College Possible Leadership Team
  • 08-May-2019 to 07-Jul-2019 (CST)
  • External Relations Associate - College Possible Minnesota - St. Paul, MN
  • St Paul, MN, USA
  • Full Time
  • Open Until Filled

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 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. 

To learn more, visit

Basic Description

The External Relations Associate is responsible for executing a variety development and communications activities for College Possible Minnesota including working closely with the site level and national communications teams, and our individual and institutional giving teams. This position will also work with national site support as needed. This role is an integral part of the team that raises the revenue we need to run our program and communicate with the community and our supporters about the outcomes we achieve.


Essential Job Functions


Individual Giving: Work with a portfolio of base-level individual donors; build on existing relationships and improve donor retention through a meaningful stewardship strategy. Identify new prospects and engage in meaningful ways to increase interest in supporting College Possible. Leverage all of the MN development team and Board Members in these efforts. Assist with the acknowledgement of gifts through thank you letters, calls and other stewardship strategies. The External Relations Associate is responsible for ensuring acknowledgement letters are customized, mailed and the database is updated.

Institutional Giving: Prepare, write and submit grant proposals for a portfolio of corporate and foundation partners with grants under $5,000. Research, create proposals and manage community fundraising partnerships (e.g. Restaurant Dine to Donate events, grocery store round-up programs, etc.). Work with Grants specialist to steward donors including printing and mailing institutional acknowledgement letters.

Communications: Work with AmeriCorps coaches to gather a broad range of stories about our program and students, conduct interviews and draft stories to be used on web, social media, impact reports, emails, newsletters, etc. Coordinate the taking of photos and video at College Possible events and in sessions several times a year and confirm student media consent. Organize and maintain the Minnesota photo library. Edit a variety of videos including promotional, event and student videos. Work with senior communications associate to develop and execute a social media strategy for Minnesota office. Maintain in office results visuals and manage quantities of print materials used by the Minnesota External Relations Team.

Other External Relations Team Support: Provide assistance for the Executive and Development Directors to build and maintain strong institutional funder relationships. Assist in scheduling and planning ahead for important engagement or meeting opportunities, tracking communications in Raiser's Edge, site-visit preparation and off-site meeting materials and preparation. Lead on any in-kind solicitation as directed on an as-needed basis. Work with Events Manager to provide assistance with fundraising events and assist with the annual calendar of events and event-specific preparation and post-event follow-up.

Prospecting and Cultivation: Conduct prospect research for institutions and individuals. Work with the External Relations team to strategize and implement cultivation techniques to inspire prospective supporters and donors and to increase the number of donors to the College Possible MN.

Other Duties as Assigned:  Work with MN external relations teams on other projects as needed.

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

Related Work Experience:

  • A minimum of 1 year of experience in nonprofit development or communications work preferred

Computer/Software Skills:

  • Strong computer skills, including demonstrated proficiency in: Microsoft Word, Excel and donor database software; Raiser's Edge experience preferred.

Other Skills, Abilities and Requirements:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and strong interpersonal skills;
  • Self-starter with the ability to prioritize multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously;
  • Problem solver, flexible and adapt easily to change;
  • Attention to detail, including proofreading and project follow-through;
  • Some evening and weekend work, as well as occasional travel, is required.


Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits (complete health, dental, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance, retirement program and generous paid time off benefits).

To Apply

Please apply at: Include a resume, cover letter and a list of three professional references.

College Possible Leadership Team
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