability, communications, financial management);
  • Charismatic leadership that inspires and engages, and respects collective decision-making;
  • Comfortable and skilled at public speaking, networking, and talking with funders and prospective supporters;
  • Understanding of online communications tactics, including email, social media, web publishing;
  • Detail-oriented, thorough; nothing slips by you;
  • Strong work ethic, highly self-motivated;
  • Flexibility in the job role, understanding the need to dynamically respond to evolving and Ruckus needs that are often driven by external events and opportunities;
  • Willing and able to travel;
  • Sensitivity and commitment to diversity;
  • Experience in campaigning and grassroots organizing, particularly in communities of color;
  • Sense of humor


Salary position, with benefits available after a 90-day probationary period that will end with an evaluation:

  • Salary commensurate with experience;
  • Excellent health benefits including medical, acupuncture/chiropractic, dental and vision coverage;
  • Generous vacation package.

Job Location

San Francisco Bay Area.

Note that while Ruckus has been Oakland-based for years, we have recently moved into an office in San Francisco.

To Apply

The Ruckus Society prioritizes the voices and visions of youth, women, people of color, indigenous people and immigrants, poor and working class people, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgendered people, people with disabilities, and other historically marginalized communities. Individuals from one or more of those communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

If interested, send your cover letter and resume immediately to with the subject line: “ED Application” and your first and last name (ie, Subject: "ED Application – Jane Doe").

In your cover letter, please address the following:

  • What draws you to leading Ruckus?
  • What relevant experience and skills do you have that align with our requirements?
  • Why do you think you would excel in this position?

Position open until filled.