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Program Associate for Strategic Partnerships and External Relations

Location:Baltimore, MD
Benefits:An excellent benefit package is offered
Employment Type:Full Time
Department:External Relations

The Program Associate for Strategic Partnerships and External Relations Department (SPER) advances SPER's efficiency and effective communications, as s/he sits at the crossroads of all units within the department, and coordinates strategically with the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and External Relations (VPSPER) and other departments within LWR. S/he is central to ensuring that the department functions as an integrated team, coordinating and facilitating internal communications and information flows, strategic meetings, managing the department's annual planning & budgeting processes, managing documents and procedures, and interfacing with all units and departments. The PA is responsible for helping the department become a "learning organization" by ensuring the timely input, use, and analysis of data and other means of identifying best practices within the work of the units. S/he takes on special projects as requested/assigned by the SPER units, and serves as the special assistant to the VP, fulfilling the administrative support needs of the VP's office.

Externally, s/he is central to managing the communications, meeting and event preparations, and agenda planning for key external relationships for the VP's Office, ensuring cross-unit collaboration and information sharing as appropriate.

At times, the PA for SPER would be privy to sensitive and confidential information, and will be required to take this responsibility seriously.


Duties: 1. Office Management
  • Manage the VPSPER’s office logistics and communications, including but not limited to: scheduling meetings, preparation before meetings & follow-up actions; arranging travel for the VPSPER; answering phones during busy times (especially during emergencies).

  • Assist in the development of presentations.

  • Provide all administrative support required when engaging consultants.

  • File the VPSPER’s credit card and expense reports. Handle expense reporting for consultants.

  • Monitor expenses for input to the VP’s annual plan and budget.

  • Orientating new staff on the role and work of the department; assist with other departmental presentations.

  • Assist the VP in managing the timely and accurate submission of staff timesheets, expense reports and any other routine reports required for all staff. 

  • Support the VP in managing external relationships and delegating/follow-up action to SPER colleagues

2. Internal Communication & Coordination
  • Manage and develop systems and processes to ensure transparency and information flow within and between department units.

  • Assist the VP in reporting to staff on Leadership Team meetings and action items; facilitate, monitor and report on the timely implementation of action items within the department

  • In consultation with the VPSPER, identify cross-unit issues that require the attention of the VP’s office, and apply project management techniques to them when necessary.

  • Create and manage an annual planning calendar for SPER that identifies cross-unit joint activity, due dates for various reports and meetings.

  • Effectively represent the VP’s office in meetings or on teams/ committees as assigned. Support units in SPER on special committees, initiatives, or projects. Take notes, record observations, and gather next steps or follow up items for the VP’s office.

  • Serve as the liaison between SPER and the Emergency Operations team in IPD. Coordinate SPER’s emergency response in event of international disasters.   Attend and keep SPER informed of Emergency Operations coordination calls, and coordinate with the Associate Director of Marketing and Creative Services to facilitate SPER’s support and keeping departments abreast of fundraising progress.

3. Systems Management
  • Manage the department’s timely and accurate development and reporting processes for SPER’s strategy dashboards, measuring core priority indicators.

  • Maintain systems that track indicators on a quarterly basis and collaborate with metric owners to summarize key trends, insights and impact on organization.

  • Coordinate the process for reporting metrics with the VPSPER, directors and units, and assist with monitoring and evaluating the progress toward achieving the 20/20 goal

  • Maintain and seek efficiencies in electronic filing systems.

  • Maintain, manage, and support a more robust and regular use of PHOENIX (LWR’s project information & relationship management system), and work to integrate the system with owner/manager of Raiser's Edge.

  • Support the use of Raiser's Edge as needed with donor events/activities and collaboration with Phoenix

4. Budget planning, monitoring and reporting
  • Manager the process for developing SPER unit annual plans and budgets.

  • Develop general budget/act as holder for SPER general cost center.

  • Work with the VP to forecast, track, and analyze budget for SPER General cost center, and with unit Directors for unit cost centers.

  • Establish and manage budget planning and monitoring systems during the forecast and budget season for the VP office and SPER department units.

5. Project Management & Support
  • Manage special projects as assigned by the VP related to constituent or institutional engagement, fundraising/donor landscape, or Leadership Team Organizational Priorities. Projects may include desk research, internal and/or external information gathering/meetings, writing, and presentations.

  • Support departmental units as requested with document review/editing, proposal development, desk research on foundations & institutional donors & trends.

  • Draft and prepare briefing materials for the VP and others as assigned by the VP, in preparation for donor related meetings, and conferences, including gathering bios, preparing talking points and background in consultation with relationship managers.

  • Support units as requested with materials/information development & dissemination.

6. Meeting & Events Management
  • Manage and coordinate ongoing and periodic meetings for SPER. This includes weekly all staff updates, monthly SPER Directors’ meetings, planning meetings, SPER retreats and other internal meetings.

  • Set meeting objectives, establish agendas, communicate with staff, arrange logistics. Facilitate staying on task during meetings and follow up on next steps/action items.

  • Provide assistance and support to units responsible for hosting external events with a focus on institutional audiences, including logistical and strategic planning & occasional representation.

  • As required, work with colleagues in various departments (particularly PO) with the planning and coordination of other LWR meetings.

7. Board of Directors
  • Lead Directors and units in the coordination of SPER’s reporting process to the Board of Directors.

  • Solicit from staff input and prepare Board exhibits and reports.

  • Coordinate with staff in the President’s Office to compile related materials for Board meetings.

  • Support staff assigned to the Resource Development Committee: develop committee agendas, facilitate scheduling, take and distribute minutes, create reports on board and staff giving, revenue reports, and others as needed.

  • Track board member financial goals, and create reports to illustrate progress on goals.

8. Professional Development
  • Actively engage in professional development opportunities that will advance career growth and advance the work of the SPER department. This includes being a member of at least one professional association and finding opportunities to connect valued training back to LWR.

  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

9. External Representation
  • Occasionally represent LWR at various events as a presenter, exhibitor and/or attendee. This includes a presence at conferences, congregations, synod events, and/or national church conferences, and involves collaboration with department units prior to the event.

  • If travel is required – Familiarity and compliance with LWR’s safety and security procedures and protocols.

  1. Deep commitment to LWR’s core values and ability to model those values in relationships with colleagues and partners.

  2. Bachelor's degree in a relevant field required.

  3. Minimum of four years demonstrated experience in a combination of communication, fundraising, marketing, public relations, constituent engagement, grants management, office administration, systems/process creation, database management.

  4. Ability to work in a fast paced environment and successfully prioritize, organize and carry out multiple projects and tasks efficiently under pressure.

  5. Ability to take initiative/be a self-starter with limited supervision, and ability to accept supervision.

  6. Demonstrated experience in supporting the creation of and reconciliation of budgets (including, but not limited to tracking costs and processing invoices, vendors/contracts, and budget variance analyses).

  7. Knowledge of and some experience in projecting and tracking revenue goals including, but not limited to managing revenue dashboards.

  8. Ability to be accurate and attentive to detail in project tracking and monitoring, writing, editing, typing, and filing.

  9. Highly proficient in using MS Outlook and Word suite. Knowledge of WordPress, Mail Chimp and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, such as Sales Force, a plus. Demonstrated ability to learn quickly to use new software applications effectively.

  10. Great interpersonal skills, ability to effectively and seamlessly represent LWR in a positive way and ability to be both a team leader and a team player and to work with people of varied backgrounds.

  11. Ability to represent LWR at various events as a member of our representation team or exhibit team.

  12. Experience with and commitment to working in a very diverse workforce.

  13. Experience and familiarity with Lutheranism, church structures, and church member motivations and sensitivities desirable.

  14. Experience working with institutional donors and partners such as U.S. government agencies, foundations and corporations desirable.

  15. Excellent customer service skills -- Ability to serve as the first and sometimes only experience external people have with the LWR brand (especially on the phone and in correspondence).

  16. A sense of humor and a desire to work hard as part of a team where everyone will “pitch in” to help whenever and on whatever is needed and that values the input, ideas, creativity and work of everyone on that team.

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