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Executive Director

Logo - Nordic Northwest

Founded in 1986 to support the Nordic language programs at Portland State University, Nordic Northwest has expanded on its original mission over the past three decades to become the home for all things Nordic in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Anchored by a Midsummer festival in June and a Christmas market in December, Nordic Northwest’s roster of programming includes concerts, exhibits, family programming, special events, film screenings, lectures, classes, dances, performances and celebrations throughout the entire year that focus on the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

We introduce new generations to stories of the Nordic past, celebrate the values of contemporary Nordic societies and highlight new developments and innovations from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. We are an inclusive community, welcoming to those of Nordic and non-Nordic descent alike and seek to uphold the ideals of the contemporary Nordic countries, including sustainability, egalitarianism and a deep connection to nature.

We are looking for a leader who can embrace these long-cherished traditions and ideals and move the organization forward into a sustainable future.  Be a part of helping the community remember and learn about its historical and cultural past, while ushering in a new era of engagement and appreciation for what Nordic Culture can bring to the community tomorrow.


Nordic Northwest, a 32-year-old organization with the historical mission of celebrating Nordic culture in the Portland area, seeks an Executive Director to join its engaged team of staff, board, members and donors. The Executive Director will lead the strategic planning, fundraising and board development of Nordic Northwest. Working with the organization’s professional staff, the Executive Director will oversee the implementation of the strategic plan, assure that the organization’s various cultural and educational programs are effectively marketed and produced, that administrative functions are efficient and effective, and properly develop, track and meet budgets.

The ideal candidate will be a talented fund raising professional, with a solid track record of building deep donor relationships, using a hands-on approach to cultivate and steward donors so they are inspired to give generously and consistently. This crucial work is necessary to move Nordic Northwest forward to a sustainable future.

Our ideal candidate will be a strong, collaborative leader, skilled at creating and motivating solid teams of staff and volunteers.

The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, able to see the big picture, while simultaneously assuring operational effectiveness to create success.


Financial Performance and Viability – approximately 60% of workload: Work with the board to develop resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization.

  • Create and implement a sound fundraising plan, assuring an appropriate and active role for board members, key volunteers and donors.
  • Develop and maintain key donor, volunteer and stakeholder relationships to assure the best possible participation level in the fundraising plan.
  • Cultivate donors, direct fundraising solicitations, and steward donors effectively.
  • Develop other resources, such as earned income sources, necessary to support Nordic Northwest’s mission.
  • Maintain fiscal integrity of Nordic Northwest, to include submission to the board of a proposed annual budget and monthly financial statements, which accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
  • Manage fiscal responsibility that generally anticipates operating within the approved budget, ensures maximum resource utilization, and maintenance of the organization in a positive financial position.

Organization Mission and Strategy – approximately 20% of workload: Provide leadership to the board and staff to ensure that the mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and community outreach.

  • Lead the board to develop long range plans, assure the plans are conformed to and adjusted as needed to assure Nordic Northwest successfully fulfills its mission.
  • Oversee implementation of Nordic Northwest’s programs to carry out the organization’s mission.
  • Enhance Nordic Northwest’s image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations.

Board Governance – approximately 10% of workload: Support the board in creating a strong culture and process that leads to effective governance of the organization.

  • Help the board set the policies and procedures that will assure a strong, effective governing body.
  • 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.
  • Assure appropriate and regular board training to increase effectiveness.

Organization Operations – approximately 10% of workload: Oversee and implement administrative planning to ensure that the operations of the organization are efficient, effective and appropriate.

  • Assure Nordic Northwest benefits from the dedicated service of its many volunteers and that those volunteers are properly recruited, trained, deployed and thanked.
  • Work with appropriate staff, responsible for implementation and management of financial tracking and budgeting system.
  • Hire and retain competent, qualified staff.
  • Oversee effective facilities maintenance and operations.

From time to time the Executive Director may take on other duties as defined by the board of directors.


Oversees a staff of 9


Nordic Northwest Board of Directors


  • A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent
  • Five or more years successful senior nonprofit management experience, including direct supervision of leadership staff, or its equivalent.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, oversee and successfully implement comprehensive fundraising strategies.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and manage complex budgets, including budget analysis, and ability to report financial findings to a board.
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
  • Demonstrated ability to convey a vision of Nordic Northwest’s strategic future to staff, board, volunteers and donors
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and negotiate complex contracts, leases and partnerships.


  • Ability to collaborate with and motivate board members and other volunteers
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to interface with and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff
  • Strong public speaking ability
  • Ability to work a highly flexible schedule with frequent evening and weekend work.

Salary starting at $95,000 annually, commensurate with experience and other qualifications. Quality benefits package includes health insurance, paid time off and IRA.

To Apply:

The search for this position is being conducted by our Campaign Consultants.  To apply, please submit cover letter, resume, three professional references, and answers to the attached questions: [email protected]

For questions, please contact [email protected].

To learn more about Nordic Northwest, visit us at

Review of applications will begin August 20th. Position will remain open until filled.

2019-02-25T09:21:54-08:00August 20th, 2018|Closed, Jobs|