Bus Project is hiring a permanent Executive Director

Does the thought of enfranchising a new generation get you up in the morning? Do you wash down your Wheaties with a tall glass of civic engagement? Do you thrive in small teams of dedicated activists, hustling to get the job done day-in-day-out? Then get yourself in the driver’s seat of the Bus, friend.

Job Title
: Executive Director

Reports to: Boards of Directors of the Bus Project and the Bus Foundation


The Bus Project seeks a strategic and creative Executive Director to shape, inspire, and manage the organization’s future in deep collaboration with its talented team of hard working staff, enthusiastic volunteers, and committed Board of Directors.

The ideal candidate can build momentum in a crowd of high school students, introduce a City Council member at a candidate briefing, craft a results driven annual work plan, and mentor an emerging leader – sometimes all in the same week. They can move effortlessly from major donors to new voters and from elected officials to volunteers.

They must have a passion for democratic engagement, be a fearless fundraiser, have a good dose of respectful irreverence, and revel in the magic of young people in the midst of discovery.


The Bus Project is a vehicle for change driven by young people. We work towards a brighter, more inclusive future and empower everyone to make change in the great state of Oregon. We know the issues we love—like keeping it green, ramping up equality, robust health outcomes for all, sane economic policies, smart schools, and more accessible & effective government—can be transformed in our state.

The Bus Project is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit based in Portland, OR with her sister organization, the Bus Project Foundation a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We are best known for programs like PolitiCorps, an intensive political organizing fellowship; Trick or Vote, the Halloween GOTV canvass; issue advocacy; and large-scale nonpartisan voter engagement and volunteer work.

The Bus is part of a growing national federation of organizations (7 states and organizations in total) that borrow from Oregon’s model and that have pushed innovation forward in young voter work.


The position reports to the Boards of Directors of the Bus Project and the Bus Foundation.


  • Exhibit a passion for and dedication to the work of the Bus and the youth constituency it serves
  • Provide overall strategic leadership, vision, direction, and guidance
  • Foster shared leadership, inclusive decision-making, and positive relationships with and between the Board, staff, and organization stakeholders
  • Think systemically and strategically; identify and address changes and trends in the community
  • Ensure the Bus has the human, financial, and operational resources it needs
  • Participate in Bus Federation activities and convenings. Learn from and share with affiliated organizations working across the U.S. and Bus Federation staff


  • Serve as the chief fundraising strategist
  • Forge, maintain, and enhance relationships with donors, funding partners, and all key organizational stakeholders
  • Serve as a spokesperson and advocate for the organization
  • Engage the Board of Directors in joyful and dynamic fundraising activities
  • Work effectively with political leaders and within the political infrastructure


  • Provide mentoring, professional development and management of staff
  • Cultivate a climate that welcomes and inspires top-quality staff and volunteers
  • Ensure the Bus has a diverse staff with skills appropriate to their roles
  • Ensure there is a sound organizational structure aligned with the Bus’ priorities


  • Oversee the development and implementation of annual work plans
  • Develop the annual budget in partnership with the leadership team and the Board
  • Ensure the internal systems and processes are in place to support the organization
  • Oversee the financial performance of the Bus in partnership with the Board
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations


  • Serve as the primary conduit between the two Boards, staff, volunteers and stakeholders
  • Work closely with the Board chairs to ensure all board members are fully participating in their board commitments and oversight of the organizations


  • 2+ years of nonprofit or campaign management experience at the leadership team level
  • Experience working with staff, interns and volunteers in a collaborative, team environment
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors
  • Capable fundraiser. Experience with monthly donors, major gifts and grants
  • Previous fiscal management and budgetary experience
  • Experience working on campaigns and/or issue advocacy
  • A bachelor’s degree


  • Passion, energy, and drive for the Bus Project’s mission and a profound belief in the ability of young people to make a positive difference in Oregon’s civic life
  • Able to maintain mission focus -and inspire it in others- while navigating strong personalities, multiple deadlines, ambiguity, and shifts in the political landscape
  • Integrity and a commitment to professional ethics, values, and fairness
  • A commitment to inclusion and experienced working in diverse communities including: people of color, LGBTQ, new immigrant, low-income communities and individuals with disabilities
  • Fundraising creativity and agility
  • Strong speaking, listening, and written communication skills
  • Able to inspire a diverse community of youth, friends, volunteers, and supporters: enthusiastic, authentic, self-assured, approachable, and charismatic
  • Strategic thinker and decision maker with a knack for planning, creating systems, and driving to results. Proven ability to translate complexity and big ideas into appropriate, practical action.


The Bus Project is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, people with disabilities and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities are encouraged to apply.


This is a full-time, exempt position that requires a willingness to work some evenings and weekends and travel within the state as well as regionally and nationally. Health insurance is provided. The salary range is between $50,000-$55,000 DOE.

How to apply

All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt and will be held confidentially within the Search Committee. Interviews for the position will be conducted in early April; we anticipate a hiring decision made shortly thereafter.


  • Please submit a resume and cover letter as soon as possible. Full consideration will be given to all letters and resumes received by close of business Friday, April 10, 2015
  • Cover letters should be no more than 2 pages in length. In your cover letter, please share how your professional interests and passions specifically correlate to the mission and purpose of the Oregon Bus. Answer the questions: Why the Bus? Why now?
  • We request all applications be submitted via email, in PDF format (cover letter and resume combined into one document) emailed to: jobs@busproject.org It’s not that we hate the post office, but please, no paper submissions.

Note: All jobs are fast-paced, high-intensity, and a little ridiculous—sometimes absurd. We take our work very seriously and ourselves far less so. It’s hard, but man, it’s super fun.

We also recommend taking a peek at our annual summer fellowship: PolitiCorps, a 10 week political organizing bootcamp.