Executive Director, Mortar Board, Inc.

Mortar Board, Inc.
Ohio, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 21, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Executive Director

Mortar Board, Inc.

Job Description


Mortar Board, Inc. is seeking a new executive director as our current executive director, who has served Mortar Board for more than a decade, plans to retire. We seek an engaging, dynamic, member-focused executive to lead our Society into our second century.


Mortar Board has a rich history as an organization – we are a national honor society that recognizes rising college seniors for their achievements in scholarship, leadership and service, provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Mortar Board began in 1918 as the first national organization honoring senior college women. The Society opened its membership to men in 1975 and maintains its heritage through a commitment to the advancement of the status of women and promoting equal opportunities among all peoples. More than a quarter million members have been initiated at 232 chartered chapters in the United States.


Mortar Board is made up of two organizations that work together for the good of the Society, Mortar Board, Inc. and the Mortar Board National Foundation.


Mortar Board, Inc.

Mortar Board, Inc. is governed by delegates representing collegiate chapters who elect the National Council and otherwise vote on high-level business of the organization twice a year. Typically, the delegation meets in person in the summer for our annual leadership conference and virtually in the winter for a Special National Conference where most of the governance of the Society is conducted. The volunteer leadership includes the National Council (nine voting alumni and collegiate members of the Society), section coordinators, working with over 175 active collegiate chapters in 21 regional areas of the United States, and standing and ad hoc national committees.


Mortar Board National Foundation (MBNF)

The MBNF was established in 1955 as the fundraising arm of Mortar Board and to serve the educational aims of Mortar Board, Inc. The mission of the MBNF is to support Mortar Board, Inc. in furthering its ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service. Each year, the MBNF awards fellowships to alumni for graduate study. Also, in 2018, the Mortar Board National Foundation completed a successful campaign raising more than $1.2 M in celebration of Mortar Board’s centennial.


National Office

The National Office has been based in Columbus, Ohio, since 1970. Our preference would be to retain the office in Columbus, but we are open to a candidate who could lead remotely from somewhere within the continental United States. The staff have been teleworking during this global health pandemic. In addition to the executive director, the staff includes a director of engagement, director of communications and collegiate operations, coordinator of data and member services, operations specialist, senior executive assistant, and seasonal student interns.


The executive director provides visionary leadership for Mortar Board and serves as the chief executive officer for Mortar Board Inc. and the Mortar Board National Foundation. The executive director manages the National Office, is the chief financial officer, coordinates volunteer efforts, fosters relationships with collegiate and alumni members, and serves as the national representative and spokesperson for Mortar Board.




Here are the core responsibilities for this key role for Mortar Board:


Team Leadership

Lead and manage the National Office staff – oversee all hiring, motivating, and managing of a high-performing team. Set direction for the day-to-day operations, with an eye for excellence in all that we do. Empower the team to bring new and innovative solutions to bear. Ensure Mortar Board offers our staff a market-competitive salary and benefits package within the budget of a nonprofit.


Member Engagement

Ensure systems are in place for all Mortar Board members to be served, whether it is collegiate members just starting on their Mortar Board journey or alumni who have been involved with the Society for 50+ years. Instill a culture of customer service to ensure all members thrive and maintain a positive experience with Mortar Board. Focus on smart member growth – whether it is creating systems to support struggling chapters or expanding onto new campuses, work with volunteer leaders and others within the Mortar Board network to ensure as many students as eligible have the opportunity to join Mortar Board.


Volunteer Engagement

Support the National President and the Board of Trustees of the MBNF to ensure each governing body is doing the important business of Mortar Board at the highest quality standards. Work with the leaders to make policy recommendations and ensure high quality implementation of programs, policies, and goals developed and adopted by the organizations. Support the planning of meeting agendas and participate in all meetings as a nonvoting member.


Financial Operations

As the chief financial officer for Mortar Board, forecast the annual budget, revenues, expenses, and cash flow for both organizations and produce monthly reports. Oversee the investment of funds in conjunction with the Investment Advisory Committee. Prepare reports to governmental agencies, ensuring compliance with all local and federal laws. Interface with vendors for employment and business support services. Contract with all legal entities and vendors (e.g., lawyers, auditors, financial institutions, insurance agents, hotels, etc.).


Fundraising and Relationship Building

Formulate short- and long-term goals around the fundraising efforts of the organizations. Develop effective strategies for meeting and exceeding those goals through sponsorships, gifts, donations, and fundraising programs. Raise awareness of the organization and its primary goals through outreach efforts, publications, and media relations. Discover new and potentially lucrative revenue streams for expansion of the organization’s fundraising efforts. Build alumni relationships with focus on planned giving strategies. Publish regular updates on major events and success of the organization.


Stakeholder Management

In addition to the groups mentioned above, Mortar Board has key stakeholders outside of Mortar Board who will look to Mortar Board’s executive director as the face of the organization. This includes college and university officials (presidents, chief student affairs officers, advisors) and association professionals (Association of College Honor Societies and other associations). A successful executive director will build excellent relationships both personally and through influence of others within the massive network of Mortar Board alumni.





  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • 10+ years of progressive professional experience
  • 5+ years of administrative experience with nonprofit, higher education, or volunteer organizations
  • Alignment with the organization’s mission of equity
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
  • Demonstrated high emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills
  • Superb problem-solving capabilities
  • Ability to build consensus and move a group from ideas to action
  • Solid fiscal background including experience managing a $500,000 budget and ensuring that all proper accounting principles are applied
  • Excellent people leadership and management skills – ability to motivate, support, and see results from a small but capable professional office staff
  • Proven ability as a visionary leader, guiding strategic planning processes and implementing strategies necessary to achieve organizational goals and objectives



  • Advanced degree or certifications in law, association or nonprofit management, fundraising, organizational leadership and development, or related field.
  • Membership in or previous affiliation with Mortar Board.
  • Knowledge of Mortar Board’s national organization and its chapters and members.
  • Capacity for implementing aggressive fundraising strategies with a diverse alumni pool.
  • Proficiency with software applications relevant to nonprofit or chapter-based organizations of college-aged populations.



  • Servant leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Effective communication
  • Business and financial acumen
  • Results orientation
  • Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity


To apply: Please submit your most recent CV/résumé via this JotForm. A member of the Executive Director Search Committee will be in touch with you as we review applications for this position.


The ideal start time for the new Executive Director is the late spring or early summer of 2021.


Mortar Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. Aligning with our purpose, Mortar Board is committed to promoting equal opportunity for all peoples. We adhere to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at Mortar Board are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. Mortar Board will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. Mortar Board encourages applicants of all ages.


For any applicant seeking a reasonable accommodation, please contact President-Elect Katie Chick, chair of the Executive Director Search Committee, at mortarboardchick@gmail.com.