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Executive Director

About Berkshire Pulse

Founded in 1995, Berkshire Pulse is a dynamic nonprofit center for creative arts whose mission is to build and strengthen community life through diverse and accessible programming including dance, movement, theater, music, and performance. By promoting participation in these educational and health-sustaining activities, Pulse enriches the lives of families and individuals of all ages throughout the region. 

Pulse offers its diverse and distinctive programming in classes and performance opportunities for beginners through advanced level youth and adults in a wide range of classical, multicultural, and interdisciplinary dance forms and world music percussion. Pulse’s holistic, child-friendly approach and professional standards facilitate the experience of the joy, inspiration, and health sustaining aspects of these performing arts. In its 6,500 square foot, multiple studio and office facility in Housatonic MA, Berkshire Pulse also offers community classes for teens and adults, summer programs, and dance intensives serving in total almost 800 youth and adults from ages 3 to 90. Pulse’s in-school and outreach programs serve another 1400 students annually throughout the region.

Position Summary

The position of Executive Director represents an exciting new addition to Berkshire Pulse’s organizational structure. This role is required because of significant growth in recent years, in participant numbers and budget size, in the complexity and range of its classes, diversity of its students and staff, and reach of its geography. Pulse’s budget has grown from approximately $379,150 in 2019, before the pandemic, to $760,000 in 2024. Community members served in programs and performances have grown from about 1200 in 2019, to over 2700 in 2023. This is an ideal opportunity for an experienced, dedicated professional to help an established area nonprofit build on its mission and fulfill its ambitious strategic growth plan.  

Reporting to the Board of Directors in equal partnership with the Founder and Artistic Director (AD), the Executive Director (ED), provides visible leadership in the areas of shared vision/direction, workplace/learning environment, culture of collaboration and respect, accountability, and service to the community, among other areas. The ED serves as Pulse’s development director and board liaison, as well as the primary driver of strategic and business planning. They are tasked with overseeing day-to-day operations including finance, administration, and facility operations.

Hours: 40/hrs. per week, occasional evenings, and weekends; benefits including paid time off, holidays, and a health insurance stipend.

Salary: $65,000


Many, if not most, of the following responsibilities will require collaboration, input, and effective communication with the AD. The same is true for the AD. 

Leadership & Management:

  • Provide overall direction for the administrative, financial, and operational effectiveness of Berkshire Pulse. Ensures consistent quality of compliance, finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommends timelines and resources needed to achieve Pulse’s strategic goals.
  • Facilitate weekly core team meetings to enhance collaboration and accountability.
  • Lead, coach, develop and directly supervise the Finance Director, Administrative Manager, Grants Manage, and Marketing Coordinator. Conduct performance reviews, provide scheduled and ongoing check-ins and feedback.
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of 420 Park Street, including front desk, facility scheduling, building maintenance, access, and safety. Manage relationship and communicate with the landlord as necessary. Manage Pulse’s relationships with independent contractors such as consultants and maintenance contractors.
  • Work with the Board Building Committee and AD, and engage with external entities: realtors, project manager, landlords, funders, the Grants Manager, and others regarding planning, effective communication, and construction of future expansion. 
  • Drive the budget process, working with the Finance Director and with input from the AD and program team, develop and oversee budget process and monitoring.
  • Oversee and manage human relations and employment support including hiring and evaluation processes, policies and practices around operational issues, and staff development. Serve as a member of the hiring committee and oversee and authorize contracts for teaching artists. Engage with HR consultant as needed.
  • Oversee development and authorization of MOU’s with partnering organizations.

Board Liaison

  • Support the development and maintenance of a strong Board of Directors; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for board building, fundraising, and public relations. Support the Governance Committee; attend and participate on the Finance Committee.
  • Manage Board affairs. Work closely with Administrative Manager and Board President, and with strong input from AD to schedule meetings, develop and distribute agendas and materials, and maintain effective systems for Board communication.
  • Drive strategic planning; working closely with Board President and AD, develop strategic planning process and oversee plan development and monitoring.

Development and Community Engagement

  • Lead the creation and implementation of a development program and plan including major gifts, annual support, direct mail, special projects and campaigns, donor communications (digital and hard copy).
  • Engage in planning and implementing, at appropriate levels, the AD, Board President, Finance Director, Grants Writer, and other staff responsible for community engagement. 
  • Support and partner with AD in donor relationships and major gift solicitation. Create and support a development committee focused on donor engagement and major gift strategies.
  • Actively engage and involve Pulse’s board members, event committees, staff, and volunteers in being ambassadors and fundraisers.
  • Manage organization and team involvement around logistical and production requirements for events such as the Spring Celebration, Spirits of Chesterwood summer performance, fundraisers/galas, and others.
  • Oversee effective systems for donor data processing, acknowledgments, and donor information and communications.


The ideal candidate will:

  • Have demonstrated a passion for the arts and an understanding of the value of arts education and the connection between an organization like Berkshire Pulse and its community.
  • Enjoy working in a collaborative environment.
  • Have strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work with the AD, the Board, Pulse’s core staff team, teaching artists, staff, volunteers, and parents.
  • Be sensitive and knowledgeable about contemporary identities, language, and respect for Pulse’s communities and cultures.
  • Have communication, organization, creative, critical thinking, knowledge, and skills associated with a professional with 10 years of successful experience.
  • Have successful prior experience with a nonprofit, preferably an arts organization, in working with board members, leading and managing staff, overseeing administrative functions, and developing and implementing fundraising plans, including major gifts.
  • Have a demonstrated understanding of best practices in fundraising; a CFRE is a plus.
  • Have demonstrated financial competence; an ability to read and understand financial documents including budgets, cash flow and income statements, balance statements, audited financials, 990 tax returns and the basics of compliance.
  • Have a basic knowledge of compliance issues including federal, state and local laws and regulations. 
  • Be excited and intrigued by the idea of playing a significant part in a capacity building initiative.
  • Have knowledge and experience with a donor data system (e.g. Raiser’s Edge), and with MS Office, and Google Docs and QuickBooks.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to with the subject line “Attn: Hiring Committee.”

Berkshire Pulse is a registered 501(c)(3) not for profit organization that provides equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, military or veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law. This policy also prohibits employees from harassing any other employee for any reason including, but not limited to, race, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disabled status.

Berkshire Pulse