Location note: While Think of Us is a remote-first team, our strong preference is that this person is based in, or has easy access to, Washington DC.
Think of Us (TOU) is a Research + Design lab on a mission to fundamentally re-architect the foster care system as we know it, powered by the data, leadership and insights of people with lived experience. The most challenging social problems we face – homelessness, mental illness, incarceration, and human trafficking – share a common intersection point: foster care. That’s why we are sparking, driving, and co-creating a nimble, responsive foster care system that will ensure every person has the conditions from which to heal, develop, and thrive. We partner with leading organizations driving change across the national ecosystem – from the White House to local providers and agencies – to identify leverage points and build solutions.
TOU is driving nationwide, catalytic change via multiple coordinated channels, including:
- Mobilizing and leveraging the collective voice of 38,000 former foster youth into over $400M in Federal pandemic relief funds.
- Collaborating with three consecutive presidential administrations to improve Federal policy, participating in 26 engagements with the White House in the last year alone.
- Inspiring 22 states to commit to eliminating group homes within 72 hours of releasing our groundbreaking Away from Home report, and partnering with six jurisdictions to make this commitment a reality.
- Creating a new model for frontline support, TOU’s Virtual Support Services (VSS) connects individuals impacted by foster care with vital resources. Successfully operating in California, Georgia, and Boston, VSS boasts an <8 hour response time and 95+% of help seekers needs being met.
Our team members share a commitment to driving systems change through creative problem-solving, obsessive curiosity, and a love of quickly driving innovative, measurable, and impactful results.
For more information about Think of Us, please visit www.thinkof-us.org.OPPORTUNITY
The VP of External Engagement is a new position at TOU and will play a critical role on the senior leadership team. Reporting directly to Jess Skylar (Managing Partner), and working closely with Sixto Cancel (CEO), this role will lead the organization’s Partnerships, Development, and Communications functions.
The VP of External Engagement is responsible for building a national network of partners across the ecosystem, developing and implementing the current and longer term communications and fundraising strategies and elevating TOU’s position and brand to key audiences. External Engagement is not a service function at TOU – it plays a core strategic and programmatic role in achieving our vision of shifting mental models within the child welfare system so it is responsive to those it purports to serve.
This role will build and lead a small team of development and communications staff with room for growth aligned with organizational needs.Responsibilities
Key Responsibilities of the VP of External Engagement include:External Relations and Partnership Strategy
Development & Revenue Generation
- Develop and lead a robust external relations strategy with an eye towards impact and sustainability;
- In partnership with the CEO, build a National Network of both inside players and outside disruptors including nonprofits, think tanks, technology vendors, and advocacy groups to move our work quickly and strategically;
- In collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team, build communications and messaging strategies and represent TOU externally.
- In collaboration with the Senior Leadership Team, support, design and build TOU’s development strategy to support a $7-$10M annual budget (~50% earned/ 50% contributed);
- Translate strategy into a detailed annual implementation plan (OKRs!), including hiring key team members with an emphasis on institutional donors, family foundations, and major donors ($100K+);
- Establish strong operational systems and processes to effectively manage and track progress and results.
- Develop and execute high-quality campaigns that help shift mental models and build an ecosystem wide movement;
- Define messaging that resonates with a 360 degree view across TOU’s various audiences, inclusive of lived experts, local and federal policymakers, philanthropists, front line workers and donors;
- Build + hire a team to lead the day-to-day operations of the department, including managing strategic planning, the editorial calendar, content development, events and other activities.
The ideal VP of External Engagement candidate will have the following qualifications:
- Expert Communicator: you deliver information effectively and strategically for different communications vehicles, formats, and audiences, with the ability to simplify complex information;
- Persuasive: you effectively persuade diverse stakeholders by adapting to what most speaks to their interests and perspectives and drives their actions;
- Assertive: you share your own opinions and ideas confidently, but without shutting down others in the conversation;
- Results Driven: you focus on outcomes rather than activities, are constantly focused on the end result, and hold yourself and others accountable to that;
- Continuous Learner: you drive to learn and stay current professionally, solicit feedback and deal constructively with criticism, and welcome opportunities for growth.
- Mission-aligned and deeply passionate about our work with experience in and/or proximity to systems surrounding child welfare;
- 8-10 years of experience leading communications and/or revenue generation projects, with a minimum of three years of experience in a rapid-growth entrepreneurial organization;
- Experience building authentic relationships with funders, influencers, partners, decision-makers, and other key stakeholders, with an ability to engage with a variety of individuals. This person can consistently articulate the organization’s goals and priorities in a clear and compelling manner;
- Experience creating, leading, and implementing national communication strategies around campaigns, media, and PR;
- Demonstrated ability to build and manage high-performing teams and talent with comfort in ambiguity and environments that change rapidly;
- Exceptional/unparalleled written and verbal skills in combination with a sharp analytical mindset to identify trends, insights, and solutions.
This position offers a competitive salary range of $160,000 - $190,000, with robust benefits including medical, dental, 401k plan and a flexible vacation policy. More details can be provided upon request.
We are looking to fill this position immediately. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Zachary Harr at [ Email address blocked ] - Click here to apply to Think of Us, Vice President of External Engagement
.Think of Us is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required. #LI-ZH1
- Child Protection
- Content Creation
- Creative Problem Solving