Executive Director
Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden
Palo Alto, CA
Salary Range: $150,000 – $175,000
Gamble Garden, Executive Director Job Opening, Stacy Nelson and Associates

If you are interested in this position:

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[email protected]

We are excited to announce that our client, Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, is seeking an Executive Director.


Situated in the heart of Old Palo Alto, the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden is an esteemed nonprofit organization nestled on historically significant grounds. Committed to preserving and enriching our historic house and garden, we provide a diverse array of experiences tailored to cater to a wide range of interests, passions, educational pursuits, and vibrant community events. Gamble Garden is free and open to the public 365 days a year.

Horticultural Education Programs: Gamble Garden hosts a variety of educational programs aimed at teaching visitors about gardening techniques, plant care, sustainable practices, and the importance of preserving natural habitats. In addition to adult education programs, it offers engaging activities for children and families.

Inspiring Garden Tours: Visitors can explore the meticulously curated gardens through guided tours led by knowledgeable docents.

Community Events and Gatherings: Gamble Garden serves as a hub for fostering connections within the community and hosts a range of events. The garden can be rented for weddings and other private events.

Public Garden Space: The property features historic formal garden space as well as a working garden.  The historic garden includes a rose garden, a wisteria garden, heritage camellias, and a formal allée. The working garden is used for horticultural education and includes demonstration beds, a greenhouse, cold frames, and a native plant garden.

The Executive Director (ED) works closely with the Board to shape and implement strategic initiatives that align with the organization’s mission. Through inspirational leadership, the ED actively engages, motivates, and supports a diverse range of stakeholders at Gamble Garden, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, members, and the wider community. Central to the role is championing community engagement, fostering meaningful connections, and facilitating collaborations that enhance the experiences of all who visit our institution. From organizing fundraising campaigns to leading volunteer programs, the ED drives efforts to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment at Gamble Garden.

The position entails key responsibilities in operations management, fundraising, donor relations, volunteer coordination, and communications. The ED oversees a team of four direct reports: the Garden Director, Director of Operations, Finance Manager, and Marketing Specialist. Additionally, fifteen staff members are employed in both full-time and part-time capacities.


Leadership and Management 

  • Collaborate with the Board to achieve strategic visions and goals.

  • Evaluate and enhance processes to achieve organizational objectives and efficiencies.

  • Explore diverse avenues for revenue generation, expanding rentals, grants, major donor engagement, and capital campaigns.

  • Ensure volunteer committees achieve their objectives.

  • Serve as the primary liaison between the Board and staff.

Operations Management 

  • Provide regular reports on organizational progress, operational status, relevant updates to the Board.

  • Collaborate on annual budget preparation and ensure adherence to financial guidelines.

  • Supervise staff, including the Finance Manager, Garden Director, and Director of Operations.

  • Manage human resources in compliance with current laws and regulations.

  • Oversee volunteer management in collaboration with board committee chairs.

  • Ensure the maintenance of our buildings and grounds.


  • Lead and execute all fundraising, including capital campaign strategy.

  • Oversee volunteer fundraising for major events including Annual Appeal, Spring Tour, Winter Festival, and Over the Garden Fence.


  • Provide leadership on the strategic direction of Gamble Garden’s programs.

  • Oversee design, development, coordination, marketing, evaluation, and improvement of programs and services with volunteers.

External Communication

  • Develop and implement marketing and PR strategies to strengthen community awareness and support.

  • Supervise website, social media, and other public outreach channels. Oversee all external communications including marketing, and public relations.

  • Foster collaborations with like-minded organizations to explore new opportunities.



  • Appreciation for public gardens and community engagement.

  • Five years of nonprofit management experience.

  • Ability to problem-solve and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.

  • Proven experience in fundraising and donor relationship cultivation; capital campaign experience is preferred.

  • Experience working collaboratively with individual volunteers and volunteer committees.

  • Operational and financial management skills.

  • Community outreach and public relations knowledge.

  • Strong interpersonal and written communication skills.

  • Familiarity with legal requirements for nonprofit organizations.

  • Tech proficiency (spreadsheets, databases, Google Suite, etc.).

  • Requires some evenings & weekends for special events and meetings.



  • Frequent computer use and typical office activities.

  • Mostly indoor work with occasional outdoor exposure for operational duties.

  • Ability to lift or push up to 25 lbs.

This position reports to the President of the Board of Directors.


Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden offers a competitive salary range based on experience of $150-175K per year, paid holidays, PTO plan, 403(B) retirement plan, and health insurance.

Please apply via LinkedIn or submit your resume and cover letter to Stacy Nelson & Associates-Leadership Search Partners by emailing [email protected]. We appreciate your interest in this opportunity and look forward to reviewing your application.


Gamble Garden is an equal-opportunity employer.