Worcester, MA

Executive Director, YWCA Central Massachusetts

The Organization

About the YWCA Central Massachusetts

The YWCA Central Massachusetts (YWCA) has been a valuable community resource in Worcester and Central Massachusetts, serving as a lifelong, positive force for women, girls, their families, and communities. Currently celebrating its 135th Anniversary, the YWCA is focused on a mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The YWCA has evolved to meet the current needs of women and is dedicated to removing barriers and reducing disparities for low-income women and women of color. The YWCA works to provide a safe place for women and children to learn and grow, empowering women to become self-reliant, provide for their families, and live happy, healthy, and productive lives. Within the region, the YWCA is a bold advocate for anti-racist and anti-sexist policy and programming.

Operating with a mission-driven staff of approximately 175 team members, the YWCA serves more than 13,000 individuals annually in communities across the Central Massachusetts region with a variety of programs, including:

·       Racial & Gender Equity: dismantling racism and promoting racial and gender equity through outreach, advocacy, and education

·       Empowerment & Economic Advancement: partnering with women toward economic self-sufficiency and developing future generations of female leaders

·       Wellness & Health Equity: providing high-quality health and wellness programs to underserved communities, serving over 2,000 community members

·       Domestic Violence: preventing violence against women, men, and children and promoting healthy relationships, with services to more than 800 individuals

·       Child Care: providing working families with warm, nurturing care for their children, offering programs for more than 400 children

The YWCA is in the late stages of the LIVE – Leading with Integrity & Vision for Equality – $7.5M capital campaign, which is supporting the current comprehensive, $24M renovation of its downtown Worcester building to provide a modern and welcoming facility that can meet the expanding needs of the community.

For more information on the YWCA Central Massachusetts, please visit https://ywcacm.org/.

Position Overview

The Executive Director Opportunity

To prepare for the retirement of a highly successful, long-time leader, the YWCA is announcing the search for a new Executive Director (ED) who can guide the organization into its next phase. The incoming ED will join the YWCA at an exciting moment in the organization’s history. Under the leadership of the outgoing ED, the YWCA has expanded its reach and impact in Worcester and Central Massachusetts and undertaken a major renovation project. The next ED will have the opportunity to help the organization build on this strong foundation and its reputation as a key leader and driving force for racial and gender equity in the surrounding community.

The ED will ensure that the YWCA continues to serve as a leader in advancing racial and gender equity and to deliver high-quality programming in response to the needs of the Central Massachusetts community. Reporting to the Board of Directors, and serving as the Executive Officer, the ED will act as the leading strategist, ambassador, and manager for the organization. Guided by a passion for the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, the ED will bring a creative vision for the organization’s continued evolution.  The ED will work closely with the dedicated Board of Directors to formulate and realize the goals set forth in the organization’s strategic plan and theory of change and to promote the Board’s mission of preparing women for leadership positions. Leading with a deep commitment to anti-racist and anti-sexist practices, the ideal executive will champion the YWCA across the region and build trusting, collaborative relationships with partners, donors, and community stakeholders. They will demonstrate a record of prior success as an organizational leader and manager, with strong skills in resource development and financial and staff management. They will possess the ability to set direction effectively and empower a team that brings a high level of leadership and expertise to their work. They will inspire staff, supporters, and community members around working together toward a shared vision, and they will align the relationships and resources needed to fulfill organizational goals.

The ED will hold the following areas of primary responsibility:

Organizational Strategy

·       Work with the Board of Directors and staff leadership to establish a future-oriented vision for the YWCA, build a strategic plan and theory of change, and manage the performance of the organization toward realizing its goals and objectives.

·       Report on progress toward organizational goals to the Board of Directors.


Partnership with the Board of Directors

·       Provide guidance and information that will allow the Board of Directors to formulate, adopt, and monitor plans, policies, and programs and oversee Senior Staff in implementation.

·       Work in close collaboration with the President of the Board of Directors to ensure a diverse and mission-aligned membership, including support for the successful nomination, onboarding, and development of Board Members and Corporators who are committed to the needs and concerns of women.

·       Serve as liaison to designated standing committees.

·       Promote participation in regional and national YWCA events.

Development, Partnerships, and Public Relations

·       Uphold and expand the YWCA’s reputation as a leader in the region by ensuring a high level of visibility and representing the organization with donors, funders, government agencies, partners, planning agencies, and community members, organizations, and stakeholders.

·       Develop fundraising strategies and oversee a strong fund development program, including the Annual Fund, Capital Campaign, and government funding that accounts for at least 50% of organizational revenue. Take a leadership role in cultivating and stewarding donor relationships.

·       Collaborate with funders and community partners on racial justice and gender equity initiatives that are consistent with the YWCA’s mission and be responsive to community needs.

·       Guide the YWCA’s overall partnerships strategy, personally building and maintaining external relationships with community constituents and supporting staff in doing the same. Key constituent groups will include municipal and state government agencies and officials, local and regional community members, social services agencies, schools, and the business community.


Staff Leadership

·       Inspire and guide a strong Senior Staff team, with responsibility for hiring, supervision, and development. This will be done with an orientation toward empowering staff as leaders.

·       Manage and support Senior Staff to ensure high-quality service delivery in all programs and departments. Teams will continue to be mission-aligned and highly self-motivated.

·       Ensure a positive organizational culture that reflects the YWCA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and respect for all team members and constituents.


Program Management

·       Manage the Associate Executive Director, Mission, Program and Community Impact, providing leadership on program development, implementation with fidelity to the YWCA’s mission and values, and opportunities for program innovation.

·       Oversee and support the Associate Executive Director, Mission, Program and Community Impact in presenting program information to the Board of Directors and Senior Staff, ensuring clear understanding of the organization’s program strategy, offerings, and performance.

·       Manage Senior Staff to ensure excellence in program implementation and compliance and adherence to relevant policies and regulations.

·       Maintain relationships with current and prospective client and partner organizations.


Financial, Administrative, and Facilities Management

·       Manage the Associate Executive Director, Finance and Administration, and work closely with this leader to manage fiscal performance, ensure financial controls, and report accurate and comprehensive statements of the YWCA’s financial position.

·       Oversee and support the Associate Executive Director, Finance and Administration in presenting budget and financial information to the Board of Directors and Senior Staff, ensuring full understanding of the organization’s financial status and needs.

·       Maintain relationships with the YWCA’s auditors, grantors, and insurers.

·       Work with the Board of Directors to meet the fiduciary and legal responsibilities and advise on as affiliation requirements of the YWCA USA.

·       Ensure compliance and adherence to policies (examples include fiscal policies, personnel policies, EEO regulations, affirmative action plan, OSHA and safety regulations).

·       Oversee the use, management, security, and maintenance of YWCA facilities and equipment, including resource allocation for capital improvements and replacements.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate for this role will be a strategic and visionary leader who is a skilled organizational manager and a relationship-oriented community builder, fundraiser, and advocate. The ideal executive will have the ability to inspire a wide range of YWCA stakeholders in support of an inclusive vision for empowering women and ending racism.

While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Connection to the YWCA’s Mission and Values

·       The incoming ED will embrace and embody the values and mission of the YWCA. They will demonstrate a bold and principled commitment to eliminating racism and empowering women, a personal history of incorporating values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into their leadership, and knowledge of anti-racist, anti-sexist, and social justice strategies.

·       They will demonstrate a deep commitment to building long-term community relationships and draw on experience serving as an inclusive leader within multi-cultural settings. The ideal ED will bring strong listening and collaboration skills, a warm, approachable style, and an ability to engender immediate trust in their relationships. They will be guided by a deep level of respect for others in working with constituents from all walks of life.

Engaging and Strategic Fundraiser and Advocate

·       The ED will step into this role with successful fundraising experience that includes activating government as well as philanthropic funders. They will continue to build the YWCA’s brand and visibility as the foremost ambassador for the organization engaging the community as an outgoing spokesperson and prolific networker in the region.

·       The ED will possess an understanding of policy and advocacy efforts aligned with the YWCA’s mission and be able to effectively position and represent the agency at the local, regional, and state level with government officials and policy and advocacy partners.

Strong Organizational Leader with Financial and Business Acumen

·       The ED will have a track record of success in nonprofit, public sector, and/or business leadership roles, demonstrating the ability to set a strategic vision and achieve ambitious goals. They will be a creative risk-taker, with the ability to identify opportunities to innovate and to expand an organization’s impact, while also taking into account pragmatic considerations. As a leader, they will demonstrate the ability to energize and equip a team to fulfill a shared vision.

·       The ED will demonstrate a good working knowledge of nonprofit financial management and demonstrate sound decision-making skills, as well as creativity and resourcefulness, in order to drive the organization’s financial growth and sustainability.

·       The ED will bring significant experience in leading complex organizations, demonstrating readiness to oversee the operations of a multi-million-dollar, multi-site organization and supervise direct reports across programs, resource development, finance, human resources, and facilities. They will possess a strong understanding of nonprofit operations and ideally have experience in working well with an engaged governing board.

·       The ED will offer exceptional staff management and team-building skills, with the ability to attract, inspire, and retain a strong staff, establish clear priorities, and empower their team members as leaders through an inclusive and respectful approach. Prior experience in leading organizational culture change efforts will be considered highly beneficial.

An MBA, MPA, or similar credential is considered highly beneficial.

How To Apply


The YWCA Central Massachusetts has engaged Koya Partners to help with this hire. Maureen Alphonse-Charles and Kirstin Griffiths are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit https://talent-profile.koyapartners.com/search/4178. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The YWCA Central Massachusetts is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

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