We are looking for an experienced professional with a love for the park and the skills to lead the Roger Williams Park Conservancy as we work to sustain and enhance the park as a vibrant public space for all.  See full job posting below, and email us to learn more or to apply!

Job Description: Executive Director

The Roger Williams Park Conservancy is an independent nonprofit organization created in 2015 as part of the Rhode Island Foundation’s Campaign for Roger Williams Park. The Conservancy works with the City of Providence Parks Department to steward the Park, offer community programs, raise resources, coordinate marketing efforts, and plan for the long-term sustainability of the Park and its enjoyment by the community.

Roger Williams Park was created in 1871 after Betsey Williams, granddaughter of Rhode Island Founder Roger Williams, bequeathed 102 acres of farmland and woodland to the city of Providence to be used for a public purpose. Originally designed to serve as an escape for workers, it has grown to become “the people’s park” where more than 1.5 million visitors annually enjoy the park’s scenery and myriad of events and activities. The Park is a public space accessible to all – people of different backgrounds and cultures enjoy and use the Park as a gathering place where they can appreciate the beauty of the outdoors, be physically active, have fun, be quiet, feel safe, and explore and discover new things. Generations of Rhode Islanders have made memories and marked major life experiences at the Park. While maintaining its historic core, the Park continues to change to meet the needs and wants of people today.

In 2016, the Rhode Island Foundation launched a fundraising campaign for Roger Williams Park as a signature project in celebration of its centennial. The Foundation provided staff, funding, and administrative support to start up the Conservancy’s programming, communications, and organizational development. The campaign raised over $9 million for Park capital improvements and for a permanent endowment to provide perpetual operating support for the Conservancy (approximately $225,000+ annually).

Essential Functions:

The Executive Director is responsible for building upon the successes of the past 8 years of the Conservancy’s growth and developing and implementing a financial sustainability plan for the Conservancy. This includes comprehensive fundraising efforts through grant writing, donor cultivation, corporate sponsorship, and creative partnerships and strategies to generate revenue. The Executive Director will additionally oversee the financial management of the Conservancy. Working closely with the Providence Parks Department, the Executive Director will help to design and  implement a strategic plan to meet needs and goals for the Park.

The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and provide professional oversight of the Conservancy to ensure that it is managed effectively to achieve its vision, mission, and strategic goals. The Executive Director must be a strong leader, excellent communicator, team and relationship builder, and passionate advocate and spokesperson for Roger Williams Park. The Executive Director is expected to foster Board development, execute the organization’s strategic plan, and oversee RWPC employees which currently include a Program Manager and Volunteer Coordinator and plan to address future staffing needs

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Fundraising

Create and lead a comprehensive development plan, including an annual fund and the four community funds: Community, Access, Tree and Capital.

Identify, cultivate, and solicit major donors in association with the Board of Directors

Identify, cultivate, and secure public, private, and foundation funds

Identify and execute additional development programs such as planned giving and capital campaigns

  • Management

Direct the internal operations of the organization

Work with the Board of Directors to implement and manage a strategic plan to fulfill the vision of the Conservancy

Develop and monitor an annual budget and manage all fiscal operations, including tax filings, and insurance and compliance documentation

Recruit, hire as needed support staff and supervise PT Programs Director and currently contracted vendor,  staff and volunteers and create a positive working environment and culture

Ensure that staff and board are in compliance with all policies, procedures, and legal and financial requirements

Work with the Board of Directors to develop and function as a cohesive group to provide guidance on governance, planning, and fiduciary oversight

Negotiate contracts with all vendors

  • External communications and relationships

Build strong relationships in the community with a wide variety of partners and stakeholders, including the management of the Park, Roger Williams Park Zoo, and City of Providence

Serve as primary spokesperson and advocate for the Conservancy, articulating the mission, vision, and role in the community

Display political savvy and sensitivity in dealing with possible controversial issues

Lead marketing and public relations efforts through social media and print

Coordinate community events in support of the Conservancy’s vision

  • Programs

Work with the Board of Directors to develop appropriate programs in support of the mission and vision of the Conservancy

Develop internal systems to assist in monitoring status of community programs

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred with a minimum of five years’ experience in a related field, such as park or nonprofit organization management
  • Passion for parks and open space combined with the willingness to work long hours and weekends if necessary
  •   Demonstrated fundraising and grant writing experience
  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills with experience working with a board of directors and in developing community relationships
  • Experience in financial management, program development, project management, and social media applications
  • Experience launching initiatives and building systems
  • Excellent interpersonal relationship and written and verbal communication skills
  • Resourceful and innovative self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit


  • Position is full time (40 hours per week), with an annual salary of $105,000 
  • Benefits include health insurance support, 401k match, vacation and sick leave.

Start date September 2023. To apply, please submit your resume and a cover letter describing your interest in the position and how your experience makes you uniquely suited for the role to RWPConservancy@gmail.com by August 01, 2023.

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