Chief of External Affairs

KIPP North Carolina




Fundraising / Business Development


NC - Raleigh metropolitan area

About the Organization

KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of free, open enrollment, college preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and life. There are 242 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia, serving more than 100,000 students. Nationally, KIPP students are graduating four-year colleges at three times the national average for low-income students.

In 2020, KIPP Eastern North Carolina (KIPP ENC) and KIPP Charlotte took the first steps to begin to merge to form KIPP North Carolina Public Schools (KIPP NC). Starting in July of 2021, KIPP NC will be a network of eight high-performing, college-preparatory public charter schools providing an academically rigorous and joyous school experience to more than 3,500 students in grades K-12 in Charlotte, Durham, Gaston, and Halifax. Additionally, KIPP NC will support several thousand alumni on their journey to and through high school, college, and career.

KIPP NC will build on a rich tradition of academic excellence and relentless fight for social justice present from the founding of both KIPP ENC and KIPP Charlotte. KIPP ENC is the second oldest KIPP region in the nation. In its 20 years of operation, KIPP ENC has been a cornerstone for students and families in rural Gaston and Halifax, operating two primary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Over the past five years, it grew to serve even more students by opening up a middle school in Durham, an urban center in the center part of the state. KIPP Charlotte, which grew out of the strong traditions and academics of KIPP ENC, has supported students and families for the past 13 years, operating one primary school and one middle school in the largest city in North Carolina.

KIPP North Carolina will build upon the successes and experiences of KIPP ENC and KIPP Charlotte to provide inclusive school environments and an educational program that will enable our students to lead full lives and equip graduates to be future leaders and agents of change in North Carolina and beyond. KIPP NC also will continue to engage in direct, anti-racist work, and it will contribute meaningfully to the dismantling of structures of inequality within our organization, schools, and classrooms. KIPP NC will be committed to expanding our efforts to embed anti-racism in all of our activities and engagements within our classrooms and schools, across our organization, and throughout the State of North Carolina. All of this will be in a tireless effort to create classrooms that are homeplaces for our students, places where they feel safe, loved, validated, seen, and heard, places where all their beautiful identities will be affirmed and celebrated, and places where they will learn the academic knowledge and skills needed for college, career, and beyond.

About the Position

The Founding Chief of External Affairs will report to KIPP North Carolina's Executive Director and serve as a member of the region's leadership team. This is a senior leadership role that will oversee fundraising, partnership initiatives, marketing, communications, and branding, ensuring that we create and maintain relationships with stakeholders, communicate effectively with internal and external partners, garner resources in pursuit of the KIPP NC mission, and steward our brand from a regional one to a statewide one in a way that honors and celebrates the experiences of our students, families, staff, and communities.

The ideal candidate for this position will have a deep passion for social justice and educational equity for all children, extensive executive leadership, and relationship-building skills. They will also possess strengths in the following areas: Leading strategic communications; inspiring and influencing individuals and groups; contributing to a high-performing, equitable and inclusive culture; developing an integrated marketing, communications, and fundraising vision; and managing others to outcomes. The individual will have a history of collaborating with diverse groups to develop impactful partnerships and achieve ambitious results. They will be energized by building relationships and enlisting supporters to the mission of KIPP North Carolina.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Oversees the Director of Development and development team responsible for stewarding current individual donors, corporation and foundation relations, leading events and event planning, and supervising the production of grant reports, prospect reports, and other measures.
  • Leads the creation and execution of a comprehensive annual fundraising strategy with goals of at least $1 million per year and growing.
  • Leads the creation and execution of multi-year 8-figure fundraising campaigns to fund KIPP NC's strategic plan and capital needs.
  • In partnership with the Director of Development, develops annual goals, plans, and strategies to diversify and increase philanthropic support through a comprehensive multi-year development strategy, including pipeline development moves management, and donor stewardship.
  • Designs plans and programs to generate revenue through principal and major gift solicitations, board fundraising, annual appeals, events, sponsorships/partnerships, and other strategies
  • Designs and builds systems and processes for the fundraising function at KIPP NC.
  • Directly cultivates, solicits, and stewards donors up to the 7-figure level.
  • Staffs the Executive Director, Board Members, and other fundraising volunteers to cultivate, solicit, and steward donors up to the 8-figure level.
  • Manages a contracted grant writer to apply for and report on public and private grants to support our work across all schools and all geographies.
  • Manages the Board's Development Committee.

Communications & Marketing

  • Establishes and oversees a marketing and communications contract with an external firm to develop and execute a marketing and communications strategy plan to elevate KIPP NC's brand and values and support student and teacher recruitment.
  • Provides thought leadership and guidance to the leadership team in cultivating a meaningful and productive media and external engagement strategy; assesses and strategizes responses to all incoming media requests; communicates with relevant media as a spokesperson when appropriate.
  • Provides guidance over messaging, talking points, and strategy for all organizational communications, striving to build a stronger KIPP North Carolina brand and ensure its integration throughout KIPP NC.
  • Provides guidance for tracking metrics and data to ensure alignment and effectiveness of overall marketing and communications efforts alongside KIPP NC's goals.
  • Ensures successful implementation of long-term approach for strategic communications, messaging, and marketing materials differentiated by audience (e.g., families, teachers, donors, alumni).
  • Implements an internal communications strategy that promotes a unified brand and messaging.
  • Oversees brand positioning, crisis communications, and public relations.
  • Ensures KIPP NC is represented accurately and with integrity across diverse audiences.

Relationship Building & Community Engagement

  • Identifies opportunities and develops ways to strategically build coalitions, while maximizing collaboration and coordination with community partners across the diverse communities of North Carolina.
  • Oversees corporate engagement strategy and partnerships with youth-serving organizations to support career readiness initiatives, after-school programming, enrichment opportunities, and strong community ties.
  • Creates "Friends of" groups within each of our geographies across the state to engage local partners in the life of our organization.
  • Identifies and anticipates internal organizational needs, and mobilizes third-party partners to even more effectively support our students.

Organizational & Team leadership

  • Serves as an ambassador and spokesperson for KIPP NC; articulates our mission to external constituents, partner organizations, and potential funders.
  • Participates in Board meetings and on relevant Board committees to provide updates and solicit input on operations goals.
  • Collaborates with the Chief Operating Officer to develop and produce regular analytic reports for the leadership team and Board that synthesizes the financial progress and trends of fundraising activities.
  • Brings a proven track record, both as a manager and peer, of navigating complex issues, managing multiple stakeholders, making decisions, and driving strong results.

Candidate Requirements:

The successful candidate will possess the following skills and attributes:

  • A deep commitment to the mission of KIPP NC and an unwavering belief in the potential of all our students
  • An unwavering commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, with an ability to serve as an exemplar for the organization's values and foster an inclusive and respectful workplace
  • Possess a deep commitment to both racial equity and improving the lives of kids from low-income communities; experience working within predominantly Black, Brown, and/or low-income communities
  • A strong desire to collaborate with school leaders and Central Office teammates in service to a new KIPP region growing out of two exceptionally strong ones
  • 10+ years of senior-level development, external affairs, marketing, and/or communications leadership with track record of success and progressive responsibilities
  • Significant experience in development and marketing positions at complex organizations, ideally at education nonprofits or charter management organizations
  • Leadership experience in public relations strategy development and implementation
  • Exposure to fundraising and transferable experience with any of the following aspects of development, including institutional giving, planned giving, annual giving and event management; strong knowledge of how marketing, communications and public relations can further fundraising efforts and success using these tools to improve and optimize development outcomes
  • Demonstrated track record of closing fundraising gifts and/or comparable sales deals at the 6- and 7-figure level
  • Strong financial competence in budgeting and revenue goal setting
  • Experience managing, coaching, and supporting executives and/or senior volunteers to solicit fundraising gifts and/or sales.
  • Experience and/or exposure to multiple lines of business with a demonstrated mix in both the public and private sector
  • Proven project management skills as it relates to the creation of different systems and structures
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work collaboratively across teams across the organization
  • Experience working with third party contractors preferred
  • Demonstrates integrity, both in words and actions, and encourages ethical behavior and decision making
  • Understanding and willingness to work in both rural and urban communities, including exhibiting resourcefulness and willingness to travel up to five hours within North Carolina multiple days per month based on need
  • Collaborative approach to executive leadership, and the ability to work effectively with cross functional teams to meet goals and improve organizational performance

Compensation and benefits:

LOCATION: Must live in North Carolina; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, ideal, given the area's equal distance from our schools in Charlotte, Gaston, and Halifax

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

KIPP North Carolina does not and shall not discriminate on the race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, disability, source of income, or status as a veteran in any of its activities or operations.