The Outdoor Industry Jobs Marketplace

Executive Director (Bozeman, Montana)


Posted by Montana Wilderness School on 06/26/2022

Job Basics

Industry Sector: Outdoor

Job Categories: Management - Executive

Company Type: Recreation

State: MT

City: Bozeman

Country: United States

Required Experience:

Job Type: Full Time

Salary: $80000-$90000

Required to Relocate: Yes

Required to Travel: Yes

Employee May Telecommute: No

Job Seeker Must Live Within: 25 miles

Job Description & Requirements

Position: Executive Director 

Location: Bozeman/Belgrade, Montana 


The mission of the Montana Wilderness School is to provide empowering expeditionary wilderness courses to youth that foster personal growth and cultivate a conservation ethic through connecting with remote landscapes and wild places. 


Our vision is to develop the highest quality expeditionary outdoor education program in the United States. We strive to serve diverse and motivated youth in communities throughout Montana. Through challenging and empowering experiences on our courses, youth will develop a deeper connection to the natural world, and will return to their communities as more skilled, confident, and compassionate leaders. 

What is MWS? 

The Montana Wilderness School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit outdoor education school based in Bozeman, Montana, providing multi-week transformative and empowering wilderness expeditions for youth ages 14-22. 

MWS’ sole focus is our Youth Wilderness Program, which removes students from daily pressures and fully immerses them in wild places on expeditions rich with activity, exploration, and place-based education. The multi-week expeditions challenge young people mentally and physically, teaching them practical backcountry technical skills, an understanding of the complexity of public land use, and the importance of leadership and character building. 

Students trek and paddle on public lands and waterways, with diverse peers, encouraging and supporting their physical and emotional growth, engaging in rich discussions about life skills, and learning to solve contextualized problems in real time both as individuals and among colleagues. Since its inception, MWS has focused on two access issues—youth under-represented in wilderness experiences (including rural, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+), and those who without financial assistance would be unable to attend. 

Our Impacts 

From 2015-2021, MWS has: 

  • Served 464 students from a variety of races, cultures, geographies, and socio-economic levels ? Led 58 immersive expeditions from 5 to 25 days on some of Montana’s most stunning rivers and mountain ranges
  • Accumulated more than 133,464 student program hours-an average student spends 287 hours on a MWS expedition
  • Never turned away a financially deserving student. In 7 program seasons, MWS has awarded $590,927 in scholarships since we launched that first canoe

Executive Director 

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall administration and management of MWS including raising the annual budget, managing 8-12 administrative staff, organizational policy development and administration, fiscal management, and public relations. The Executive Director, along with the Board of Directors, is responsible for formulating and implementing the plan to fulfill MWS’ philosophy, mission, goals, and objectives. 

The ideal candidate will be passionate about the MWS mission, excited to be working alongside an amazing staff of heart-driven people, and bring positive energy to an inspirational outdoor education school. Strong candidates should aim to continue building the MWS culture through teamwork and a spirit of comradery. 

Responsibilities and Essential Duties 

Board of Directors Relationship 

  • Build relationships with each MWS board member and assist board with board recruitment ? Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations ? Participate in quarterly board meetings and prepare applicable materials for board discussion and engagement
  • Send Board of Directors monthly updates that include details about program, development, admissions, and financial reports 

Budget and Fundraising 

  • Implement the 5-year strategic budget plan developed by the board of directors and past executive director. On an annual basis, provide suggestions to board for modifications to current plan with any additions or changes to maintain fiscal responsibility, target goals, and board adoption for each fiscal year moving forward
  • Serve as the primary individual donor contact and fundraiser to achieve fundraising goals in strategic plan ? Work in partnership with the Development Director to meet fundraising goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan, including identification of new donors and business sponsors, retention of existing donors and business sponsors, identification of grant opportunities and compliance with grant reporting 

Financial Management 

  • Run a fiscally responsible non-profit organization and oversee day-to-day financial transactions ? Work in partnership with an external bookkeeper and external CPA firm to maintain accurate accounting for all financial aspects of the organization
  • Collaborate with the MWS Outreach and Admissions Director to award MWS scholarships and grant awards to deserving students
  • Monitor the financial performance against the budget throughout the year and keep the board updated monthly
  • Help collect timesheets for payroll processing, monitor accounts payable/receivable and student invoicing, make bank deposits, and manage other general ongoing financial transactions.
  • Work with insurance brokers to secure annual insurance policies for liability, D&O, auto, and property

Program Delivery 

  • Work in collaboration with the MWS Program Director to maintain a climate which attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse group of professional program and operations staff each season
  • Stay up to date on industry trends, program risk management practices, and all policies, procedures and guidelines as they continue to evolve 

Human Resource Management 

  • Effectively manage the human resources of the organization according to authorized personnel policies and procedures that fully conform to current laws, regulations, and best practices in the nonprofit sector ? Provide direct supervision and timely feedback to the Program Director, Development Director, Outreach and Admissions Director, Digital Marketing Manager, and the Design Manager to support their specific responsibilities, projects, and goals
  • Support the Program Director and Program Manager, when needed, in times of human resource discussions and conversations within the program and operations staff area of the organization ? Support the Outreach and Admissions Director, when needed, in times of human resource discussions and conversations within the student outreach area of the organization 

Community and Public Relations 

  • Work with the MWS design team and external design professionals to craft and deliver new materials each season including website edits, social media ads, e-newsletters and mailings, brochures, posters, impact reports, and other marketing materials
  • Increase awareness, reach, and enlarge the public profile with current and prospective media relationships ? Become the media's direct point of contact in communication if a crisis or emergency event were to occur and support other MWS staff communicating with parents and outside agencies 


  • Maintain a positive relationship with the property landowners and caretakers and ensure all property agreements are being upheld 


The MWS office is located in Belgrade, MT, approximately 25 minutes north of downtown Bozeman. 


  • A annual criminal background check is required from all MWS employees
  • Copy of a valid Driver’s License and another valid form of ID (Passport or Green Card/Social Security card)


A successful candidate has a successful track record in non-profit fundraising and leadership, including major gifts and grant writing, as well as donor identification, cultivation, and stewardship. The candidate has managed diverse teams and can demonstrate operating a financially healthy and sustainable organization. 

Experience in outdoor education is preferred. An understanding of experiential education, place-based learning, Northern Rockies conservation issues, and risk management in the outdoors is important. 


The Executive Director position is a full-time, exempt position with an annual salary range of $80,000 to $90,000 and commensurate with past work experience. MWS provides a wide range of benefits as part of the total compensation package, including: 

  • 7 Weeks Paid Time Off annually
  • 12 Days of Holiday Pay
  • Health Benefit Plan
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Professional Deals within the outdoor retail industry
  • Awesome office location at the MWS Basecamp: 20 Acres on the west slope of the Bridger mountains adjacent to USFS land with an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife. The MWS Basecamp is dog-friendly, filled with natural light, with ample outdoor spaces for the healthiest office environment possible.


Submit a cover letter, resume, and two references to You can expect someone from the MWS Hiring Team to email you shortly after we receive your application with next steps. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

Please email with questions. 


As an equal-opportunity employer, the Montana Wilderness School is committed to being inclusive in our hiring practices. MWS does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or age. We encourage all to apply.


About Montana Wilderness School

The Montana Wilderness School is a 501c3 nonprofit outdoor education organization located in Bozeman, Montana, providing multi-week wilderness expeditions for youth.