Senior Director of External Affairs, Philadelphia School Partnership

Posted by Philadelphia School Partnership on September 18, 2017

The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) works to give every child in America’s fifth largest city the opportunity to attend a great school. We invest philanthropic funds in high-impact schools so they can serve more low-income students—whether they be in the traditional public, public charter or private sectors. Our aim is to catalyze the creation or transformation of enough schools to ensure better options for 50,000 students, or nearly one in four of all Philadelphia schoolchildren. Since 2011 PSP has invested in more than 50 schools, creating new educational opportunity for 21,000 students. PSP also works to create the conditions that enable great schools to grow and thrive, including a strong pipeline of qualified teachers and principals, resources and initiatives to empower parents and families, and policies that enable entrepreneurial school leadership and create opportunity for high-performing schools to grow. Additionally, PSP invests to catalyze collaboration, facilitating the sharing of best practices among schools and support organizations. Nonpartisan and data-driven, we work with government officials, business leaders, education leaders and practitioners, and community groups to pursue the promise of a great school for every child.

PSP believes that in a city as large as Philadelphia, there is not one best or right kind of school. Two hundred forty thousand children need a wide variety of schools from which to choose. The city has numerous examples of high-performing schools, and they span all three primary sectors: charter schools, district schools and private/Catholic schools. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of quality options in all three sectors. More than 35,000 students sit on waiting lists for the city’s best schools—which include private, charter, district magnet, and district neighborhood schools. Our work centers on leveraging philanthropic capital to attract entrepreneurial leadership and overcome inertia and financial and political barriers so that Philadelphia can have more great schools.

Like all cities, Philadelphia has finite resources for K-12 education. PSP believes the route to effectively educating all of the city’s children lies in fomenting and sustaining an educational ecosystem that steers resources toward effective schools, regardless of sector or type of school, so they can grow; increases equity of access to all school choices for families; and utilizes multiple measures of school performance to hold schools accountable for outcomes, thus ensuring support and—if necessary—intervention for struggling schools.

Position Summary
The Senior Director-External Affairs will be responsible for leading PSP’s development (fundraising) strategy, external partnerships and collaboration, and communications. PSP has ambitious fundraising targets. We have raised more than $80 million in grants from about 120 donors since 2010. We aim to raise an additional $120 million over the next five to seven years from mostly local but also national funders. The Senior Director will report to the Executive Director of PSP. Together with the Executive and Managing directors, the Senior Director will set fundraising goals and hone the organization’s development strategy, which includes keeping key donors informed about the work and progress of PSP on a regular basis.

PSP primarily relies on large gifts ($1 million and up); thus, the core development strategy is focused on identifying and building relationships with high-capacity donors, both individuals (families) and foundations. The Senior Director will take a lead role in identifying potential donors and cultivating relationships with them. He/she also will be primarily responsible for communications strategy as it relates to donors, including branding and messaging. In addition to managing development, the Senior Director will have oversight of other aspects of PSP’s external affairs. This includes participation in civic leadership in the city, creating and maintaining strong partnerships with institutions and other funders that are focused on citywide educational improvement, and PSP’s external communications and public relations. The Senior Director will work closely with the communications manager on communications strategy, branding and goal-setting.

The Director of Development will report to the Senior Director, and a Communications and Development Associate will support the Director and Communications Manager. The Senior Director will be a key member of the senior management team of PSP, along with the Executive Director and Managing Director: crafting organizational strategy, and setting and nourishing organizational culture and expectations.

PSP is an equal-opportunity employer with good benefits and an entrepreneurial, results-oriented work culture.

Duties and Responsibilities
• Have lead responsibility on securing donor commitments to hit PSP’s aggressive fundraising goals
• Establish and refine donor cultivation and solicitation strategies
• Drive development of effective development tools and resources: presentations, prospectuses and annual reports, and printed and interactive marketing communications
• Manage and nurture relationships with existing donors, reporting to them on results and progress of PSP
• Develop and leverage partnerships with key local officials, community leaders and civic/educational institutions
• Help to establish the organization’s external communications goals and strategy, with a focus on communications channels and strategies for key audiences including but not limited to donors

• Commitment to the mission of the Philadelphia School Partnership
• Thrives working and leading in a goals-driven organization
• Experience managing teams toward measurable outcomes
• Experience raising large gifts for a nonprofit organization, or perhaps selling large contracts or raising equity capital in a for-profit context, including building and maintaining relationships with key donors or partners
• Strategic thinker with strong project management skills (organized; attention to detail)
• Demonstrated resourcefulness and creativity in an entrepreneurial setting
• Ability to work with a wide variety of “clients” and partners; strong relationship builder
• Confidence working under pressure of deadlines
• Strong oral and written communication skills; be comfortable representing the organization in meetings and larger venues
• Excellent interpersonal skills and desire to work as part of a team
• Ability to work independently, solve problems and be flexible
• Experience developing and leading projects that involve multiple stakeholders

Education and Experience
• Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred
• Minimum of 7 years of professional experience, including a major development role
• Experience managing a team(s)
• Experience in education a plus, but not required

Physical Requirements
Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required:
• Traveling to schools – valid driver’s license and/or access to transportation when necessary
• Functioning in office space — reaching file cabinets, filing, faxing, scanning, coping, typing, mailing, making phone calls
• Must be able to sit for up to two hours looking at a computer monitor, using a keyboard/mouse and typing

Application Instructions
Email resume and cover letter to Molly Farley, Human Resources Consultant, at

Salary commensurate with experience, along with excellent benefits.
A modest relocation package may also be available for out-of-state candidates.

Career Opportunities at PSP

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