Now Hiring – Executive Director, Play Rugby USA

Play Rugby USA seeks an experienced Executive Director to lead the organization into its next phase of development and stability, taking the reins from the organization’s founder. This is a fantastic opportunity for a seasoned and driven professional who enjoys a dynamic non-profit environment, is motivated by ambitious fundraising goals, and is passionate and committed to leveraging the sport of rugby as a positive learning environment.

The Organization
Founded in 2003, Play Rugby USA uses the unique power of rugby to empower and inspire youth, primarily from underserved communities, to go forward and realize their true potential. Play Rugby’s vision is to create a better world through rugby. Historically, Play Rugby USA has operated programs in New York City, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco/Bay Area. The scope of this Executive Director role will focus solely on New York City with the goal of increasing the capacity of its local programs.

To achieve its mission, Play Rugby offers intentional programming that steers youth on a path toward success. Play Rugby USA’s program model encompasses rugby-based youth development sessions in partnership with schools and community-based organizations; train-the-trainer sessions for teachers and after-school staff; college prep for 9th-12 grade students who also participate in regional rugby competitions; and player development opportunities through inter-borough competitions and a Community Olympic Development Program (the only one for Rugby).

Program Outcomes and Accomplishments

  • 100% of Play Rugby’s NYC Academy high school students graduate on time and enroll in college.
  • 8 out of 10 students report that participation in Play Rugby USA’s program have helped improved their academic performance.
  • 8 out of 10 students report improved physical fitness as a result of Play Rugby USA’s programs.
  • 7 out of 10 students say they have made more friends as a result of Play Rugby’s programs.
  • 9 out of 10 students say their rugby coach is someone they can trust.
  • Play Rugby USA serves more than 2,000 youth in New York City.

With a New York operating budget of approximately $1.75M, Play Rugby consists of 7 full-time staff (excluding the ED) and 14 Board members, along with more than 20 part-time Youth Development Mentors who work collaboratively to support Play Rugby’s impact. Leveraging both flag and tackle rugby, Play Rugby USA is one of the leading sports-based youth development organizations in the country.

The Position
The Executive Director serves as the team leader for the entire organization. He/she reports to the Board of Directors and directly manages three other senior leaders, one each in programs, operations and fundraising. He/she is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of the organization by raising funds, developing the board, creating and managing an annual budget, reporting results against strategic goals, managing the team, engaging a diverse set of constituents in support of the organization, and serving as the external “face” of the organization. Ultimately, the Executive Director
is responsible for the overall success of the organization.

Strategic Priorities
The Executive Director provides leadership both inside and outside the organization, continually increasing Play Rugby’s mission impact. Toward this end, the new Executive Director will be charged with working with the Board to create a strategic plan to meet the needs of the newly structured organization. New strategic priorities are expected to align with:

  • Deepening the impact of Play Rugby USA programs in New York City;
  • Creating a sustainable organization through the ongoing development of systems and processes within the organization;
  • Establishing a solid base of funding to ensure the ongoing delivery of high quality, high impact programs for the youth in
  • Play Rugby programs.

Key Responsibilities

  • Allocate approximately 50% of time to direct fundraising; approximately 40% of time to organizational leadership and management, including board development; and, approximately 10% of time to strategy, operations and administration.
  • Look forward for the organization by planning strategically 2-5 years ahead of the current year, envisioning possibilities for the evolution of the organization, and for ensuring stability and sustainability over time.
  • Actively cultivate relationships with donors both within and outside of the organization with the goal of advancing and maximizing Play Rugby USA’s fundraising potential.
  • Provide hands-on leadership in developing an annual fundraising plan to generate a minimum of $2 million per year from diverse sources including, individuals, corporations, foundations, special events, and fee-for-service programs.
  • Engage the Board of Directors in fundraising initiatives and campaigns.
  • Serve as the primary external “face” of the organization by raising funds and awareness around Play Rugby USA’s mission.
  • Supervise three senior leaders, one each in Programs, Operations and Fundraising, to present a strong leadership team in support of the organization’s mission.
  • Work closely with the Chair of the Board of Directors to add new board members, cultivate and engage existing board members, and ensure that there is a pipeline for future board members.
  • Work closely with the other members of the senior leadership team to maintain the overall health of the organization with a future-focused perspective.
  • Manage the organizational budget and financial reporting to ensure that the Board of Directors and key staff understand and are also managing to the annual budget.
  • Work closely with the Board of Directors to ensure that Play Rugby USA meets its responsibilities for compliance, governance and oversight.
  • Stay connected to Executive Directors at peer organizations to ensure that Play Rugby USA is involved with innovations across the sector.

The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate is an action-oriented, hands-on professional who thrives in an entrepreneurial and dynamic work environment. He/she is a manager and leader, but also rolls up his/her sleeves to get the job done, regardless of the task. As a manager, he/she leverages the skills and experience of the entire team and actively participates in delivering necessary outcomes rather than only delegating. He/she understands how to think creatively and collaboratively about philanthropy, has experience working with a small organization in transition, and is able to get people excited about a common goal.

The ideal Executive Director has exceptional skills relating to people and building relationships, including using humor and levity to build internal and external relationships. He/she has demonstrated experience directly raising funds at a level of at least $2 million per year and is motivated and energized by the opportunity to raise money for social impact. The ideal candidate has strong ties to the sport of rugby and is eager to leverage the rugby community to accelerate and elevate Play Rugby’s mission. Alternatively, or in addition, he/she may have experience in sports-based
philanthropy and/or leadership in the sports-based youth development sector.

Experience and Attributes

  • 10+ years of demonstrated success building and leading a team or small organization, preferably in a non-profit setting.
  • Demonstrated success identifying, engaging and sustaining non-profit donors of all types to exceed an annual fundraising goal of at least $2 million.
  • Future-oriented visioning skills and strategic thinking at a high level.
  • Externally focused presence and ability to engage others in the mission.
  • Ability to lead and inspire people toward deep engagement, both internally and externally.
  • Demonstrated management skills, both operationally and in people management.
  • Comfort with accountability, both for oneself and for holding others to high standards.
  • Commitment to growing the sport of rugby in the United States through high-quality, high-impact youth programs.
  • Connection to the sport of rugby and the rugby community is preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment for supporting underserved youth and youth programming, preferably in the field of mentoring and/or sports-based youth development.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

Salary for this position ranges from $90,000 to $115,000 and is commensurate with experience. Play Rugby USA offers a variety of employee benefits, including (but not limited to) a comprehensive health insurance benefit, the ability to participate in a retirement savings plan, and generous paid time off. This job is located in New York, NY.

Application Process
Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to [email protected]. Only complete applications will be considered.

Play Rugby USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate in hiring on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Play Rugby encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Diversity of opinions, experiences, and backgrounds is a key asset. Resume reviews begin immediately.