The Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP) works to give every child in America's fifth largest city the opportunity to attend a great school. PSP invests philanthropic funds in high-impact schools so they can serve more low-income students, whether they attend the traditional public, public charter, or private sectors. PSP's aim is to catalyze the creation or transformation of enough schools to ensure better options for 50,000 students, or nearly 1-in-4 of all Philadelphia schoolchildren. Since 2011, PSP has invested in more than 50 schools, creating new educational opportunity for 21,000 students. PSP also works to create the conditions that enable great schools to grow and thrive, including a strong pipeline of qualified teachers and principals, resources and initiatives to empower parents and families, and policies that enable entrepreneurial school leadership and create opportunity for high-performing schools to grow. Additionally, PSP invests to catalyze collaboration, facilitating the sharing of best practices among schools and support organizations. Nonpartisan and data-driven, PSP works with government officials, business leaders, education leaders and practitioners, and community groups to pursue the promise of a great school for every child.
PSP believes that in a city as large as Philadelphia, there is not one best or right kind of school. Two hundred forty thousand children need a wide variety of schools from which to choose. The city has numerous examples of high-performing schools, and they span all three primary sectors: charter schools, district schools and private/Catholic schools. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of quality options in all three sectors. More than 35,000 students sit on waiting lists for the city's best schools, which include private, charter, district magnet, and district neighborhood schools. PSP's work centers on leveraging philanthropic capital to attract entrepreneurial leadership, and to overcome inertia and financial and political barriers so that Philadelphia can have more great schools.
Like all cities, Philadelphia has finite resources for K-12 education. PSP believes the route to effectively educating all of the city's children lies in fomenting and sustaining an educational ecosystem that steers resources toward effective schools, regardless of sector or type of school, so they can grow; increases equity of access to all school choices for families; and utilizes multiple measures of school performance to hold schools accountable for outcomes, thus ensuring support and, if necessary, intervention for struggling schools.
Given the critical importance of a modern, best-practices fundraising and communications to PSP's ongoing success, the organization has created the new role of Senior Director of External Affairs (Senior Director) to elevate the strategic leadership thereof. Reporting to the executive director, the Senior Director will be responsible for leading PSP's development program, external partnerships and collaboration, and organization-wide communications. The Senior Director will set fundraising goals in collaboration with the executive director and other senior colleagues, and hone the organization's development strategy. The Senior Director will supervise an external affairs team comprising the director of development, the communications manager, and the development and communications associate. The Senior Director will be a key member of the senior management team of PSP, along with the executive director and managing director, partnering on organizational strategy, and setting and nourishing organizational culture and expectations.
The Senior Director must lead PSP in building a best-in-class infrastructure for a sustainable development program, and expanding and diversifying its sources of support. S/he must be proactive in advancing new and existing donor relationships, identifying opportunities for support, and leveraging the optimal involvement of PSP's executive, board, and programmatic leadership. It will be critical for the Senior Director to advance the overall sophistication and sustainability of PSP's development program, championing strategic, data-informed decision-making, industry best practices, and dedication to continuous improvement, transparency, and accountability. S/he will be given significant autonomy over external affairs amid a highly entrepreneurial organizational culture, and must serve as a catalyst for the activity of the external affairs team. In addition to providing strategic, managerial leadership, the Senior Director will actively model a hands-on approach in discovery, cultivation, solicitation/engagement, and stewardship of donors and external partners.
The Senior Director will also be primarily responsible for communications strategy as it relates to donors, external communications, and public relations, including branding and messaging. In addition, the Senior Director will oversee PSP's participation in civic leadership in the city, creating and maintaining strong partnerships with institutions and other funders that are focused on citywide educational improvement.
Required qualifications and experience: commitment to the mission of PSP, and a working knowledge of key issues and strategies in educational improvement/reform; bachelor's degree required, advanced degree preferred; minimum of seven years of experience in progressively responsible development leadership positions, which includes work in all functional areas (individual giving, institutional giving, planned giving, stewardship, board relations) and participation in a major capital campaign, for a nonprofit organization of similar complexity with multiple stakeholders; experience in education is a plus, but not required; demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with previous supervisory experience, including creating and managing a budget; particular strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives; demonstrated history of securing six, seven, and eight-figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual fund strategies to effectively groom the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors; demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement development initiatives and achieve overall organizational goals; a functional understanding of how to effectively leverage various communication mediums and distribution channels for optimal exposure and impact; skill at goal setting and measuring success, and agility in addressing alternate program directions to meet goals when necessary; ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process; ability and willingness to travel domestically.
The Philadelphia School Partnership has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search processes. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174