Executive Director

Denver Audubon

Position Description 

Job Title: Executive Director

Full-Time/Exempt: 40 hours/week

Work Environment: Hybrid

Reports To: Board of Directors

Denver Audubon is currently seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization to significant growth in programs, participants, and revenue.  The position is based in the Denver metropolitan area.

About Denver Audubon

Our Mission: Inspiring actions that protect birds, other wildlife and their habitats through education, conservation, and research.

Our Vision: To transform Denver into the most bird-friendly city in the United States

Founded in 1969, Denver Audubon is an independent chapter of the National Audubon Society. We are a conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire actions that protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through education, conservation, and research. We connect people to nature in our metro Denver community. Denver Audubon conducts formal and informal programs in schools, local parks, libraries, and in partnership with other organizations. We also offer field trips and adult education programs such as Beginning Birdwatching, Audubon Master Birder, and Community Naturalist Training. Our Conservation Committee works with the Colorado Legislature and other environmental organizations on key issues affecting birds, other wildlife, and habitats.

Denver Audubon offers a wide range of education programs focusing on bird identification, habitat and ecology, conservation, and the importance of advocacy, frequently in cooperation with other like-minded organizations in the metro area.  Other programs offered include bird banding in partnership with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Children’s Hospital bird watching sessions, an annual HOOTenanny (a family and friends’ event that is all about owls), native plant gardening, and the Colorado Bluebird Project.

Most of Denver Audubon’s programs are held at the Kingery Nature Center, a two-building complex located at Chatfield State Park. This complex was named for Hugh and Urling Kingery, who were instrumental in founding and building Denver Audubon.  The Center is currently used Spring through Fall for educational programs with a desire to make it available in winter and more frequently open to the public.

The Lois Webster Fund is Denver Audubon’s research arm, a self-sustaining program that provides research grants for non-game Colorado wildlife and education projects.  Lois Webster was another founder of Denver Audubon.  The fund has been operating since 1995 and has awarded 63 grants totaling over $143,000.  Grants are supported by annual contributions and an endowment of ~$160,000.

Denver Audubon’s current annual budget is approximately $500,000 with the bulk of expenses allocated to staff salaries and expenses. The organization is supported by annual contributions and an endowment of ~$1M.

Position Summary

The Executive Director (ED) for Denver Audubon will be directly responsible for leading the strategic, operational, financial, and legal affairs of the organization. In partnership with the Board of Directors, the ED will provide strategic leadership and will work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to build and implement a shared vision for Denver Audubon’s future. The ED will ensure the coordination of all programs and activities to maximize their effectiveness. The ED will possess a collaborative style that respects staff and encourages them to develop and flourish.  The ED will share Denver Audubon’s commitment to grow and diversify its membership and staff while expanding programming to reach throughout the Denver metropolitan area.


Essential Functions

The essential functions listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed; the omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to be completed by the position.

Leadership and Management

  • In partnership with the Board of Directors, create short- and long-term strategic plans in support of Denver Audubon’s work and mission.
  • Lead staff in implementing and executing Denver Audubon’s strategic plans, while developing and reporting metrics to track progress.
  • Develop and improve organizational infrastructure including processes, systems, and policies to maximize efficiency and support future growth.
  • Provide vision and oversight to program growth and expansion including conducting external needs assessments and internal reviews of program effectiveness.
  • Work with staff and constituents, and coordinate with other organizations, on environmental advocacy.
  • Develop a staffing plan (currently the ED and six staff members) that can evolve with Denver Audubon’s anticipated growth.
  • Work with staff members on individual goals and career growth.

Finance and Operations

  • Work with the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee to develop, approve, and manage annual revenue and expense budgets.
  • Provide transparent fiscal stewardship of Denver Audubon, ensuring financial accountability.  This includes working with Denver Audubon’s external auditor.
  • Manage human resource administration such as staffing, compliance, risk management, performance management and training and development.



  • Create and implement fundraising plans in collaboration with internal staff and the Board of Directors to ensure the short-term and long-term financial health of Denver Audubon.  This will include an annual budget to meet staff and program growth as well as capital budget planning to meet facilities needs.  This is also a short-term goal to meet anticipated needs for capital and expense funds.
  • Work closely with internal staff to ensure all fundraising, revenue, and expense goals are met or exceeded.
  • Lead efforts to diversify revenue sources such as increasing individual, foundation, and corporate giving, grants, special events and earned income.
  • Manage and steward key relationships with individual, institutional, and corporate donors.
  • Prepare and submit an annual SCFD funding grant.


Programs and Community Building

  • Serve as the ambassador and spokesperson for the organization’s mission to its members, Board of Directors, individual donors, corporate donors, volunteers, as well as to partners, community leaders, granting agencies, governmental agencies, legislators, and the public in general, building strong and mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Work to identify and engage new individuals, groups and communities in Denver Audubon’s work and programs.
  • Attend community events and cultivate speaking opportunities to deepen local networks, engage donors and expand Denver Audubon metropolitan-wide presence.

Some Short-term Goals

  • Reinvigorate Denver Audubon’s volunteer program through the addition of a new Volunteer Coordinator position, implementing a change in volunteer software (in progress already), creating simple yet effective systems for recruiting, training, and deploying volunteers on meaningful assignments.
  • The lease for Denver Audubon’s current office location on the North end of Chatfield State Park ends in June 2024.  The ED must continue work to establish staff offices at Denver Water Kassler Center, Kingery Nature Center, or other office locations.
  • Re-implement the intermediate bird watching program, Birding Insights. This program fit between the Beginning Birding and Master Birder program and was lost with staff transitions.
  • Establish positive collaborations with the Denver Field Ornithologists, Colorado Field Ornithologists, Audubon of the Rockies, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, the Denver Botanical Gardens, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and other like-minded organizations.


Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.  Essential and marginal job duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Qualifications and Experience Required


  • Proven track record in developing and executing strategies that resulted in organizational and financial growth.
  • Strategic Planning: Ability to develop and implement a strategic plan with a vision for the future of the organization and translate the strategic plan into tangible action.
  • Fundraising and Development: A history of successful fundraising, including individual donor cultivation, membership drives, and grant acquisition.
  • Financial Acumen: Prior experience planning and managing finances, operational budgets, and reporting.
  • Strong Leadership Skills: Proven experience in a leadership role, preferably in a non-profit organization, with the ability to inspire and lead a team of staff and volunteers.
  • Volunteer Management: Experience in recruiting, training, and managing volunteers. Experience working with a board of directors, and the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with board members.
  • Community Engagement: Strong community engagement skills with experience in public speaking, networking, building partnerships and collaborating with local stakeholders, government agencies, and other organizations; ability to connect with many different audiences and community partners.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent written and verbal communication skills, as the role involves public speaking, writing grant proposals, and communicating the chapter’s mission to the public.
  • Technology Skills: Proficiency in office software and a willingness to adopt and leverage digital tools for chapter operations and communication.
  • Inclusivity and Diversity: A commitment to promoting inclusivity, diversity, and equity in all aspects of the chapter’s work.
  • Passion for Conservation: A deep passion for and commitment to environmental conservation, bird protection, and the mission of Denver Audubon.
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in a senior-level leadership position at a non-profit organization including financial management, fundraising, and grant proposals.
  • Education and Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is required, and a master’s degree in a related area may be preferred.

Must be able and willing to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, early mornings, and weekends as needed (mainly for special events and programs). Must be willing to travel locally as the job requires.

Denver Audubon is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity. We prohibit unlawful discrimination against applicants based on age 40 and over, race (including traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and length, protective hairstyles), sex, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or any other status protected by applicable state or local law.

Compensation and Benefits

The annual salary for this position is $80,000-$100,000 depending upon experience.

Monthly accrued paid Vacation and Paid Sick Leave. 9 paid holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, 403(b) IRA or Roth IRA with employer match, flexible schedule, hybrid location with some office time and some remote time.

How to Apply

Submit resume and letter of introduction via e-mail with subject line “Application for Denver Audubon Executive Director Position” to the President of the Board, Curt Frankenfeld at curtfrankenfeld@earthlink.net

To apply for this job email your details to curtfrankenfeld@earthlink.net

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