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Director of External Engagement

Citizen Schools
Job Title: Director of External Engagement
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February 28th, 2018
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At Citizen Schools, we envision a world in which schools, companies and families partner to provide students with a set of real-world learning experiences that put them on a path to college and career success. Our National External Engagement team is responsible for identifying and partnering with those companies, individual donors, and foundations whose time, resources and knowledge allow Citizen Schools to impact the lives of students across the country.

A critical component of the work of the National External Engagement team is engaging with individual donors, managing portfolios of foundation relationships and partnering closely with our regional fundraisers to work to meet both individual and collective targets across the Citizen Schools and US2020 networks. We are excited to add an energetic development professional to our team as our newest Director of External Engagement. As our Director of External Engagement, you will play a critical role in Citizen Schools’ effort to sustain and expand our development efforts, broaden our impact, and elevate our presence across both Massachusetts and our national footprint. You will have the opportunity to manage a diverse set of responsibilities and will partner with the Managing Director of External Engagement to support the organization’s overall sustainability through both national and localized fundraising strategies including leading the vision and execution for Citizen Schools signature fundraising event(s).

We seek a stellar relationship builder who is committed to creating strong partnerships and understanding the power and possibilities in collaboration and teamwork. You will be an ideal candidate for this position if you are a self-directed and tenacious individual who has a proven track record of stewarding relationships and securing financial resources. The Director of External Engagement will be based at our national headquarters in Boston, MA and will report to our Managing Director of External Engagement.

Citizen Schools is a vibrant organization with a deep commitment to equipping young people with the skills, access and beliefs they need to thrive as students and succeed as adults in the modern economy. We work in a fast-paced environment that values learning and an entrepreneurial approach. Knowing its importance to the success of our work, Citizen Schools is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we aspire to build a diverse team across our network. Please be sure to submit your resume and a thoughtful cover letter that explains your interest in the role and our organization. We appreciate your time and will review and respond to all applications received.


To apply to this position, please have an updated resume ready and complete the online application. Please contact us(via email at citizenschools@positivelypartners.org) for any assistance needed in completing the application.


Individual Donor Portfolio Management:

  • Manage a portfolio of individual donors and lead all stages of engagement including: Identification, Qualification, Cultivation, Solicitation and Stewardship
  • In partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Director, ensure giving from Massachusetts Advisory Board and Massachusetts Council of Champions
  • Provide analysis of the prospective donors who are best aligned with supporting the Citizen Schools mission; develop and execute plans to engage them
  • Build and maintain a portfolio of ~150 individual prospects rated with significant capacity and affinity for Citizen Schools and cultivate, solicit and steward them
  • Work with internal stakeholders (campus and Civic Engagement teams) to create rich engagement opportunities that reflect the students we serve

Event Strategy & Oversight:

  • Oversee the planning and execution of Citizen Schools signature event(s)
  • Lead efforts to evaluate the organization’s approach for showcasing its mission through events
  • Streamline Gala planning and operations, working to leverage resources allocated to the event including overseeing consultants, vendors and managing a cross-functional team to complete a comprehensive work plan
  • Partner with Executive Leadership to create programmatic vision, manage the Host Committee and key event sponsors
  • Work with internal stakeholders (campus and Civic Engagement) to streamline operations and create a program that reflects the organization’s values around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the communities and populations of students that we serve

Foundations Portfolio Management:

  • Manage a portfolio of select grants and foundation relationships
    • Partner effectively with colleagues at headquarters and in each region to submit proposals, reports, and other communication that results in securing funding commitments to meet each our revenue goals, overall and within categories 
  • Develop a deep understanding of organizational strategy, priorities, program content and results in order to convey that clearly, accurately and in compelling ways to colleagues and funders
  • Partner effectively with colleagues in the finance department to produce high-quality proposal budgets and financial reports


  • Consult with members of the national External Engagement team focused on marketing and operations to customize the annual appeal program and consult on the annual fund program
  • Work with members of the Operations team to develop strategy and content for annual fund program for pipeline development

Massachusetts Regional Board Support:

  • Partner with the Executive Director on regional board strategy
  • Manage Board and Council engagement opportunities and activities
  • Develop Board and Council through disciplined identification, recruitment and retention processes


There are innumerable ways to learn, grow and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below:

  • 7+ years of progressively responsible fundraising experience, with a preference for experience with individuals and foundations
  • Track record of meeting and exceeding ambitious fundraising goals while maintaining an inclusive, collaborative leadership style
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, with the ability to develop productive working relationships across a wide variety of individuals and groups, both internally and externally
  • Strong strategic thinking skills with an ability to use data to make decisions and to translate strategy to action
  • Demonstrated ability to independently manage follow-up communication, CRM database entries, and other operational details efficiently
  • Proactive attitude, out of the box thinking, good sense of humor and able to thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Desire and excitement to model Citizen Schools core values: Pride, Respect, Courage, Teamwork, Perseverance, Vision, and Joy
  • Fundamental belief that all students can achieve academic and professional success       


Citizen Schools offers a robust compensation and benefit package including high quality health and dental insurance and access to a retirement plan.


All children deserve the opportunity to discover and achieve their dreams. Citizen Schools makes this possible for thousands of high-need middle school students nationwide through partnerships with public districts that extend the school day and introduce volunteer and paid adults to increase hands-on learning opportunities. Extended Learning Time or ELT is an evidence-based model, that consistently accelerates the rate of student learning, reduces absenteeism, leads to more students reaching grade-level proficiency, and prepares students for college and beyond. You can review our results or see the our impact first hand through the story of one of our students .

We are on a mission to reimagine the learning day, and with partners like Cisco, Fidelity, Biogen and AmeriCorps, we are getting closer to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps every day.



Citizen Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, cultural heritage, ancestry, political belief, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability or veteran status. Citizen Schools is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and we are committed to making special accommodations for your interview or work as a member of our team. If specific accommodations are needed, please notify jsmerkers@positivelypartners.org and we will work to accommodate your needs.

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Phone: 617.426.2606 | Fax: 617.426.2849
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