Director of Community Scholarships
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 invest in their children’s future. NYC Kids RISE manages the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program as a public-private-community partnership with the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and the City of New York. The Save for College Program is a universal scholarship and savings program designed to make college and career training more accessible and achievable for all NYC public school students—regardless of their family’s income or immigration status. The Save for College Program is a tool that families, along with their schools and neighbors, can use and customize in the way that best fits into their lives and best supports their dreams for their children.
The Save for College Program launched a three-cohort pilot phase in School District 30 in Fall 2017. Now in its third school year, the Save for College Program has so far enrolled more than 10,000 kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade students (around 95% of all the students in those grades across District 30) and opened an NYC Scholarship Account invested in a 529 plan with an $100 initial deposit for each one. Their families can view this account online, open their own college savings account, and start saving their own money in the ways and amounts that make sense for their financial circumstances, earning additional scholarship rewards. At the same time, their communities can contribute to groups of these NYC Scholarship Accounts to further increase the savings in each child’s account and demonstrate their community’s support for every child’s success. Together, these two accounts enable families, friends, schools, communities, and larger institutions and systems to work together to build assets and support expectations for each child’s future.
NYC Kids RISE is driven by the belief that every NYC public school child should have a real financial asset for higher education, starting in kindergarten, and support from every part of their community to achieve educational and economic success. Based on the successes of the pilot phase, NYC Kids RISE is currently working with its public, private, and community partners to prepare to expand the Save for College Program beyond School District 30 to other NYC school districts. In the 2020-2021 school year, NYC Kids RISE hopes to begin enrolling kindergartners in the Save for College Program across two school districts in addition to District 30. The ultimate vision is to create a universal, community-driven wealth-building platform–embedded in homes, schools, and neighborhoods–across all 32 school districts in the NYC public school system. This approach draws from a variety of best practices and disciplines across the fields of asset building, child savings accounts, financial empowerment, education, community wealth building, urban poverty, neighborhood effects and social capital research, collective impact, and more.
Learn more about NYC Kids RISE and the Save for College Program at nyckidsrise.org.
Director of Community Scholarships
A fundamental component of the Save for College Program, Community Scholarships are a way for communities to leverage their unique assets, institutions, and traditions to visibly and tangibly support their children’s educational futures. By enabling local stakeholders (businesses, neighbors, civic organizations, anchor institutions, etc.) to support the NYC Scholarship Accounts in the ways and amounts that make sense for them, Community Scholarships are a tool for demonstrating community-wide support for every child’s future, encouraging families to continue planning and saving for higher education, strengthening social capital, and building generational wealth in neighborhoods. On top of these community-led contributions, NYC Kids RISE targets its own fundraising, partnerships, and projects to progressively direct assets toward the accounts of low-income families and communities, as well as families and communities of color.
Functionally, Community Scholarships are contributions to groups of NYC Scholarship Accounts through a donation to NYC Kids RISE. NYC Kids RISE deposits 100% of the donations received for Community Scholarships into the NYC Scholarship Accounts of the designated group of students, subject to its Community Scholarship Guidelines. For examples of Community Scholarships done to date in District 30, click these links for information about Seamless’ “Donate the Change” Community Scholarship, the Center of Hope International and Community Church of Astoria’s Concert for College, the PS 92 Parent-to-Parent Community Scholarship, and the Funding Long Island City’s Future Campaign.
NYC Kids RISE seeks an entrepreneurial, systems-oriented, creative, experienced fundraising and business development professional, relationship builder, communicator, and capacity builder to serve as the organization’s first Director of Community Scholarships. The Director will lead, deepen, systematize, and drive continuous innovation in the Program’s Community Scholarship area, building out and expanding what will ultimately be a citywide system that 1) leverages assets from within a neighborhood toward the college savings accounts for students in that neighborhood; 2) strengthens local ecosystems and build social capital in neighborhoods; 3) promotes equity by directing significant capital to students in neighborhoods that are historically under-resourced; and 4) motivates families to engage with their scholarship and savings accounts, further building assets and promoting their college and career expectations.
Key responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Direct fundraising and leveraging funding streams for Community Scholarships:
- Lead NYC Kids RISE’s work with public, private, and community partners to identify large, sustained institutional funding streams in NYC to drive significant capital directly into students’ accounts, particularly those in under-resourced communities and communities of color, expanding the Program’s impacts on combating wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap in NYC;
- Develop a Community Scholarship fundraising plan with a focus on racial equity, setting clear quarterly fundraising targets;
- Cultivate and manage prospective donor and partner relationships related to Community Scholarships.
- Provide technical assistance for community-driven fundraising and partnerships:
- Support and provide hands-on technical assistance for NYC Kids RISE staff and stakeholders (including parents/guardians, school staff, PTA/PA organizations, community-based organizations, businesses, anchor institutions, unions, civic associations, resident associations, and other local and citywide institutions) in each school district to design and execute Community Scholarships.
- Serve as subject matter expert for the NYC Kids RISE team on Community Scholarships;
- Oversee all activities related to the lifecycle of Community Scholarship implementation, including overseeing Community Scholarship announcement and related events, notification and communication to Community Scholarship recipients, in service to the goals of Community Scholarships;
- Develop and evolve systems for scaling Community Scholarships, launching and replicating successful prototypes and best practices across school districts and ultimately citywide:
- Drawing from online and offline tools, best practices, and platforms around community fundraising and engagement, develop internal tools, trainings and systems for tracking, scaling and managing Community Scholarships, including enabling stakeholders within and across neighborhoods to design and execute their own Community Scholarships that best leverage the financial and non-financial assets in their neighborhoods and across the city;
- In partnership with NYC Kids RISE teammates, test ways in which Community Scholarship can catalyze and maximize community, family, and student engagement with their scholarship and savings accounts and reinforce their college- and career-going expectations;
- Develop and maintain systems for collecting and sharing data and metrics tracking progress toward the goals of Community Scholarships outlined above;
- Maintain and evolve NYC Kids RISE’s Community Scholarship Guidelines, including liaising with NYC Kids RISE legal and leadership as needed to ensure ongoing compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and organizational policies;
- Work with the NYC Kids RISE communications team to develop and design print and digital materials, tools, and campaigns to promote and drive Community Scholarships;
- Support the development of systems to capture partners’ experiences, stories, and best practices to share about Community Scholarships across neighborhoods and across the city.
- Contribute to NYC Kids RISE core operations
- 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;
- Maintain, and support other staff and volunteers to maintain, strict adherence to NYC Kids RISE data security and privacy policies.
- At least eight years of experience in a combination of fundraising, business development, partnership management, community organizing, and event planning;
- Interest in every day looking a little different;
- Experience working across sectors;
- Superb communication and relationship building skills, including writing, public speaking, event planning, and presentation to diverse audiences;
- Adaptable, flexible and effective problem solver in fast-paced settings;
- Proven project manager, highly organized, strong attention to detail, ability to multitask;
- Willingness to work long hours, evenings, and some weekends as needed;
- Strong judgment;
- Knowledge of, and demonstrated interest in, increasing economic opportunities and long-term financial security for low-income New York City families and neighborhoods, and combating wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap;
- Familiarity with New York City neighborhoods and systems (schools, community-based organizations, social services, local and state government, philanthropy, etc.) preferred;
- Experience in a start-up setting preferred.
To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to email@example.com and list the name of the position, “Director of Community Scholarships,” in the subject of the email. Salary based on experience.