Flexible (Eastern time zone preferred)

Development and Communications Director, Propel America

The Organization

Our country’s education and workforce systems are inequitable, and it is hurting our young people, employers, and economy. Despite increases in national high school graduation and college enrollment rates, college persistence continues to be low, and youth who start but do not complete college can find themselves in significant debt, beginning or continuing the cycle of financial insecurity. At the same time, many employers struggle to find and sustain entry-level talent, especially in middle-skill jobs requiring a postsecondary credential.

Propel believes a better system can exist—one that seamlessly connects education and employment. We do this by bringing together high schools, community colleges, and employers in a unified system of skill-building, job placement, and ongoing planning for young adults. The model includes a “core course” pursued during or directly after high school, in which students determine and begin to prepare for a job pathway. Propel supports students in applying to affordable training programs, pays a modest stipend, provides mentorship and support, and guarantees a job interview for every “Propel fellow” who successfully completes their training. This process empowers recent high school graduates with the skills, credentials, experiences, and social networks to attain a well-paying job within one year, with opportunities for advancement and higher education.

Propel is currently operating in Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, leveraging extensive relationships and credibility with key philanthropic, government, industry, and education leaders. Our current pathways span healthcare, technology and engineering, automotive and manufacturing. Propel is also in the process of piloting a new blended model that provides both online and in-person support, and shifting the long-term strategy to a blended model of credentialing, student support and job placement.  The core values that drive our work as an organization are: innovation, courage, joy, team, equity, and impact.

Propel America is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. 

We encourage candidates from historically underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

Position Overview

The Opportunity:

We are seeking a tenacious, strategic and result-oriented Development & Communications Director who will spearhead Propel America’s development and fundraising as well as communications efforts in close collaboration with the CEO and Chair of the Board. A new position in the organization, the Director will have the opportunity to build the development and communications functions, fundraising strategy and related processes for Propel. The role will report to the Senior Director of Strategy & Operations and work in close coordination with the CEO, as well as with Propel’s regional Executive Directors. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • National Fundraising Strategy and Execution
    • Drive the development and execution of Propel’s annual and multi-year fundraising plan in conjunction with the CEO, COO, and Board Chair
    • Coordinate directly with the CEO to develop and execute external discussions, pitches, and other presentations
    • Research, identify and build cultivation plans for a pipeline of individual contributors
    • Develop grant proposals for foundation and corporate contributors
  • Relationship Management
    • Ensure Propel maintains positive ongoing relationships with potential, current and historical donors, especially individual contributors, in coordination with the CEO and Board Chair
    • Track communications and relationships with current and potential funders and ensure follow up as appropriate
  • Communications Strategy & Execution
    • Coordinate and drive a multi-channel communications strategy
    • Support development of and manage communications materials, including blog posts, newsletters etc.
    • Coordinate the creation of digital, video, audio and print content alongside Propel’s operations team
    • Maintain and develop brand standards in coordination with the operations team
    • Track engagement across various platforms (e.g. owned media) and make data-driven decisions
  • Regional Team Fundraising Support
    • Create systems and processes to enable regional teams to meet local fundraising goals
    • Build capacity of regional Executive Directors in partnership with leadership with leadership team to generate revenue through prospect research, content generation, and pitch support
  • Development Materials and Reporting
    • Build and update development materials, including fundraising pitch decks
    • Manage and write grants, proposals and reports for all foundation and corporate fundraising


  • Experience working with and developing relationships with individual contributors, foundations and/or corporations
  • Demonstrated excellence in building communications and/or development materials and written communications to donors and other audiences
  • Strong communication and listening, including the ability to communicate verbally and in written form to multiple audiences
  • Commitment to Propel America’s mission and core values – innovation, courage, joy, team, equity and impact
  • Excellent creative thinking skills
  • Strong detail orientation, execution, and follow-through
  • Comfort in leveraging technology to research, track and build relationships with potential funders
  • Excellent collaboration and problem solving skills
  • Familiarity and experience using G Suite, Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe to build development materials
  • Experience working with youth at the high school or college level (preferred)

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • At least 4-5 years of experience working in external relations, communications or development role
  • Education credentials highly valued by industry are preferred, including but not limited to a bachelor’s degree


Propel offers a competitive total rewards package. We cover 90% of premiums, unlimited vacation and a flexible work environment. The salary range for this position is 66K-90K annually.

How To Apply

Interested in applying?

The application deadline for this position is April 1, 2021.  After this date we do not guarantee review of submissions.  Please apply here.

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