Executive Director Job Description

Shining Stars Therapeutic Riding Program (SSTR), located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is seeking an Executive Director. This is a full-time, salaried position with benefits reporting to the Board of Directors and overseeing a staff of 3 employees and 100 volunteers. The Executive Director is a key participant in SSTR’s fundraising and donor development. The successful candidate must demonstrate excellent interpersonal and leadership skills as well as a working knowledge of non-profit governance and accounting practices. It is preferred that the candidate have a strong equestrian background. Specific responsibilities may include staff management and development, program oversight and development, oversight of equine health and training programs, farm management oversight, liaison with the board of directors, donor cultivation, budget development, and management.  

Exempt/salaried full-time position; reports to Board of Directors. Position located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

SALARY: $40,000 – $60,000 annually, commensurate with experience. 

BENEFITS: health insurance, paid vacation days, a very casual work environment where you spend your days around horses. Lead a program that has embraced our community with hope and unconditional love by serving individuals with special needs since 2003. 

ABOUT Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries:

Located near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries (SSTM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving local communities, generally in Adams and York Counties. Student registration is open to anyone 2 to 92+ years old with special needs. Instructor-guided exercises, activities, and games provide opportunities for student challenge and progress, as well as a means of recreation and enjoyment. Our mission is to provide therapeutic horsemanship programs to children, adults, and families with special needs to improve physical, mental, emotional, and social areas of their lives. We exist to embrace our community with hope and unconditional love by serving individuals with special needs to develop strength, build confidence, and achieve goals. At Shining Stars, families get the therapy they need from the horses they love.


The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors. The ED will have overall operational responsibility for the strategic implementation of SSTR’s mission, through management of the organization’s programs, administration, fundraising, and staff. They will cultivate knowledge of SSTR’s policy and practices, will develop opportunities and partnerships, refine procedures, and develop a sustainable business plan to lead the organization’s growth. 


All goals and objectives associated with the primary duties and responsibilities will be reviewed annually during the development of performance expectations. 

The Executive Director performs the following essential functions: 


  • Participate with the Board of Directors in developing a vision and strategic plan to guide the organization. 
  • Promote the Board of Directors’ engagement in critical thinking, strategic planning, resource/financial development, strategic partnerships, and overall organizational wellness. 
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors: serve as ex-officio of each committee, seek and build Board involvement with strategic direction, work with Board to recruit, train and maintain a strong, balanced Board of Directors and committees. 
  • Position SSTR for long term sustainability and further its mission to provide therapeutic horsemanship programs to children, adults, and families with special needs to improve physical, mental, emotional and social areas of their lives 
  • Represent SSTR at appropriate public functions and be a primary spokesperson for the organization. 
  • Develop an operational plan which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the organization. 
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day operation of the organization that is consistent with best practices in nonprofit management. Ensure that the operation of the organization meets the expectations of its constituents, Board and donors. 
  • Oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of the organization’s programs and services. 
  • Ensure that the programs and services offered by the organization contribute to the organization’s mission and reflect the priorities set by the Board of Directors. 
  • Leverage relationships to garner new programmatic opportunities for the organization. 
  • Determine staffing and independent contractor requirements to maximize organizational management and program delivery. 
  • Prepare for the anticipated growth of the organization: develop and implement appropriate human resource policies and procedures, including training, career development, hiring and firing, succession planning, and performance management for all staff. 
  • Foster a positive, healthy, and safe work environment in accordance with all appropriate legislation and regulations. Promote an organizational culture that fosters a passion for the mission, cooperation, open and frequent communication, teamwork, and a common organizational vision. 



  • Ensure that SSTR is fiscally sound. Work with staff and the Board of Directors to prepare a comprehensive budget. 
  • Establish rigorous accountability and reporting standards and ensure compliance and accountability to Board of Directors, constituents, funders, and regulatory bodies. 
  • Engage with Treasurer and Board of Directors in developing and evaluating internal controls, financial planning, diversification, accounting, banking, and reporting procedures. 
  • Responsible for all bookkeeping and accounting activities, either directly or through the management of outsourced vendors. 



  • Develop, organize, and implement fundraising activities with the Fundraising Committee to secure adequate funding for SSTR operations and programs. 
  • Sustain and grow a diverse funding base. Emphasis will be on individual giving, corporate and foundation giving, in-kind donations, and overall growing the base of SSTR supporters while maintaining rapport with existing donors. 
  • Responsible for all donor tax receipts and acknowledgment, either directly or through oversight of staff or volunteers.
  • Identify, write, and manage grants for programs and general operations. Marketing, Community Relations, and Partnerships 


  • Responsible for development and implementation of annual Marketing and Communications Plan, either directly or by managing and supporting an outsourced communications vendor. 
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications to existing stakeholders and a broader audience— from web presence to external relations—with the goal of creating a strong awareness of SSTR’s mission and work, while fostering a commitment to serve in the community. 
  • Develop and/or oversee the development of the website and ensure content is regularly updated. Support content development for active social media. 
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, elected officials, and other community leaders. Develop and support contacts in local and state-wide media. 


  • A University degree in a related field is strongly preferred; professional designation is not required. 
  • Three or more years of progressive management experience in a non-profit or government sector organization. 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills. 
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, with the ability to balance multiple projects. 
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people. • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed. 
  • Knowledge and demonstrated performance of leadership and management principles as they relate to non-profit organizations or government. 
  • Knowledge of all federal and state legislation applicable to nonprofit sector organizations including employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety, charities, taxation, etc. 
  • Excellence in project management and organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget. 
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures. 


Please submit a resume, references, and cover letter to pcollins0114@gmail.com or mail to Shining Stars Therapeutic Riding Program, 3175 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Inquiries can be made to (717)624-4047.