Executive Director (826MI)

About the Position

826michigan is a nonprofit organization that serves thousands of school-aged students across Detroit, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.  Our writing and tutoring programs are designed to inspire students to write confidently and skillfully with the help of adult volunteers in their communities.  We believe that with one-on-one attention from caring adults, students improve academic performance, develop a sense of belonging, and discover the unique value of their own voices.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall responsibility for 826michigan’s operations and strategic plan. The successful candidate will combine a proven track record in nonprofit leadership with an understanding of 826michigan’s mission and program offerings to improve and expand the organization’s impact across Southeast Michigan. With 826michigan staff and volunteers, the Executive Director provides guidance, oversight, and direction for all aspects of 826michigan operations. Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to fundraising, marketing and public relations, staff / volunteer management and development, retail and building operations, financial management, and strategic planning.

After rapid expansion in recent years, 826michigan is in a strong and steady position with a talented staff of 11, a robust volunteer corps, an engaged board, and well-established funding and community relationships.



  • Work with the 826michigan board to develop and implement a strategic plan for the organization and lead a forward-thinking approach to its staff, leadership, and the entire organization.
  • Report to the 826michigan board of directors on programming, fundraising, finances, events, publications, personnel, strategic planning, and other matters.
  • Represent 826michigan at 826 National meetings, executive director meetings, staff conferences, and other gatherings.
  • Ensure prudent fiscal management of 826michigan, including establishment of salaries, management of expenses, strategic financial planning, and preparation of monthly financial reports and annual budgets.
  • Manage all legal and operational issues, including contracts, employment matters, leases and building management, publication and other agreements, and oversight of retail operations.


  • Successfully and directly ask individual and other funders for financial gifts; Cultivate and support donors through every stage of a gift; Deliver authentic gratitude, timely information, and individualized attention to donors in our community of supporters.
  • Partner with Development Director to create and implement 826michigan fundraising strategy, including grant applications, corporate and private philanthropy, individual donations, and special events.
  • Plan and implement a series of public events designed to support the overall mission, engage key constituents, and raise funds and other support.

Program Management

  • Ensure that 826michigan achieves its educational mission as laid out by both the chapter standards developed by 826 National and objectives determined by our local board and leadership.
  • Partner with Program Director to oversee all programming, including after-school tutoring, in-school projects, field trips, workshops, and off-site programs.
  • Work collegially with volunteers at all levels and interns, assisting them as necessary and appropriate and expressing appreciation on behalf of the organization.


  • Articulate 826michigan’s mission to funders, volunteers, the educational community, and the media.
  • Guide all external relations and collaborations, including website, annual fundraising appeals, and public relations; serve as spokesperson for media appearances and other public speaking opportunities; handle crisis communications.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with education and community leaders that will facilitate programming growth.


  • A flexible, creative spirit and a demonstrated passion for the mission, vision, and values of 826michigan.
  • At least five years of experience in nonprofit executive leadership, preferably managing a large staff over multiple locations and serving as an organization’s public face.
  • Demonstrated skill working across disciplines—fundraising, management, communications, operations, etc.—to advance a big-picture vision.
  • Proven success in fundraising from grassroots individual giving to large-scale institutional funding.
  • Knowledge of and passion for the Southeast Michigan community, including knowledge of the education environment and the world of philanthropy.
  • A track record of leading organization-wide efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and a deep understanding of the importance of these efforts.
  • The ability to travel between 826michigan’s locations in downtown Ann Arbor and Detroit’s Eastern Market neighborhood as well as program sites in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.
  • Impeccable written and oral communication skills, including experience communicating with a variety of audiences.
  • Experience working with and managing volunteers preferred.
  • Ability to foster and continue a spirit of trust and respect among 826michigan staff and volunteers.
  • Enthusiasm for working as part of a team, including a willingness to pitch in at all levels when necessary.
  • Passion for writing and an ability to share that with students.

Compensation & Benefits

826michigan offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience with an attractive benefits package.


Please complete our application form, including the following materials, here by September 5:

• Resume

• Detailed cover letter answering the following questions:

o What in particular about 826michigan interests you?

o What skills do you possess that would help you in this job?

o Tell us one thing about you that we can’t learn from your resume.

 About the Organization


826michigan is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring school-aged students to write confidently and skillfully with the help of adult volunteers in their communities. We operate two centers in Ann Arbor and Detroit and offer off-­site programs in schools and libraries in Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Ann Arbor.

826michigan’s work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to students’ future success, and that great leaps in learning can be made through one-on-one attention. We offer students unique learning opportunities by providing a combination of drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-school programming, and opportunities for students to publish their work.

Through the efforts of over 500 active volunteers, 826michigan serves 4,000 students annually.  Since opening in 2005, we have delivered free youth writing and tutoring programs to over 11,000 students total.

826michigan is part of 826 National, an award-winning national network of youth writing centers, founded by author Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, McSweeney’s). In addition to being a leading member of the 826 National network, 826michigan is also a vital part of the local community. The Ann Arbor Book Festival honored 826michigan as a “Leader in the Literary Arts” in 2012; Crain’s Detroit Business named 826michigan one of its Best-Managed Nonprofits in 2013; and 826 National was named in GOOD Magazine’s “30 Places We Want to Work.”

826michigan programs are completely free and open to the public, in keeping with our conviction that educational enrichment opportunities are vital for all. For more information about our programs, please visit www.826michigan.org.

Inclusion Statement

As an organization committed to encouraging youth in their creative expression, personal growth, and academic success, 826 National and its chapters recognize the importance of diversity at all levels and in all aspects of our work. In order for us to serve students in a manner that is respectful, culturally sensitive, and effective, we must collectively and intentionally invest in building a diverse and inclusive organization where all are safe and welcomed. 826michigan prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, English fluency, parental status, citizenship, military service, or disability of any person employed by or seeking employment with 826michigan. 826michigan is an equal opportunity employer.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.