Sep 12, 2019

Senior Manager, Communications and Development - Los Angeles

  • Innovate Public Schools
  • 501 South Bixel Street, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Full-time Business Development Community Engagement and Outreach Marketing and Communications Strategy and Planning Education

Job Description

Are you passionate about elevating the voice of low-income parents of color and making sure they have a say in the future of education in Los Angeles? Are you an energetic communicator and effective multi-tasker who wants to use your talents to use to advance social justice in our community?

Use your communications, project management, and relationship-building skills to play a key role on Innovate’s LA team.

About Innovate Public Schools

Innovate Public Schools is a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring that all students - especially low-income students, students of color, English learners and students with disabilities - receive a world-class education. We’re building a movement of families, educators, and business and elected leaders who together will make this vision a reality. We build the capacity of parents and educators to innovate and act together to create world-class public schools, and we publish easy-to-understand school quality data and research that highlights both problems and solutions.


This position is based in Los Angeles, CA and reports to the VP, Partnerships and Finance and the Regional VP, Los Angeles. This is a full-time, exempt position. The Sr. Mgr, Communications and Development will lead the execution of our LA communications strategy and will provide development support for all LA fundraising.

This position does not require previous experience in fundraising. You would be supporting the organization’s lead front-line fundraisers and receiving mentorship and support from Innovate’s cross-regional fundraising team. This is a great opportunity for someone with communications experience who is highly motivated and who is looking to learn and grow in their career.

Key responsibilities:


Execute a communications strategy to support Innovate’s parent-driven campaigns to improve public education for low-income students of color in Los Angeles 

  • Oversee the development and execution of the annual LA communications strategy, including plans for major research report releases and the promotion of our annual Top Schools for Underserved Students event in partnership with USC
  • Handle media relations, maximizing impactful press coverage for the campaign’s work, including coverage in leading news outlets as well as local radio stations, neighborhood newspapers, etc. 
  • Coordinate messaging strategy, especially helping make a strong case for the urgency and importance of education justice for low-income students of color and working with other allied organizations
  • Develop digital strategies to advance the campaign work and build a broader base of engaged parents, educators and community leaders; build online organizing strategies to reach our constituencies and move people to action
  • Manage subscriber communications; publish email, blog, SMS, and social media posts on time and in alignment with the overall digital strategy
  • Manage Innovate LA’s social media channels
  • Create photo, video, and written content to elevate parent perspectives and advance education justice 
  • Ensure that all our communications are easy-to-understand and relevant and can be leveraged by parents and education advocates to effectively push for change in their communities
  • Prepare and support parents, educators, community leaders and supporters to tell their stories in powerful ways
  • Manage external vendors, including graphic design, web and translation


Working in close partnership with the CEO, VP, Partnerships and Finance and Regional VP, Los Angeles, coordinate across people and teams to implement Innovate's LA fundraising strategy to grow the organization and broaden our base of donors.

  • Project manage the process for engaging current and prospective donors.
  • Write compelling grant proposals and reports
  • Create strong systems for managing relationships with prospects and supporters, and ensuring customized communication and follow-up
  • Coordinate weekly and monthly meetings with the CEO and key executives
  • Track all key fundraising and donor information and maintain records, reports and dashboards in Salesforce so that the development team can track progress on goals
  • Research prospective donors and pull together background material
  • Draft communications and outreach materials for current and prospective funders, including regular and personalized email updates

A Day in the Life

You start most days by reading the local newspaper, with particular attention to education and local political news. You post several important articles to the team’s Slack channel, then check into our social media channels to respond to any messages or posts and share any timely content. You take a quick look at our LA social media, email and web metrics to make sure we’re on track toward our goals. 

At 10 am, take notes on a call with the CEO and Regional VP, Los Angeles and a local foundation program officer to discuss a pitch to support Innovate’s parent organizing work. They’re interested in moving forward, so you block some time later in the week to draft the grant proposal.

You touch base with Innovate’s fundraising team on the budget for another pending grant and pulling metrics for a grant report, checking the dashboards in Salesforce.

At lunch, one of the LA organizers asks you for your thoughts on an idea the parent leaders had on press outreach and you also strategize together on how to get more parents out to an upcoming action event.

Things are starting to ramp up for the release of the second annual Top Schools for Underserved Students report so at 2 pm, you connect with our communications consultant to talk through the launch plan you’re proposing.

You close out the day by getting key meetings on the calendar to move forward the grant proposals and reports in the queue, logging recent interactions with funders (emails, meetings and calls) in Salesforce and  sending a follow-up email to our CEO on his fundraising to-dos for the week.

Then you pop over to our parent meeting in Pico-Union to interview several parents on video to capture their perspectives on an upcoming proposal the LAUSD board will be voting on the following week.

Required Qualifications

  • Mission-driven: Passionate about Innovate Public Schools’ mission to initiate, support, and advocate for great public schools for low-income children and children of color in the Bay Area
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience: Must have some communications and/or development experience at an advocacy organization. This could include working for a grassroots, political, labor, public relations firms, or other advocacy-based non-profit or for an elected official.
  • Excellent writer: Can write for many different audiences and adapt messages and language for different channels (ie: print, web, social media, video, etc.).
  • Excellent verbal communicator: Can clearly communicate through speech.
  • Experience working with press: Has good judgment about when and how to pitch news stories. Is comfortable working with reporters and preparing staff and community members to speak to press.
  • Thrives in diverse communities and works well with others: Is enthusiastic about working in thoughtful partnership with people of all backgrounds.
  • Collaborative project manager: Can manage multiple projects involving different individuals, teams and vendors to meet collective goals on time and with excellence. Enjoys working across teams, providing counsel, and learning from others.
  • Strategic thinking, creativity and decision-making ability: Can demonstrate excellent problem-solving skills, political judgment, work delegation, and follow-through. 
  • Flexibility: Able to adapt to a fast-paced and continuously changing environment.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to/from the Bay Area or Sacramento on occasion.
  • Irregular or unpredictable hours are often required, including nights and weekends (but we do allow flexibility to adjust your schedule to compensate for work on nights and weekends). 
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the United States.
  • Ongoing access to a working registered and insured vehicle, valid driver’s license, and ability to drive throughout Los Angeles as needed for work. 

Other skills/experience that would be helpful, though not required:

  • Deep familiarity with Los Angeles and education politics
  • Strong press relationships in LA
  • Bilingual in Spanish with both oral and written fluency

Compensation depends on experience and is highly competitive. Innovate offers very generous benefits including health and dental insurance, 20 days paid time off per year (increasing to 25 after 2 years of employment), two floating holidays, 14 paid fixed holidays per year (including office closure between Dec 24th - New Year’s Day), 1 day per year paid volunteering time off, and 5% employer contribution to 401k.

Work Environment / Physical Demands

The work environment characteristics and physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while successfully performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. 

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent in this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills.

How to Apply

Apply here

Please submit your resume and cover letter, as well as 1-3 examples of your writing or multimedia work.

Innovate Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer, and takes pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

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