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Executive Director

West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for overall leadership, direction, and fundraising to uphold and advance WePAC’s mission and programs. The Executive Director provides strategic management to staff members and volunteers while building relationships within the community. The Executive Director works closely with the Board of Directors in implementing WePAC’s strategic plan and regularly informs the Board about the organization’s progress. Building lasting relationships with volunteers, donors, principals, and school district administrators is key to the success of the program.

Specific Responsibilities

Leadership and Operational Excellence
Work with the Board to develop and implement a strategic plan and provide leadership and vision to guide the planning, development and realization of goals and objectives.

  • Direct the overall administration of the organization.
  • Provide inspirational and collaborative leadership to staff, volunteers, and other partners.
  • Build and foster strong fundraising, public relations, and volunteer recruitment strategies.
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence through rigorous program evaluation and provide additional strategies to engage new partners and collaborators.
  • Develop and implement effective metrics to measure and track success.
  • Serve as the principal spokesperson for the organization.

Fundraising Planning and Implementation
Develop resources and implement plans to ensure the financial health of the organization and furtherance of its mission.

  • Identify sources of funding and develop productive professional relationships.
  • Maintain and enhance existing fundraising activities with individuals, foundations, corporations, and churches.
  • Establish strategies to approach funders to engage them in the mission of WePAC.
  • Identify grants, submit proposals, and complete reporting requirements, with the support of a grant writer.
  • Maintain fundraising records and documentation.

Financial and Business Management
Ensure fiscal integrity, strong administration, and sound operational management.

  • Create yearly operating plans in accordance with direction provided by the Board.
  • Create yearly financial budget of revenues and expenses for Board approval.
  • Manage WePAC’s resources within budget guidelines according to current laws and regulations.
  • Manage financial and human resources processes such as payroll, banking, and appropriate hiring practices.
  • Oversee all aspects of financial and operational reporting for day-to-day management and longer-term planning.

Community and Stakeholder Relationships
Cultivate and nurture community outreach and stakeholder relationships to ensure robust programs and mission fulfillment.

  • Ensure that WePAC’s mission, programs, and services are consistently presented in a strong, positive image to its wide-ranging constituents.
  • Engage, energize, and broaden WePAC’s volunteer base including Board members, event committees, and alumni.
  • Create and maintain strong productive working relationships with external stakeholders.
  • Continue to grow the already strong partnerships with funders, and political and community leaders.
  • Establish public relations strategies and refine with execution support from the staff. Build brand awareness of WePAC through the appropriate use of social media, newsletters, and other appropriate avenues.
  • Maintain strong and regular relationships with the Philadelphia School District and other WePAC school partners and ensure their satisfaction with WePAC operations and programs.

Board Governance
Work with the Board to fulfill the organization’s mission.

  • Communicate effectively with the Board and provide, in a timely manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors by serving as ex-officio of each committee.

Staff Development
Develop and maintain a highly competent, motivated, and productive staff, and effectively serve as a role model while maintaining the highest ethical standards.

  • Supervise and evaluate the Program Manager and WePAC Fellow, as well as contracted positions including the grant writer and bookkeeper.
  • Manage the human resources of the organization according to personnel policies and procedures that fully conform to the current laws and regulations.
  • Maintain working knowledge of core programs in order to support and develop staff and volunteers.

THE CANDIDATE

The Executive Director will be a relationship builder and visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit. The successful candidate will have the ability to lead the organization and work with the Board of Directors in developing innovative and fiscally responsible programming to promote childhood literacy. The Executive Director must be an outstanding and engaging communicator with the ability to listen and effectively convey the mission and successes of WePAC to the community at large.

Qualifications

  • An appreciation for the mission of WePAC with a passion for childhood literacy.
  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible leadership experience; prior nonprofit experience and knowledge of the School District of Philadelphia preferred.
  • Strategic planning, supervisory and fiscal management experience including developing and managing budgets.
  • Proven skills and experience in working with volunteers, committees, and Board members.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead in community outreach and fund development, including identification, solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship of donors.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with proven success in building, fostering, and maintaining positive relationships with both internal and external constituencies.
  • Ability to foster strong partnerships with local government, external partners, community centers, and churches.
  • Exceptional written, verbal and presentation skills.
  • Ability to collect and synthesize information and effectively communicate relevant material to appropriate constituents in a timely and professional manner.
  • Strong multi-tasking skills and the flexibility necessary to work within a small nonprofit with broad responsibilities.
  • Knowledge and understanding of how nonprofit organizations operate in an ever-changing environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Willing and able to travel regionally; must be available to attend events after work hours or on weekends as needed.

THE INSTITUTION

West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC) is an independent 501(c)(3) that has been serving the Philadelphia community since 2003. Since 2009 WePAC has been running its flagship and highly respected school library program. WePAC has transformed dormant spaces in Philadelphia public elementary schools into vibrant, functioning libraries staffed by teams of volunteers who read stories and help students check in and out books. WePAC currently provides direct access to school libraries to 4,000 children across 18 schools in Philadelphia. For many of the children served, WePAC is their primary access to books and literacy enrichment programming. WePAC has 200+ dedicated volunteers and the programs are well received by students, parents and other caregivers, teachers, and principals. WePAC is funded entirely by private dollars and provides its services at no cost to the School District of Philadelphia.

History
WePAC first offered its services in West Philadelphia during the 2003-2004 school year, when it placed six volunteers in one elementary school. It began as an outgrowth of an urban ministry project between Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and many civic groups, and today is a wholly-independent and non-sectarian 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

WePAC programs focus on children in grades K-4, during the early and critical years of their educational careers. WePAC volunteers encourage curiosity and foster a lifelong love of reading. The overarching goal is to bring books, reading, and libraries to low-income schoolchildren who have lost their school library or who never had access to one.

The context in which WePAC operates is critical. More than 95% of Philadelphia public schools lack a functioning library. Some 40% of students will drop out of school without graduating, and a child’s reading ability at the end of third grade is a key predictor of dropout risk.

To improve students’ access to libraries and literacy activities, WePAC:

  • Runs 18 libraries primarily in West and Southwest Philadelphia.
  • Reads stories with children and helps them select and check out library books.
  • Donates thousands of books to schools.

Mission Statement
WePAC’s mission is to promote childhood literacy by engaging volunteers in Philadelphia public schools through re-opening and staffing libraries and academic mentoring.

Vision Statement
WePAC’s vision is that every Philadelphia student will be empowered with the literacy skills vital to the success of the child and the prosperity of the community.

For additional information, please visit www.wepac.org.

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