Your Role as the Executive Director
As Executive Director for College Forward, you are the general manager – overseeing all site operations including planning, managing, and executing a comprehensive strategy for driving impact in the Austin community. In addition to regional operations and leadership, the Executive Director serves as the external face of College Forward, building relationships within the local community as well as with key stakeholders and partners. As such, you lead all fundraising activities and community outreach efforts, as well as supporting our local Advisory Board.
As the head of our Austin office, you are responsible for recruiting, developing, and retaining a full-time staff of approximately thirty people. You ensure that the proper infrastructure is in place to support your staff in achieving College Forward’s strategic goals and fulfilling our mission. You are a highly effective communicator and skilled listener, who sets clear and realistic expectations for staff while inspiring and motivating a team across all levels. You are a collaborative, human-centered leader who leads with transparency and is committed to creating an equitable workplace that welcomes and embraces a diversity of identities, skills, and experiences.
Roles & Responsibilities
- Oversees all operational areas of College Forward’s Austin, TX office, including human resources, information technology, facilities management, purchasing, budgeting, and finance/accounting.
- Sets the vision for the organizational culture.
- Works in close collaboration with the Local Advisory Board to develop a strategic plan for the site, and to maintain community relations, determine programmatic direction, support donor cultivation, and ensure program satisfaction.
- Recruits, develops and retains a diverse, high-impact staff to help drive the mission of the region.
- Ensures compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and rules, as well as alignment with organizational policies and standards
Fundraising and External Relations
- Designs and implements funding strategies to support College Forward’s programming in Austin.
- Builds and cultivates new individual donor relationships, enhances current institutional partner relationships (including foundations and corporations), and works to increase stakeholder engagement.
- Actively works to elevate the regional and national brand by serving as a thought leader on issues of college and career success; acts as a primary external advocate for the organization in Austin.
- Leads grant-writing efforts, in coordination with and with support from the national office where appropriate.
- Schedules and attends meetings with key foundations and individual contacts with national leadership and/or members of the Local Board, as appropriate.
- Provides programmatic oversight, ensuring alignment in the development and implementation of College Forward’s programming in the Austin area.
- With support from the National program team, maintains and enhances the standard for College Forward, both internally and externally, while ensuring fidelity to our program model.
- Ensures appropriate evaluation of program efforts and progress monitoring of College Forward’s impact in the Austin community.
Marketing & Communications
- In close collaboration with the national communications team and regional external relations team, oversees marketing and communications efforts in the local Austin community.
- Serves as the region’s main spokesperson in the Austin community and provides strategic direction for special events and media efforts.
What You Bring
- Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred)
- At least 8-10 years of relevant experience, which includes serving as a successful senior leader and creating/enhancing organization culture;
- Prior fundraising or development experience is required, with a proven track record of building upon and expanding an organization’s donor base;
- Experience with the Austin funder community is preferred;
- Results-oriented manager with a track record of achieving desired outcomes;
- Strategic thinker who can communicate and implement the vision/plan for growth of the local organization;
- Outstanding problem solver with an entrepreneurial spirit;
- Skilled leader with a track record of inspiring and motivating both internal and external stakeholders;
- Superior interpersonal and presentation skills;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
- Evidence of excellent collaborative and relationship-building abilities;
- Self-starter with the ability to juggle multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously; must be flexible and adaptable to change
- Comfort with budgets and financial management
- Strong computer skills, including demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Office
- Experience in database management preferred
- Excellent benefits including employer-paid health coverage, long-term disability, and life insurance
- Low-cost options for dental and vision insurance
- Paid parental leave
- Encouraged sustainability through a generous paid time off program
- An opportunity to have a tremendous impact both internally and across the country
College Forward is a dynamic, progressive, and youth-focused working environment. Responsibilities may frequently require an adjusted work schedule, evening/weekend hours, and/or travel in order to meet deadlines or satisfy program requirements.
NOTICE: All College Forward team members are working remotely through at least July 31, 2021. When College Forward resumes in-person student services, the Executive Director – Austin, will be required to work from the Austin site.
- What is your interest in college access and success?
- What leadership tools would you utilize to promote a culture of belonging?