Congratulations and welcome to your new position as the executive director of a sexual assault coalition! We commend you for your dedication and enthusiasm as you join the ranks of women and men who have dedicated their lives to ending sexual violence and all forms of violence and oppression.
The Resource Sharing Project recognizes the inherent joys, and challenges you will experience in your new position. Accepting the executive director position at a sexual assault coalition comes with an immense responsibility to survivors of sexual violence, coalition employees, funders, and other state and federal stakeholders. We recognize and value the diverse and unique qualities that every member of this movement brings. Some of us have spent decades in this movement and some of us have only just begun our journey in the work to end sexual violence.
There are many reasons to be proud of the work we do. Each state coalition is unique in its own heritage and culture, but we are all members of a national movement to end sexual violence. We do not do this work alone; we support each other in this effort. Coalitions have a reputation for collectively sharing successes, tribulations, and resources with their sister coalitions. Recognizing that strength is in numbers, our willingness to share knowledge is integral to the success of the Resource Sharing Project and all sexual violence organizations.
If you are a new executive director, the Coalition Toolkit will provide you with useful resources and practical tools that are filled with the voices of experienced coalition directors, staff, and others within the movement to end sexual violence. We have highlighted a number of resources within the Coalition Toolkit as well as other valuable resources that speak to the pertinent issues sexual assault coalitions have identified for leadership. If you are a veteran executive director, this toolkit will serve to strengthen your knowledge base and rejuvenate your management skills.
We have some suggestions for where you might want to get started in your exploration of your new position:
If you are new to coalition work, continue learning about the role of a state- or territory-wide coalition by clicking here.
Our work is heavily rooted in anti-oppression and a commitment to dismantling racism. The section on Anti-Oppression will contain a number of resources and articles to aid you in this work. Read the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence position statement on Rape and Racism. You can also click here to read the Statement of Commitment by White Allies in the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement.
Public policy is also a large part of your work as a coalition and it may be in your role as Executive Director to lobby. This publication, Yes, You May Lobby, will help you understand your guidelines as a non-profit.
Coalition work is often heavily focused on services to your membership. Technical assistance and training are often central to those services.
Finally, it is crucial for executive directors to understand the basic financial management for coalitions. Even if there are financial staff who are doing the day-to-day financial management, the executive director must understand and provide oversight on the finances and transactions of the agency.
We wish you well in your learning and want to emphasize that you are not alone.
There are so many peers to connect to that have been where you are. Reach out to your technical assistance provider for information, support, and connection to mentorship opportunities.