Raising A Reader Senior Vice President, Programs and Partnerships
Raising A Reader
Raising A Reader (RAR) is a national nonprofit organization which helps the families of children (ages 0-8) build home literacy routines essential for reading skill development. Through a national network of trusted local agencies (RAR Affiliates), parents learn researched-based book sharing practices. Each week children are excited to bring home a different bright red bag filled with high-quality, multicultural books and ask a caring loved one to spend time sharing books with them. Families are connected to their local libraries after the program to continue the habit of borrowing and sharing books. RAR National operates as a social enterprise, curating high-quality, engaging, and relevant book collections and selling them to affiliates across the country for use in their on-the-ground program. Through its social enterprise, RAR National covers over 75% of its annual budget with unrestricted revenue.
RAR operates in over 2,900 locations nationally, has reached more than 1.6 million children and more than over 15 million books in rotation. Since 1999, RAR’s model has been validated by 39 independent evaluations. The Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail Initiative, The White House’s Office of Hispanic Education, and The White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative have identified the model as a national best practice. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the organization a prestigious Innovative Approach to Literacy Award and in 2014 identified RAR as a national model for its alignment with the recently adopted Dual Capacity Family Engagement Framework. RAR also works with many publishers and vendors to produce training materials and book bag kits tailored to a variety of ages, cultures, and languages. Indeed,
RAR has its headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and also operates an East Coast office near Baltimore, Maryland. Raising A Reader is a supporting organization of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The Senior Vice President, Programs & Partnerships (SVP) is a newly created, pivotal role as Raising A Reader launches a multi-year strategic plan which envisions a 40% increase in children reached; a renewed and increased focus on demonstrating impact on Kindergarten readiness; a re-imagined, best-in-class support model for 300+ affiliates nationwide; and national partnerships that deepen local impact and help RAR reach thousands of new children annually. The SVP will oversee each of these areas of impact, supporting and building a high-performing team of ~10 individuals that collectively encompass replication and expansion services (including sales), programmatic advising and support to over 300 RAR program coordinators, impact measurement, and partnership development.
The SVP will have a critical role in creating a refined vision for each of RAR’s strategic pillars, then develop and steward the implementation plan. Moreover, the SVP will serve as a thought partner to the CEO and board of directors as they look to new impact opportunities in the coming years; this includes but is not limited to reconceptualizing the social enterprise in ways that would provide new impact and revenue opportunities for the network.
Reporting to the President and CEO, the SVP is a member of the Executive Team. The ideal SVP thrives in ambiguity and can shape and build a high-performing, nimble team that explores and learns from new directions while also strengthening and deepening an evidence-based, national program. The SVP will learn from and advocate for local affiliate leaders—the lifeblood of RAR’s impact—and share lessons and successes nationally with partners and other stakeholders. In short, the SVP helps see what is possible for Raising A Reader and leads a team of national staff and local leaders in realizing these possibilities for hundreds of thousands of children and families across the US.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Head up Raising A Reader’s National Programs and Affiliate Footprint; motivate and inspire a wide range of leaders from diverse stakeholders
· Develop a high-performing, highly accountable team of ~10 individuals supporting prospective and current affiliates with sales, program implementation and impact, and partnerships development.
· Oversee the development and implementation of strategies to ensure earned revenue goals for existing and new affiliates, as outlined in the strategic plan.
· Develop and lead the management and engagement of our network of 300+ Raising A Reader Coordinators; this could extend to accreditation or continuing education offerings.
· Identify opportunities to get Raising A Reader out into the field to meet with parents, kids, and prospective and current affiliate leaders; serve as sounding board for groups of affiliate leaders
· Elevate RAR’s national affiliate advisory board, updating its charter, identifying membership criteria, and engaging its members; identify opportunities for members to connect with other affiliates in their regions to share information and gain input.
· Engage with a growing national board of directors, present to and manage committee interactions focused on programmatic and partnership work. Support with board development and recruitment.
Re-imagine and Implement a Best-in-Class Support Model
· Building on affiliate feedback and input, reimagine programmatic supports for hundreds of affiliate leaders across the US. Elements of the model include but are not limited to:
o High-performing online platform for scalable learning and best-practice sharing – this includes product/platform selection as well as implementation of online materials.
o Incentive structures for the highest performing affiliates to share what they are learning with colleagues across the country.
o Easy-to-use measurement tools for affiliates of different size and scale
o Local fundraising toolkits and resources to help affiliates thrive and grow.
· Identify subject matter experts—including potentially a national advisory group—to advise on RAR’s program model evolutions, including expansion to Kindergarten Readiness, and current book collections: What is still a great fit? What is missing?
· Collaborate closely with operations and logistics teams to ensure strong processes and systems and products. On a bi-annual basis, review sales, profit, order volume and turnover to determine changes to collection.
Develop & Implement Measurement and Evaluation Strategies
· Working closely with outside experts, determine near- and longer-term approaches to program evaluation. This includes but is not limited to determining how Kindergarten readiness improvements would be evaluated in a RAR context. Serve as point person with external evaluation consultants.
· Determine updated expectations for measurement and reporting across the national network: What will be required? What is optional? What is the ideal cadence?
· Support a measurement analyst and program staff in creating easy-to-use systems for both affiliates and the national office; develop clear programmatic and partnership dashboards for use by board, national affiliate advisors, etc.
· Work with the team to build on and improve existing instance of Salesforce for real-time reporting and improvements.
Develop & Implement Partnership Strategy
· In partnership with the CEO, lead development and implementation of a national partnership plan for different types of partnerships (e.g. “distribution partners” that can get RAR to new communities; “innovation partners” that allow RAR affiliates to experience new program angles like digital; and “implementation support partners” where kids can experience the benefits of both RAR and another strong program concurrently)
· Develop and refine selection criteria for these partnerships; socialize criteria and empower RAR national team and local affiliate leaders to look for partnership opportunities.
· Work in close collaboration with high-performing local affiliates that have identified promising local partnership pilots; determine what a pilot might look like, terms, etc.
· Initiate contacts and develop and nurture strategic/mutually beneficial relationships with partners; ensure partnerships have clear MOU/contract terms.
· Develop incentives for affiliate participation in local partnership opportunities; engage local leaders to build and sustain these relationships.
· Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree in a relevant field preferred.
· Minimum of 7-10 years leadership and senior management experience in a partnership develop and/or programmatic context. Executive management of programs preferred.
· Excellent written and verbal communication skills in diverse contexts (e.g. conference presentations, discussions with potential national partners, meetings with RAR parents, etc.)
· Excellent analytical abilities, program measurement experience highly preferred.
· Strong organizational and time management skills; proven ability to meet multiple deadlines while completing accurate and high-quality work.
· Excellent information-technology skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, the Internet and social media. Proficiency with customer relationship management platforms, such as Salesforce, preferred.
· Ability to adapt to new and changing circumstances within the work environment and to approach situations and challenges with a sense of humor.
· Willingness and ability to travel up to 20% of time regionally or nationally.
WORK ENVIRONMENT/PHYSICAL DEMANDS
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory work environment and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes reasonable accommodation for applicants and employees with known physical or mental disabilities.
Submit a resume with cover letter explaining your interest in the position and what you would bring to Raising A Reader.
Application deadline: open until filled.
Raising A Reader National Office and Silicon Valley Community Foundation are equal opportunity employers.