What is an 'Executive Director'

An executive director is the senior operating officer or manager of an organization or corporation, usually a non-profit. Their duties are similar to those of a chief executive officer (CEO) of a for-profit company. The executive director is responsible for strategic planning, working with the Board of Directors, and operating within a budget. Executive directors report directly to the Board and are responsible for carrying out the Board's decisions. Although an executive director is also involved in the day-to-day management of the organization, these duties may be shared with a chief operating officer.

BREAKING DOWN 'Executive Director'

Executive directors of non-profit organizations are usually involved with fundraising efforts, as well as the promotion of the organization in order to raise public awareness and boost membership. The Board of Directors may appoint an executive director, and in some cases, the vote must be approved by a specified percentage of the membership. Most executive directors are paid; however, for very small non-profit organizations, the position may be on a volunteer basis.

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