NYCKidsRISE, Chief of Communications

ACE Charter Schools - New York City, New York - Full time

The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a universal wealth-building platform that expands access to mainstream financial products; builds individual, family, and collective financial assets; provides financial education for families and students; and brings schools and communities together to support all their children’s futures.

NYC Kids RISE is a nonprofit organization working with the City of New York and NYC Public Schools, formerly the NYC Department of Education, to manage the Save for College Program (the Program). Through the Program, eligible students enrolled in an NYC public school (including participating charter schools), starting in kindergarten, automatically receive a free NYC Scholarship Account with an initial allocation of $100 by NYC Kids RISE on their behalf, invested in a NY 529 Direct Plan, and opportunities to receive additional rewards over time. Their families can open and connect their own college savings account on their child’s behalf, and communities can contribute to groups of these NYC Scholarship Accounts as both a targeted and universal platform for community-driven asset-building in every neighborhood. This approach draws from a variety of best practices and disciplines across the fields of asset building, child savings accounts, financial empowerment, education, community wealth building, urban poverty, neighborhood effects and social capital research, collective impact, and more.

After a successful pilot phase in the communities of School District 30 in Queens. The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program expanded citywide during the 2021-2022 school year to all 33 school districts across the five boroughs (more than 1,000 schools and 65,000 new kindergarten students annually). This school year, there are approximately 145,000 students participating in the Program across the city’s neighborhoods, and this number will be increasing in January each year.

Chief of Communications

NYC Kids RISE is seeking an experienced communications, community engagement, and marketing leader to serve as its first Chief of Communications. This new executive team member will be able to build on the work and strategies to date, while strengthening the organization's communications infrastructure to support expansion and customization, maximizing impact for New York City students, families, and communities.

The Chief of Communications will be responsible for all external communications initiatives, engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including parents/guardians; school leaders; community-based organizations; civic, anchor, business, and faith-based institutions; government agencies, notably NYC Public Schools; and the media.

Reporting to and partnering with the Executive Director, and serving as a member of the Executive Team, the Chief will oversee the current team of four (4) staff members (a Managing Director, Deputy Director, Project Manager, and a Design/Language Access Coordinator), while also working to expand the team through at least two new roles.

Key Objectives

The Save for College Program has different stakeholders that require various approaches to communication and engagement. The organization’s current communications objectives include:

  1. Sharing Information: Informing each core stakeholder group about the Save for College Program, its goals, and enabling them to take ownership over key elements of the program and their role within it
  2. Co-Creating the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program: Enabling stakeholders to meaningfully contribute ideas, resources and activities to advance the goals of the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program
  3. Advancing Action: Encouraging and influencing stakeholders to take key relevant actions to participate in and advance the platform
  4. Exchanging and Showcasing Learnings: Fostering learning communities (including with schools, financial empowerment centers, community organizations, and parents and guardians) to raise up the best ideas and learn from each other about what is effective in advancing the platform
  5. Building Momentum to Support Collective Impact: Generate momentum to support ongoing engagement through the expansion, implementation, and customization of the Save for College Program across neighborhoods

These objectives are advanced through a range of strategies and mediums, from direct mail, to email marketing, social and other digital media, stakeholder-specific newsletters and toolkits, external events, PR and other earned media strategies.

Key responsibilities include:

Brand Stewardship & Thought Leadership:

  • Lead effort to create and operationalize a cohesive narrative around NYC Kids RISE, the platform, the network, and impact; effectively communicate about the Program and continue to build support with a variety of stakeholders including families, civic organizations, businesses, corporate partners, government, etc.
  • Position the organization as a peer to institutions in the space of racial equity and alleviating the wealth gap, and as an influencer to foundations, philanthropists, policymakers
  • Use storytelling as a tool to demonstrate proof points for how the platform can operate and what more equitable economy/wealth building looks like at both a citywide and neighborhood-specific level
  • Represent NYC Kids RISE with public, private, and nonprofit executives and other stakeholders, and in some instances as makes sense, serve as the organization’s spokesperson

Communications Operations & Strategic Leadership:

  • Help cultivate and support a network of diverse communities and partners across New York City to collectively adopt wealth-building tools and processes, and build the necessary knowledge to make contributions that shift policies, practices, resources and structures leading to equitable outcomes for students, families and neighborhoods.
  • Develop and execute a comprehensive and inclusive communications strategy each year for the organization’s broad, multi-stakeholder work, focusing on objectives and impact
  • Oversee the successful execution of an editorial calendar for multi-stakeholder communications (such as general and family-facing newsletters, earned media, and more), including to families, schools, and communities across the city
  • Lead colleagues in developing a strategy for our content properties, with clear delegation for implementation
  • Oversee vision and plan for website maintenance, enhancement, and analytics
  • Oversee systems for monitoring, sharing, and acting upon relevant data and metrics (including stakeholder feedback) to adjust communications campaigns and ensure data-driven decision making across the organization and with its partners, working with Research & Evaluation and Data Management team members
  • Create campaigns that encourage and influence stakeholders to take key relevant actions to participate in and advance the platform
  • Oversee all aspects of the organization’s communications projects, which includes translated materials for families, toolkits for school partners, and informational materials for communities in print and digital formats
  • Manage and build the capacity of NYC Kids RISE’s communications infrastructure to meet objectives
  • Ensure all public facing NYC Kids RISE content aligns with the organization’s mission and messaging/brand guidelines.
  • Oversee the execution of public-facing events hosted or supported by the organization

Team Management & Organizational Development:

  • Supervise, coach, and support direct reports to manage day-to-day operations and long-term projects
  • Hire and oversee the successful onboarding of at least two additional Communications team members
  • Oversee the team’s management of key vendors and consultants involved in communications projects, including translation, production, and distribution
  • Drive strategy and manage relationships with the organization’s Public Relations consultants
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with key stakeholders and partners, including NYC Public Schools and the City of New York
  • Develop talking points for Executive Director, Executive Team, and key stakeholders, as needed
  • With the Executive Director and other members of the Executive Team support the ongoing development and implementation of internal operational systems to advance the organization’s continuous work to sustain a high-performing, inclusive, dynamic organizational culture, one that centers racial equity, inclusivity and shared ownership as a core component, by planning and organizing organization-wide meetings, staff retreats, trainings and professional development, and other activities as appropriate
  • Along with all NYC Kids RISE employees, maintain, and support other staff and volunteers to maintain strict adherence to NYC Kids RISE data security and privacy policies; remaining vigilant on the ways in which NYC Kids RISE can continue to protect confidential information (including Student and Family Data); identify vulnerabilities, and proactively problem solve to improve controls and practices
  • Along with all NYC Kids RISE employees, participate and share in the organization’s work to advance racial equity and anti-oppression in the organization’s and program’s operations and practices; proactively identify opportunities to advance the development of an anti-racist organization; share and solicit ongoing feedback and conversations to advance this work

REQUIREMENTS

  • Demonstrated success and extensive experience in owning and developing communications strategies for complex organizations, and managing whole teams to execute on strategy
  • A track record in developing and managing communications and marketing to drive stakeholder action
  • Strong discernment of relevant traditional/digital/social media channels to develop strategy, branding, and voice for each to instill an organization’s position as a thought leader and influencer
  • Proven experience in using communications and marketing to empower communities; experience in co-creating initiatives or campaigns with communities
  • Superb oral communication and relationship building skills, including public speaking and presentation to diverse audiences
  • Adept at engaging in nuanced policy conversations with a range of stakeholders
  • Adaptable, flexible and effective problem solver in fast-paced settings
  • 12+ years of experience in managing people and teams, including management of Director-level staff
  • Experience developing and executing multi-stakeholder/multi-channel communications campaigns and working with the media
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing diverse portfolio areas in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment
  • Advanced degree in journalism, communications, public policy, or related field preferred, but extensive related experience is equally valued
  • Experience working with and/or in government agencies
  • Passion for increasing economic opportunities and long-term financial security for low-income New York City families and neighborhoods, and combating wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap

BENEFITS

NYC Kids RISE currently maintains a hybrid work environment where staff work both from home and in the office, as determined by the staff member's preferences as well as the needs of our organization and the specific responsibilities of individual roles and teams. Our offices are based in Long Island City (Queens, NY).

The salary range for this position is $190,000 to $225,000.

For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Brett Kunsch at bkunsch@edgilityconsulting.com. 

NYC Kids Rise is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, religion, race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, marital status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, unemployed status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Role

C Level Executive Leadership

Experience Level

Senior Level

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