EdVoice, Chief External Relations Officer

EdVoice - Sacramento, California - Full time

ORGANIZATION

EdVoice is a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies to increase measurable student achievement for all students in California and eliminate inequality of educational opportunity in public schools. California’s public schools are not working for all kids and this lack of achievement is particularly stark for low-income students of color. Today, only 27 percent of low-income students are at or above grade level in Math and only 39 percent are at or above grade level in English language arts. Only 34 percent of low-income students and 21 percent of African-American students in our state are college- and career-ready as identified by the state dashboard.

It is clear that we need changes in our public schools. While there is generally a lot of focus on making changes in schools or school districts, the education policy environment in Sacramento is too often overlooked as a key lever for improving the quality of our state’s schools. Fortunately for the kids of California, EdVoice was started two decades ago to be the collective voice for parents and kids in Sacramento, ensuring that the state legislature and regulators are prioritizing the needs of historically disadvantaged students and are making policies that serve the best interests of all students. With a budget of $2m annually, EdVoice is the only organization in California with 501c3, 501c4 and 527 PAC organizations focused on advocating in the State Capitol for policies that will have a positive impact on all students and on electing candidates that will be strong on kid-first policies.

To learn more about EdVoice, please visit https://www.edvoice.org/.

OPPORTUNITY

EdVoice is hiring a Chief External Relations Officer to: lead EdVoice’s partnership efforts; oversee planning and implementation of a long-range fundraising plan; ensure the quality, relevance and consistency of EdVoice’s branding and messaging to a variety of stakeholder audiences; and provide high level support to the board and CEO by serving as a thought partner around issues of strategy, communications and effective relationship building with leaders in the policy and advocacy space. This individual reports directly to EdVoice’s CEO.

This is an ideal opportunity for someone with a clear understanding of California’s K-12 education policy landscape who is committed to social justice and eliminating structural inequities in our education system to make a positive and measurable difference in the lives of millions of our state’s students. This role provides a rare chance to magnify the voice of low-income families and communities of color in the State Capitol and leverage strategic partnerships towards improving education policy so it better meets the needs of all California students.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Key Responsibilities of the Chief External Relations Officer include:

  • Strategy and Policy Development – Working closely with the President/CEO to identify the key State policy issues to be addressed in the short and long term to help historically underserved students in California receive a better public education, and to develop and implement the most effective strategies to achieve EdVoice policy priorities.
  • Partnerships – Maintaining relationships on behalf of EdVoice with education advocacy and civil rights leaders to promote EdVoice policy priorities and political goals. Creating and executing a plan with the Political Director to develop relationships with local political clubs. Collaborating with the President/CEO to develop a joint agenda with key reform and civil rights partners and holding responsibility for managing the EdVoice Hub (partnership of EdVoice allies).
  • Board Development — Leading efforts to expand the awareness of EdVoice’s advocacy reach and effectiveness, including identification of individuals to provide expanded board membership and participation on the boards of the EdVoice family of organizations, and strategies to support long-term strong financial health.
  • Financial Development— Overseeing fundraising planning and implementation, including identifying resource requirements, researching funding sources, expanding the donor base, and establishing strategies to approach individual funders, businesses, and charitable foundations. Maintaining a portfolio of marketing materials and collateral to promote EdVoice capabilities, accomplishments and benefits to students from philanthropic investment in EdVoice.
  • Policy Maker Contribution Requests — Developing EdVoice’s direct donation strategy, expanding KidsPAC fundraising and program implementation. Managing inquiries from legislators, candidates and other elected officials requesting direct campaign contributions from the KidsPAC.
  • External Relations — Ensuring that the EdVoice brand, strategic objectives and advocacy priorities are presented in a strong positive image to donors, partner organizations, policy makers, media, parent and student advocate and civil rights organizations and other relevant stakeholders.
    • Coordinating with the President/CEO on interaction with reform partners and the media, acting as a secondary liaison to legislators for advocacy and lobbying.
    • Leading the development of EdVoice’s overall communications strategy, including but not limited to planning and executing targeted social media campaigns focused on communicating effectively in key education issues with influencers, the media and elected officials.
    • Directing the Communications Manager and contractors in development and delivery of persuasive messaging for all external communications, including design, marketing, promotion, delivery of high quality EdVoice advocacy campaigns and with partners in the EdVoice Hub/Alliance for Students.

PRIORITIES

A successful first year in this role will include:

  • A refreshed portfolio of marketing materials and collateral to promote EdVoice capabilities, accomplishments and benefits to students from philanthropic investment in EdVoice;
  • Expansion of the members of the EdVoice Board in 2020 (at least one significant funder and one advocacy leader added to the Board);
  • Direct relationships with senior leadership of key California education advocacy, civil rights organizations, businesses, community based organizations and the media to promote EdVoice priorities;
  • Collaboration with the President/CEO and Political Director to enhance direct giving/ bundling strategy through the EdVoice KidsPAC to support student-friendly legislative candidates and incumbents in the Senate and Assembly;
  • Becoming directly acquainted with senior elected leadership in the California Legislature and senior policy makers the Executive branch;
  • Collaboration with the President/CEO to develop an annual planning agenda with key reform and civil rights partners to promote EdVoice and partners’ shared policy and political priorities.

QUALIFICATIONS

In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Chief External Relations Officer candidate will be:

  • An accomplished leader with five (5) or more years of demonstrated success in nonprofit/social service management and experience in community organizing, policy advocacy and/or in the K-12 education sector.
  • Deeply committed to EdVoice’s mission of improving student outcomes and eliminating the inequities that currently exist in California’s public schools.
  • Experienced in raising funds for their organization (at a similar level to EdVoice’s budget needs) including a track record of building successful program partnerships and/or major gifts fundraising.
  • A builder of authentic relationships with community partners, policymakers, funders and other supporters, able to engage with a variety of individuals and speaks in a clear and compelling manner about the organization’s goals and priorities.
  • Steadfast and resilient in the face of personal, professional and political opposition.
  • Knowledgeable about K-12 education policy and diverse communities’ struggle for equity of opportunity.
  • A culturally competent and a self-reflective leader who understands the effects of race, class, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and other issues of difference in society and is able to lead direct, honest conversations about them with stakeholders at all levels.
  • Skilled in supporting, collaborating with and engaging governing boards.
  • Effective and inspiring in their management style; willing to devote time to coach and develop team members while holding them accountable to measurable results.
  • Skilled in strategic planning, project management, and organization; able to focus on and communicate organizational priorities while not losing sight of the details and can align vision with defined values.

Bachelor’s degree required with preference given to those with a background in education, public policy, economics, political science or a related field.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

This position offers a competitive salary range of $170,000-200,000 and robust benefits including medical, dental, retirement and family leave. More details can be provided upon request.

TO APPLY

Please submit a resume online at https://bit.ly/2Jfxh7f. For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Ron Rapatalo at rrapatalo@edgilityconsulting.com or at 510.575.9635.

EdVoice is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

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Role

C Level Executive Leadership

Experience Level

Senior Level

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