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Executive Director


North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) was launched in 2013 with the vision that each North Carolina child should have a strong foundation for life-long health, education and well-being supported by a comprehensive and equitable prenatal through third grade ecosystem. To realize this ambitious goal, we work to marshal North Carolina’s great people, ideas, and achievements to ensure access to opportunity and success for every child. Our mission is to create a comprehensive, equitable, aligned system for children in North Carolina that allows all children to thrive while narrowing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities in health, developmental, and educational outcomes.

NCECF provides a virtual work environment, based in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. Frequent in-person meetings with partners in the Triangle and across the state are required and the Executive Director can live anywhere in the state.

Our work is guided by our explicit and intentional commitment to racial equity.

NCECF has just celebrated its tenth anniversary and completed a strategic plan to guide us into our second decade of work. We are currently seeking our next Executive Director to lead this exciting and impactful effort. Over the past 10 years we have built a strong foundation and developed excellent relationships with a diverse group of p a r t n e r s around the state, and NCECF is on solid financial ground. Our next leader will inherit a legacy of success. They'll build upon it by upholding our collaborative spirit, championing systemic change and equity, securing the robust resources we need to thrive, and injecting fresh knowledge and creativity into our next chapter.

We hope that might be you!

Job description:



The Executive Director will be tasked with continuing to evolve our strategic direction and vision while embracing our established role as a convener working across systems, disciplines, geographic regions, and the political spectrum. Their leadership will accelerate collaboration toward a common agenda and shared course of action in support of improving outcomes for young children and their families.
This will include:
  • Advancing racial equity in all aspects of our work and organization;
  • Embracing a culture of collaboration inside and outside the organization;
  • Partnering with a broad coalition of organizations, funders, policy makers, and NCECF board members; 
  • Identifying gaps in systems and leveraging our strengths and those of our partners to prioritize and address those opportunities; 
  • Promoting our work around the state through s e e k i n g a n d a c c e p t i n g speaking engagements, facilitating state-level conversations, and gathering community input;
  • ​Serving as a thought partner to staff and external partners while engaging others to participate in working toward our vision;
  • Providing leadership in developing program, organizational, and financial plans;
  • Developing and supporting an engaged Board of Directors; 
  • Keeping abreast of and seeking opportunities to capitalize upon field developments and trends.

Our primary revenue comes from grants and sponsorships. The Executive Director leads the primary fundraising efforts for NCECF, including:
  • ​In collaboration with the Board, raising the organization’s annual budget;
  • Maintaining and developing relationships with funders aligned with our work;
  • Reviewing, refreshing, and implementing the current fundraising model with an eye to sustainability;
  • Strategically expanding our network of funders; 
  • Facilitating grant writing and grant reporting activities.

Relationship Building

The Executive Director’s role requires a focus on intentional relationship building to include: 
  • Identifying and developing a broad array of strategic partners; 
  • Continuing current and building new collaborative working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups, the business community, and other nonprofit organizations; ​
  • Using external outreach and relationships to garner new opportunities; 
  • Involving a broad and diverse range of people in supporting early childhood development; 
  • Relating authentically to all people in the ecosystem.
Organization Management

The Executive Director is responsible for organizational excellence, including building and supporting a team of four to six employees and several contractors who help support the team. In addition, they will: 
  • Oversee the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel and ensure that sound, equitable human resource practices are in place; 
  • Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff; 
  • Work with the Finance & Operational Manager to develop and maintain sound financial practices and o p e r a t e within budget guidelines; 
  • Ensure that adequate funds are available to carry out our work.


The Executive Director provides a strategic, big- picture perspective in leading our programs by: 
  • Staying up to date on current and future trends and issues, including credible research from national sources, and incorporating this knowledge into the work; 
  • Promoting equity by ensuring the disaggregating of data to facilitate equity-informed decision making; and 
  • Providing oversight of strategic development and implementation of programs.

This Executive Director position requires an effective communicator, with strong writing, editing, and media skills. Responsibilities include: 
  • Disseminating information to the community on strategic initiatives and developments in the field;
  • Leading a rebrand that will enhance and elevate NCECF’s strong brand and presence through the use of external relations, NCECF’s website, and different forms of media, including social media; 
  • Ensuring that all stakeholders, including funders and the board, are kept fully informed on the activities of the organization.
  • Direct experience and knowledge of North Carolina’s Early Childhood systems and political landscape
  • Experience operationalizing equity and developing infrastructure to monitor EDI efforts in processes, programs, and policies
  • A track record of successful fundraising through grants
  • Collaborative, proactive, creative, flexible, and strategic leadership skills
  • Experience leading and managing a small team in a virtual environment
  • Strong knowledge of systems-change theory and results-based accountability 
  • Proven success in building, maintaining, and managing long-term relationships with colleagues, consultants, partners, and funders 
  • Excellent business writing and grant writing skills
  • Ability to communicate confidently and effectively on complex issues 
  • Ability to travel around the state

Nonprofit executive level experience and experience in initiatives focused on a public policy solution is preferred. A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Public Administration or Public Policy, or related field from an accredited college or university is a plus.


NCECF understands diversity strengthens organizational decision making. We strongly encourage members of traditionally under-represented communities to apply, including people of color, LGBTQIA-identified people, gender-nonconforming people, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and people who speak a language in addition to English. The salary range is $130,000 to $140,000 and we offer a generous benefits package.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to The confidentiality of all applicants will be honored.

Applications will be considered as they are received and accepted until the position is filled. You are encouraged to apply promptly and by January 31, 2024.
Raleigh, North Carolina
$130,000 to $140,000

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