Cambridge Insight Meditation Center (CIMC) seeks a talented, collaborative executive director to lead a flourishing urban center for the practice of insight meditation.
CIMC was established in 1985 to provide an environment where the contemplative life can be developed and protected amid the complexities of city living. Located in the heart of Cambridge, MA, CIMC offers a refuge where people of all religious, non-religious, and philosophical persuasions can come together to learn, support and deepen their practice.
CIMC provides a diverse array of programming, making it accessible to beginners as well as advanced practitioners. The programming includes introductory sessions, Dharma talks, meditation practice groups, workshops and retreats. Spiritual leadership is provided by three Guiding Teachers - Larry Rosenberg, who is also the founder, Narayan Helen Liebenson, and Michael Grady.
In addition to the executive director, CIMC is supported by two highly skilled staff members: the administrative director and the program & volunteer coordinator. The operations of the center are also supported by a group of dedicated volunteers, who are practicing members of the sangha. CIMC also has an active governing board with twelve members and five committees: Executive, Finance, Program, Funding, and Governance.
CIMC’s annual budget is $700,000 and the main revenue sources are program fees, membership fees, and individual donations.
The Context, Opportunities, and Challenges
CIMC is a thriving, vibrant meditation center poised to improve its internal structure in order to better deliver and refine its high-quality programming. In June 2013, CIMC experienced the transition of a fourteen-year executive director. Since then, CIMC has had the support of a professional interim executive director while it has taken a deep look at itself and considered how it can operate more effectively. As a result of these discussions, the board has changed its governance structure, clarifying roles and shifting decision-making responsibilities. The structure of the teaching body is also in the process of being re-defined to reflect the evolving needs of both the sangha and the organization itself. Since CIMC is still experimenting with this new structure, the new executive director will need to work effectively with its staff, board, teachers and community members as this evolution continues. CIMC is also engaging in more intentional program planning as it considers how it might provide more comprehensive programming to fit the needs of its practitioners.
In tandem with a strengthening of its internal operations, fundraising will play a key role in the work of the new leader. CIMC has laid the groundwork for an endowment, but focused work is needed by the administrative director, staff and the sangha volunteers in order to fulfill the vision of a completed endowment fund.
CIMC anticipates that the organizational priorities for the new executive director will include:
The Ideal Candidate
The incoming executive director will lead an insight meditation center that provides a diverse array of programming and support to a large community of practitioners. Ideally, that person will be a Vipassana practitioner committed to CIMC’s mission, and will bring those principles and perspectives to leading the organization forward. The executive director should be a seasoned manager with strong interpersonal skills and significant planning skills, able to think strategically, and act as a change agent. That person will be skilled in collaboration and transparent in communications, and whose actions will be grounded in strong values. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success as a facilitative leader who is able to support and inspire others through positive, inclusive engagement.
- Manage organizational change, specifically supporting the shifts in both the governing and teaching bodies and assume the leadership role as executive director within that structure,
- Sustain and expand fundraising from a variety of sources, including program fees and individual major gifts,
- Plan and provide staff and volunteer development, training and retention,
- Partner with the board and teaching body to complete a new strategic plan, ensuring its implementation going forward.
The executive director will report to the board of directors and is responsible for the strategic, programmatic, fundraising, financial and administrative leadership and management of the center.
Professional background, skills and knowledge
Additional background, skills and knowledge:
- Demonstrated success with designing and leading a team to implement effective and efficient administrative and operational processes and systems,
- Demonstrated experience creating and managing budgets and providing financial oversight in a nonprofit setting,
- Demonstrated experience partnering with a board of directors, especially related to strategy, finance and fundraising; board development experience,
- Demonstrated success and interest in effectively leading in a spiritual community such as a sangha,
- A track record in raising money through individual donor development, earned income, special events and grant writing.
Personal Characteristics and Qualities:
- Three to five years in a leadership capacity at a dharma center, ideally in the Vipassana tradition, or at a similar organization,
- Experience working with teachers in a spiritual tradition,
- Experience building staff teams, supervising staff and sustaining effective human resource policies and practices,
- A Master’s degree in a related field is preferred; equivalent education and experience will be considered.
This search is being conducted by Third Sector New England’s Executive Transitions program led by Consulting and Executive Transitions Director, Heather Harker, along with the search committee at CIMC.
- Vipassana Insight Meditation practitioner,
- Passion for CIMC’s mission,
- Ability to inspire and motivate others,
- High integrity,
- Ability to recognize environmental trends that have implications for organizational strategy; ability to translate strategy into action,
- Ability to collaborate with superior facilitation; listening and consensus-building skills,
- Genuine enjoyment of building and maintaining relationships with all internal and external constituents,
- Exceptional written communications and dynamic public speaking skills,
- A commitment to yogis, community, staff, board and teachers and the ability to encourage and develop leadership skills in others,
- Maturity, humor, humility and the ability to negotiate organizational transition and change.
This is a full-time position offering a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with skill and experience. CIMC is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
To apply, candidates should submit their resume, along with a cover letter describing how they learned about the position and how their qualifications and experiences match the needs of the organization. Only electronic applications sent through this link will be considered.
Third Sector New England - 11 months ago