Executive Director

Hendersonville, North Carolina  | 
Henderson County

United Way of Henderson County (UWHC) seeks an innovative and experienced Executive Director (ED) to organize and mobilize community resources to improve the lives of Henderson County residents. (Full details below or click here to download the job description and details.)

The Area

When people think of Henderson County, the word that comes to mind first is 'beautiful.' It is a culturally rich region that is both economically and geographically diverse. Its quality of life makes it highly attractive as a place where lifestyle complements professional opportunity. Whether it is outdoor recreation, restaurants, breweries, or a place to vacation or retire, the area continues to rank highly in people’s opinions.

Less well-known is that we face cross-cutting challenges including a significant affordable housing deficit and a cost of living that outpaces wages.

The Organization

United Way of Henderson County has been a catalyst for positive change in the community since 1953. Through the years, UWHC has grown to become a community leader, convening conversations on key issues, and raising funds to support education, financial stability, health, and basic needs programs. We are one of the approximately 1300 local, independent United Way organizations around the country. Each United Way is an autonomous nonprofit agency governed by a local board of directors.

We fight for the education, financial stability, health, and basic needs of everyone in Henderson County. Our community impact work is innovative and includes not only allocations to carefully selected nonprofit partners, but other initiatives that meet the needs of our neighbors. These programs include Girls Empowered, Rising Leaders, EveryDay Strong, Born Learning Trails, two annual community-wide volunteer events, several collection drives for food, clothing, books and other supplies, 2-1-1, Women United, Small Business League, Nonprofit Forum, and other initiatives. Including cash and the value of non-cash items, our total community impact investment for the next fiscal year is projected to be almost $1.9 million. This means that for every dollar contributed to UWHC, we provide 135% of value back to the community.

We are supported by hundreds of local businesses and individuals who appreciate the United Way model of a single point of giving that benefits multiple programs and agencies. United Way works hard to leverage all types of support - financial, in-kind, and volunteer - to ensure that our community receives the maximum benefit. More than 1,300 volunteers provided 6,400 volunteer hours during 2022-2023.

Our most recent annual report outlines our community impact in our six target areas: kindergarten readiness, school success, financial stability, affordable housing, reducing obesity, and encouraging healthy youth behaviors. Our 2023-28 strategic plan articulates our key goals and commitments.

UWHC is governed by a committed 20-member board of Directors, has 8 experienced and dedicated staff, and an annual budget of $1.5 million.

The Position

UWHC seeks a dynamic, innovative and experienced leader to bring the community together to focus on complex problems for the greatest possible impact and results. The ED is well prepared to provide the inspired external and internal leadership required of this role. The new ED must have proven, significant, and successful organizational leadership experience and the ability to oversee fundraising, programs, and overall operations while working effectively with both the staff and the board to guide the organization.

The ED must possess the talent to listen and communicate effectively and to build relationships with multiple constituencies, including the Board, staff, volunteers, donors, agency partners, and other community leaders. The ED is also responsible for building trust in United Way and its relevance in the community.

The incoming Executive Director will succeed Denise Cumbee Long who retires June 30th. She has led the organization effectively since 2015.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the overall impact of UWHC on the community.
  • Leads long range planning and visioning, including assessment of community needs in partnership with the Board of Directors and staff.
  • Serves as agency spokesperson. Oversees all marketing and public relations and advocacy efforts, acts as liaison with partner organizations, and nurtures and expands the organization’s key external relationships.
  • Leads organizational efforts to grow revenue and increase philanthropic support in partnership with the Board and Staff.
  • Manages budget development, financial forecasting, and mitigates financial risk in partnership with the Board of Directors and the Finance Director.
  • Manages operations, leads the staff team, and maintains the integrity of the organization.
  • Provides advice, counsel, and support to the Board of Directors, and helps maintain and leverage an engaged, powerful board.

The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and supervises Director of Finance, the Director of Community Development, and the Program Manager.

Priorities for the new Executive Director

The new leader will lead the organization in focusing on the following priorities within the
first 12-18 months of their tenure:

  • Gain an understanding of and embed themselves fully into the organization and the community – including the local nonprofit landscape
  • Grow organizational revenue – including innovate the organization’s funding model
  • Facilitate the organization’s upcoming process to revisit the community impact strategy focus areas

The strongest candidates will have these qualifications:

  • Commitment to and passion for the UWHC vision, mission, and values
  • Visionary nonprofit leader - five years of senior nonprofit management experience - including administration, staff supervision, strategic planning, evaluation, budgeting, and organizational development and innovation.
  • Successful fundraiser - Proven track record in growing and diversifying funding streams including both institutional, individual donors, and earned income.
  • Extraordinary relationship-builder across difference - Skill in developing deep and influential relationships with community leaders, board members, volunteers, donors, and other key stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Effective communicator – Strong leadership presence serving as spokesperson for an organization and a demonstrated ability to leverage organizational visibility and credibility through the media and other public relations sources. Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong finance skills – including budgeting, fiscal management, and analysis.
  • Effective teambuilder – Professional and personal style consistent with the supportive, open, collaborative team-oriented culture of UWHC. Experience creating and maintaining an effective organizational culture that attracts, motivates, and retains a diverse, talented staff. Experience employing an inclusive leadership style that builds community and fosters creativity among the staff.
  • High level of emotional intelligence – accurately perceive and express yourself, personal humility/servant leadership, integrity, empathy, active listener, develop and maintain social relationships, adapt to challenges, and use emotions in an effective way - and a sense of humor.

Additional desired skills and experiences:

  • Advanced degree in a relevant field - or other relevant business, public or nonprofit sector experience.
  • We prefer applicants with local knowledge but we also welcome transplants with civic leadership expertise who have experience with the challenges and opportunities that need addressing in Henderson County.
  • Prior United Way experience.
Salary and Benefits
  • Benefits:
    • 37.5 hour workweek
    • Paid Vacation: 20 days
    • Paid Holidays: 11 days
    • Paid Personal/sick leave: 10 days
    • Paid Health, dental, life, LTD, AD&D insurance – 100% for employee
    • SEP IRA Contribution – 6% of salary (after 1 year)
    • Fitness membership benefit: $250/yr
    • Paid Sabbatical Leave: 3 weeks additional PTO (every 5 years)