Director of External Relations

  • School Operations and Support
  • Washington, DC
  • Jun 30, 2021

Website E.L. Haynes PCS

  • Do you want to help create a more just and kind world?
  • Do you believe that diversity is a powerful strength for a school community?
  • Do you want to ensure that every student can be successful and prepared to thrive in college, career, and life?

You Are:

A collaborative leader seeking to support an organization that prepares students to thrive in college, career, and life with your best-in-class fundraising, communications, advocacy, and project management skills. You deeply value strong organizational performance, and you have experience designing creative and sustainable solutions to organizational challenges. You understand the techniques and strategies needed to raise critical funds for an education organization, communicate with diverse stakeholders through various channels, and engage in important community building. Your growth mindset guides your perspective, agency, and urgency to make a positive impact in the world around you, and take actions that promote justice and equity in your community.

We are E.L. Haynes.

A learning community where every student – of every race, socioeconomic status, home language, and ability – prepares to thrive in college, career, and life. Together, we create a more just and kind world.

Founded in 2004 and named for the first African-American woman to earn her Ph.D. in Mathematics, the award-winning E.L. Haynes Public Charter School serves more than 1,175 students in grades Pre-K3 through 12th grade. E.L. Haynes operates two campuses in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Our mission of student success is inextricably linked with our commitment to equity and the daily efforts of every member of our community to live our motto __ Be Kind, Work Hard, and Get Smart.


  • Lead For Equity: We challenge ourselves and each other to interrupt inequities and build equitable alternatives.
  • Choose Joy: We find, bring, and share joy in our work every day. We practice gratitude, celebrate wins, and offer praise.
  • Achieve Excellence: We deliver high-quality work every day. We set ambitious goals, embrace challenges, and hold ourselves and each other to high standards.
  • Own Our Learning: We model a growth mindset for our students. We own our actions, mistakes, and learning. We continually look for ways to improve and produce high-quality work.
  • Succeed Together: We value every member of our community and treat each other with kindness and care. We build meaningful relationships with students, families, and each other. We achieve more through collaboration and teamwork.

 We are different. We are:

  • A diverse and inclusive community, with nearly 70% of our staff identifying as people of color.
  • The hub of the neighborhood. We are a community school and partner with neighborhood organizations to provide our families with comprehensive medical, dental, and mental health services.
  • A place where all community members have their voices heard in the decision-making process.
  • A school where students learn in a rigorous and coherent PreK-12 environment.

You will:

Effectively lead our communications, fundraising, and advocacy efforts, and play a critical role in our family engagement and organizational performance management work. A leader on the External Relations team, this 12-month, full-time role reports to the Senior Director of Development and Communications and works in partnership with a Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Graphic Designer, and Grant Writer. You will be instrumental in crafting and executing the organization’s external relations strategy.

Communicate. You will translate the school’s mission, model, needs and plans into clear and compelling communications that advance our goals with internal and external audiences. Using a variety of communication, marketing, and branding strategies, and in partnership with our Communications Coordinator and reporting to the Senior Director of Development and Communications, you will increase the awareness of the school’s goals and accomplishments among key external audiences to increase the understanding and support for E.L. Haynes.

  • Execute a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy, ultimately leading to increased exposure, engagement, and support;
  • Work with leadership to develop, refine and distribute communications that inform and engage stakeholders (families, community members, donors, etc.);
  • Create printed or digital information pieces to be shared with external and internal audiences;
  • With support from Communications Coordinator, develop and maintain school’s online presence, including school website and social media profiles, for both internal and external audiences; oversee the school’s image bank of photos and videos, including photos taken by community members or external photographers; and
  • Support communications efforts led by other members of school leadership, such as those created by division directors, grade leads, and other members of the administration, providing content and graphics/visual support to ensure consistency and quality for all communications tools.

Support. You will lead our fundraising efforts annually. You will broaden and build our relationships with key philanthropic partners, including individual, foundation, corporate, and government donors in order to advance our work and ultimately achieve our mission.

  • Working closely with a contract Grant Writer, maintain and manage our comprehensive grants calendar, submitting timely grant proposals to foundations and for limited competitive public grants;
  • Design, manage, and execute a suite of fundraising and community events that build support among key stakeholders, including our flagship annual fundraising event; and
  • Design and implement our individual giving strategy.

Engage. You will expand and deepen our family engagement efforts to help meet our vision of a close, relational, inclusive, and integrated community of parents, students, faculty, and community volunteers in support of the school’s core mission and goals. You will work closely with key staff in supporting the organizational performance, and work with the Board of Trustees to support board performance.

  • Support academic teams in their family engagement activities  and events, including Back-to-School activities, community events, and volunteer appreciation;
  • Support student and staff recruitment activities;
  • Support campus teams in assessing satisfaction, needs, and engagement, through survey development and project management. Report findings and work with the campus teams on strategies for increasing engagement and improving feedback;
  • Work closely with the Chief Executive Officer, Sr. Director of Development and Communications, and other members of the leadership team to support board management, including deck development, meeting support, Open Meetings Act compliance, and organizational transparency; and
  • Provide critical support to the leadership team in all-staff spaces, including meetings, Staff Institutes, and retreats, and other spaces as needed.

Advocate. Support E.L.Haynes to develop appropriate policies and procedures to successfully meet certain compliance requirements. Alongside Sr. Director of Development and Communications, build supportive relationships with key organizations, including PreK-12 education leaders, and DC government authorities, DC Public Charter School Board, and community organizations in order to advance our work and ultimately achieve our mission.

  • Working closely with the CEO and the Sr. Director of Development and Communications, identify key issues, opportunities, and challenges for E.L. Haynes and how changes to policies, guidance and legislation could affect the school;
  • Research and gather intelligence on the identified key issues and related policy or legislative activity on charter schools and public education more broadly in the District of Columbia and nationally; and,
  • Create a systematic approach to tracking and sharing activity around key issues for school leadership.

You have:

  • A demonstrated interest (through professional experience) in fundraising, communications, marketing, branding, and/or advocacy;
  • Commitment to the E.L. Haynes mission and core values;
  • Meticulous detail orientation, organization, and time management;
  • Exceptional written and oral communications skills;
  • Demonstrated experience in developing engaging and impactful communications and presentations that honor diversity and inclusion;
  • Experience identifying and seeking opportunities to dismantle racial and other inequities in their work; adept at incorporating inclusive practices (including language) and principles;
  • Demonstrated strength in balancing strategy with application and implementation;
  • Experience working independently toward goals, communicating effectively with colleagues, and engaging in 360-degree feedback processes;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multiple high-profile and complex projects simultaneously in a fast-paced work environment; and
  • Proficiency with Google Drive and Microsoft Office Suite.

You might also have:

  • A bachelor’s or advanced degree in a relevant field;
  • Previous experience working in charter schools and/or education; and
  • Oral and/or written proficiency in Spanish.

We look forward to meeting you!

We proactively recruit, intentionally develop, and deeply value all members of our diverse and highly talented staff community. Our work environment fosters inclusion and authenticity, supporting all staff to thrive in their roles and maximize their impact on our students.

Our hiring process consists of an online application, asynchronous and panel interviews, and written performance activity. Please see more here. We offer a competitive salary depending on experience and qualifications. Learn more about our comprehensive benefits package here.

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