Creative Director, Vendor Partnerships

Job Type

Full Time




1319 F Street, NW
Suite 1000
United States


About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise whose mission is to end the crisis of education inequities for low-income kids throughout the US and Canada. Through unprecedented innovations and publishing partnerships, First Book has placed over 175 million brand new books and resources into the hands of children in low income communities through the provision of tools needed to inspire a love for learning. At First Book, we celebrate the nexus of business minds and mission hearts and are fiercely dedicated to changing the imbalance of resources in low-income communities. We have an arsenal of proven strategies for our mission, and goals for significant expansion. We need innovative thinkers and strong leaders to join us.

About the Role

Your mission as the creative director of vendor partnerships will be to establish a creative vision, actionable plan, and continued growth for new and existing partnerships with external resource providers. These efforts will result in the broadening of the depth and breadth products available on First Book’s Marketplace. Central to First Book’s mission is not only procurement, but our ability to source products donated as Gifts In Kind from publishers, manufacturers, and distributors. Traditionally our contributed inventory comes as books from our publishing partners but the successful candidate will expand contributed inventory to non-book products: educational toys, hygiene products, clothes, and other items crucial to the success of every child. This effort will bring our donated inventory into alignment with our purchased inventory, which includes a wide variety of book and non-book inventory with significant demand for growth.

In this role, you will strategize a growth plan, identify vendor partners, and negotiate shrewdly for the most competitive pricing for our purchased inventory, and consistently expand our offering of free, brand new, donated products. You will own the process from start to finish, working collaboratively with First Book teams to design new categories on the Marketplace, select products, and source these products to ensure the Marketplace provides quality, relevant products at unprecedented prices. 

In this role, you will have the opportunity to work interdepartmentally—analyzing sales data, inventory levels, customer surveys, and relevant market trends—to forecast future inventory needs of current products and craft entirely new sections that will delight, amaze, and (most importantly) empower our network to help children living in poverty.

Essential Skills, Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

·        Source book and non-book products to significantly grow both contributed and purchased inventory relevant to the First Book Network.

·        Negotiate with vendors to source chosen products at the best possible cost and in line with the First Book Marketplace price structure.

·        Grow in-kind donations of both book and non-book products that will ensure First Book’s mission.

·        Represent First Book at national, regional, and local events/gatherings to source new products and represent First Book’s mission and vision to establish new partnerships with resource providers. 

·        Work with First Book’s national non-profit partner managers to plan and execute campaigns and events that reflect positively on First Book and help to solicit engaged First Book members, donors, and First Book supporters.

·        Use web-based tools (Confluence, JIRA, Sales Force) to plan, execute and manage projects.

·        Review and re-design current processes and procedures to drive maximum efficiency, productivity and outcomes of this business unit.

·        Maintain standard operating procedure documentation for product acquisition and ensure ongoing maintenance of SOPs. 

·        Maintain an updated pipeline report with product sources, contacts and status of on-going negotiations.

·        With support from internal resources, design and implement a Salesforce database of all vendor partners with reportable data on our history with them: meetings, purchases, donations, and other relevant items.

·        Work with other First Book teams to ensure relevant acquisition, create product pilots and participate with vendors to execute on the best possible merchandising of the product.

Qualifications include the following:

  • Must be a positive self-starter who is committed to creative and innovative solutions to old problems
  • Must have a proven track record of shrewd, successful negotiations
  • Must demonstrate entrepreneurial and innovative vision
  • Must be extremely organized and adept at multi-tasking
  • Must have exceptional people skills and value the importance of relationship-building
  • Must be able to relay detailed technical information in a clear, positive and timely manner to a variety of different partners
  • Must be comfortable with data, data management, and using data to make informed decisions
  • Knowledge and understanding of Sales Force as a CRM tool
  • This position requires flexibility in work schedule, at times working evenings and weekends.
  • A sense of humor and ability to handle complicated situations with a ‘cool head’ is required

Education and/or Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • Ability to demonstrate a track-record of implemented ideas that are both innovative and game-changing
  • Proven ability to manage large projects with many parts
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong working knowledge of MS Word, Excel, Outlook and a high comfort level with learning new software
  • Basic accounting skills

At the First Interview:

Be prepared with a presentation that reflects your match with the qualifications outlined for this position. Strong emphasis on innovation and creativity as you design a new, relevant product category for First Book’s Marketplace. (


All full-time employees are eligible for the following benefits:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage
  • Vacation leave
  • Sick leave
  • Eleven Annual Holidays
  • 401 K and employer matching pension contribution
  • Transportation benefits

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Candidates are invited to submit a resume, and a cover letter that details your interest in the position, to No phone calls please.