Employment Opportunities

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Executive Director – To Grow The Plant Exchange

The Plant Exchange, a 501ce non-profit organization, is all about renewing the connection with all things horticultural via a free-to-the-community exchange of plants, information and expertise. We serve as a central clearing house for the horticultural industry by diverting items destined for the landfills to new homes and new uses. In addition to supporting reuse, recycling and organic living, our premier event is the annual free plant exchange attracting over 1000 enthusiasts where gardeners, landscapers, urban farmers, and beginners come to exchange plants, equipment, supplies and information about ways to make our urban environment more sustainable, aesthetic and healthy. We are proud of our track record of helping other non-profits beautify their workspaces, gardens and classrooms by giving plants away at no cost.

The Executive Director Role

After 11 years the Plant Exchange is entering an exponential growth stage. This is currently a hands-on job with 2 paid staff, a dedicated team of 30 key volunteers and our friendly committed Board of Directors who help set policy. The new Executive Director will have the ability to look at the growing demand for ecological balance and sustainability to develop growth opportunities and to make effective decisions regarding the future and growth of the organization. The key responsibilities are: strategic vision, program/service development, fund raising, and growing our volunteer teams. The ED’s success depends upon and grows out of our great reputation and strong relationships with clients, volunteers, donors and members of the community. We are searching for someone who brings demonstrated success in relationship building, fund raising, and the creation of community partnerships.

Traits That Make You a Good Match

Our Executive Director will possess:

  • The unusual mix of strategic vision and detail-orientation.
  • Skill at cultivating strong personal relationships with staff, funders, volunteers and our community.
  • The ability to operate in a very fast-paced environment, with limited resources.
  • And appreciate the value of relationship building and be comfortable generating financial support from foundations, corporations and like-minded community members.

Although we focus on plants and beautification you need not be a master gardener to thrive here because we have a committed community of plant and garden experts to call upon.

About Your Background

You have:

  • Been an assistant director or executive director with at least 5 years of experience
  • A Bachelor’s degree plus experience in nonprofit administration or related field
  • Computer skills including social media platforms, Vertical Response and databases
  • A valid CA Driver’s License and a good driving record
  • Perhaps retired and want to make a difference in your community working a 32-hour per week position, not 60.

Your Capabilities Include:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience working with volunteers as well as paid staff.
  • Ability to see the big picture, think strategically and create written plans.
  • Ability to manage a wide variety of tasks at a highly detailed level.
  • A record of accomplishment in fundraising, including developing new relationships, successful cultivation, solicitation and acquisition of donors. Grant writing experience a plus.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills.
  • Being a self-motivated, self-directed, energetic, and proactive person.

Plant Exchange History

The Plant Exchange started in the founder’s front yard 11 years ago attracting 100 people. Through a continuous process of improvement, attention to detail and treating all attendees as prized customers the event doubled every year and outgrew its original location. During this time we built a loyal cadre of involved, active volunteers. The neighborly, close-knit feeling is very important to our culture.

To accommodate the enthusiastic response, the event moved to a downtown location, gained the 501c3 non-profit status and expanded to attract new populations, added food trucks, additional plant tables, received larger donations and developed a large team of committed volunteers.

We now have 3 locations in Oakland which includes an office, a warehouse and a pop-up event site. We recently purchased a 10-foot box truck used to pick up donations from plant leasing companies and nurseries.

Currently, The Plant Exchange serves the greater San Francisco Bay Area, with a focus on Oakland with the support and participation of fans from Pacifica to San Jose to Walnut Creek.

Hours: 32 hours a week, occasional evening and weekend hours required
Salary: $2300 – $2600/month depending on experience

Location: Downtown Oakland

Please submit resume and cover letter – maximum of 1 page detailing how and why this position is a fit – to Odette Pollar, Executive Director: connect@theplantexchange.com.

Position will remain open until filled.

Thank you!