Helps Education Fund Job Announcement
Position Title: Executive Director
Job Type: Full-time
Supervises: Director-level Staff
Location: North Carolina (Research Triangle or Charlotte preferred)
Overview of the Position
Are you a visionary leader who is passionate about supporting equitable access to high-quality education for learners of all ages? Do you enjoy building and cultivating strategic partnerships to advance community impact? Do you have a demonstrated record of mentoring and inspiring talented teams to fulfill a justice-focused organizational mission? If YES, consider joining our dynamic team in the fight for educational equity.
Helps Education Fund is looking for an accomplished and community-oriented executive-level leader to serve as our next Executive Director and provide leadership on the administration, financial performance, and strategic direction of the organization.
The ideal Executive Director candidate:
- is a dynamic, mission-driven leader with a deep commitment to advancing equity and justice.
- has a proven record of growing organizational capacity and programmatic impact.
- has extensive experience successfully supervising director-level staff.
- provides thoughtful executive leadership that is equitable, inclusive, collaborative, and transparent.
An ideal candidate would also have at least 3-5 years of prior executive-level experience. Executive-level experience in education and/or nonprofits (broadly defined) is desirable but not required.
This is a full-time position. Helps Education Fund has always valued and been committed to cultivating a diverse work environment. As an equal opportunity employer, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, socio-economic class, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, record of arrest or conviction, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Organizational Overview and Growth
Since its inception in 2010, Helps Education Fund has maintained its mission of advancing educational equity by partnering with educators and community organizations that serve a high percentage of historically underserved students, schools, and families. Through collaborative partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally, we provide low- or no-cost programs and services that meaningfully improve student learning from birth through adulthood. These programs and services are collaboratively developed and rigorously evaluated, creating a true bridge that connects educational research and practice.
Although Helps Education Fund began in 2010 with only a small group of volunteers and no paid staff, we have grown to a diverse team of nearly 40 staff -- each of whom is passionate about improving educational equity through community engagement and authentic partnerships.
As a result of significant organizational growth in recent years (and now with an annual operating budget of just over $2 million), Helps Education Fund’s current Executive Director will be transitioning into the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the organization, which will allow greater opportunity for Helps Education Fund to flourish in strategic areas of growth that extend beyond the Executive Director role. The next Executive Director will have significant levels of decision-making autonomy in this role and will be expected to bring visionary leadership and an ability to execute independently, especially as it pertains to programmatic scaling and impact within North Carolina and other states where we currently operate. At the same time, as summarized below, the Executive Director will have many opportunities to work collaboratively with other leaders, such as the CEO, Board of Directors, and others. The CEO will also serve as a thought partner with the Executive Director if desired and as a key support person during the initial onboarding process.
The primary areas of responsibility and duties of the Executive Director include:
Organizational Mission and Strategy
- In collaboration with the CEO, other leadership staff, and Board of Directors, help to develop—and ensure successful fulfillment of—strategic goals, objectives, and operational plans to support organizational mission. This work must continuously reflect Helps Education Fund’s commitment to equity-driven practices and goals.
- Establish and cultivate relationships with integral partners (e.g., nonprofit organizations, colleges/universities, corporate partners, faith-based organizations, private foundations and philanthropic organizations, etc.) to strategically advance the organizational mission, particularly with the work taking place in the United States.
- Serve as one of Helps Education Fund’s primary spokespersons to the organization’s constituents, including partner organizations, schools and school districts, funders, media, and the general public.
- Provide leadership to ensure all staff and Board of Directors effectively convey the organizational mission, vision, and/or strategic direction—including but not limited to leadership on organization-level communications.
Financial Management and Fundraising
- In collaboration with the CEO and CFO, oversee the fiscal health and integrity of Helps Education Fund, including developing and submitting an annual organizational budget and quarterly financial statements to the Board that accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization.
- Provide sound fiscal management to operate within the Board-approved organizational budget, ensure maximum resource efficiency and utilization, and safeguard the organization’s financial health.
- Provide overall direction and leadership to fundraising initiatives/strategy related to grant funding, donor cultivation and solicitation, government support, corporate sponsorships, special events, etc.
- Ensure that funding relationships are robust enough to meet or exceed strategic goals.
Personnel, Policy, and Process Management
- Supervise and collaborate with approximately seven director-level staff to ensure programmatic and operational success, sustainability, and growth.
- Lead implementation of the organization’s performance management system, including but not limited to supervision of director-level staff to support strategic decision-making, ensure that goals/benchmarks are met, and support professional development opportunities.
- Lead on the development, improvement (as needed), and implementation of employment and administrative policies and procedures (with input from the CEO and Board of Directors as needed) to support all organizational functions and day-to-day operations.
- In collaboration with other director-level staff, ensure maintenance of appropriate staffing systems and structure, such as overseeing staff recruitment, hiring, and retention that supports critical areas and helps to achieve organizational goals.
- Monitor organizational operations and ensure employees and practices not only comply with regulatory and legal requirements but also foster an empowering work environment that reflects opportunities for individual and organizational growth.
Board Management and Engagement
- In collaboration with the CEO, Advancement Manager, and existing Board members, provide leadership that supports recruitment and sustainability of a strong, diverse, and engaged Board of Directors.
- Attend all Board meetings and provide critical updates on staffing, programming, financial status/budgeting, and organizational growth.
- As needed, consult with the Board of Directors or sub-committees of the Board on organizational policies, practices, and guidelines.
- Engage in other leadership activities as needed and assigned by the Board of Directors.
The ideal candidate will possess experience and training to execute the responsibilities summarized in the job description and ideally demonstrate the following competencies, skills, experiences, and characteristics:
- Deep care for and demonstrated commitment to educational equity and other forms of social justice, as well as experience, passion, and success working with diverse populations and stakeholders
- Transparent, equitable, inclusive, collaborative, service- and results-oriented leadership style
- Ability to effectively communicate the principles articulated in Helps Education Fund’s mission, vision, and core values to staff and external partners
- High-level strategic thinking and planning, including the ability to envision and communicate the organization’s strategic plans to staff, the Board, and external constituents
- Ability to inspire staff, partners, and stakeholders to find joy and value in their work
- Experience working with a Board of Directors
- Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting
- Demonstrated accomplishments in the following areas:
- Overseeing program delivery, resulting in outstanding measurable outcomes
- Effectiveness and desire to work collaboratively, as well as experience effectively leading and supervising director-level staff
- Translating organizational vision or strategic plans into clearly-defined priorities, measurable results, and a timeline for monitoring and achieving defined goals
- Generating new revenue streams and improving financial health and growth
- Building relationships with stakeholders as well as successfully soliciting financial support from foundations, corporations, government sources, and/or individuals
- Extensive experience creating sustainable systems and processes to improve organizational results
- Ability to scale/increase impact in ways that are cost-effective
- Strong expository writing skills (e.g., strong proofreading/editing skills and an ability to produce written content that is clear, concise, compelling, and well-organized).
- Excellent interpersonal, organizational, communication, and negotiating skills to interact with a broad range of individuals in a professional and personable manner. Sense of humor is a plus and flexibility is a must!
- Strong and creative problem-solving skills
- Willingness to operate in compliance with organizational policies and procedures as well as in alignment with external partners’ (e.g., school districts, community partners) standards
- Willingness to learn and be flexible
- Excellent attention to detail
- Proficiency in software or technology commonly used for this job, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; Google Docs or Sheets; Google Drive; Adobe Acrobat; and virtual communication tools such as Zoom or Google Meet
Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately. Applications will be reviewed by a hiring committee on a rolling basis with interviews scheduled for qualified applicants starting in late July 2022. The anticipated start date of this position is somewhat flexible, but we are aiming for it to be in August 2022.
To apply, email your resume and a cover letter to Dr. Haruna Suzuki, Chair of the Search Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write in the subject line, “ED application - Your first and last name”
In your cover letter, please provide your salary requirement. Salary and benefits for this executive-level position are competitive and will be commensurate with experience.
Lastly, we ask that you write a response to the following question and attach it to your application email as a Word document or PDF:
It’s early January 2022. In your leadership role overseeing programmatic impact, scaling, and budgeting, you have just learned that a large public school system we partner with would like to expand the capacity of our AMPPS math program in the following ways. First, with targets set to support 400 students attending Title 1 schools in the current 2021-22 school year, they are asking if we can serve an additional 250 students during summer 2022 programming. Second, they are asking us to provide AMPPS to 650 total students in Title 1 schools during the 2022-23 school year. The district indicated that they can likely fund 50% of the desired expansion and they are eager to get your proposed plan for the next 18 months of programming.
Draft a memo in no more than 400 words explaining to the Board and CEO what the organization’s best strategy would be to address the situation, obtain additional funding, and realize the impact of this opportunity. Please provide any assumptions or special considerations taken into account and please be sure to comment on increased staffing needs to ensure success. Although you may summarize a completely hypothetical scenario, you are welcome to integrate any past experiences from potentially similar circumstances.
References will be requested of top applicants at the final stages of the recruitment process.
Questions about the position should be sent to Dr. Haruna Suzuki, Chair of the Search Committee, at email@example.com.