Connecticut Community Engagement Director
BACKGROUND: The Northeast Charter Schools Network (NECSN) is the membership and advocacy organization for public charter schools in New York and Connecticut. The organization was established in 2000 as the New York Charter Schools Association and in 2013 expanded its work into Connecticut. Our mission is to support and grow the high-quality charter school movement in both states, which we do through advocacy, public awareness, and school support services. It is the only statewide charter school advocacy organization in New York and Connecticut and is the only regional charter association in the country.
POSITION: Reporting to the Connecticut State Director, the Connecticut Community Engagement Director is responsible for the implementation and management of NECSN’s 50,000 Voices Program.
This program is designed to ensure the state’s public charter school movement is able to build local networks, and leverage those networks in advocacy challenges and campaigns. This new program aims to strengthen the role of state charter schools in efforts to achieve policy and advocacy wins, particularly around equitable funding and charter school growth (especially in the approval and funding of new schools).
As a senior member of NECSN’s team, the Connecticut Community Engagement Director supports development and implementation of NECSN’s engagement and advocacy goals. Specific work includes:
- Assist in annual development of NECSN’s Connecticut engagement and advocacy plans, with a particular eye to how the 50,000 Voices program can support NECSN’s annual advocacy campaign plan and organizational strategic plan.
Connect the 50,000 Voices program to NECSN’s state-level advocacy work (see more below on 50,000 Voices program):
- Ensure NECSN’s annual plan is communicated to/through Community Engagement Managers so that local champions understand their role and involvement
- Identify, with the CT State Director, strategic state meetings and events – coordinate participation of local champions
- Identify, with the CT State Director and Communications Director, how local champions can support NECSN’s communications plan/strategy
- When rapid response is required (ie, to call stakeholders, to sign petitions, etc.), assess which local champions are best positioned to help, and coordinate their involvement
- Assist the CT State Director in mapping potential relationships, determining who within the organization “owns” each relationship
- Identify and prioritize community and statewide events for CT State Director or other NECSN staff to attend, with the goal of advancing state advocacy strategies
Oversee NECSN’s 50,000 Voices program, including design, management and monitoring:
- Hire and manage local Community Engagement Managers (CEMs), likely 3-5 staff in pilot phase with potential to grow team over time
- With Community Engagement Managers, develop local charter school plans (engagement and advocacy goals), ensuring alignment with NECSN’s annual state-level advocacy plan. These plans will include strategic mapping of relationships (identifying which relationships need to be developed) along with activities through which to develop those relationships, including one-on-one meetings, school visits, open houses, etc.
- Manage Community Engagement Managers in their execution of local engagement and advocacy plans, helping Managers to build a culture of advocacy in the schools with which they are working
- Establish personal accountabilities for CEM staff and evaluate performance regularly
Provide CEM supports (either directly or secured through others), including:
- Training on multiple topics (relationship building, CRM system, etc.)
- Communications materials (coordinated with NECSN’s Communications team)
Implement and coordinate local/state CRM system:
- Develop standard protocols and relationship-mapping system
- Ensure all users are inputting data in a way that is consistent with established standards
- Track key information in CRM database, for relationships “owned” by CT State Director and/or Director
- Develop reports that aid NECSN and school leadership in measuring 50,000 Voices program outcomes. This includes tracking that all those within the 50,000 Voices program – Community Engagement Managers, the Director, and the CT State Director – are utilizing a relationship-building approach that moves stakeholders deliberately along a continuum of support
- Review state relationships monthly and update according to moves management protocol
- Deep commitment to NECSN’s mission that public charter schools are a vital way to provide access to high quality educational options to students
- Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree is a plus
- 7+ years of professional experience required, ideally in communications, development, operations, or volunteer management. Experience in education/non-profits preferred
- Excellent relationship-building and relationship management skills, including an ability to connect with people from all backgrounds and walks of life and the ability to understand what motivates people and how those motivations impact the ways they best engage and support the movement
- Excellent people management skills, including ability to manage up and down in the workplace and to inspire and manage people even when they are not direct reports (i.e., effective volunteer management)
- Excellent networking and connecting skills. This person will not only personally build relationships – but will also help others develop their networks. This position requires an ability to strategically map relationships, to build connections among people, and to explain to others how to do the same
- Excellent project management skills, with the ability to develop plans, to manage/prioritize multiple tasks, to ensure timely implementation, to make decisions, and to work autonomously under the pressure of deadlines
- Maintain a flexible work schedule as required by participation in community, school, and advocacy events
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment with multiple and varied assignments
- Ready and willing to provide thought-leadership on new projects and tasks
- Positive can-do attitude and willingness to go the extra mile
- Microsoft Excel and database experience preferred, but not required
The position is based out of New Haven, but will require travel throughout the state. This position is available immediately and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and we offer a comprehensive benefits package.
TO APPLY: Send cover letter, resume and writing sample not to exceed ten pages to firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Connecticut Community Engagement Director - [YOUR NAME]” in the subject line.
At NECSN, we deeply value the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our staff in strengthening our collective work and mission to deliver a great education to all kids. NECSN is an equal opportunity employer and we highly encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.