Job Opening – Executive Director

Organization Description:

Kismet Rock Foundation (Kismet), founded in 2000, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in North Conway, New Hampshire that enhances the physical, intellectual, and emotional development of well-functioning but economically disadvantaged children by providing access to the immense value of a comprehensive education in technical rock climbing. Kismet is most accurately seen as a school, with an intensive four-year (one week per summer) curriculum that includes skills relating to climbing and first aid, plus internship opportunities for graduates. By developing students’ potential, Kismet prepares students to positively contribute to their communities and their culture throughout their lives. Students are accepted from select schools around New England. More at


Executive Director, Kismet Rock Foundation

Reports To

The Executive Director reports to Kismet Rock Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Job Overview

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the overall strategic direction and operation of Kismet Rock Foundation (Kismet). The ED oversees all staff, programs, and expansion, and ensures alignment with Kismet’s mission.

Responsibilities and Duties

Administrative Functions:

  • Develop specific short- and long-term plans in coordination with the Board of Directors.
  • Manage all administrative and program staff to ensure quality of programming and operations.
  • Write the operating budget and oversee the management of funds including, but not limited to, reviewing monthly reconciliation reports from the Office Manager.
  • Represent the organization’s mission, vision, and values to various constituencies: participants, their families, staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors, media, the public, and collaborative partners.
  • Interview, hire, and train administrative and program staff in coordination with local employment standards, and organization policies.
  • Evaluate and provide feedback to all staff.
  • Review and renew insurance annually.
  • Review and approve contracts for services.
  • Oversee marketing and other communication efforts.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.


  • Create, assess, update, and execute on fundraising strategy in the context of overall income planning.
  • Prospect, identify, and continuously cultivate and steward donors and fundraising opportunities.
  • Manage all fundraising events and grant activity in conjunction with the Board of Directors and Grants Coordinator.
  • Give presentations to various members of the community.
  • Edit, write, and distribute the annual report to major donors.

Program Direction:

  • Review and develop program literature and policies.
  • Find and recruit students that meet student profile.
  • Oversee communication with students and schools regarding acceptance and rejection into the program.
  • Hire and schedule seasonal program staff.
  • Schedule and plan the program calendar in coordination with Office Manager.
  • Oversee and maintain all program-related equipment and facilities, including housing, transportation, climbing equipment, etc.
  • Develop annual staff training curriculum to meet the needs of students and staff.
  • Organize and manage daily program activities.
  • Guide and instruct in single and multi-pitch rock climbing terrain (preferred) and regularly attend extracurricular summer program activities during days and evenings at the Kismet house and in the community.
  • Record activity in the program journal daily.
  • Check-in with summer program staff twice a day during climbing-to-house staff transitions.
  • Check-in with students individually at least once a week to ensure safety and quality.
  • Assess and resolve any interpersonal conflict.
  • Communicate with families and students throughout the year, including writing a personal letter to every student at the end of each program year.
  • Evaluate and measure program outcomes.

Board Governance:

  • Attend all Board meetings and be prepared to report on all aspects of the organization.
  • Work with Board in order to fulfill the organization mission:
    • Lead Kismet in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Directors.
    • Communicate effectively with the Board and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
    • Execute on strategic planning, mission work, and governance activities as directed by the Board.
    • Proactively surface issues, opportunities, and other planning considerations for Board discussion and/or approval.

Physical and Mental Requirements

  • Able to lift and move up to 30 pounds.
  • Ability to sit, stand, walk, speak and hear for extended periods of time.
  • Able to maintain composure, exercise sound judgement and decision-making, and assess and mitigate risk under extended periods of stress.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Requires occasional travel throughout Northern New England for fundraising cultivation and program administration purposes.


  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience relevant to nonprofit management.
  • Experience working with students / overseeing youth or children’s activities.
  • A minimum of 5 years of rock guiding and/or outdoor education experience preferred.
  • Wilderness First Responder certification.
  • Computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite, fundraising software, finance software, and Google Suite.
  • Experience with special event planning and/or fundraising.
  • Outstanding communication and organizational skills
  • Experience with writing/managing budgets and reading financial reports.


The compensation for this position is $30,000 per year, with potential to range up to $40,000 for a candidate with rock guiding or other relevant experience. Additional performance-based incentives possible. Compensation does not include benefits.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume or CV to The application window will be open until the position is filled.