Join Our Team

Lead the Play Movement

LeadershipDetroit, MI

Executive Director

Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. Learn about the energetic, creative people working to ensure every kid has the chance to play—every day.

Playworks has retained Non-Profit Personnel Network to assist in this search. 

Inquiries and applications should be submitted to NPPN here.

ABOUT PLAYWORKS, at Playworks we believe in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. We are changing the school climate by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills by partnering with schools, districts, and after-school programs through services including digital engagement, on-site coaches, professional training for school staff who support play, and consultative partnerships.

ABOUT THE POSITION, the Executive Director in Michigan is the leader of local regional operations and team members. Reporting to the HUB Vice President - who oversees the operations in Michigan, New York/New Jersey, Michigan and North Carolina - the Executive Director is responsible for the region’s financial success and strategic impact. You will work closely with the Associate Director in the region and the regional board.  

You will be responsible for inspiring and managing a team that delivers Playworks’ three pillars of regional success:  sustainable financials, sustainable impact, and sustainable teams. 

In this role, you will:

  • Provide executive leadership for Playworks’ regional finances, leading the region’s strategies for fundraising, earned income, and board development; 
  • Design and implement a budget to accomplish the goals of Playworks in the region;
  • Accurately forecast revenue and expenses for the region on an ongoing basis; 
  • Create and maintain a regional business plan with input from the region’s stakeholders;
  • Oversee Playworks’ impact in the region with the regional leadership team, including program planning, implementation, expansion, evaluation and overall quality; 
  • Establish new school partnerships and maintain existing relationships with school, district, and community partners, working closely with the Associate Director;
  • Establish new funding relationships and ensure we maintain strong existing relationships with funders, working closely with the hub-wide development team;
  • Build and leverage strong strategic external partnerships to further spread the impact of safe and healthy play throughout Michigan;
  • Lead Playworks’ Michigan team, collaborating with staff and board members to set and execute the regional goals and strategies through coaching, mentoring, and training;
  • Work closely with the headquarters team and other regional Executive Directors and regional leaders throughout the country to share best practices and promote learning; 
  • Establish our organizational values, promote a fun and collaborative environment, communicate expectations, and recognize star performers- there are a lot of high-fives given at Playworks! 
  • Represent Playworks at /in the region with like-minded organizations and institutions. 

If you're a good fit for this position, you already know most of what this job entails. However, to be sure we're providing a complete picture, here are some details: 

  • You are committed to Playworks’ mission and vision to improve outcomes for children and schools. You are also committed to Playworks Equity Statement, recognizing that equity learning is a journey that will require a willingness to participate in organizational-wide learning and development. 
  • Success in the position will depend on your demonstrated record of success leading fundraising, managing a budget, and nurturing high performing teams. 
  • You will have a deep knowledge of the philanthropic landscape and public school system in the region, and an extensive professional network in the area. 
  • Your fundraising experience will include significant, verifiable achievements in all categories of philanthropy, including corporations, major donors, and foundations. 
  • Your prior leadership experiences and references should reflect a leadership style that is inclusive, adaptable, and brings out the best in a team. 
  • You will set the example for all of your region’s stakeholders and lead by it. 
  • As the external face of Playworks you will have exceptional communication and relationship skills—the ability to listen, discern, think on one’s feet, inspire confidence, and speak and write persuasively on a daily basis with people of diverse interests and backgrounds. 


Required Skills & Experience: 

  • Strong track record in fundraising, including the creation and maintenance of high-level relationships within the philanthropic community. 
  • Experience building external relationships with school districts, government agencies, and collaborative partners. 
  • Experience developing, directing, and leading teams (staff and board) with demonstrated excellence using outcome measurements and goal-setting.
  • Entrepreneurial self-starter and creative thinker with experience producing results in a rapidly growing, fast-paced, and dynamic environment. 
  • You must have outstanding communication skills - in addition to maintaining an open line of communication, you'll demonstrate excellent communication skills, including good phone and email etiquette and the ability to facilitate small and large group presentations.
  • Sufficient comfort and understanding with technology to use it to advance initiatives and improve operations. 
  • Passionate commitment to Playworks’ mission and vision to improve outcomes for children and schools. 
  • 10+ years as a successful leader in the nonprofit sector, government, private sector or education with proven visionary management and strategic planning capability.
  • Flexibility to readily adapt to a changing environment
  • Knowledge of the cultural and educational landscape of the region. 
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred. 

Compensation & Benefits

Playworks offers the full package - great benefits, a fun place to work, and an opportunity to grow professionally. We offer: 

  • Competitive nonprofit salary commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, 401(k), employee funded pre-tax health and child care spending accounts.
  • Generous Flex PTO policy with paid sick and holiday leave.
  • You will join a dynamic team and workplace that offers remote working and other flexible work options.

The other thing you need to know: 

This position is remote, based in Michigan and may require travel to various Michigan schools, funders and partners. 

To apply please include:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in Playworks and how your experience has prepared you for this role
  • Your Resume
  • References will be requested if competitive for position

Playworks is changing the way children experience school every day by leveraging the power of safe and healthy play. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Our ambitions demand that we invest in recruiting, developing and managing a team that reflects the broad diversity of our communities. 

Our core values of inclusion, respect, healthy community and healthy play are the foundation of our organization and are infused in all aspects of our work, including recruiting and retaining the best talent we can. While diversity is often used in reference to visual characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, sex and physical appearance, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes less visible factors, we also recognize that individuals can affiliate with multiple identities.

As an equal opportunity program, Playworks encourages applications from all individuals regardless of national origin, religion, gender, differing abilities (physical, mental, learning), sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, political affiliation, military experience, and any other legally protected basis. Playworks evaluates all candidates on a merit basis.

Playworks has retained Non-Profit Personnel Network, to assist in this search. 

Inquiries and applications should be submitted to NPPN here.