Executive Director, External Affairs Baltimore

Higher Achievement

Posted: 11/6/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: General Management

Primary domain: Education

City: Baltimore

Postal code: 20009

State: Maryland

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$3M - $10M



Mission statement:

Higher Achievement closes the opportunity gap during the pivotal middle school years. By leveraging the power of communities, Higher Achievement’s proven model provides a rigorous year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed. 

Position Details:

Job Description:


Higher Achievement believes that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Our client works to close the achievement gap for motivated, yet underserved, students from low-income communities. Higher Achievement intervenes during the critical transition to middle school by providing year-round, multi-year support for students in grades 5 to 8. As students prepare to graduate from its program in the 8th grade, Higher Achievement helps them transition successfully to advanced high school programs that keep students on track for college. As a result, 95% of Higher Achievement scholars graduate high school on time.

Founded in 1975 in Washington, DC, Higher Achievement has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 young people and currently operates achievement centers in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC, Prince Georges County, MD, Alexandria, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Pittsburgh, PA. Higher Achievement’s award-winning model of rigorous academic mentoring, individualization of services, and comprehensive academic support is guided by leading research for effective out-of-school time programs. More information about Higher Achievement, including recent press mentions and awards, may be found at: http://www.higherachievement.org.

In 2009, Higher Achievement expanded to the city of Baltimore.  Today, the organization is serving two neighborhoods: East Baltimore- at Mount Royal and South Baltimore – at Lakeland. The organization is also planning expansion to a third school in January 2020. Higher Achievement has chosen to focus its work in these communities because of the legacy of need and the opportunity to partner with schools and communities. Today, the Baltimore affiliate serves roughly 150 middle school aged scholars with a goal to reach at least 200 within the year.


The Executive Director of External Affairs Baltimore (ED) will play a critical role in the organization’s history and help Higher Achievement advance to the next stage of growth and impact in Baltimore, where it hopes to serve more scholars in a deeper way on the road towards college completion/success. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) the ED will have overall external affairs, partnerships, and revenue responsibility for the Baltimore affiliate by driving fundraising, relationship building, and community presence. The ED will bridge program and fundraising, focused on leveraging HA’s brand and applying fundraising and partnership-building strategies and best practices across the organization. The Director of Program Operations for Baltimore and the Executive Director, External Affairs will work closely together to connect internal program delivery and external relations.

With more than 150 scholars served directly, 8 full time staff, 60 mentors, over 10 part-time seasonal program staff, 10 advisory board members, and multiple community and school partners, the ED must be adept at relationship management and broad stakeholder engagement. The ED is solely responsible for the affiliate’s revenue targets, approximately $1M in fiscal year 2020. They will own all external relationships and benefit from a suite of support services on grant writing, data analytics, scheduling, prospect research, and more. 

This position will also be responsible for high level city-wide and regional public partnerships with school districts, city/county governments, and key nonprofit partners.  The ED will represent Higher Achievement in the city-wide partnership work and pursue advocacy opportunities that align to Higher Achievement’s mission. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Strategic Leadership 

  • Serve as an inspirational leader - externally- who actively engages and energizes Higher Achievement funders, and partner organizations (such as Baltimore Public Schools, Thread, College Bound)

  • In conjunction with the Baltimore Director of Program Operations, create and execute strategies to maximize existing public and private relationships and build new strategic partnerships to support growth and sustainability

  • Cultivate and steward high level corporate and university partners to recruit and engage volunteers mentors

  • Work with CEO and executive directors across the organization to identify organization-wide opportunities and inform the overall strategy and direction of Higher Achievement

  • Develop a depth of understanding of the program operations, so as to effectively communicate, problem solve, and explore opportunities with external partners

Development, Fundraising, and Communications

  • Lead all efforts to meet the annual revenue goal of $1M.

  • Develop rich and meaningful relationships with a wide and growing body of supporters to support the annual revenue goal, including local public, foundation, corporate, and individual investors with an emphasis on individual and corporate sector growth

  • Play a highly visible external role and serve as the main ambassador and champion for Higher Achievement and its scholars in Baltimore

  • Build external relationships that support the development goals and the long-term sustainability of Higher Achievement including:

    • Cultivating new prospective donors

    • Stewarding returning donors

    • Networking and connecting with ambassadors

  • Steward and grow local champions on the Baltimore Advisory Board to help meet fundraising goals and enhance Higher Achievement's profile in the community 


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Commitment to the mission and work of Higher Achievement

  • Ability to compellingly convey Higher Achievement's mission, impact, and needs across the community in an authentic way that honors our scholars and their families

  • Ability to leverage diverse stakeholders toward a common goal of student achievement and closing opportunity gaps

  • Minimum of 10 years overall experience strongly preferred; minimum of 5 years senior fundraising  experience required including:

    • Highly skilled in relationship building and connecting people 

    • Experience making asks and closing gifts

    • Demonstrated success in individual and corporate fundraising preferred

  • Experience building and maintaining within-sector and cross-sector partnerships, and when necessary, problem solving through partnership challenges and conflict

  • Strong skills in planning, organizing, attention to detail, and oral and written communication, including strong presentation skills


Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience. 


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:


Posted By: On-Ramps


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