Director, Strategic Communications





Marketing / Communications


NY - New York metropolitan area

About the Organization

DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a teacher in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.

Since 2000, more than 5 million people and partners have contributed $1 billion to support 2 million teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. Projects range from art supplies to build the set for a school musical, to books and puzzles that affirm students' identities, to bird seed for an at-home science project. We proudly serve all US public schools, public charter schools, and Head Start centers, and we combat systemic inequity by driving a majority of donations to schools that have been historically underfunded due to economic and racial inequity (Equity Focus Schools).

DonorsChoose has been recognized as a best place to work by GOOD Magazine and the Nonprofit Times, while Fast Company named DonorsChoose one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World—the first time a charity has made this list. Our dedicated team works from across the United States to bring classroom dreams to life.

About the Strategic Communications Team:

The Strategic Communications Team champions the DonorsChoose brand, amplifies its work, energizes its community of supporters, and ensures that all messaging advances its work and its strong commitment to equity. The Strategic Communications team sits within the broader Partnerships and Marketing team, which collectively raise the majority of revenue for the organization. The Strategic Communications team provides all content and comms support for the Partnerships and Marketing teams in support of achieving their goals. In addition, the Strategic Communications team serves as a resource and center of excellence for the full organization, ensuring the DonorsChoose story and mission are conveyed with transparency and excellence.

About the Position

The Director, Strategic Communications reports to the Senior Vice President, Marketing, and is responsible for strategic communications work across the organization. The Director, Strategic Communications will manage strategic messaging, public relations, speechwriting, and content development for both institutional and individual audiences. The Director will play a key role in advancing DonorsChoose's commitment to its equity goals, and develop all storytelling and messaging strategies centering that commitment. They manage a communications team of 5-8 full time and freelance staff, supporting them in achieving their goals and growing professionally. Finally, they serve as a trusted voice both internally and externally, for leaders, staff, partners, press / media, vendors, and others to tell the story of DonorsChoose and inspire support.

In this role, you'll:

  • Set Communications Strategy

    • Conceptualize and implement the DonorsChoose approach to brand voice, external messaging and media relations, identifying communications opportunities to amplify its brand and work
    • Lead the media relations function, setting strategy, advising on crisis communications (internal and external) and special brand projects
    • Develop a robust storytelling function with a focus on increasing loyalty, driving the growth of new supporters, and communicating equity goals
    • Leverage storytelling to raise awareness of the issue of educational equity and to increase understanding of our teachers, students, and their stories
    • Define and track key performance indicators that measure engagement, brand awareness, and perception
    • In partnership with the SVP, Marketing, support teams across the organization in stewarding the DonorsChoose brand, and responding to communications questions and challenges as they arise
    • Address brand opportunities and risks; provide counsel to senior leaders with an awareness of the brand-related implications of strategic decisions
  • Manage Content Development

    • Create and enhance the direction and tone of DonorsChoose communications and digital content
    • Oversee the development of marketing collateral (e.g.:proposals, case studies, and B2B marketing content) that builds upon DonorsChoose brand and equity voice Identify and vet speaking opportunities; write and manage speeches for senior leaders, including the CEO
    • Support the team in the development of compelling content for all digital marketing channels and the DonorsChoose blog
    • Work closely with the Design Director, responsible for all graphic design including, but not limited to visual brand strategy, digital graphics, video, external resources, event production, landing page, and email communications
    • Provide strategic oversight for the events function, ensuring that all events are designed to advance media relations, brand partnerships, and communications goals
  • Lead a Team

    • Set a vision for the Strategic Communications team to provide messaging development, media relations, marketing content creation, speechwriting, and broad support across the organization
    • Recruit, manage and mentor a high performing team of professionals; provide ongoing professional development to team members
    • Promote a team-oriented culture of continuous learning and inclusiveness; build a cohesive, motivated team by fostering individual growth and collaboration
    • Set and manage team goals, aligned with strategic planning, stakeholder input, and industry research
    • Serve as a content expert on the strategic communications function; training and mentoring team members to develop their own skills
    • Lead the process to identify, select and manage outside communications consultants

Candidate Requirements:

To be successful in this role, you will need:

  • Demonstrated experience in leading and managing a comprehensive strategic communications function with experience leveraging the communications function to promote an organization's mission and goals with the widest set of stakeholders possible
  • A demonstrated commitment to advancing racial equity and centering the perspectives of those most impacted in decision-making, including experience working directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • A commitment to increasing understanding of our teachers, students, and their stories and to leveraging storytelling to raise awareness of the issue of educational equity
  • Strategic, cross-functional thinking with a strong bias for action and implementation
  • Creativity, in how to tell incredible stories that hook media and move people
  • Talent for thinking about how to fit communications and relevant stories into the bigger educational landscape
  • Experience managing relationships with members of the media, acting as a spokesperson, and coaching executives on media engagement; comfort leading bold and creative media pitches
  • Team management experience
  • Exceptional relationship and trust-building ability, both internally and externally. Ideally, will be passionate about building external relationships and advocating for a cause
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to tailor the complex messages for different audiences in a manner that they can understand and relate to

In this role, you'll have the option to work a flexible hybrid schedule in our NYC office, or to work fully remotely from CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, ME, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, TX, VA, WA, or WI.

Candidates who are not in the NYC area should expect to travel to our NYC office on an as-needed basis, or about 4-6 times per year. All work-related travel expenses will be covered by the organization, and proper safety precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

DonorsChoose is a fully vaccinated workplace, and all new employees, regardless of their work location, will be asked to share proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 within two weeks of their hire date or request an exemption from this policy due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief or practice. This policy does not apply to employees in states with state restrictions on vaccine mandates.

DonorsChoose participates in E-Verify. We will provide the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.

Compensation and benefits:

Our compensation philosophy ensures that we are both externally competitive with tech-forward nonprofits of a similar size and internally fair in our pay practices. The following ranges represent the target offer range, given the scope and experience expectations for this role.

  • The hiring salary range for this role is $106,000 - $122,000 and will be commensurate with experience
  • We have a hiring salary range of $118,000 - $136,000 for specific higher cost of labor locations, which include New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Once an employee is hired, the salary range for their role increases to ensure they are able to receive performance-based raises and grow in their role.

We offer full-time staff 25 paid vacation days per year and 11 paid holidays, a rich employer-paid individual and family health plan, a matching 401(k) plan (up to 5% of base salary), annual professional development stipend, and casual and flexible work environment. To learn more about what it is like to work for DonorsChoose, visit our careers page.

Qualified Individuals, please apply:

DonorsChoose is an organization increasingly representative of the varied races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs, and abilities that comprise our nation. focuses on attracting, retaining, and advancing diverse talent because it makes us more effective, high-performing, creative, and resilient.

If you are passionate about our mission, highly skilled in your field, and looking for a place where you can bring all of yourself to work, we want you.

On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We're working with DonorsChoose to build a diverse team that represents the communities it partners with. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact