Director of Communications
Updated November 2020
About NYC Kids RISE
NYC Kids RISE is a nonprofit organization working to expand economic opportunity and equity by providing families, schools, and communities with a way to work together to save for their children’s education. NYC Kids RISE manages the Save for College Program in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York. The Save for College Program is a scholarship and savings program designed to make college more accessible and achievable for all NYC public school students, starting with all kindergartners in School District 30 in Queens—regardless of their family’s income or immigration status. By providing upfront scholarships to every student, tools and information for families to develop their own college savings plan, and a platform for communities to save together, the Save for College Program empowers families to begin saving and planning for college from their child’s very first days of school.
NYC Kids RISE launched the Save for College Program in School District 30 in Queens in Fall 2017, the first year of a three-cohort pilot that enrolled approximately 10,000 kindergartners. (School District 30 includes the neighborhoods of Astoria, Ditmars, East Elmhurst, Hunter’s Point, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.) Now in its fourth year of operation, NYC Kids RISE hopes to expand the Save for College Program to all NYC public schools.
Learn more about NYC Kids RISE and the Save for College Program at nyckidsrise.org.
Director of Communications
NYC Kids RISE seeks an entrepreneurial, highly organized, creative communications and marketing professional to serve as Director of Communications. The Director will play a leadership role in advancing the organization’s mission, brand, and platform. The ideal candidate will be willing to roll up their sleeves, operate at various levels and with diverse partners, and manage multiple projects.
Responsibilities will include but are not limited to:
- Lead the development and implementation of an integrated strategic communications plan to support the organization’s communications and engagement objectives (including earned media, social media, grassroots engagements, print materials, events, etc.). Development and implementation includes managing and coordinating with other NYC Kids RISE staff and program partners, coordinating and aligning with key government partners, and managing relationships with associated vendors;
- Lead a small but mighty communications team and manage relationships with public relations and communications consultancies and other related vendors.
- Identify and leverage key opportunities to amplify program messages and the work of the organization and key partners across the community, city, and country;
- Develop and implement earned media strategies, including maintaining relationships with press, fielding press inquiries, training spokespeople for the Save for College Program, and pitching stories to local, citywide, and national media;
- Develop messaging and creative for discrete action-oriented campaigns to engage stakeholders, including parents/guardians, school stakeholders, community members;
- Develop “core” messages to ensure organizational communication and brand consistency;
- When necessary, pitch in on drafting and editing content and overseeing design, production, and translation (into 9+ languages) of all public-facing materials, including website pages and features, print materials, newsletters, social media content, op-eds, blog posts, remarks for the Executive Director and Board members, and other communications and marketing collateral;
- Develop and manage reports and other key organizational communications, including an annual report;
- Serve as executive editor for the organization’s website and social media presence;
- Along with all NYC Kids RISE employees, maintain, and support other staff and volunteers to maintain strict adherence to NYC Kids RISE data security and privacy policies; remaining vigilant on the ways in which NYC Kids RISE can continue to protect Confidential Information (including Student and Family Data); identify vulnerabilities, and proactively problem solve to improve controls and practices; and
- Along with all NYC Kids RISE employees, participate and share in the organization’s work to advance racial equity and anti-oppression in the organization’s and program’s operations and practices; proactively identify opportunities to advance the development of an anti-racist organization; share and solicit ongoing feedback and conversations to advance this work.
The Director will report to the organization’s Chief of Strategy and Policy, but will work with all teams at NYC Kids RISE in the execution of key responsibilities. NYC Kids RISE is currently composed of 13 team members, but is actively growing and the Director will also have the opportunity to plan for growth within the Communications team as the work expands.
- Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with diverse stakeholders including NYC Kids RISE team, Save for College Program government partners, local schools, and other program stakeholders and participants;
- Ability to work effectively under tight deadlines, self-reliant, good problem solver, results-oriented, and capable of making decisions in a dynamic environment while anticipating future needs;
- Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing a comprehensive strategic communication, media relations, and marketing program to advance an organization’s mission and goals;
- Experience planning, writing, editing, and producing newsletters, press releases, annual reports, marketing collateral, and other print materials;
- Experience managing digital elements of campaigns and initiatives, including website content, social media, email management, and online advocacy and organizing tools;
- Proven experience in using communications and marketing to empower communities; understanding and experience in co-creating initiatives or campaigns with communities, track record in developing and managing communications and marketing to drive consumer action;
- A minimum of five years of experience in communications, public relations, journalism, or related field; Advanced degree in journalism, communications, public policy, or related field preferred, but extensive related experience is equally valued; experience working with government agencies also preferred;
- Project management experience in administering multiple, simultaneous projects;
- Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements;
- Ability to coach and support senior leaders and program stakeholders as spokespersons;
- Experience with or willingness to learn common CMS, HTML, CSS, and WordPress;
- Experience with Constant Contact and other online database, communication, and campaign tools;
- Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, preferred;
- Graphic design sensibility or strong familiarity with the use of graphic design as a key communications element preferred;
- Passion for social change, strong sense of humor, flexibility, and a desire to work with fun people; and
- Fluency in Spanish preferred.
To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and list the name of the position, “Director of Communications,” in the subject of the email. Salary based on experience.