Clouds in Water Zen Center Seeks Executive Director

Greetings community members, just passing along this notice from our friends at Clouds in Water Zen Center:

Position Opening: Executive Director

Clouds in Water Zen Center seeks an executive director at 30 hours per week to lead us into a new phase of development as a religious non-profit organization. We are looking for a collaborative leader who can help develop and implement our strategic plans, lead our fundraising/friendraising efforts, and also oversee the day-to-day operations.

Established in 1994, Clouds in Water is a vibrant, diverse Buddhist community in the Soto Zen tradition. We offer a variety of learning and practice opportunities, including daily meditation, Sunday services, dharma talks, retreats, classes, youth and family practice, a Black Indigenous People Of Color (BIPOC) sitting group and groups challenging white supremacy. Programs are open to long-time members and to those who are newcomers to Buddhism. Our funding comes primarily from individual donors, classes and retreats, and some grants (mainly for BIPOC programming). Eight years ago, we clarified our Core Beliefs and Functions and then, in 2015, we purchased our own building in the Old Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Executive Director Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively on high-level, medium- and long-range strategic planning with the Guiding Teacher (head priest/spiritual leader) and the Board of Directors.
  • Develop and lead fundraising and friendraising efforts, including donor campaigns and appealing to private foundations
  • Maintain regular communication with community members through periodic newsletters, website, and other means
  • Be accountable to and create reports for the Board of Directors
  • Manage finances, including: multiple income streams, expenses, and budget
  • Supervise bookkeeper and oversee human resources/personnel, searches/hiring
  • The guiding teacher is responsible for developing and managing all aspects of programming, including overseeing programming staff and volunteers. The executive director and guiding teacher may collaborate on some programming and event planning details.
  • Oversee maintenance of building and grounds

Working Hours and Benefits

The Executive Director position averages 30 hours per week. Salary is $40,000 per year. Paid Time Off is 5 weeks per year (including vacation, holidays, personal time and sick time). Life insurance is included. Working from home hours are negotiable.


  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills
  • Enthusiasm and aptitude for fundraising, friendraising, and generating good will
  • Ability to organize and prioritize projects on multiple timelines and problem-solve creatively
  • Ability to work with our database, eTapestry, to generate reports, analyze donor patterns, track donor trends, and identify potential new or upgraded donors.
  • Ability to understand and utilize emerging technologies to help our organization to stay vital and grow.
  • Ability to collaborate at all levels of the organization and communicate clearly with diplomacy
  • Show discernment in sensitive situations
  • Employ tactful use of authority to work with others
  • Demonstrate respect for Buddhist practice and values

Experience and Education

We prefer candidates with involvement and interest in belonging to a spiritual community

Experience managing an organizational budget

Experience with a nonprofit board of directors

Familiarity with commonly-used technology and applications (G Suite, Excel)

Familiarity with member databases and enthusiasm for/ability to become proficient

Enthusiasm for developing a donor base within the context of spiritual community

Physical Requirements

·       Able to lift up to 25 lbs

·       Have clear vision at 20 inches or less, color vision, peripheral vision, and use of depth perception.

·       Handle moderate environmental noise

Most of the time the Executive Director will use their ability to:

·       Use hands to finger, handle and/or feel

·       Reach with hands and arms

·       Talk and hear

·       Work under tight deadlines while utilizing memory functions.

Application Guidelines

Position open until filled

Please send a resume and letter of interest to:

SEARCH COMMITTEE ? Executive Director, Rev. Toku Scott,

Clouds in Water Zen Center, 445 Farrington Street, St. Paul, MN 55104.

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