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Start at Zero Executive Director

Posted: 01/10/2021

The Organization

Start at Zero’s mission is partnering with parents and caregivers to promote healthy early childhood development. Start at Zero works closely with schools, community organizations, and families of children prenatal to kindergarten entry to deliver programming focused on increasing kindergarten readiness and parent agency. Learn more at

Position Summary

Start at Zero is seeking an Executive Director who will be responsible for managing all functions of the organization, which includes overseeing the administration, personnel, programming, community outreach, and strategic planning of the organization. Other key leadership duties include supporting the fundraising, marketing and development strategies. This position reports directly to the Start at Zero Board of Directors and will begin on or around July 1, 2021. 

Exceptional Candidates Will:

  • Be deeply committed to and well-versed in parent education and early childhood family support;

  • Display a strong personal and professional commitment to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion; 

  • Maintain strong leadership skills and employ a strengths-based approach at all times; 

  • Demonstrate experience in and understanding of evidence-based programs and their applied research potential; 

  • Communicate clearly, effectively and attuned to collaboration, which includes to families, community stakeholders, partnering organizations and funders;

  • Have a concrete vision for the future of Start at Zero and demonstrate strong strategic planning skills; 

  • Be connected to the communities of families that partner with Start at Zero; and

  • Be prepared to share a collective voice of young Kansas City families with the greater community.

Qualifications & Competencies

  • A Masters or higher degree in an applicable field or relevant experience;

  • Previous experience in or robust knowledge of early childhood family support;

  • Experience in or skills necessary to work collaboratively with a Board of Directors;

  • High level strategic thinking and planning, including an ability to envision and convey the organization’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers and donors;

  • Previous success in establishing relationships with individuals and organizations of influence including funders, partner agencies and volunteers;

  • Strong managerial skills and experience supervising a staff team;

  • Solid organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation;

  • Ability to ask complex and competent questions concerning financial management, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making and reporting;

  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to speak publicly; and

  • Transparent and high integrity leadership.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Maintain a close, effective working relationship with the Board of Directors to fulfill the organizational mission.

  • Lead mission-aligned organizational growth with focus on the long-term sustainability of the organization, which includes:

    • Maintaining and/or growing Start at Zero programs and supports to increase family reach;

    • Initiating strategic partnerships with schools and community sites to further growth; 

    • Remaining responsive to the changing landscape of local, state, and national funding trends and priorities as it relates to the mission; and

    • Envisioning and strategically planning for Start at Zero’s future.

  • Build and maintain a world class staff, which includes: 

    • Effective reflective supervision of direct service staff resulting in high employee satisfaction;

    • Maintaining a clear feedback model for employees, including regular evaluation and strong communication;

    • Sustaining a healthy organizational staff culture;

    • Ensuring a commitment to Start at Zero core values; and

    • Continually improving Human Resources processes and procedures to attract and retain high quality staff.

  • Ensure financial health of organization, including: 

    • Ensuring resources are sufficient for the ongoing operation and sustainability of the organization;

    • Strategizing around additional revenue streams to aid sustainability and growth; 

    • Maintaining the fiscal integrity of Start at Zero, including budget and financial statement oversight; and 

    • Support the fundraising and development strategies necessary to support and sustain Start at Zero’s mission, including individual donor recruitment and retention from personal and professional networks.

Generous paid time off policy. Medical, dental and vision insurance with subsidization of the employee’s medical premium. The salary range for this position is competitive with the industry standard, as outlined in the Greater Kansas City Nonprofit Organizations & Associations 2018 Salary Survey Report. 

To apply: 

Submit a cover letter and resume by January 24, 2021 to Angela DeWilde, Start at Zero Executive Director, Interviews will be scheduled in early February 2021. 

Start at Zero is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes all qualified persons without regards to race, color, sex, disability, national origin, citizenship, age, pregnancy, genetic information, military status, ancestry or any other characteristic or status protected by law. 

Job Type: Full Time

Salary Range: $50,000 - 74,999,$75,000 - 99,999