Job Posting

Executive Director

Believet Canine Service Dogs | Northfiled, MN
Salary Range: $100,000

The Organization
BelievetTM Canine Service Partners specializes in freedom for veterans, dogs with a mission by providing highly skilled assistance dogs, free of charge, to disabled military veterans.


During his Afghanistan deployments with the U.S Marine Corps as a civilian contractor, organization founder Sam Daly witnessed the comfort, emotional support, and improved morale that explosive detection dogs provided soldiers. Sam quickly understood how service dogs could provide a non-chemical, non-addictive, transformative solution for symptoms of PTSD and other physical disabilities resulting from active duty. He sought to fill the unmet needs such support could provide injured veterans returning from war.
In partnership with his friend, local businessman and U.S. Army veteran John Sinning, Sam established BelievetTM Canine Service Partners in Northfield, Minnesota in 2015. Believet, a registered Minnesota nonprofit 501c (3) organization, provides highly trained service dogs, free of charge, to veterans affected by service-related injuries or disabilities.
Since its founding, the organization has trained and placed 50 service dogs with veterans, while also providing on-going support to graduate placements.
BelievetTM dogs train for 12-18 months, learning basic obedience and service skills. Positive reinforcement methods are used to teach new skills to make the transition from the work of skilled trainers to veterans seem seamless. Dogs are sourced for service both through select breeders who donate their animals that are bred for the purpose of service work and local shelters and rescue groups.

Building on a Vision

Service dogs provide a sense of security, greater independence, non-judgmental acceptance, affection, physical assistance, and peace of mind. Through its programs, BelievetTM is succeeding in its vision to help veterans lead more productive, independent lives.
The organization is poised for growth. Fundraising success among major donors, service organizations and corporate sponsors allows BelievetTM to train more dogs and serve more service men and women. As the program produces more graduates, on-going assistance and support will be a crucial need.

Preparing for the Future
With robust donor support and proven results, BelievetTM is preparing for a strong future. Committed volunteers with solid business competencies are joining the board to plan for and provide organizational sustainability and growth. Capital expansion through both its facilities and its endowment are under consideration.
Successful implementation of these ambitious plans will require a strong executive leader. The organization has matured to the point of hiring its first Executive Director to work alongside its founder, volunteer board and small staff.
Additional information about the organization can be found at the organization’s website,
A Dog's Service

Fast Facts:
  • BelievetTM, founded in 2015 and incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization, is located near Northfield, Minnesota. We are one of very few organizations to provide service dogs to veterans in the five-state region.
  • Northfield Kennels provides both physical space and contracted staffing for the training of service dogs.
  • The organizational budget is $600,642.00. This includes recent investments by donors deeply committed to BelievetTM’s mission outcomes.
  • To date, fifty veterans and their service companions have graduated from our training program and are living together. We anticipate ten teams to participate in graduation this year, and we assume annual growth in the years to come.
  • BelievetTM is seeking certification from Assistance Dogs International (ADI), and we expect this to add national credibility and visibility to BelievetTM.
  • The Board of Directors is composed of committed volunteer leaders dedicated to attracting key executive leaders that will build connections to key stakeholders.
  • BelievetTM is served by a small staff with deep experience in both service dog training and service integration with veteran graduates.

The Role
The Executive Director (ED) role is new to BelievetTM, succeeding founder Sam Daly in providing organizational leadership. The Executive Director will report to and work alongside a committed volunteer Board of Directors. The successful candidate should have experience working with a board of directors, key program volunteers and a supportive community of philanthropic donors.
The ED will share responsibility of overall strategic direction with the Board, but have exclusive operational responsibility for BelievetTM staff, programs with veterans and volunteers, and successful execution of the strategic framework.

Key Competencies

  • Passion for a mission focused on pairing service dogs with veterans living with disabilities.
  • Experience working with and leading a volunteer board of directors.
  • Ability to lead, coach, develop and retain a staff team dedicated to training dogs and interacting with veterans.
  • Knowledge of and experience in the practice of resource development.
  • Demonstrated nonprofit management experience that includes building a growth-oriented organization in sustainable ways, budgeting, financial accountability, and resource development.
  • Working knowledge of the veteran community and resources available through veteran’s programs and service organizations.

Key Responsibilities
Strategy Leadership and Management
  • Provide executive sponsorship to the BelievetTM Board of Directors in their work to support the organizational mission and strategic framework.
  • Successfully execute the strategic framework developed by the board to sustain and grow the existing program, build service outcomes, and prepare for capital expansion.
  • Track and evaluate program components to communicate progress to the board, funders, and key stakeholders.

Team Leadership and Development
  • Hire, lead, coach and develop/manage a high functioning team of staff.
  • Evaluate existing organizational structure to maximize alignment of resources and program outcomes.

Volunteer Development and Management
  • Build a sustainable volunteer program that successfully recruits, trains, evaluates and rewards volunteers for their service.

Financial Management

  • Develop an operating budget that includes expenditure controls with realistic revenue targets that include opportunities for earned income.
  • Provide monthly progress reports to the board of directors on revenue and expenditures against budget.
  • Prepare a capital needs budget that allows for program improvements or expansion.
  • Maintain an itemized needs list to provide to potential donors.

Program Operations

  • Maintain Assistance Dogs International (ADI) certification.
  • Establish protocols for recruiting service dogs, training veteran candidates, and supporting pairings after graduation.
  • Maintain evaluation of staff and organization efficacy.

Fundraising and Revenue Development
  • Build a comprehensive fundraising program to foster and expand revenue generation.
  • External Relations, Communications and Marketing
  • Build an external relations plan that promotes the BelievetTM brand to current and future stakeholders and funders.

The Ideal Candidate
Candidates for this role must be thoroughly committed to the BelievetTM mission, and demonstrate proven leadership, coaching and relationship management experience.
Demonstrated experience and qualifications as a proven executive leader should include:
  • A track record of effective leadership of an outcomes-based organization.
  • Examples of having successfully developed and executed strategies that took an organization to the next stage of service and growth.
  • Excellence in organizational management with ability to coach, manage and develop high-performance teams; set, and achieve strategic objectives; and successfully meet a financial plan.
  • A high impact communicator demonstrating excellence in marketing, public relations, and fundraising- and the ability to be a persuasive and engaging spokesperson with a diverse range of audiences and stakeholders.
  • A strong collaborator that can work alongside the organizational founder, board of directors and volunteer community.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset oriented toward action, innovation, and adaptation in business planning approach.
  • A leader that understands veterans and the challenges they face.
  • Candidate must be able to spend a majority of their time at the Believet office in Northfield, MN initially.

Compensation and Benefits
  • Total compensation $100,000 per year.
  • Two weeks paid vacation in the first 6 months with an additional week in the second 6 months. Additional week added in year two. Ability to “roll” up to one week of vacation over per year.
  • Paid holidays: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year’s Day.

To Be Considered:
Please submit a single PDF document consisting of a cover letter articulating your interest in this role and a resume outlining your professional background, including outcomes that might be consistent with this role. Materials can be emailed to the Chair of the Search Committee: