Director of Marketing and Communication

College Possible

About Us:

College Possible is a growing nonprofit coaching students from low-income backgrounds to and through college to break the cycle of poverty and empower the next generation of leaders. Our model has earned national recognition: the inaugural Evergreen National Education Award recognized our leadership in increasing access to and success in college for students from low-income backgrounds. It also earns top-of-field results: a 2011 Harvard study found that the program more than doubles a student's chance of enrolling in a four-year college, and our students are four times more likely to become college graduates than their low-income peers. College Possible has a budget of $22 million, more than 130 full-time employees and more than 270 AmeriCorps and VISTA service members. During the 2018-19 school year, we will reach an estimated 25,000 students in all 50 states, at more than 90 partner high schools and at more than 350 colleges.

College Possible's growth and scaling strategy Catalyze holds the potential to reach tens to hundreds of thousands more low-income college students over the next decade. Through its Catalyze initiative, College Possible will build the capacity of colleges and universities to adopt and integrate its proven coaching model into their infrastructure to better support every low-income student on partner campuses. College Possible will train and support its post-secondary partners in hiring and managing near-peer coaches, thus leveraging high-quality existing staff to implement the College Possible model.

College Possible is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and seeks to build a diverse workforce to create impact in partnership with the communities we serve. We welcome a diverse pool of qualified applicants. For each of its positions, College Possible is mindful about what best serves our students, and seeks to hire staff with relevant experience, skills and aptitude, and a commitment to the power of education.

Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, College Possible also operates in Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; and Portland, OR; and has Catalyze partnerships in Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio. We're joining forces with colleges to achieve a transformational impact: by 2021, we will partner with 400 colleges to reach 50,000 students.

Position Details

Director of Marketing and Communication
Twin Cities Metro
Saint Paul, MN

Basic Description:

In a rapidly growing national nonprofit, the Marketing & Communications Director is responsible for establishing the marketing and communications strategy for the organization, supporting the whole organization in executing this strategy, developing processes to ensure robust internal communications, and building the organization's reputation as a national leader in college access and success. To accomplish this, the Director works closely with the Vice President of Site Operations, Executive Directors and their teams at the six operating sites on annual site-specific marketing, advertising and fundraising campaigns based on community-specific needs; as well as with other members of the College Possible senior leadership team. The ideal candidate will have an undergraduate degree and 10-15 years of experience working in public relations and communications, and excellent design, written and verbal communication skills. The Marketing & Communications Director reports to the Chief Advancement Officer and will supervise a 3-4 person marketing and communications team.

Essential Job Functions:

1. Marketing & Communications: Develop overall strategy and direction for coordinated multi-channel marketing and communications program including web, print and other digital communication technologies. Explore innovative and emerging tools and strategies and employ where appropriate. The marketing and communications strategy will substantially advance the organization's fundraising objectives. Set overarching policies and processes for the organization's marketing and communications messaging and content.

2. Reputation Building: Develop multi-faceted strategy to advance College Possible's reputation as an innovator and leader in the college access field, and establish the organization as an emerging leader in the college success space. Develop and expand the organization's national media contacts as well as identify and pursue national media opportunities. Set the strategic focus and direction for Communications team related to tools, templates and best practices for site-level media relations.

3. Communications Site Support: Work with the Vice President of Site Operations and site Executive Directors on developing annual marketing and communications plans based on each site's distinctive needs with the goal of increasing community awareness and donations. Oversee Communications team in the implementation of annual plans and work with Executive Directors on periodic adjustments, as needed, to site-specific plans, and to take advantage of unexpected opportunities that may arise. Provide ongoing assistance and support to sites on communications and media training.

4. Community Outreach: Identify strategic opportunities and supporting tactics for raising the organization's profile among target audiences. Provide tools and develop strategies to help sites build awareness of College Possible in the communities that we serve. Help to promote the appearance of key staff members at select regional and national conferences or other events. Serve as the organization's liaison to assigned national coalitions, as determined.

5. Internal Communications: Develop and manage processes to improve internal communication and information flow, including the crisis management plan. Monitor organizational mood and proactively suggest ways to ensure that employees and service corps members feel informed and engaged. Help develop messaging of significant internal announcements to ensure clarity and understanding.

6. Advance and Safeguard Organizational Brand: Grow and protect the College Possible brand identity, both internally and externally; manage brand standards across the organization and lead ongoing development. Work with Sr. Director of Strategic Growth and her growing team to integrate new line of college success work into overall brand strategy and communications.

7. Supervise, Train and Support Communications Staff: Duties include providing support, guidance and oversight to Communications staff to ensure excellent service to sites and other organizational stakeholders. Troubleshoot issues as they arise, evaluate performance, gather feedback, and ensure that the highest quality of service is provided to the organization.

Professional Requirements (Skills & Qualifications):

In addition to the requirements below, College Possible staff and service members are expected to demonstrate the Idealistic Leader traits of Strive to be Delightful, Energize those in your Presence, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, Challenge Cynicism, Practice Empathy, Learn to be Grateful and Have Fun, as expressed in our organizational value statement and have a significant commitment to the mission of helping low-income students earn admission to college and persist toward degree completion.


  • Bachelor's degree required; Master's Degree helpful.

Related Work Experience:

  • A minimum of 10 years related career experience showing progressively increasing levels of responsibility with a minimum of three years' experience in a supervisory or managerial role.

Computer/Software Skills:

  • Well-developed computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite programs as well as experience in database management. 
  • Experience with web interface design software, the Adobe Creative Suite and Convio software strongly preferred.

Other Skills, Abilities and Requirements:

  • Ability to function at a high level in a matrixed environment in which project management and success relies on indirect structural relationships; 
  • Ability to quickly develop trusting relationships with colleagues at all levels 
  • Ability to work in fast-paced work environment and manage multiple project deadlines simultaneously; 
  • Exceptional writing and verbal communication skills; 
  • Skilled project manager with proven experience in leading multi-faceted strategic projects to successful completion; 
  • Skilled at multi-tasking and handling potentially stressful situations calmly and appropriately; 
  • High energy, enthusiastic, strong commitment to public service and social justice; 
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented; 
  • Desire to work in a growing nonprofit organization, ability to adapt, creativity, and commitment to excellence highly valued; 
  • Willingness to work some evenings and weekends.


Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits (complete health, dental, life, short-term and long-term insurance, 401(k) retirement plan and generous paid time off program).

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