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Associate, External Relations and Engagement

Location:Baltimore, MD / Washington, D.C. / St. Paul, MN
Employment Type:Full Time
Department:External Relations

The Associate for External Relations & Engagement (ERE) department 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 ERE (VPERE) and other departments within LWR and IMA. 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 Associate 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 ERE 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 Associate for ERE will have access to sensitive and confidential information and will be required to take this responsibility seriously


Office Management

  • Manage the VPERE's office logistics and communications, including but not limited to scheduling meetings, preparation before meetings & follow-up actions; arranging travel for the VPERE; answering phones during busy times (especially during emergencies); File the VPERE's credit card and expense reports. Handle expense reporting for consultants and monitor expenses for input to the VP's annual plan and budget.
  • Provide all administrative support required when engaging consultants.
  • Orientating new staff on the role and work of the department

Internal Communication & Coordination

  • Manage and develop systems and processes to ensure transparency and information flow within and between department units.
  • In consultation with the VPERE, identify cross-unit issues that require the attention of the VP's office, and apply project management techniques to manage the department's timely and accurate development and reporting processes for ERE'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. 

Systems Management

  • Manage the department's timely and accurate development and reporting processes for ERE's strategy dashboards, measuring core priority indicators.
  • Coordinate the process for reporting metrics with the VPERE, directors, and units, and assist with monitoring and evaluating the progress toward achieving the 20/20 goal
  • Maintain, manage, and support a more robust and regular use of PHOENIX (LWR's and IMA's project information & relationship management system), and work to integrate the system with owner/manager of Raisers Edge.
  • Support the use of Raiser's Edge as needed with donor events/activities and collaboration with Phoenix

Budget planning, monitoring, and reporting

  • Manager the process for developing ERE unit annual plans and budgets.
  • Develop general budget/act as a holder for ERE general cost center. 
  • Work with the VP to forecast, track, and analyze budget for ERE 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 ERE department units.

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.
  • Manage and coordinate ongoing and periodic meetings for ERE. This includes weekly all staff updates, monthly ERE Directors' meetings, planning meetings, ERE 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 the next steps/action items.

Board of Directors

  • Lead Directors and units in the coordination of ERE'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.
  • Occasionally represent LWR and IMA 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.
  1. Bachelor's degree in a relevant field required.
  2. Minimum of two to three years demonstrated experience in a combination of communication, fundraising, marketing, public relations, constituent engagement, grants management, office administration, systems/process creation, database management. 
  3. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and successfully prioritize, organize and carry out multiple projects and tasks efficiently under pressure. 
  4. Ability to take initiative/be a self-starter with limited supervision, and the ability to accept supervision. 
  5. 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). 
  6. Knowledge of and some experience in projecting and tracking revenue goals including, but not limited to managing revenue dashboards.
  7. Ability to be accurate and attentive to detail in project tracking and monitoring, writing, editing, typing, and filing. 
  8. Highly proficient in using all tools in the Microsoft suite, especially Outlook, Word and Excel. Knowledge of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, such as SalesForce or Raisers Edge, a plus. Demonstrated ability to learn quickly to use new software applications effectively. 
  9. 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.
  10. Ability to represent LWR and IMA at various events as a member of our representation team or exhibit team. 
  11. Deep commitment to LWR's and IMA's core values and ability to model those values in relationships with colleagues and partners.
  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 the only experience external people have with the LWR and IMA brands (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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