Promoted content

Executive Director

Exploring new horizon school job post
(Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools / Kevin Dunlap)

About Us:
Exploring New Horizons (ENH) engages school groups in residential outdoor education programs that empower students, build environmental literacy, and strengthen school communities. Founded as a nonprofit in 1979, ENH partners with over 100 greater SF & Monterey Bay Area schools and we have served more than 215,000 students. Each year between September and June, over 7,000 3rd-8th grade students (mostly 5th/6th) participate in our programs at our Pigeon Point and Sempervirens sites near Santa Cruz, CA. The Sempervirens program consists of 4- and 5-day residential programs for 160-220 5th and 6th grade students and their classroom teacher, utilizing either volunteer high school or parent cabin leaders. The Pigeon Point program consists of 3-day residential programs for up to 40 3rd through 8th grade students and their classroom teacher, utilizing volunteer parent chaperones.

Position: Exploring New Horizons Executive Director

Status: Exempt, Year-Round, Full Time

Location: Santa Cruz Area

Supervisor: Exploring New Horizons Board of Directors

Compensation & Benefits:

  • $95,000 - $110,000
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • A 403b retirement plan
  • Two weeks vacation for the first year, increasing 1 week per year to a maximum of 5 weeks
  • Fourteen holiday days

Start Date: June 5, 2023

Position Overview:
ENH is looking for an Executive Director (ED) with demonstrated success in outdoor education and nonprofit management. This individual will be responsible for overseeing programs operating at both ENH sites, managing the nonprofit and budget, leading fund development, and cultivating positive staff culture. The ED is the chief executive and decision maker for ENH and reports to an engaged Board of Directors. Candidates must have experience managing a team, developing and maintaining annual budgets, and writing and managing grants. The candidate must have high levels of organizational skills, displaying advanced planning and creativity in addressing problems. Candidates must display strong communication skills, including an ability to speak and write effectively for a wide range of audiences. They must create a safe and trusting environment which allows the Board, staff, school communities, and partnering organizations to collaborate.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Finance: Work with the Finance & Administration Director (FD) to create annual budgets for board approval.
  • Set and track revenue & expense goals for all of ENH Assist with facility, school/district, & employee contracts and negotiations.
  • Support the FD with contract & invoice tracking and completion.
  • Plan both short- and long-term strategic financial success for the organization.

Leadership & Program Delivery:

  • Effectively manage the leadership team (Finance & Administration Director, 2 Program Directors) to ensure high-quality program delivery & staff and volunteer performance ensure feedback from participating schools is used for continuous improvement build school schedule, maintaining clients and filling vacancies as they occur.
  • Support Program Directors with program operations & managing team of 20+ educational staff as needed.
  • Work closely with the board and its committees to ensure effective board governance develop and implement the ENH 2025 strategic plan & implementation of new growth initiatives.
  • Oversee the implementation of major program changes with program directors.
  • Be on call M-F to support Administrative Program Staff & work with Program Directors to ensure they have one night off a week.
  • Ensure organizational legal compliance with California state and federal laws, the American Camp Associations’ guidelines, health department codes and internal policies set by the board.
  • Network with school and district leadership to form deeper partnerships
  • Fundraising and Engagement: Provide leadership and direction for the organization’s ongoing financial sustainability.
  • Develop annual fundraising plan and goals and oversee implementation
  • Provide support and leadership for special projects, events or fundraisers as needed.
  • Establish and cultivate collaborative and strategic partnerships with other non-profit organizations, state and local government agencies, and community leaders.
  • Cultivate relationships with potential donors, foundations, and other funders
  • Prospect funders, write and manage grants, reports & deliverables.
  • Occasionally participate in and lead staff in-services and trainings.
  • Keep ENH website up to date including social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Other Duties:

  • Manage leadership team rehire processes if vacancies occur.
  • Actively seek out, recruit, and welcome new board members Support staff and sites with IT as needed.
  • This position requires travel to program sites in the Santa Cruz areas 1+ days a week with options to work remotely or at NextSpace in downtown Santa Cruz the rest of the week.


  • Minimum of 2 year non-profit and budget management as well as 2 years outdoor education experience.
  • Demonstrated success leading large teams (12+) and building strong culture
  • Passion for the impact of outdoor, science-based education.
  • Ability to work outdoors in a wide variety of weather conditions & lift/carry up to 30 pounds.
  • Maintain a valid driver’s license and have a reliable automobile.
  • Ability to pass background screening: Individual will be required to pass criminal background check, personal financial score will be checked and drivers record.
  • Experience developing strategic partnerships to further growth
  • Demonstrated experience in successful financial management (budget of +$1 million).
  • Demonstrated experience building a fundraising program, including donor engagement and grant writing.
  • Knowledge of modern residential program protocols, best practices, and facility partnerships.
  • Familiarity with the landscape of environmental education in California: Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, AEOE, NAAEE, BEETLES, NGSS, Common Core, etc.
  • Familiarity and comfort working with Google docs, Excel, WordPress.

How to Apply:
Please email your cover letter and resume to, and include “ED application” and “your last name” in the subject line.

Applications accepted until March 15 and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis until the position is filled. For more information please visit our website

ENH encourages applicants of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, experiences, abilities and perspectives to apply as we are actively working to increase the diversity of experience on our team. No one comes with the entire complement of skills, so don’t let a lack of experience or skill in one specific area deter you from applying.

Exploring New Horizons Outdoor Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age in any of its policies, procedures or practices.