Read Charlotte is a new collaborative, community-wide initiative to double the percentage of third grade students reading at grade level in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) from 40% in 2015 to 80% by 2025. Housed under the Foundation For The Carolinas, Read Charlotte is organized as a backbone organization leading a collective impact effort across Mecklenburg County. We focus on the continuum from birth through third grade, building collaborative partnerships, and directing resources only to programs that work. Read Charlotte plays a leadership and coordinating role around the important goal of third grade reading, but we do not directly operate programs. Working Groups comprised of experts and community members will help select and implement strategies, engage community partners, and track progress. A Transformation Fund will promote innovation, capacity building, collaboration, and seed new programs addressing unmet early literacy needs in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. In addition, Read Charlotte will advise area funders on strategic co-funding opportunities.
In order for Read Charlotte to achieve its ambitious goal, we are seeking a dynamic and detail-oriented Project Manager. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Project Manager will be part of a small team responsible for driving Read Charlotte’s work forward, in particular managing and facilitating our Working Groups and supporting our community engagement and outreach strategies. This is a full-time, exempt position.
The Project Manager will provide day-to-day support and facilitation of Read Charlotte’s work to build cross-sector partnerships. Key responsibilities include:
Working with community partners:
• Managing multiple Working Groups, including meeting preparation, logistics, communications, facilitation, and follow up actions between meetings
• Anticipating and managing the flow of activities, communication, and coordination within and among Working Groups
• Organizing outreach with community partners, including following-up as needed
• Coordinating needed research and data analysis with Read Charlotte staff and partners to align strategies and actions with best practices
• Working with the Executive Director to update strategy as new needs and opportunities emerge
• Working with the Executive Director to coordinate with other related projects and coalitions (i.e., in the same field) to maintain a full understanding of the current landscape of local and regional activities, and integrating their work into the Governing Board and Working Group processes
• Building and maintaining relationships with community partners
• Assisting the Executive Director with administration and management of the Transformation Fund as needed
• Maintaining understanding of current implementation challenges and developing comprehensive solutions to address them
• In partnership with the Executive Director, providing support to partner organizations in aligning their work to the Strategic Action Framework (e.g., identifying opportunities for program work to support specific goals)
• In partnership with the Executive Director, acting as a neutral arbiter and helping resolve disputes or disagreements in direction among Working Groups and the Governing Board
• Coordinating advocacy supporting activities of Read Charlotte partner organizations
• Communicating the objectives of Read Charlotte to the community and potential partners, including sharing the Strategic Action Framework or other collateral
• Facilitating ongoing communication between Read Charlotte partners by hosting regular conference calls, in-person meetings, or coordinating regular email updates to ensure alignment of activity as needed
• Planning and managing logistics of, and attending, Working Group meetings and community events
• Creating or managing creation of yearly summary reports of Read Charlotte progress for Governing Board and external audiences
• The following duties may be done in coordination with a communications consultant or Executive Director:
o Developing communications materials as Read Charlotte evolves, potentially including summary documents, brochures, FAQs, and other items;
o Developing web and social media strategy;
o Compiling and maintaining list of press clippings; and
o Creating press strategy, including drafting press releases, coordinating with media outlets
• Assumes other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director
The right fit is an imperative for a lean organization like Read Charlotte. Below is a list of qualities that we are looking for in the person who takes on this critical role of Project Manager. If these ring true for you, then we hope you’ll apply for this position.
• You have a Bachelor’s degree, probably in something like education, public health, social science, or another related field.
• You might have a relevant graduate degree.
• You have at least five years work experience, including one or more years of relevant experience like community outreach and/or coordination.
• You possess and exhibit exceptionally high personal and professional integrity.
• You maintain confidentiality of all internal materials and information.
• You are prepared to wake up and go to bed every day thinking about how to double the number of third graders in Mecklenburg County reading proficiently by 2025.
• You are extremely detail oriented and relentlessly focused on execution.
• You have superb organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously, set priorities, meet deadlines, and respond quickly to requests for information and assistance.
• You can see the forest and the trees.
• You do not confuse activity with accomplishment.
• You are unapologetically focused on improving outcomes and increasing impact.
• You are really good at getting diverse groups of people and organizations to work together for a common goal.
• You have a demonstrated track record of successfully building and maintaining relationships with a range of stakeholders.
• You inspire confidence and passion in people and possess the ability to build effective relationships with a range of stakeholders.
• You have an amazing ability to tailor your communications for a broad range of people in a way that meets their needs but does not talk down or belittle them.
• You are able to hear the “song beneath the words” and get at what people are really thinking and feeling.
• You have strong problem solving, analytical, and people skills.
• You are flexible, creative, and have the ability to work autonomously or collaboratively as the situation demands. You have no problem taking direction.
• You continuously want to get better at whatever you do.
• You are able and willing to put in extended hours as needed.
• You have experience working in a fast-paced, constantly evolving environment.
• You are comfortable with ambiguity and love it when you get to figure things out.
• You are familiar with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area and/or the early literacy issue space. (Or you can successfully convince us why this doesn’t matter for you.)
• You are comfortable using data and research to drive and inform decision-making.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
Read Charlotte offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with anticipated duties and responsibilities, including comprehensive health benefits.
Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Munro Richardson, Executive Director of Read Charlotte, at firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls or faxes accepted. In your cover letter please include your salary requirements and address the following topics:
• Describe a time when you worked to solve a problem through partnership or collaboration with other people in another organization. Explain how you became involved in the effort, your role and responsibilities, and how that experience will be useful as Read Charlotte’s Project Manager.
• Tell us about your experience managing detailed, fast moving projects. What is your approach to starting a new project? What would you need to be successful? What are the major lessons you’ve learned about this type of work?
• Provide specific evidence of your alignment with Read Charlotte’s mission to double the percentage of third graders reading on grade level from 40% to 80% by 2025.
Read Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer, welcoming people to flourish in an open and inclusive work environment. A diverse pool of candidates is welcomed and encouraged.