Job Posting 83385

Executive Director
The Doorway
Calgary area
Based at The Doorway with flexibility for some work from home
closes in 11 days (Fri, 3 Jun)
full time  •  $90,000 - $110,000 / year

The Doorway is looking for a collaborative, community focused leader to be their next Executive Director (ED). The successful candidate will be an engaging, inclusive, approachable leader with lived experience in ethnocultural, racialized, equity seeking communities and a passion for collaborating for equitable system change. Grounded in the belief of a youth’s ability to self-determine and a passion for helping young people help themselves, the candidate will display values of empathy, compassion and a commitment to possibility and hope in their every interaction.  A great team leader, the candidate uses good listening and communication skills to work well with others, respecting their views and supporting staff and volunteers to develop their skills.  Positive and encouraging, the candidate will have an open and flexible style. They will be good at problem solving and able to make sound decisions that generate unified support from diverse groups of stakeholders.

They will be a confident leader who can network and speak publicly about The Doorway in a business environment yet still be able to engage with participants on a meaningful level.  An accomplished relationship builder, the candidate will be able to participate in positive ways in community initiatives to support youth. They will have the skills to raise significant support to fund our mission and will strategically engage with the community for greater awareness and stronger partnerships to ensure The Doorway thrives into the future, reaching and serving more youth.

The candidate will have extensive knowledge and direct experience with vulnerable youth such as in social work, addictions, family services, mental health, or other similar work experience. The candidate focuses their practice within a participatory action research framework and is committed to outcomes evaluation.

The successful candidate will have experience supporting a nonprofit board of directors in its governance duties and working with an engaged, passionate workforce of staff and volunteers. The successful candidate will have a good understanding of non-profit finances, including project-based funding, grant applications, reporting and their implications.

Organization Overview

In the late 80’s The Doorway piloted as an experiment in social change addressing young people living on the streets in Calgary. A sociological frame started with learning directly from the young people. An understanding of the differences between street culture and mainstream culture led to an awareness that the definition of ‘on the street’ was and still is today different than ‘homeless’.

The Doorway Approach engages both young people living on the streets and mainstream community members in a self-determined planning process and cross-cultural exchange to make these lasting changes. It is an approach based on the following principles:

  • Integrity / Dignity
  • Acceptance without judgement or prejudice
  • People who listen to each other learn from each other
  • Life is such that things do not always work
  • Forgiveness (Every day is a new day)
  • All actions / choices affect other people 

Our Vision and Mission:


An equitable world where young people have the tools to thrive


Making change possible by empowering young people to take steps toward a better quality of life

The Process:

The Doorway welcomes all young people (17-30 years old) who want to get off the street. We are a community here to listen without judgement. We give young people a safe space where they can tap into their innate wisdom and chart their own path forward. Change is possible. 

The Future:

The firm foundation we’ve built over the last 35 years of listening to and learning from young people involved in street culture provides The Doorway with a unique opportunity to contribute to system changes that reduce the reasons young people find themselves on the street. When organizations work effectively together, we believe that those young people can have barrier free access to a holistic group of services and supports. We are seeking an experienced and energetic leader to work with our dedicated staff and committed Board to enhance our support of young people through collaborative, diverse and adaptable programming that addresses the complex challenges they face. Key to our success is a research based approach focused on outcomes evaluation that welcomes and supports all young people that find themselves on the street, regardless of their background or situation. Together we make change possible.

Role Emphasis

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the successful leadership and management at The Doorway (The Backdoor, Youth Employment Society) and for consistent achievement of its mission and strategies. The ED’s major mandate is to ensure that The Doorway has a long-range strategy for success in supporting positive outcomes for participants. As the senior staff member of The Doorway, the ED clearly understands, demonstrates and practices the values and philosophy of the organization while providing leadership to a small, capable, engaged team of staff and community volunteers. Key responsibilities include Fund Development; optimal use of organizational finances, staff and resources; long range strategic and fiscal planning; operational oversight and support; building collaborative relationships with other agencies toward systemic change; enhancing The Doorway’s role in the community; and ensuring The Doorway’s programs evolve to meet the changing and complex needs of young people engaged in street culture.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, and has several direct reports;

  • Program Manager
  • Fund Development Manager
  • Bookkeeper (contract)
  • IT (contract)

Key Accountabilities:

Leadership and Management

  • Establish a positive, healthy, and safe work environment while fostering a culture consistent with the society’s core values and future strategies.
  • Increase organizational effectiveness and facilitate personal and organization change through the use of interventions suitable for development.
  • Provide leadership focus on developing organizational capability through alignment of strategy, structure, management processes, people, and rewards and metrics.
  • Establish accountability standards and systems that track the society’s effectiveness and impact.
  • Recruit and retain a team of staff and volunteers who fit the culture and perform in their roles.
  • Identify, evaluate and mitigate risks to The Doorway people (participants, staff, volunteers), finances, goodwill, and brand.

Community Leadership and Advocacy

  • Seek to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, are able to have their voice heard on issues that are important to them, defend and safeguard their rights, and have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.
  • Collaborate with other organizations in shared learning, thought leadership with a focus on systems change.
  • Keep abreast of The Doorway role in the context of our city, and the social issues that young people encounter in their process of cultural integration.

Financial Planning and Management 

  • Develop and implement financial administration strategies and systems with Board and Staff that are effective and aligned with the society’s vision and mission.
  • Develop sustainable funding and create a healthy financial foundation by establishing strong relationships and support with funders and partners.

Fund Development

  • Ensure effective strategy and activities related to fund development.
  • Work with the Board to develop and implement a relationship-based fund development plan to secure adequate funding for programs and operations.
  • Hands-on leadership and execution of fundraising initiatives such as grant writing and reporting; event management; soliciting direct individual and corporate donations, gifts in kind, and sponsorships; organizing casinos; and obtaining support from private and public foundations.

Governance and Board Relations 

  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors to model governance best practices.
  • Renew and maintain the implementation of the annual strategic plan and priorities to fulfill The Doorway’s long-term vision.
  • Engage Board members collectively and individually as strategic partners to advance the interests of The Doorway.


  • Maintain annual federal and provincial Society status registration and licensing.
  • Ensure procedures as outlined in the Society Bylaws are in place and followed.
  • Oversee all business processes including human resources, accounting/record keeping, purchasing, insurance, and location maintenance activities.


Key competencies the candidate must demonstrate are:

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Networking and Relationship Building
  • Fund Development
  • Results Orientation

Required Experience/Skills

  • At least five years of experience in a senior leadership/Executive Director position, working collaboratively with a volunteer Board of Directors.
  • Passion for and connection with the vulnerable youth sector, ability to positively influence key stakeholders and partners locally, provincially and nationally to enhance the experience of youth in our communities.
  • Experience with or commitment to working with youth within a participatory action research framework.
  • Excellent communication skills: demonstrated ability to tailor communication to different audiences, particularly participants, staff, volunteers, donors, community leaders, partner agencies and politicians.
  • Strong operational and business skills: strategic planning, people and organizational leadership, sound financial knowledge, innovative program development and human resources management plus hands on experience supporting vulnerable youth.
  • Exceptional fund development/donor stewardship skills: a strategic approach to developing sustainable funding and a strong financial foundation through establishing strong relationships and support with funders and partners.


Post-secondary degree in social work, sociology, community development, education or a related discipline, supplemented by business or management experience.

Candidates with a different combination of relevant experience and education are welcome to apply.

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