January 15, 2016

Sample Job Description: Deputy Director

This job description is the broadest of the chief operating officer-track positions: the role oversees everything internal, freeing up the executive director to focus on external matters.

This description is part of the Nonprofit Job Description Toolkit View more

This job description is the broadest of the COO-track positions: the role oversees everything internal, freeing up the executive director to focus on external matters such as fundraising, public relations, and partnerships.

Feel free to use and modify this sample job description to help you create one for your organization.

Sample Position Description

Reporting to the executive director (ED), the Deputy Director will have both internal and external facing responsibilities, ranging from client and project management (business development, framing of key approaches, high-quality client delivery, written products) to administration (information technology, reporting, facilities), and human capital (HR/recruiting, mentoring, career progression). The Deputy Director will partner closely with the ED to chart XYZ Nonprofit’s future growth and strategic response to an ever-increasing demand for the organization’s services.


Project Development, Management, and Client Relations/Management

  • Structure and lead teams to deliver outstanding client work.
  • Build and maintain strong client relationships; exceptional relationship-builder.
  • Represent XYZ Nonprofit in industry-group conferences, professional associations, and other public venues.
  • Develop thought leadership around specific topics/emerging practice areas.
  • Share in knowledge dissemination, reporting, and communications.

Firm Building

  • Partner with the ED in essential internal firm leadership activities (human resources, administration, and organizational planning).
  • Manage increasing segments of information technology, human resources (recruiting, reviews, staff deployment/workload balancing, career progression) with related internal communications and budgeting/finance duties.
  • Identify best practices and improve internal systems with an eye toward future needs and budget realities.
  • Mentoring, coaching; visible, approachable sounding board/resource


  • 15-plus distinguished years in a senior management position in a nonprofit organization, foundation, or government agencies
  • Highly intelligent, advanced/MBA degree from a leading university
  • Track record delivering superior results, commanding respect, and assuming leadership roles
  • Success in roles requiring execution of multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities
  • Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, and good humor
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of people – junior and
  • senior, for-profit and nonprofit, and from diverse backgrounds
  • Operates with excellence in mind in all matters, with the confidence to defend/debate ideas without ego interfering
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills are essential
  • Passionate about XYZ Nonprofit’s mission and impact
  • Ability to exercise tact and diplomacy in organizational settings
  • Transparent, direct, with substance
  • Self-starter, self disciplined
  • Spark, imagination, creativity
  • Remain focused in the face of pressure, delivers against timelines, not intimidated by tasks/time limitations

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