Executive Director, Donate Life Northwest

Portland, OR

POSITION TITLE:  Executive Director        

REPORTS TO:  Board of Directors              

SALARY:  $100,000-$110,000/year plus benefits 

Who we are:

Nationally recognized for groundbreaking innovation and some of the highest donor registration rates in the country, Donate Life Northwest has been improving health and saving lives in Oregon and SW Washington through the promotion of organ, eye, and tissue donation since 1975. With a budget of one million, a staff of nine, and hundreds of active volunteers, our vibrant Donate Life Northwest community includes: donor families carrying loved ones’ legacies; living donors sharing the joy of giving; those waiting with hope for transplant; grateful recipients paying it forward; organ, eye, and tissue banks, transplant centers, and other organization partners; and more than 2.8 million registered donors. We take pride in these tremendous successes but work with a sense of urgency to accelerate programs and bring hope to thousands in need of transplant who face a shortage of donors.

Work-life balance and mutual support are essential to maintaining the energy and focus needed for our dynamic work. Volunteers and staff are valued for individual strengths in our community-building organization, and we share a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion and health equity. That commitment guides our work to overcome barriers to donation, and honors the powerful ways that gifts of life, sight and health can connect communities and transcend divisions of race, faith, ethnicity, language, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability.

What we Need:

Donate Life NW is hiring an Executive Director who fully embraces our mission, vision, and values.  They must be compassionate and strategic.  The Executive Director works collaboratively with the Board of Directors, donation agency partners, staff, and community volunteers to advance the mission.  The Executive Director will quickly develop a solid understanding of the organ, eye and tissue donation process and become an advocate at the state and national level.  As a strong nonprofit leader, the ED will assess program efficiency, collaborate in the building of programs, engage with the community and fundraising, and stay current in the dynamic environment of donation and transplant.

Success Measures for the Executive Director:

  1. Become an expert in organ, eye, and tissue donation processes, especially as it relates to the importance of the public becoming registered donors.  
  2. Build and maintain strong understanding of the issues affecting donation both locally and nationally.
  3. Build and maintain an engaged and dynamic board of directors.
  4. Build a shared vision with the board and staff that inspires us today and for the future.
  5. Stay up to date on emerging best practices in public education/promotion of organ, eye and tissue donation and incorporate effective new programs.
  6. Engage in sustainable revenue growth with staff, community, and partner agencies.

Key Responsibilities:

I.             Board Engagement and Organizational Leadership

  • Ensure all programs, services, strategic plans, and outreach align with the mission and values of the organization.
  • Actively engage in board training, recruitment, and communication with the Board Chair.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Engage the Board in meaningful volunteer and outreach activities.
  • Lead Board engagement with DEI strategies in alignment with the mission.

II.           Organization Oversight

  • Develop annual workplans and staff and program evaluation strategies throughout the organization.
  • Oversee the hiring, training, supervision, and evaluation of staff.
  • Monitor adherence with agency financial policies and procedures and support the completion of an annual independent audit.
  • Actively develop relationships with philanthropic donors and member programs.
  • Develop meaningful and long-term relationships with community partners and volunteers.
  • Work collaboratively with staff and board to further embed diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism within Donate Life NW’s policies, practices, programs, and initiatives.

III.          Community Engagement

  • Serve as the principal voice and face of the organization to supporters, the media, and the general public.
  • Serve as the lead advocate for Donate Life Northwest with public officials, some of which include legislators and DMV staff.
  • Represent Donate Life Northwest programs with knowledge and respect.
  • Represent Donate Life Northwest in community-centered fundraising.
  • Build relationships with and engage with a variety of diverse communities.
  • Work to develop strategic and operational partnerships with other donor organizations both locally and nationally.


  • 3+ years of experience working in a leadership capacity with a nonprofit organization or equivalent work environment.
  • 3+ years of experience in direct staff and program management.
  • Understanding of government regulations and federal/state funding.
  • Proven track record in successful fundraising including individual and corporate donors.
  • Direct experience with budgeting, financial reporting, and contracts.
  • Demonstrated experience implementing strategic plans, organizational development and change.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to engage with our community with compassion and empathy.
  • Demonstrated ability to represent and enhance organizational values of collaboration, integrity, and innovation.

Preferred Skills:

  • Managing to a Volunteer Board
  • Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation Connection
  • Public Education Experience
  • Legislative Advocacy Experience

Application Deadline:  December 17, 2021.