Literacy Source Executive Director

Seattle, Washington, United States Full-time

Full consideration will be given to applications received by November 12, 2018 
Early applications are encouraged


Literacy Source is looking for its next Executive Director – a leader committed to supporting adult learners with tools to improve their quality of life and create a more hopeful future. Literacy Source provides a variety of free classes and tutoring assistance for adults: reading, writing and basic math skills, ESOL instruction, GED and citizenship preparation, and digital learning and computer skills. Students are welcomed into an inclusive and supportive environment where every learner’s life experience and learning style are valued and respected.

Literacy Source seeks a leader who can build on the organization’s strong foundation of serving the diverse needs of adult learners. The next Executive Director will be passionate about empowering adults to gain the literacy skills they need to be successful in their lives. Ideally, they will have shared lived experiences with the students Literacy Source serves, who are predominantly low-income, immigrants or refugees, or non-traditional adult learners.

The next Executive Director will be an inclusive and collaborative leader who demonstrates a deep commitment to equity. They will be an inspiring and skilled manager of nonprofit staff and board teams, and demonstrate aptitude in nonprofit financial management and fundraising. Literacy Source will welcome either an experienced Executive Director or an emerging leader who is excited to grow and develop their nonprofit management skills.

For a full printable announcement please click HERE

About Literacy Source


Literacy Source partners with adults working to gain skills and education to create new opportunities for themselves, their families and the community.


We envision an inclusive and equitable society providing education and opportunities for all adults.


Lifelong Learning: We believe that all adults can learn and grow. 

Equity: We create equal access to education because systemic injustices and oppression lead to unequal opportunities and barriers to participation.

Inclusion: We foster an inclusive and multicultural space in which all cultures, traditions, social identities, and ways of knowing are respected and welcomed. 

Collaboration: We seek out the knowledge and experience of our community and work with others on shared goals.

Integrity: We are honest and accountable to each other and our community.

Celebration: We believe learning is fun and empowering and deserves to be celebrated alongside the community we’re building together.

Literacy Source helps low-income adults gain the basic literacy and language skills needed to succeed in school, find a job, and create a better, more hopeful future. The combination of low literacy and limited English language skills puts many at a huge disadvantage in our economy. We believe in education, equity, and opportunity for all - and provide free tutoring, classes, and support to help individuals reach their goals and build a stronger, more vibrant community for all. 

In addition to offering classes at our main Learning Center in Lake City, we partner with a variety of organizations to provide instruction at various offsite locations throughout Seattle and South King County. Our students range in age from 18 to 90, speak 50 languages, and represent 68 nations. They face great challenges and strive for success against tremendous odds: over 97% of our students are low-income, 88% are immigrants and refugees, and 13% are seniors. 55% of our students have less than 12 years of school and 31% less than 8 years. All of our students, however, share one common element - the desire to learn, to achieve, and to live a better life. Learn more about our programs HERE

Literacy Source began in 1986 and operates as an independent 501c3 nonprofit with a staff team of 22 and an annual budget of approximately $1 million. 

Executive Director Opportunities & Responsibilities

The Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Literacy Source staff, programs, and execution of its mission. Priorities for the next several years will be on increasing organizational capacity by building a robust fundraising plan and team, investing in staff and board development, furthering efforts toward becoming an anti-racist, multi-cultural organization, and positioning Literacy Source to be a leader and advocate in support of their students’ best interests. As the strategic leader of the organization, the Executive Director engages the Board, staff, and community stakeholders in developing and delivering on these priorities.

The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors, oversee the entire staff team, and directly supervise seven staff members. More specifically, the Executive Director is responsible for the following:

Anti-Racist Organizational Development

Build the organization’s capacity as an anti-racist, multi-cultural organization by fostering a culture of self-reflection, examining policies and procedures, building upon existing cultural humility training, and involving students in organizational decision making.

Staff Development

Hire, supervise, and prioritize the professional development of a high performing and diverse staff team; solicit staff input and encourage effective teamwork and collaboration.   

Fund Development

Lead the organization’s fundraising efforts, including garnering support for Literacy Source’s continued impact by developing a comprehensive fundraising plan, engaging in major donor cultivation, grant writing, supporting board members in fundraising efforts, and building philanthropic and corporate partnerships. 

Financial Management

Provide overall financial oversight of the organization. In partnership with the Finance Committee, maintain sound financial practices, prepare the annual budget to reflect the organizational needs, and ensure sufficient funds in support of the strategic plan.

Partnerships & Communications

Foster and strengthen relationships with strategic partners in support of Literacy Source programs and students and serve as the primary spokesperson to convey the mission and vision of the organization.

Board Development & Management

Support a strong and engaged Board of Directors by assisting with board member recruitment, orientation and on-going training. Bring vision and passion for Literacy Source’s work and support the Board of Directors to execute the organization’s strategic plan.

Program Development & Administration

Work collaboratively with staff to provide leadership and vision for program development and administration aligned with the strategic plan and budget as well as state and federal requirements, community needs and opportunities, and best practices in adult education.

Ideal Candidate 

Based on the strategic goals for the years ahead, we seek an exceptional leader with diversified skills and experience. While we don't expect everyone to be an expert in everything, we seek a leader who has self-awareness about which of the skill sets described below they will need to develop further to be successful, and someone who is willing to dive into that learning as needed.

  • Personal connection to or deep understanding of the life experiences of the students Literacy Source serves
  • Passion for adult learning and the life-changing impact that education has in improving individual, family, and community well-being
  • Demonstrated commitment to anti-racist practices and leading with an equity lens, including actively promoting discussion, learning, and reflection around equity and inclusion
  • Expertise developing and managing high-performing, unified staff teams in a democratic, collaborative work culture
  • Experience building and managing nonprofit budgets and financial plans
  • Experience or aptitude in creating a diversified fundraising plan and cultivating and stewarding relationships with donors
  • Skills and enthusiasm for cultivating and working with nonprofit boards of directors
  • The ability to build strategic and sustainable program partnerships
  • The ability to think strategically, conceptually, imaginatively, and opportunistically to achieve organizational success
  • Previous experience working in education or schools, ideally in adult basic skills and services
  • A Bachelor’s degree or progressively-responsible experience

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time exempt position that reports to the Board of Directors. The expected salary range is between $70,000-$85,000, depending on experience and skills.

Literacy Source offers medical, vision, and dental coverage, life insurance, 403 (b) contributions, and generous leave time. Literacy Source’s Monday – Thursday office hours encourage excellent work-life balance, and the culture of the organization is unanimously described as supportive, collaborative, democratic, and respectful.

Resources for leadership development coaching and ongoing support are available to the new Executive Director.

Literacy Source is located in the Lake City neighborhood in north Seattle, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The position requires occasional travel to other program sites around Seattle, King County, and statewide as part of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Commitment to Equity

Literacy Source is committed to being an anti-racist organization that proactively addresses and breaks down systems and policies that exclude or unjustly treat people based on race or any other social identity or status. Literacy Source believes that having a staff and board with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates a vibrant environment where all members of the Literacy Source community can thrive. 

Literacy Source is an equal opportunity employer that celebrates and honors diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, race, color, physical or developmental ability or ethnic origin in the hiring of its personnel.

We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

How to Apply

Online applications through Recruiterbox only, please no email or paper submissions. You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, in addition to sharing why you are interested in this job, please include a description of your connection to and understanding of the background and life experience of the students Literacy Source serves.

Full consideration will be given to applications received by November 12; early applications are encouraged. All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt. Consideration will be given to applications as soon as they are received, and interviewing will begin in November.  


The search for this position is being facilitated by Clover Search Works, a search firm that provides a full range of search services to nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Clover Search Works is honored to partner with Literacy Source to recruit an Executive Director who will provide leadership to realize its important mission.

Questions regarding this opportunity are welcomed and can be directed to Julie Edsforth of Clover Search Works. Email: | Phone: 206-979-0514