Position: Senior Director of External Relations
Location: New York, NY
Type: Full Time
The Partnership for Inner-City Education is seeking a full-time Senior Director of External Relations. The position reports to the Executive Director.
The Partnership is a pioneering school management organization that is shaping the next generation of urban Catholic education. Granted operational management in 2013 of six long-standing Pre-K to 8th grade schools in the South Bronx and Harlem, the Partnership is committed to providing students in historically underserved neighborhoods with the academic preparation, values, and skills they need to excel.
The historic success of urban Catholic schools stems not only from a rigorous tradition of academic excellence, but also from an emphasis on developing self-worth, moral character, a love of learning, and a sense of civic responsibility—all part of our long-standing commitment to educating the whole child. The Partnership is unique in knitting this tradition together with lessons from high-achieving public, charter, and independent schools, in the service of our students.
For more than twenty years, the Partnership has raised and invested over $200 million in urban Catholic schools. Today, as a School Management Organization (SMO), the Partnership is intensifying its efforts to break the cycle of poverty and close the achievement gap across its network schools.
- The Partnership currently serves over 2,100 students across the network
- 99.4% of the students are minority
- 65% of the students are Catholic
- 33% speak English as a second language
The Senior Director of External Relations (SDEA) is part of the Partnership's senior management team and will oversee a broad portfolio of work including marketing and communications, development, and advocacy. The SDEA will direct and manage these efforts to raise awareness of and support for Partnership schools. He/she will ensure that the organization's communications across audiences are high quality, clear, consistent, and effective. The SDEA will be responsible for meeting fundraising targets and raising awareness and extending influence with target constituents to contribute to the success of talent recruitment, student enrollment and advocacy efforts.
The Partnership has a long-standing successful track record and a loyal cadre of major donors, but it must also grow its fundraising base dramatically to support the network schools, essentially doubling its fundraising capacity in five years. Fortunately, never before has the Partnership been so well-positioned for active and aggressive fundraising. As it has successfully transitioned to become a unique school management organization – the Partnership is on the cutting edge, bringing Catholic education squarely into the education reform/school choice space and therefore giving education reform supporters an exciting new choice.
The Partnership is currently undergoing a positioning, naming and re-branding effort. Based on this, the Partnership will be able to actively build awareness of its efforts.
Responsibilities - Required activities include (but are not limited to):
Oversee and manage all development and communications efforts
- Lead, support and partner with the Executive Director on all major fundraising and partnership initiatives
- Provide strategies and supporting materials to leverage relationships of Executive Director and Director of Stewardship in order to secure new gifts
- Actively work with the Executive Director to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy to include foundations, major donors, mid-entry level donors, school board member, junior advisory board members and volunteers
- Have primary responsibility for development and execution of all proposals; write all proposals and interim and final reports with a long-term relationship-management approach and manage the activities of the full grant cycle
- Create and maintain high quality core donor pitch materials and templates as well as an annual report
- Manage Partnership annual appeal
- Build and maintain strong tracking, targeting, and task management systems and oversee administration of these systems to ensure accuracy and adherence
- Manage all Partnership fundraising events such as donor dinners, cocktail parties, Cardinal’s breakfast, and school based visits and programming with support from Partnership staff
- Work with Executive Director on Board development to maximize Board engagement and support
- In partnership with the Executive Director, manage, prepare, and coordinate communication materials in conjunction with other team members for meetings with the Partnership Board
- Create and implement a donor cultivation strategy and develop a robust pipeline of potential donors
- As necessary, build out specific fundraising programs (i.e. a scholarship program)
- Define targeted Partnership advocacy strategy to generate support for Catholic education and the Partnership in general
- Oversee the development of consistent messaging across the organization to promote the Partnership’s mission, vision and values. Ensure that all internal and external communications remains consistent in terms of tone, key messages, quality (editing, presentation, etc.), and impact.
- Develop new professional and high quality resources that can be used to reflect the Partnership’s new branding and positioning to communicate the value-add to donors, students, families, recruits, and national education reform colleagues
- Manage and oversee the editing, production, dissemination, development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic communications including, but not limited to, newsletters, brochures, reports, website content, e-blasts, press articles, and promotional materials – ensure that new and consistent information is posted on social media regularly
- Manage the design, development, and content of the website to meet the needs of the organization as it grows and to increase its impact and appeal to target constituents; maintain network school websites as vehicles for recruitment and parent engagement
- In conjunction with the Partnership Superintendent, launch Partnership blog
- Promote a strong public image to internal and external audiences, including seeking opportunities for public speaking engagements at high profile events (e.g., panels, conferences, meetings, etc.)
- Develop and manage a communications and marketing budget to maximize resources.
- A minimum of five to ten years of proven experience in marketing and communications, and preferably also development with evidence of increased responsibilities and a pattern of success
- Exceptional writing, verbal communication and presentation skills
- Strategic thinker and planner
- Proven success in developing relationships with external partners
- Demonstrated track record in major gift fundraising
- Strong organization and project management skills – ability to both see the big picture and manage the small details
- Impeccable integrity, judgment, and discretion along with a professional demeanor and interpersonal style that elicits trust from leadership, funders, staff, and partners
- Collaborative – Effective at working with others to reach common goals and objectives.
- Strong work ethic and commitment to high standards of excellence coupled with an enthusiastic approach and sense of humility
- Upbeat, positive, outgoing, and personable
- Flexible and willing to adapt to changing circumstances in an entrepreneurial atmosphere
- Experience working within K-12 Education and non-profit organizations preferred
- Knowledge of and experience with CRM (Salesforce preferred)
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Outlook
- Bachelor's degree required, and Master's degree preferred
Salary is commensurate with experience.
Please send your cover and resume with “Senior Director of External Relations” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.