EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | LifeRing Secular Recovery




Salary:  Volunteer position | No monetary compensation at this time

Job Type:  This is a part-time position requiring an average of 40 hours per month based with possible additional hours during fundraising events

LifeRing Secular Recovery provides abstinence-based, secular, and self-directed sobriety pathways through meetings and support communities. |
LifeRing is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, EIN 94-3267919

Contact:  LifeRing Service Center


While this opportunity does not offer traditional employee benefits,the opportunity for job satisfaction is endless. [it will make you feel like a hero]!

Benefits include:   Immense job satisfaction, the thrill of growing an established 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and the pride of knowing you help over 200 people every day to abstain from problematic substance use. You will make a lasting impact on the world.


LifeRing is looking for an Executive Director who will do more than keep the lights on. We want an Executive Director who will help us shine.

The location of this position is remote with a mailing address located in Hayward, California. This vacancy is also being shared with the LifeRing Community. Preference will be given to candidates who prescribe to the LifeRing Secular Recovery 3-S Philosophy and have hands-on LifeRing experience

We recognize this may appear rather extensive for a part-time volunteer position, but we have high expectations. Our current Executive Director gives more than 100%. If you think that’s impossible, you haven’t met Robert.


LifeRing Secular Recovery is recognized by the NIAAA as one of the top three secular recovery pathways available for people with problematic substance use. We are searching for a thoughtful visionary to steward LifeRing through our next phase of strategic growth. Supported by our talented pool of volunteers and the Board of Directors, the new ED will extend LifeRing’s capacity and influence by deepening programmatic success, elevating LifeRing’s public profile, attracting new partners and funders, and ensuring community wellbeing and growth. This is an exceptional opportunity to deeply impact the global development of LifeRing and, as a result, the future of the people worldwide who will turn to LifeRing for recovery support. 

As the recovery landscape continues to evolve, there is a growing need for LifeRing’s unique role as a positive advocate for substance use recovery. Under the leadership of the right ED, LifeRing will actualize our strategic plan and define a path forward that meets these needs. 

LifeRing was founded on the belief that for people in recovery to succeed, they must develop their own pathway. LifeRing is based on three principles known as the 3-S philosophy: Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Direction or, more commonly termed, Self-Empowerment. The principle of Self-Empowerment encourages each member to develop his or her own program of recovery. 

The new ED will recognize that, for LifeRing, everything is about the meetings. The LifeRing Community is held together and supported by over 150 weekly meetings, both in-person and online, each unique but united in their effort to provide a safe, nonjudgmental space for people to explore and develop their own recovery pathways. 

All volunteer efforts focus on introducing people to LifeRIng and providing the most positive experience possible for our meeting attendees. The new ED will be focal in coordinating efforts, developing external relationships, and generating the funding required to expand while making the LifeRing Mission and Vision and Values the driving force. 

The ED will expand LifeRing’s professional alliances, deepen stakeholder engagement, and galvanize accelerated programmatic progress. This will include establishing external fiduciary relationships, identifying emerging nonprofit fundraising practices, implementing new organizational resources and  prioritizing ways that raise sensitivity around  inclusion and diversity. The ED will also ensure long-term organizational sustainability and increase capacity for growth and funding, as well as advance public knowledge while promoting positive and inclusive recovery support.

Reporting directly to the LifeRing Secular Recovery Board of Directors, the ED will implement the strategic plan in support of its theory of change and harness the talent of LifeRing volunteers as we work together to fulfill the LifeRing mission. The ED will lead by example to foster a culture of collaboration, outcome-based performance, and support.


Executive Director Minimum Requirements

  • At least two years active involvement and familiarity with LifeRing
  • At least 2 years continuous sobriety
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Fundraising skills:  Grants | Corporate donors | Community resources
  • Program development and organizational planning experience
  • Clear communication skills

Executive Director Personal Qualities

  • Accountability | Reliability
  • Flexibility
  • Aligned with LifeRing mission, values, and objectives
  • Team player
  • Organizational skills
  • Competency needed to collaborate with stakeholders to incite change and promote growth

Principal Executive Director Responsibilities

  • Strategic leadership
  • Fundraising | Resource development
  • External relationships and communication
  • Fiscal management 
  • Technological advancements
  • Organizational expansion
  • Compliance with internal and governmental regulations
  • Liaison between stakeholders including Regional Representatives and LifeRing Community


The ideal candidate will bring experience leading multi-sectoral alliances, an understanding of the far-reaching impact LifeRing will have on people and society, and a desire to see that the LifeRing Community maintains its inclusive, nonjudgmental, supportive DNA even as we expand our public profile. Additional qualifications and characteristics include the following:

  • Experience managing at the top levels of an organization.
  • Nonprofit management experience, including successfully partnering with a Board of Directors, and responsibility for the fiscal oversight of an organization.
  • Proven experience in developing and operationalizing strategies to take an organization to a new stage of growth and impact.
  • Professional credibility and maturity to effectively engage and build authentic relationships, including the ability to build trust and consensus, and to influence widely diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience fundraising from a variety of sources including corporations, philanthropies, and public sector sources.
  • Exceptional communication skills in multiple environments, ranging from internal to external audiences.
  • Skill as an outstanding coach, mentor, and motivator of volunteers, with a dedication to attracting, retaining, and developing outstanding and diverse talent.
  • Solid understanding of government regulations imposed on nonprofit charitable organizations. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to and fluency with issues of inclusivity and privacy. 
  • Knowledge, deep interest, curiosity, and insights about the history, status, and likely trajectory of addiction recovery methodologies.


Strategic Leadership

  • Execute on the strategic and organizational objectives set forth in the LifeRing Secular Recovery 2022 Strategic Plan and, in future years, lead the process to define strategic and organizational objectives of the organization in collaboration with the Board.
  • Report to the Board on execution of the priorities set forth in the strategic plan.
  • Work with Board leadership to ensure on-going functioning and governance of the Board.

Operational Management and Programmatic Expansion

  • Oversee operations to execute on the strategic and organizational objectives set forth in the LifeRing Strategic Plan, and to ensure continuity of program delivery in line with the Board’s guidance.
  • Execute responsibilities with a style that is flexible, empowering, transparent, encourages teamwork, and honors the efforts of all community members.  
  • Build and strengthen existing relationships and build new relationships with external stakeholders, including partners, funders, and other actors addressing the benefits of LifeRIng Secular Recovery.
  • Identify emergent use cases and ecosystems in recovery in order to develop new opportunities for expansion and ensure a continual pipeline of strategic projects.
  • Provide strategic insight and substantive contributions to LifeRing programs.
  • Ensure effective systems to track progress that can be effectively communicated to the Board of Directors, funders, and other constituents.

Fundraising and Fiscal Management

  • Ensure fundraising and resource development that supports sustained operations and execution of strategic priorities.
  • Cultivate a strong pipeline of prospects for LifeRing alliance and maintain close working relationships with partners to ensure the continued commitment (financial and substantive) of partner organizations to the work of LifeRing Secular Recovery.
  • Ensure proper financial management and budgeting in collaboration with the Board Chair and the Board Treasurer.

External Relationships and Communication

  • Act as the public face of LifeRing Secular Recovery.
  • Advance the development and implementation of a public engagement and media strategy to further strengthen LifeRing’s public profile and influence.
  • Engage actively with media, policymakers, and external stakeholders, with the support of the communications team.

This job description is not a contract – SMART Recovery USA reserves the right to change its contents at any time. SMART Recovery USA complies with the guidelines set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era. SMART Recovery USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



Related LifeRing Secular Recovery Bylaws

11.1.1  The Executive Director shall serve as the organization’s chief executive officer, shall comply with the duties required by the law for such an officer, and shall have such other responsibilities as the Board may delegate. [Amended 2010.]

11.2  The officers shall be appointed by and shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.

11.3  An officer shall be a person in recovery from a substance addiction, a member of LifeRing Secular Recovery, at least 21 years old, and shall have abstained from alcohol and illicit or non-medically indicated drugs continuously for at least two years prior to commencing service. The fact that a person serves as a LifeRing employee or Board member shall not prevent such person from also serving as an officer

11.5  Officers shall serve in their roles as such without compensation. For the avoidance of doubt, this Section 11.5 shall not prohibit a LifeRing employee from receiving compensation for his or her services as an employee, or reimbursement for expenses incurred in connection with such employment services, regardless of whether such LifeRing employee also serves as an officer.

This job description is not a contract – LifeRing reserves the right to change its contents at any time.



Interested parties should email resume and cover letter to service@lifering.org.

LifeRing complies with the guidelines set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.

LifeRing is an Equal Opportunity Employer.