The Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF) is a leading nonprofit venture philanthropy fund dedicated to identifying the nation’s best public charter schools, investing in their expansion, and helping to increase their impact. Our “portfolio” includes 140+ charter school networks that operate 1,100+ schools and serve more than 500,000 students. We are committed to expanding the impact of schools that are closing achievement and opportunity gaps. CSGF operates with the same strategies, discipline, and focus as a venture capital firm by awarding multi-year grants and loans to talented education entrepreneurs building networks of high-quality charter schools that enroll traditionally underserved students. Ultimately, we think the portfolio can grow to serve ~1,000,000 students within a decade.
This is an exciting time to join the Charter School Growth Fund. We are launching our next philanthropic fund in 2022, building on our 15-year track record of success. CSGF’s new five-year “Fund IV” will be larger in size and scope than previous funds, with a goal to continue to fuel charter sector growth, accelerate innovation, and strengthen long-term outcomes for students, particularly students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. Our new fund will continue to prioritize investments in leaders of color as our current portfolio is led by more than 50% leaders of color and more than 50% female leaders. We believe it is vital for the networks we support to be proximate to the lived experiences of the students and communities they serve.
CSGF is currently seeking a seasoned Director, Advocacy to join our newly launched Policy, Communications and Advocacy (PCA) team. Reporting to the Partner overseeing the PCA team, the Director, Advocacy is a highly strategic role, responsible for supporting our portfolio members in developing their advocacy initiatives. We are looking for someone with significant experience in the areas of advocacy, grassroots organizing, government relations and/or issues-based campaigns, to support the organization and our partners both as we build on existing initiatives and as we work to expand our work into new areas of opportunity.
Lead the organization’s partnerships on advocacy
- Work with portfolio members to support goals that further CSGF’s and their organizational priorities, develop capacity and programs of portfolio members, and support in strategic and vision planning of advocacy work when needed
- Build and manage relationships with partners at every level of government
- Align with CSGF communication efforts to work with partners on local and state advocacy
- Work closely with the CSGF partnership team and communications director to provide leadership and guidance on achieving policy and advocacy goals
- Build relationships with the broader education reform community to help align advocacy activities
- Manage consultants
Lead organizational advocacy initiatives. Specifically:
- Advise, provide input on and implement advocacy plan in support of near, mid, and long term goals;
- Design and implement grassroots strategies in support of portfolio driven initiatives, convenings, events and to develop portfolio leaders to take meaningful action; and
- Represent CSGF in a variety of settings and participate broadly in the education reform community.
Lead the development and execution of CSGF policy agenda
- In alignment with organizational focus areas, develop policy priorities for CSGF
- Potential areas of focus include: Equitable funding, facilities funding, renewal, assessment, definitions of quality, post secondary success, teacher pipelines, and governance
- Develop approach for identified policy areas, including local and statewide campaigns, any necessary policy changes, engagement with partners, and potential role of CSGF grant funds.
- Work to set up a more robust advocacy structure for CSGF and portfolio members
Lead the organization’s grassroots organizing, engagement, and leadership development strategy
- Work with grassroots community partners to build a network of portfolio members to support advocacy efforts through organizing and mobilization.
- Engage grassroots advocacy groups for collaboration and feedback on policy priorities
- Work with portfolio members locally to create a leadership pipeline of parents, students and teachers engaged in advocacy
Skills and Characteristics
- Track record of building relationships and rallying adults in pursuit of a common goal
- Demonstrated ability to be self-directed, take initiative, and display follow-through
- Outstanding project management skills – ability to see big picture and to manage details
- Strong problem-solving, critical thinking and planning skills
- Demonstrated ability to learn quickly and thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic, environment
- Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills: ability to build trusting relationships with diverse constituencies.
- Ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally both one-on-one and with groups to gain support from charter school leaders and other influential stakeholders.
- A portfolio of accomplishments, seasoning, and contacts resulting from at least ten years working in policy, electoral or advocacy campaigns
- Demonstrable success in directly mobilizing grassroots efforts and advocacy campaigns and coalitions
- Substantive, impactful work with executive and legislative branches of government at any level
- The ability to execute in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple priorities
- The ability to relate to individuals on both sides of the aisle in a non partisan fashion
- Passionate commitment to the mission of CSGF and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
- Experience leading advocacy campaigns, ideally for education-related priorities, but not required
- Experience working in local government or political campaigns is a plus
Educational Background and Work Experience
- Bachelor’s degree required
- Ten or more years of work experience
WORKING AT CSGF
We are focused on hiring and developing great people and believe that building diverse perspectives across our team makes us more effective in expanding our impact. (This is reflected in Our Commitment to Diversity Statement.) Our core values are:
- We work relentlessly to create efficient, measurable, and sustainable results. We strive for excellence and pursue our mission tenaciously. Ideally, you thrive working in a self-directed manner in a fluid environment where flexibility and tenacity are required.
- We embrace calculated risks and new approaches. We have an entrepreneurial spirit that welcomes innovation, diversity of ideas, and risk. We rely on you to question conventional wisdom and think independently.
- We are truthful, fair, and trustworthy in all aspects of our work. We hold ourselves and our partners to the highest ethical standards. We trust you will too.
- We appreciate the challenges faced by education entrepreneurs and recognize the limits of our own knowledge. We understand that our ultimate success depends on that of our partners. Your humility will be key to building trusted and authentic relationships.
- We value each of our team members as individuals but believe that we achieve the best results by working together. We willingly sacrifice individual interests and recognition for greater collective impact. We hope having fun at work is important to you and that you are a team player.
Compensation is commensurate with experience and education. The target salary range for this role is $100,000-$130,000 annually. CSGF offers a very competitive compensation package.
CSGF is seeking candidates who can start as soon as possible.