The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) seeks an experienced and politically savvy Executive Director who is a passionate advocate for rural communities, and has a strong track record of leading organizations through transitions. RCAP is looking for a strategic leader that can build on the organization’s excellent track record of delivering high quality services, information, and resources to rural communities.
Founded in 1973, RCAP is a nonprofit service delivery network comprised of a national office in Washington, DC and six regional partners. RCAP secures funding from federal agencies and passes the majority of that funding through to network organizations. The national office provides technical assistance, training and financial resources to network organizations, who in turn hire field staff to provide hands on technical assistance and training to rural communities. RCAP’s work has focused primarily on water, wastewater and solid waste utilities serving low-income communities with populations of less than 2,500 residents and in the last several years, programs to assist private water well owners. RCAP network organizations include: Communities Unlimited, Great Lakes RCAP, Midwest Assistance Program, RCAP Solutions, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, and Southeast Rural Community Assistance Corporation. While the work of RCAP network organizations addresses a broader set of community and economic development issues, the national office has remained focused on issues related to water, waste water and solid waste in rural communities.
RCAP engages in the following activities:
Securing and managing federal grants – RCAP staff write proposals and secure funding from federal agencies, primarily the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The vast majority of this funding is passed through to network organizations and other sub-grantees. The national office is responsible for insuring that all sub-grantees meet grant requirements and provide RCAP with the data needed to submit required reports.
Education, training and technical assistance – The national office is responsible for organizing an annual conference for network members and staff, and providing training to network staff. Training materials, including manuals or guides as well as comprehensive educational presentations and videos, are prepared and/or overseen by national office staff.
Advocacy on behalf of rural communities and network organizations – RCAP staff and a contract lobbying firm work to advance the issues important to rural communities and network organizations. RCAP staff organize an annual fly-in to share information about rural communities with key constituencies on Capitol Hill.
RCAP is governed by a 12-member Board that includes the leaders of each regional network organization as well as six at-large members. The Board meets quarterly. Board members are located throughout the United States. The national staff consists of eight people, only four of whom are full time. Lobbying, accounting, and IT services are provided on a contractual basis.
RCAP’s FY16 budget is approximately $10.4 million, including more than $9 million that was passed through to regional network organizations. Funding comes primarily from federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services. RCAP has had a clean audit for the past 11 years. RCAP is searching for a new leader because the incumbent is leaving after 11 years to move back to Texas. For more information visit RCAP.org.
Reporting to the Board, the Executive Director provides national leadership to the network, represents and speaks on behalf of the network and rural communities in national forums, and manages the day-to-day operations of the staff and office. The Executive Director should be a strong leader who is able to develop and implement a change agenda, is passionate about rural communities, detail oriented, and experienced in securing and managing federal grants. The position is located in Washington, DC.
- Work with the Board to set the strategic direction of the organization, including an assessment of whether RCAP should expand to address the needs of rural communities more comprehensively.
- Oversee the day-to-day operations and ensure that the RCAP team at the national office remains strong, especially in light of the planned retirement of several key members of the RCAP staff.
- Maintain and build relationships with key federal funders and insure that RCAP continues to comply with grant requirements and deliver high quality services.
- Maintain, strengthen and further develop close working relationships with organizations that have similar missions related to rural communities, water and wastewater utilities, environmental protection, and rural economic development.
- Monitor legislation and regulations that impact rural communities, especially in the areas of water, waste water, and solid waste.
- Develop and implement a funding strategy that diversifies organizational funding sources and reduces the organization’s reliance on federal funding.
- Support the work of the network partners to further diversify their programs and funding sources.
- Support the Board in its governance role and foster its ongoing development.
- Support network members in meeting their contractual obligations and promote the use of best practices in the provision of services to rural communities.
- Work with the Communications Director to raise the organization’s profile and enhance consistency across the network with the RCAP brand.
- Insure that RCAP provides a work environment that supports the highest performance of staff by updating internal operations, personnel policies and staff compensation.