Brigs is looking for a new Executive Director to help lead this awesome organization and make a difference in the lives of Youth through the delivery of quality sail training programming on the Great Lakes.
Brigs Youth Sail Training is a charitable organization dedicated to building leadership, self-efficacy and self-esteem in youth 13-18. This is accomplished through the peer-to-peer delivery of challenging programs aboard our traditionally-rigged vessels, TS Playfair and STV Pathfinder, with a focus on safety and the creation of positive and memorable experiences on board. Brigs also endeavors to foster learning and the development of practical skills, the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices, and an appreciation of the rich marine heritage of the Great Lakes. It was founded and has run continuously since 1962, moving its home base from Toronto to Hamilton in 2021.
Fleet and Program
Programs are delivered as voyages on board the TS Playfair and STV Pathfinder, 72’ steel-hulled brigantine-rigged sail training vessels. Our ships are purpose-built sail training vessels carrying up to 18 trainees and a crew of 10. The vessels are based in Hamilton, ON and operate on the Great Lakes. The crew is composed of experienced youth volunteers, with the exception of the Captain and Chief Mate who are adults.
Youth 13 - 18 can sign up for challenging expedition-style voyages aboard one of our tall ships for an adventure 1 - 2 weeks long on the Great Lakes. No experience is necessary and extensive in-house bursary funding is available to make participation available to youth from any financial background. We generally provide experiences to over 150 trainees each summer.
The crew training program runs concurrently with the Trainee Program in the summer, and throughout the rest of the year on weekends. During the summer, the volunteer crew deliver the Trainee Program by leading and teaching their peers, in addition to operating the vessels and building their own skillsets. This real-world responsibility undertaken by the youth crew is the hallmark of Brigs’ leadership program.
Crew members are drawn from the pool of summer trainees. Trainees who wish to deepen their involvement join the existing crew in an intensive training and volunteering program on weekends throughout the school year. Roughly 30 youth participate annually.
Crew and crew-in-training receive extensive skill development in leadership, marine heritage skills, and trade skills while performing real maintenance on the vessels they will be sailing on in the summer. They also receive one-to-one mentoring, support and coaching towards taking on new responsibilities, and careers advice for after graduation. Participation in this program often spans several years, until graduation at 18 or 19 years old. It is this program that has the most significant transformational impact on participants’ lives, with alumni spanning 60 years who still credit their involvement with Brigs as a teenager as being deeply influential on their personal development and direction that their life took.
The season comprises a spring outfit in preparation for annual inspection by Transport Canada, a spring season of short voyages and day sails in Lake Ontario, a summer season in the Great Lakes, and a fall season of short voyages and day sails back in Lake Ontario. Summer voyages are between 3 days and 2 weeks long.
During the Winter Brigs runs a Maintenance and training program for youth hoping to become crew the following season. This program takes place at the Brigs office and workshop every Friday evening and Saturday from November to March.
Brigs runs the two concurrent youth leadership and adventure programs listed above, and maintains and operates two traditional sailing vessels. Brigs has strong program staff, volunteers, and community base, however the organization has recently reinstated the Executive Director position in 2022 after a hiatus without an ED or dedicated fundraising professional.
To this effect, we are searching for a seasoned professional to provide overall leadership, help generate funds, develop internal structure and processes, and build awareness of the organization and its impact in Hamilton and Georgian Bay. You will be working in a unique and established program with a dedicated community around it, and we are looking for you to bring your industry knowledge, best-practice, and network to help Brigs develop financial and organizational stability.
Key Roles and Responsibilities of Executive Director
Organizational Leadership and Accountability for the overall operation of Brigs as a non-profit, charitable organization.
Fund Development and Financial Oversight to ensure successful and sustainable operations in the years to come.
Support Program Operations and develop and execute Marketing strategies to enhance Brand value.
Liaise with the Board of Directors.
- Working with the Board of Directors to enhance and execute the strategic direction of the organization including through the development of a strategic plan to support sustainable operations in the years to come.
- Establish a strong, complementary, and effective working relationship with the Program Coordinator, Fleet and Training Managers, Committees and Board of Directors.
- Manage fund development and revenue generation strategies in conjunction with the Ashore Committee, Program Registrar and Administrator and Board of Directors.
- Establish a strong and valuable working relationship with the Board Chair and members of the Board of Directors, including its committees.
- Develop a fundraising strategy for Brigs in conjunction with other staff and the Board.
- Secure a robust and diverse support base for Brigs by establishing, stewarding, and enhancing existing relationships while focusing on building new relationships with key sponsors, donors, government agencies, and foundations.
- Cultivate new and renewed sources of major gifts, sponsorships, partnerships, and grants.
- Provide leadership to the staff and volunteers to create a process and knowledge base for key fund development activities.
- Lead and participate in all aspects of fundraising activity, including grant writing.
- Maximize revenue generation through shoulder season programming.
- Work in conjunction with our Administrator, treasurer, bookkeeper and external auditors to ensure financials are in order and audits, T3010 submissions and sales tax returns are completed each fiscal year
- Maintain effective internal controls related to all financial matters, with appropriate checks and balances between departments and with the Board.
- Regularly review the effectiveness of the organizational structure, policies, system controls, and procedures; and make improvements as required.
- Report on high level operations, fundraising and charitable management to the Board of Directors on a monthly basis.
- Actively seek out fundraising opportunities and produce monetary results or progress towards successful outcomes
- Ensure compliance with the CRA and applicable legislation is met at all times, particularly regarding donation receipt.
- Manage programming at a high level with close collaboration with the Administrator and Managers/Captains.
- Ensure programming is delivered in a professional manner. This will include good seamanship, professional behavior, and dynamic risk assessment.
- Oversee key deliverables from the Managers/Captains, including:
- Annual Transport Canada safety inspections and certifications
- Vessels are operated safely and legally
- Routine record-keeping and maintenance is completed
- Brigs’ programs are delivered on board
- All crew are positive representatives of the organization
- Ensure winter and summer activities are completed in a timely manner and within budget.
Marketing & Communications
- In conjunction with staff, volunteers and the Board develop and supervise the execution of a marketing and communication strategy to engage the existing base of support and reach a broader audience for program and donor engagement.
- Promote Brig’s overall strategies for audience development and engagement.
- Collaborate with the Administrator and Ashore Committee to develop and implement plans.
- Work to Improve uptake in Brigs programs specifically from diverse groups and bursary participants.
- Responsible for representing Brigs at meetings and events when required
Culture and Community
- Support a positive and inclusive workplace where all team members are valued, supported, and can authentically be themselves.
- Develop and maintain relationships with partners in the community, stakeholders, donors and vendors.
Qualifications and Requirements of Successful Candidate
- You have experience in leadership roles in charitable or similar organizations
- You have familiarity and experience in Charity compliance including financial compliance
- You are a successful fundraiser with multiple years of fundraising and grant writing experience
- You have general experience in charitable organizations
- You can assess risk, both financial and operational, and show good judgment
- You have excellent problem solving and communication skills
- You have proven leadership skills and can work as part of a diverse team
- Experience managing volunteers and interacting with a volunteer Board of Directors
- You are computer literate and have a Valid Ontario “G” Driver’s license or equivalent
- You have at least 5 years experience as Executive Director (or equivalent) of a charitable organization
- Experience in sail training or the delivery of other marine oriented youth activities
- Experience with Google Suite
The Executive Director will be working at the Brigs office (208 Hillyard St., Hamilton, Ontario) a minimum of 60% of the time with the flexibility to work remotely for the balance when appropriate.
The organization will consider a part time role where appropriate.
Compensation and Benefits:
- Base pay of $50,000/year (full-time) plus a bonus structure based on operational metrics.
- Flexible working arrangements.
- Office closed during Christmas period.
- Sailing on a tall ship!
Job Types: Part-time, Full-time
Part-time hours: 40 per week
Flexible Language Requirement:
- Monday to Friday
- Weekends as needed
Supplemental pay types:
Ability to commute/relocate:
- Hamilton, ON L8L 6B6: reliably commute or plan to relocate before starting work (required)
- Bachelor's Degree (preferred)
- fundraising: 10 years (preferred)
Work Location: Hybrid remote in Hamilton, ON L8L 6B6