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Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga

Managing Director, External Affairs

Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga


Job Summary


The Managing Director, External Affairs (MDEA) leads the effort to partner with the Nashville and Chattanooga donor community to fundraise $4-5 million in operating revenue annually. The MDEA will report to the Executive Director and will work closely with the Regional Board of Directors, the Deputy Executive Director, and the Managing Director in Chattanooga. The MDEA will lead and manage a team of 3-4 individuals who are responsible for executing our development and external communications, as well as maintaining and improving strong operations to support this work. The MDEA will also be a critical senior leader who holds responsibility for setting vision and direction within our region.

We are looking for an individual who is passionate about our mission and believes deeply in the importance of investing others in our work and partnering with the community to achieve educational equity and excellence. A strong candidate will be a long-range strategic thinker, an expert in building and managing internal and external relationships, an effective communicator both verbally and in written form, and a highly skilled and detail-oriented manager of people and operations.


External Affairs Strategic and Operational Planning (40%)

Develop the vision, set goals, establish measures of success, craft strategies, and determine key tactics for our external affairs work to ensure our region is effectively partnering with the community in ways that align with our mission and fuel our ability to meet annual and long-term fundraising goals. This will be done in partnership with the Executive Director, the Managing Director in Chattanooga, and External Affairs team members and will require strategic input from the Regional Board of Directors. This work includes:

  • Conduct research and analysis on the local landscape to inform vision, goals, and strategies for all aspects of external affairs work. Generate and prioritize donor prospects from this research.
  • Develop clear goals and aligned strategies across all donor categories: public funding, corporate, foundation, and individual giving. Track progress to goal and adjust course as necessary.
  • Analyze the interests of donors and prospects to develop compelling fundraising campaigns, pitches, engagement strategies, and stewardship activities.
  • Plan and execute inspiring and strategic events (e.g., holiday gathering or school tour) to attract new donors to our mission.
  • Manage the External Affairs team to develop and maintain strong operations (e.g., donor meeting preparation, gift processing, grant management, maintaining information in our CRM, etc.).
  • Directly manage three full-time staff members and one part-time staff member to excel in their roles and support their professional development and growth through providing regular feedback, meeting regularly to track progress-to-goal, and serving as a thought-partner and coach. Develop and maintain stellar team management processes (e.g., check-ins, team meetings, and progress-to-goal tracking).
  • Guide the development of an annual regional communications plan that encompasses key regional messages, our social media strategy and online presence, media opportunities, and more.  Lead the region through proactive and reactive communication externally.


Job Responsibilities

Relationship Management and Planning (45%)

Ensure that all external stakeholders – including donors, prospective donors, other local community leaders and non-profit partners – are assigned a portfolio manager and relationship holder who collectively are responsible for ensuring we build and maintain strong relationships and continue to deepen our partners’ belief in and investment in our work. This includes:

  • Own a portfolio of major donors and prospects (all donor streams) between $5K – $1M
  • Directly manage the public funding portfolio for all public funders except for Americorps
  • Lead the design of donor meetings in which we “make the ask” of prospective or current donors
  • Oversee the strategy and execution work of direct reports as they manage relationships and create engagement plans for their portfolio of donors and prospects
  • Conduct excellent external stakeholder interactions and communications and manage team to plan and execute these as needed
  • Identify and prioritize key actions for the Executive Director, Managing Director in Chattanooga, and Regional Board of Directors to take in engaging with external stakeholders. Manage and support execution of meetings, events and correspondence, etc.
  • Support the Executive Director in managing the Regional Board of Directors fundraising efforts and donor stewardship including:
    • Preparing for and participating in board and committee meetings
    • Creating materials and information for meetings and other communications with the whole board or individual board members
    • Liaising with board members on specific development and communications projects or activities and corresponding with board members as needed
    • Support the development work with the Board of Directors
    • Support the Executive Director and Board Governance Committee to strategically grow the board, and ensure that the bylaws are followed
  • Support engagement with Governor’s Office, TDOE, our lobbyist, and policy makers to influence public funding and policy.

Regional and Organizational Stewardship (15%)

Support team-wide priorities for TFA Nashville-Chattanooga and organizational-wide initiatives. Examples include:

  • Participating in staff committees, task forces, and senior leader planning and collaboration
  • Corps member recruitment, admissions, and matriculation
  • Team meetings and professional development
  • Regional events and programming (such as teacher orientation and end-of-year celebration)
  • Act as a positive and inclusive team-wide cultural leader


Teach For America finds, develops, and supports equity-oriented leaders – individually and in teams – so they can transform education and expand opportunity with children, starting in the classroom. It takes a collective effort to reimagine and build equitable systems of education. Teach For America – in partnership with other champions for Nashville and Chattanooga’s students – is a part of this work. We have 160 Teach For America corps members who teach in over 50 schools across Nashville and Chattanooga, reaching over 13,000 students. Nearly 1,000 Teach For America alumni call Nashville or Chattanooga home and have assumed notable positions in school leadership and education policy. Our goal is that by 2030, twice as many children in communities where we work will reach key educational milestones indicating they are on a path to economic mobility and co-creating a future filled with possibility.



Prior Experience

  • 7 years of relevant work experience (fundraising, nonprofit management, strategy, project management) highly preferred
  • Experience working in Nashville and/or Chattanooga highly preferred

Work Demands

  • Willing and able to work some early mornings, evenings, or weekends when that furthers team or regional goals
  • Willing and able to travel 2-3 times per year for professional development purposes


  • Ability to set and evolve team vision and direction
  • Exceptional strategic and critical thinking skills. In particular, strong vision-setting for a team and strong project planning and progress-to-goal management.
  • Proven track record of setting and achieving ambitious goals
  • Ability to think big, generate ideas, and implement solutions to complex problems
  • Knack for influencing others toward outcomes through sophisticated relationship management
  • Highly organized and demonstrated ability to both motivate and manage superiors, peers, and direct reports to achieve ambitious, concrete results
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, including being a strong reviewer of grants
  • Exceptional MS Office skills, including storyboarding and slide creation in PowerPoint and running analyses in Excel
  • Extraordinary learner. You are a voracious consumer of new information that you apply quickly to increase efficacy
  • Embodies our core values and is committed to being a steward of TFA and these core values


Bachelor’s degree required

Additional Information



By joining staff, you join a network of individuals committed to pursuing equity for all students and developing themselves as professionals in the process. We as an organization value the longevity of our employees and offer a comprehensive and competitive benefits plan. The salary for this position is also competitive and depends on your prior work experience. Please be advised, you will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.

How to Apply

Interested in this position? Apply now on our website. 


  • Date Posted: November 23, 2021
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Fundraising / Revenue Development
  • Service Area: Education