What Does An Executive Director Do?
An executive director acts as the head of an organization or company. In the United States and the rest of North America, this designation is commonly used to refer to leaders of nonprofit organizations. Just like chief executive officers of for-profit companies, executive directors also think about and implement the strategic plans of the organization. They have to take into consideration their resources as well as the time table it is following for the implementation of its different projects.
Executive directors of smaller nonprofits are also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. They take care of buying supplies, hiring personnel and making sure that new employees get the training they need. They also supervise the activities regarding the products and the services that the firm is engaged in or is providing. In larger organizations, however, the job of ensuring that the daily operations of the company are going on smoothly is left to the general manager. Free of this task, executive directors come up with policies and plans to steer the organization to the direction they want it to go.
Whether they are connected with big or small organizations, executive directors are responsible for overseeing its financial operations. Although they work together with the firm’s accountants and financial officers, they are still responsible for understanding the figures, verifying its accuracy and seeing how this will affect their operations. Since they sign the documents that will be submitted to regulating agencies and to their contributors, executive directors have to see to it that all the financial documents of the organization are in order. A large chunk of the work of executive directors of nonprofit organizations is fundraising. Nonprofits typically get their funds from the contributions of donors. Executive directors must also determine how much money they need to raise for their projects and other expenses.
Closely connected with fundraising is the executive director’s responsibility of convincing potential donors to actually hand over their donations, whether these are in cash or in-kind. They can accomplish this in the form of promotional materials and advertisements that will enlighten the minds of possible contributors about their advocacies. This will also entail coordinating with advertising firms or professionals operating in this sphere.
Executive directors are responsible for negotiating and reviewing contracts. Before signing any agreement with suppliers, companies or individuals, they have to see to it that the terms are beneficial to both sides. Together with the organization’s lawyers, executive directors see to it that the stipulations in the agreement are clear and fair. Once they are assured that everything is in order, executive directors then sign the papers together with the representative of the other party.
In addition to their day-to-day managerial and supervisorial responsibilities, executive directors must also fulfill their leadership roles. This means motivating all the members of the organization to do their work well. No matter what their leadership style is, it’s important for executive directors to establish a culture in the company that will promote teamwork and satisfaction in the workplace. This is especially true with those who are working for the nonprofit organization on a voluntary basis. They have to be happy with their work and the people they are working with. It is up to the executive director to ensure that this kind of attitude is promoted in the workplace.