Position Title: Project Director
Reports to: Executive Director
Supervises: Project staff, such as Project Managers
Job Type: Full-time, Salaried
Overview of the Position
Are you passionate about fostering social justice through evidence-based and culturally informed programs? Do you care deeply about promoting equitable access to high-quality education? Do you enjoy both leading and collaborating to advance organizational mission and impact? If YES, consider joining our dynamic team in the fight for educational equity!
Helps Education Fund is looking for an experienced and mission-driven leader to oversee and grow aspects of our literacy and mathematics programming that are currently used in multiple sites across North Carolina and beyond. The Project Director’s main focus will be on directing and growing projects connected to our research-supported HELPS and AMPPS programs. Our projects usually involve partnering with school districts and other community-based educational organizations (e.g., nonprofits), and we mainly partner with organizations who likewise aim to support students who are economically disadvantaged and/or historically marginalized.
Our programming with HELPS and AMPPS involves several different location-based projects of different sizes, with most projects generally aiming to achieve one or more of the following goals:
- training and coaching school-based educators or nonprofit staff members to use our evidence-based programs most effectively with K-12 students;
- working with community partners to recruit, train, and/or coordinate volunteers to effectively use our literacy and/or math programs with K-12 students;
- strategically planning (and consulting with) leadership teams of our community partners to eventually prepare them to train and coach their staff to use our programs; and/or
- systematically evaluating (and reporting) the impact of our project goals, including but not limited to goals for student learning outcomes, increased student confidence in reading or math, accurate use of our programs (i.e., intervention fidelity) by those who receive training, and community partners’ satisfaction with our work.
Key responsibilities of the Project Director include cultivating and sustaining community-based partnerships (such as with leadership teams of schools or education nonprofits), leading to develop clear project goals and ensure all goals are met, developing and overseeing project budgets and (if applicable) helping to secure contractual funding to assist with covering project costs, supervising and supporting project managers, and developing clear project reports based on key outcome data.
Past Project Directors with Helps Education Fund have developed effective models, tools, and methods for achieving project goals and scaling them for success. However, we now seek a full-time Project Director to continue our growth and success while also bringing new ideas, energy, and vision for how we can further expand our programs and impact.
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. These programs and services are collaboratively developed, rigorously evaluated, and bridge educational research and practice.
Although Helps Education Fund began in 2010 with only a small group of volunteers, we have grown to a diverse team of ~25 staff -- each of whom is passionate about improving educational equity through community engagement and authentic partnerships.
The ideal candidate:
- Is a self-motivated, service- and results-oriented leader with a passion for enhancing educational equity and relationship-building with community partners.
- Has a proven track record of successfully directing educational programming for underserved populations and communities.
- Has the ability to develop concrete project goals, routinely monitor success and milestones aligned with those goals, and support all project staff with meeting goals.
- Is comfortable with systems-level thinking and coordination that allows for greater project effectiveness and cost-efficiency.
- Can effectively hire, train, and/or supervise a diverse group of project staff members.
- Has at least some experience developing and managing project budgets across multiple projects that are similar in their goals but slightly unique in scope, staff size, or specific tasks needed for project success.
Applicants should have at least 4-7 years of experience in directing educational programming in some capacity (this may include direct service-delivery, research/evaluation of programs, and/or other forms of programming). Experience in the area of education (broadly defined) is preferred but not required. If applicable, applicants with graduate level/post-baccalaureate education may consider those years of graduate school as relevant work experience.
We strongly encourage all interested applicants, but preference may be given for those who have mid-career or senior-level management experience.
Helps Education Fund is committed to cultivating a diverse environment and continues to be 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.
The Project Director will strategically direct and grow Helps Education Fund’s literacy and math programs in multiple sites and help to make our work and impact even stronger—all while staying true to the organization’s mission and commitment to high-quality and accessible programming. The ideal candidate has a proven track record of strategic and equity-focused thinking, leadership, and directing successful educational programs with underserved communities.
The primary responsibilities for the Project Director include:
Strategy and Planning
- Plan the delivery of programs, services, and all related activities in multiple sites (i.e., to support multiple projects) in accordance with Helps Education Fund’s mission and strategic plan.
- Develop clear and specific objectives and completion timelines for each project, as well as a clear plan for meeting all objectives.
- Utilize existing models and systems that have been developed for project implementation and success, but adapt the model when needed and/or propose approaches that could potentially improve project effectiveness or cost-efficiency.
- Develop and finalize budgets for each project, with assistance as needed from Helps Education Fund’s Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer.
- In consultation with the Executive Director, ensure proper staffing to meet project objectives, including the possibility of hiring and training new staff.
- Work with the Advancement Manager to determine possible grant opportunities related to one or more projects.
- When applicable, work toward long-term project sustainability and scalability.
Program Operations and Oversight
- Meet with partner organizations and agencies to build relationships, determine project goals and timelines, and monitor progress and success.
- Oversee project staff to ensure their activities align with project goals, plans, and budget, as well as with organizational policies and mission.
- Provide project staff with direction, input, support and feedback, as needed.
- Report the status of projects to the Executive Director, problem solve challenges, and recommend changes to enhance programming, as needed.
- Work with the Chief Financial Officer to ensure all projects operate within approved budgets.
- Assist with and ensure sound execution of project evaluation activities and help to prepare project reports (including middle and/or end of project reports) for our organization, project partners, and other potential stakeholders.
- Maintain awareness of relevant educational research, policy, contemporary discussions, and challenges that influence initiation and success of all projects.
- Provide outreach and clear communication to schools, school districts, or educational nonprofits about the programs and services we offer (this may also include, but is not limited to, presenting at professional meetings/conferences).
- Participate in Helps Education Fund leadership meetings and work as a collaborator and thought-partner.
- Potentially engage with board members, organizational donors, and others who may have interest in knowing more about project implementation, success, and/or sustainability.
The ideal candidate for this Project Director position will possess experience and training to execute the responsibilities summarized in the job description and ideally demonstrate the following skills, experiences, and characteristics:
- Deep care for educational equity and social justice, as well as experience with and passion for working with diverse populations and stakeholders.
- Excellent interpersonal skills that allow easy relationship-building with new and existing partners.
- Proven track record of successfully directing educational programming for underserved populations and communities.
- Ability to generate an in-depth understanding of all relevant Helps Education Fund literacy and mathematics programs connected with our projects.
- Demonstrated effectiveness and desire to work collaboratively, as well as experience and desire to supervise others, such as staff or interns.
- Ability to utilize systems-level thinking and problem-solving.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Strong critical thinking and analytical skills.
- Sound understanding of key barriers to equitable education.
- Ability to work on multiple projects effectively and simultaneously, at times with competing tasks and deadlines.
- Willingness to learn, be flexible, and take initiative.
- Proficiency in software or technology commonly used for this job, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Google Docs or Sheets, Google Drive, and virtual communication tools such as Zoom or Google Meet.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. If an applicant wishes to submit an application but cannot do so until after May 17, 2021, please contact us to inform us of your intent to apply and the date by which you will submit your application.
Applications will be reviewed by a hiring committee and interviews will be scheduled with the most qualified applicants. The anticipated start date of this position is somewhat flexible, but we are aiming for it to be in June or early July 2021.
To apply, email your resume (or a CV) and a cover letter to New.Hire@helpseducationfund.org. Please write in the subject line, “Project Director application - Your first and last name”
In your cover letter, please provide your salary requirement. Salary and benefits for this Project Director position are competitive and will be commensurate with experience.
Questions about the position should be sent to Dr. John Begeny, Executive Director, at email@example.com.