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Executive Director, Community Impact

University Life

Executive Director, Community Impact

  • 533383
  • Morningside
  • University Life
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Jan 20 2023
  • Grade 15
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: $120,000 - $135,000
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Position Summary

The Executive Director of Community Impact (CI) is appointed by the CI Board of Directors in collaboration with University Life, Columbia University (CU), serves as the chief executive officer of the corporation, with responsibility for the general management of the affairs of the corporation, and carries out the resolutions of the Board of Directors. The Executive Director has a joint reporting structure, and reports to the CU Vice President for Student Affairs and the CI Board of Directors, as described below.  The Executive Director serves as a member of the Vice President for Student Affairs' leadership team, within University Life, Columbia University.

Serving upper Manhattan communities surrounding the University, including Morningside Heights, Harlem, and Washington Heights, Community Impact is a public charity as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Community Impact is a key institution at Columbia University that strives to advance the public good and instills the importance of life-long service by providing quality community service programs for Columbia students, staff, and faculty to engage in. The Executive Director of Community Impact is responsible for all areas within the scope of Community Impact, including overseeing organizational and program development, risk management, site development, fiscal operations, supervision and professional development, delivery of services, and fundraising for and managing the budget, including income, grants, contracts, and gifts. The Executive Director oversees a staff that is comprised of 12 University employees and 20 student workers, and over 900 student and community volunteers. 

The Executive Director serves as a campus and community resource for public service, community partnerships and civic engagement and uses their expertise to develop and carry out Community Impact’s vision for the growth and development of all students and to meaningfully address the needs of diverse communities, both locally and nationally.  In addition, the Executive Director serves as a campus liaison with local community partners, including elected officials, government agencies, community-based organizations, and funders.

Community Impact is part of University Life, which is a central division at the University focused on enhancing the student experience across Columbia’s 17 schools and colleges. University Life programs and initiatives are informed by three core values: inclusion & belonging, student well-being and sexual respect. The University Life division consists of four departments: Student Life, Student Conduct and Community Standards, Religious Life and Community Impact.


A. Program Management                                         

  • Oversee the daily operations and execution of the organization, currently consisting of more than 20 service programs, which are managed primarily by students and staffed by over 900 student volunteers (including a food pantry, a soup kitchen, companionship mentoring, and educational programs, etc.)
  • Prepare short-term and long-term plans for key wide-ranging priorities of CI, setting specific, measurable goals and objectives to which the Executive Director is then accountable. 
  • Lead any organizational change initiatives, including organizational alignment, identity, community needs and asset assessment, competency identification, programmatic alignment, customer service evaluation, and quality improvement.
  • Oversee assessment and evaluation of the organization’s programs and services, conduct gap analysis and corresponding plans for developing new programs.
  • Acquire intricate, systematic data that evaluates the performance of programs for students and program participants and link this information to the overall vision of Community Impact.

B. Fiscal & Fundraising Management

  • Manage a complex, annual operating budget of $1,900.000.00, consisting of funds from various public and private sources with multiple conditions and reporting requirements.
  • Independently develop and execute long- and short-term fundraising plans for existing programs and for new initiatives. Create fund development strategies for city and school district contracts, foundation and corporation grants, campus funding and initiatives, government grants and contracts (federal, state, and city), work-study funds, in-kind donations, alumni donations, and individual gifts.
  • Determine overall budget priorities for Community Impact.  Analyze and forecast both short- and long-term financial strategies.  Identify cost-saving mechanisms and develop strategies to fund or avert cost increases.
  • Exercise superior judgment to ensure that the organization’s needs and donors’ interests are met to the highest possible degree while balancing competing expectations and priorities between them.
  • Supervise the research of potential funding sources for Community Impact as well as the design of programs created in response to such research or by donor request. 
  • Oversee all donor cultivation, including annual mailings, events, social media, endowment circles, individual meetings, and manage information gathered for reporting purposes in partnership with appropriate University departments.     

C. Community Outreach Partnership Management and Campus Representation  

  • Provide expert advice, consultation and guidance to faculty, administrators, staff, students and the community in the areas of campus-community partnerships, service-learning, volunteerism, civic engagement, and campus-community partnerships.
  • Serve on significant campus and community committees that promote policies, design programs and set priorities that affect campus-community partnerships and civic engagement initiatives that affect students.   
  • Manage collaborative partnerships with Columbia schools and campus departments to create and sustain opportunities for students based on areas of need. 
  • Manage collaborative partnerships with community-based organizations, governmental agencies, businesses, and funders to create and sustain programming.
  • Assist with development and  implementation of new student-led initiatives approved by the CI Student Executives and Board of Directors
  • Develop strategies and initiatives to publicize and recognize campus efforts to serve the public interest, including directing, along with campus partners, ceremonies recognizing student, student organization, faculty and staff contributions to the community.                                                          

D. Administrative Department Management and Supervision                                             

  • Manage and have oversight of 12 University employees. Together with University Life Human Resources, make decisions on performance, salary actions, hiring decisions and other human resources-related issues of managed staff.
  • Establish staffing plans and oversee all hiring for Community Impact.
  • Design component trainings and monitor the creation of employee career development plans for professional staff and student staff keeping in mind the diverse and broad needs of both new and highly experienced staff. 
  • Serve on the Leadership team for the Executive Vice President for University Life and Vice President for Student Affairs.
  • Report to a corporate board of religious, corporate, foundation, community members, academic leaders, and students (and, as Director, serve as staff of that board) with at least four Board meetings a year and numerous committee meetings.
  • Perform regular check-ins with Board Co-Chairs.
  • Prepare information and reports for the Board of Directors as required

E. Professional Development and Projects as Assigned                                               

  • Keep abreast of current literature and developments in the field of community service, service learning, and Student Affairs and engage with related professional organizations.
  • Attend pertinent conferences and conventions and present information when requested for shared development.
  • Participate on department and campus committees, programs, and projects as requested.
  • Participate in research relevant to student development, service learning and student affairs.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of seven years’ experience in nonprofit management
  • Ability in problem identification, reasoning, ability to develop original ideas to solve problems, persuasion, leadership, and intercultural competence.
  • Advanced knowledge of and experience with: service-learning theory and practice, volunteer management models and best practices, and civic engagement theory.
  • Excellent political acumen demonstrated by the ability to successfully navigate complex networks of relationships and to work with a high level of cultural competence and sensitivity to achieve departmental, division-wide, campus and community goals.
  • Strong program management skills, including strategic planning, risk management, and program and system evaluation skills.
  • Budget management skills, including department-wide, program and grant-specific budget development; financial analysis and tracking; and the development of financial reports for a variety of constituencies.
  • Fundraising skills, including grant proposal writing, donor cultivation and solicitation, alumni relations, initiative development, contract development, events, and in-kind donation solicitation.
  • Outstanding communication and public speaking skills demonstrated by the ability to interact comfortably with a wide range of diverse people, including professional staff, students, faculty, community partners, elected officials, donors, foundations, and media. 
  • Excellent organizational skills including the ability to oversee a wide variety of activities, define problems, propose and implement effective solutions and prioritize competing priorities.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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