Senior Director of Community Engagement / Stewardship – Thread Inc – Baltimore, MD

Position: Senior Director of Community Engagement and Stewardship

Reports to the CEO

About Thread

Thread understands that students growing up in concentrated poverty need more than just improved financial resources or better classrooms; they need the same unassailable support and deep interpersonal bonds that we all need. Thread believes that, by cultivating relationships that transcend racial and socioeconomic barriers – and by creatively building an unconventional family and community not defined by DNA and address – we can overcome the poverty of isolation and, in its place, establish a wealth of human connection permanently linked by unconditional love and support. Thread builds these bonds for students, volunteers, and collaborators.

During Thread’s first 11 years, we have supported over 200 underperforming Baltimore City students as they have worked to navigate the challenges in their lives and become responsible, resilient, and self-sufficient adults. Thread has refined its model, developed community partnerships, and increased capacity to develop a truly unique programmatic structure that leads to extraordinary outcomes for our students. To date, Thread has retained 100% of the 207 students it has engaged, and 100% of the 47 students who have been in Thread for five years have received high school degrees.

Thread’s approach, from the students it engages to the depth, breadth, and duration of the support it provides, is unmatched. Our students face vast obstacles to their high school and post-secondary success, from missing fundamental academic skills to lacking stable housing. Despite the challenges they face, Thread students are able to achieve outstanding feats: 60% of the 15 students who have been in Thread for 10 years have received a four-year college degree. An additional 20% have received a two-year degree or certificate.

Thread achieves these remarkable results by supporting students for a period of 10 years and surrounding each student with a group of volunteers, a Thread Family. Thread Family Members provide students with continuous support: frequent and positive personal contact, tutoring and mentoring services, increased access to community resources, and constant encouragement. Thread never gives up. During their time in Thread, students experience consistent and caring relationships. As they mature and graduate from post-secondary schools and programs, they enter the workforce with the necessary connections to caring adults and resources needed to thrive.

Thread at Its Best

We are hard-working, collaborative, and passionate about Baltimore’s youth. We go all in with care, compassion, and empathy. We know that the long hours are worth the short victories. We believe small acts make a big difference.

We are small but mighty. We are about meeting people where they’re at. We have expectations of success from all in our community. Sometimes, it takes faith and tenacity; often, it takes grit and strategy. Whatever the case, we do whatever it takes.

We are resilient. We are about building communities of responsibility. The work is hard but magical and we keep our heads low and spirits high, as we go about it. The outcomes we obtain are exemplary. However, on the road to excellence is peppered with failure. We make mistakes often and fail frequently, but we learn from our mistakes and continue to tenaciously try and try again.

We are in the business of laying stones, building bridges, and creating relationships that enable us and Baltimore to reach our true potential.

We are weaving the new social fabric of Baltimore!

Job Summary

The Senior Director of Community Engagement & Stewardship (SDCES) is responsible for the Stewardship and Community Engagement functions for Thread. Partnering with the CEO, he/she will develop the overall community engagement strategy for the organization while driving the implementation of that strategy with the Stewardship (SM) and Community Engagement Manager (CEM), leveraging both the CEO and the Board. This position must coordinate with the Program Team and the Operations Team, and will oversee Thread’s internal and external messaging and communications effort as well to ensure consistency, accuracy and thoroughness of all communications, events, and engagement programs. The SM and CEM report to the SDCES to support these efforts. The SDCES sits on the Executive Team and reports to the CEO.

Key Responsibilities


In partnership with CEO, develop Thread’s Community Engagement Strategy and annual plans, including goals, key activities and resource requirements
In partnership with CEO, create Stewardship and Development Strategy and annual Stewardship Plans, including goals, key activities and resource requirements
Develop Thread’s Communication Strategy and annual plans, including goals, key activities and resource requirements
In collaboration with CEO and Senior Director of Operations, develop budgets for Community Engagement, Stewardship, Development, and Communications
Ensures that all plans are complementary and cohesive and support Thread is weaving a diverse and inclusive social fabric
Work with the Senior Director of Operations (SDO) and the CEO to create and execute an annual revenue plan as a part of the overall operational plan that is aligned with the strategic plan and budget

External Relations

Lead staff in preparing talking points, speeches, presentations and supporting materials for external parties
Meet with external parties, including current and prospective donors and collaborators, as representative of Thread

Community Engagement Management

Design and implement programs and initiatives, including the Tong Zhang Innovation Fellowship and Champions Program, with the Community Engagement Manager to build a diverse and inclusive community amongst students, volunteers, collaborators, alumni, and other stakeholders
Creatively utilize technology to connect the expanding student, volunteer, collaborator,

and alumni base in a way that reinforces this new social fabric and improves student outcomes, volunteer retention, and resource recruitment

Stewardship Management

Design and implement programs to effect Stewardship and Development Plan
Manage stewardship and development budget
Oversee the creation of and manage Development Calendar
Leverage Senior resources and development staff to achieve plan and program goal
Coach senior leadership in stewardship activities
Develop and curate list of potential collaborators, partners, and donors
Create and manage stewardship events
Develop and oversee grant process and timetables; write, review and revise as necessary
Coordinate with CEO to authorize final grant submissions
Monitor effectiveness of Stewardship and Development Plan and programs
Manage and develop Stewardship Manager
When identified, involve the Stewardship Manager to steward a prospective donor
Create, manage and monitor the Giving Tuesday process and outcomes with a focus on community engagement

Communications Management

Design and implement programs to effect Communications Plan
Create and Manage Communications Calendar
Identify and create plan to address communications challenges
Coach senior leadership in communications activities
Design and manage external campaigns
Ensure standardization of language and message(s) across all Thread communications (internal and external)
Support creation of, review and approve all communications materials
Lead development of Annual Report, Quarterly Newsletter, web content
Support the development of creative and innovative communications tools and methods
Monitor effectiveness of Communication Plan and programs
Manage communications budget
Manage and develop Community Engagement Manager

Media Management

Qualify and prioritize media opportunities for Thread
Create and manage Media Calendar
Cultivate and manage press relationships; serve as spokesperson where appropriate for media interactions
Review social media plans and activities; ensure consistency with Thread message, language, communications
Create materials for meetings with Board of Directors, the Executive Team , donors, collaborators, and partners
Ensure all data derived from all Stewardship and Community Engagement efforts are reported back to Manger of Research and Data as well as to CEO and Executive Team
Oversee all system wide event planning and execution in partnership with the Senior Director of Operations


Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s Degree in a related field preferred
5-7 years experience in nonprofit development, communications, and/or external relations
Strong verbal and written communications skills, including grant writing skills
Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work collaboratively with staff and external partners
Entrepreneurial spirit with ability to employ sound judgment
Able to interact with senior level executives, both internally and externally
Knowledge of the Baltimore community
Ability to manage projects, organize and complete complex tasks and prioritize multiple assignments and deliver on a timely basis
Strong leadership skills
Strong attention to detail and follow up skills
Ability to delegate to and manage volunteers
Ability to evaluate efficiencies of programs and efficiencies and make improvements as needed
Proficiencies with technology (e.g. Microsoft Office, including Excel) and databases, and willingness to adapt to new technologies
Innovative and resourceful with respect to problem solving
Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
Strong financial management skills
Ability to manage vendors of outsourced services
Strong verbal and written communications skills

How to apply

To apply:

Please send cover letter and resume to with position title as subject field.

Deadline: June 5th, 2015 at 5:00pm

Fax and mail submissions will not be accepted. No phone calls, please.

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