Job Post

Executive Director

Company Name: Animal Assistance Foundation
Company Website:
Location: Denver
Job Type: Full Time
Job Category: Administration

The Animal Assistance Foundation advances the welfare of companion animals in Colorado, as a resource and agent for positive impact, through community investment, collaboration, and leadership.


Community Responsibility

The Animal Assistance Foundation (AAF) is a private grant-making foundation that supports Colorado nonprofits that work with companion animals and are committed to building Socially Conscious animal communities.


AAF was established in 1975 and made possible through a generous donation from the granddaughter of brewer Adolph Coors, Louise Harrison, who was passionate about animal welfare.  Today, AAF is led by a volunteer board of community members invested in our mission.


AAF believes that animals enrich our lives and communities are happier and more humane when people and animals live in harmony. Animal welfare is a community concern, too vast for any single organization, and requires strong collaboration from multiple diverse organizations to enact lasting change.


AAF is a socially conscious animal welfare organization. We believe every animal welfare organization has an ethical responsibility to balance multiple complex factors to arrive at the most responsible and humane outcome for every animal.


We believe that euthanasia of companion animals is a humane alternative to an existence of life without access to the Five Freedoms, or when public safety is at risk.


The welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state, and we consider that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of well-being. Any animal kept by man, must at least, be protected from unnecessary suffering.


No animal should be denied shelter based on philosophical differences. We support organizations that accept any animal that comes to their doors, that place appropriate pets in new homes, that provide rehabilitation to animals that need extra care and those that are willing to make the difficult decision to euthanize animals who are so medically and behaviorally compromised that placement in the community is inappropriate or unsafe.


Words and phrases do not help animals; innovative programs, collaborative efforts, new initiatives and strong partnerships that bring the community together do. The use of divisive language is detrimental to the welfare of animals in a community and leads to a decreased level of animal welfare and reduced access to resources.


Collaboration is the key to progress, and we believe in the power of listening and learning from each other. We know that our collective strength is greater than our individual strength.


AAF is a member of the Animal Welfare Association of Colorado and the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance, coalitions leading the way locally and nationally in supporting and defining best practices in Socially Conscious sheltering.



Executive Director Position Summary

The board of the Animal Assistance Foundation now seeks a new Executive Director to lead this impactful, community-based work.


The Executive Director works with the Board in developing the vision and direction of the Foundation, then implements a strategy and provides the motivation necessary to ensure the Foundation’s success.  The Executive Director makes decisions that result in efficient and effective foundation functioning, and which contributes to the dialogue, vision, and direction of the statewide animal welfare field.  The Executive Director creatively expands ways to leverage the Foundation’s resources, is strategic in funding choices, demonstrates a deep understanding of the Foundation’s programmatic areas, evaluates the impact of funding, and prioritizes effectively.


The Executive Director also ensures the Foundation fulfills its responsibilities to the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund including filling a position on the board of Directors, providing administrative support for financial, operational, and grant activities, and coordinating outreach efforts for the Fund.


The Executive Director manages a small team and an annual operating budget of $1.7 million.


Success as Executive Director

The work of the Executive Director encompasses a variety of day-to-day tasks from overseeing investment management processes to traveling around the state to meet with partners and initiating community collaboration in Colorado communities.


To succeed in this role, the Executive Director needs to maintain awareness of animal welfare activities and issues around the state, especially as they relate to the mission of the Foundation.


The daily work of the Executive Director involves solving funding and program-related problems, helping local and regional organizations connect with each other and the resources they need, and bringing new industry challenges to light so that the Foundation can address them proactively.  Strategic thinking and relationship building are key to the Foundation’s success.


The Executive Director is comfortable and savvy navigating challenging conversations and providing difficult feedback in a professional, productive, and compassionate way.  The Executive Director is effective in engaging community partners and developing the role of the Foundation to advance companion animal welfare in Colorado.




Leading AAF requires an executive who is committed, driven, flexible, and strategic.  Additionally, our new Executive Director is someone who can balance multiple priorities daily, who is passionate about making a difference, and who can effectively engage others in impactful work.


Specific skills and experience are sought in these areas:


Mission & Vision Management

·        Demonstrated experience in leading, in knowing how to develop, implement, and track an effective guiding framework for an organization’s success along with proven skills in implementing vision and building community engagement in that vision.

·        Some knowledge of animal welfare issues highly preferred; commitment to our mission, philosophy, and values required.

·        Experience in building strong collaborations and partnership among diverse stakeholders.

·        Strong written and verbal communication skills to engage in challenging conversations and situations with a diverse set of constituents and audiences.

·        Proven ability to be a trusted, respected public face of a community organization.

·        Demonstrated ability to adapt and innovate to address challenges as they come.


Fund Management

·        Some understanding of impactful philanthropy, best practices in deploying assets for effective impact and long-term sustainability, and the assessment of grantee performance.

·        Willingness to enhance and measure philanthropic processes that reflect industry best practices and innovative thinking.


Operations & Administration Management

·        Successful experience in leading nonprofit or community organizations; animal welfare programs and operations preferred but not required.

·        Successful experience in working with, building, and partnering with a volunteer board of directors.

·        Skills in building and executing annual budgets, overseeing organizational financial management, and administering an investment portfolio.

·        Experience in and commitment to building work environments that are welcoming, inclusive, and equitable.  Knows how to embed effective diversity, equity, and inclusion practices into all aspects of organization’s operations.

·        Strong organization skills to juggle the substantial variety and volume of tasks required to ensure the optimal performance of AAF.

·        Experience with day-to-day operations and oversight of all facets of a small business.


Thought Leadership

·        Experience in working with non-profit and government agencies to solve community challenges.

·        Strong analytical skills and an ability to identify core issues, synthesize information, and identify appropriate action steps.


Successful candidates for this role are leaders who can solve problems, build consensus, and drive for results.  We seek team members who have a high degree of emotional empathy, who can conceptualize solutions based on evolving and changing conditions, and who think strategically. Most of all, we value a leader who cares deeply about how animal welfare contributes to building a strong, healthy community.


Salary & Benefits

The salary range for this position starts at $130,000.  Fulltime employees are eligible for the Foundation’s health, retirement, and paid time off benefits.


How to Apply

If you are excited about what lies ahead for the Animal Assistance Foundation and would like to lead our team, then we would like to hear from you as soon as possible.  Please send a cover letter, resume, and salary expectations to our search consultant, Carolyn McCormick of Peak HR Consulting, LLC at [email protected].  All applications are to be submitted electronically.  To learn more about this position and the work of AAF, please visit us at


The Animal Assistance Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels.  All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics are encouraged to apply.