Schoolhouse Supplies is Hiring

May 28, 2019

Community Engagement Specialist, AmeriCorps VISTA

Position Announcement and Description

Organizational Overview

Since 1999, our mission has remained the same: to support public education by providing free school supplies to students in need.  We do this because we believe that every child deserves school supplies and has the right to a quality education regardless of their family’s income or racial/ethnic identity.

Our ultimate goal is to level the playing field so every child has access to the tools that allow them to achieve academic success and feel confident. The program delivery model achieves additional goals through community engagement and by keeping supplies out of the waste stream.

The majority of children served are enrolled in a federal nutrition program. The cost of sending a child to school with needed supplies is out of reach for many families, yet research shows that when adequately equipped, children miss fewer school days, are more attentive in class and achieve higher test scores in all academic subjects. With the community’s support, Schoolhouse Supplies has distributed $30 million in free school supplies and benefited hundreds of thousands of children. 

Position Summary

The Community Engagement Specialist will join the Schoolhouse Supplies team as a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA program and will work at the heart of Schoolhouse Supplies’ mission, helping us increase organizational capacity to serve students in need with free classroom supplies.  We are looking for someone who brings passion for the mission, some marketing and social media experience or knowledge, and either experience in or an enthusiasm for helping Schoolhouse Supplies increase capacity in four key areas: community awareness, fundraising, supply procurement, and volunteer engagement. 

The ideal candidate is seeking to launch their nonprofit career or shift to the nonprofit sector, and values an opportunity to work closely alongside a small, highly effective team.  The position will be supervised by the Director of Programs and Operations.  The Community Engagement Specialist’s work will build on a strong foundation developed by Schoolhouse Supplies’ current AmeriCorps VISTA member, who service will extend into November 2019 and will help train and support this position. 

Selected candidate will sign on for a year of service (August 19, 2019 – August 18, 2020) through the AmeriCorps VISTA network and the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Please apply through our AmeriCorps partner Campus Compact of Oregon:

To provide program continuity, the Community Engagement Specialist will be eligible for an additional month of service as a temporary Schoolhouse Supplies employee (August 19 – approximately September 25, 2020.)


Community Awareness and Marketing

Objective: Improve and grow outreach and overall community awareness to strengthen stakeholder engagement and resource development.

  1. Improve, pilot, and document community awareness messages and strategies (partner outreach events, social media, e-news, SHS programs and events.)
  2. Develop annual calendar for messaging; refine and implement outreach event plans and materials developed by current-year VISTA.
  3. Help coordinate a teacher advisory group to inform these activities and to support fundraising and stakeholder engagement (evaluation and assessment).

Free Store for Teachers Program and School Supply Drives

Objective: Increase the number of schools served through the Free Store for Teachers without decreasing the quantity and value of product distributed to each classroom/school.  Procure in-kind donations and build partnerships in support of the Free Store for Teachers.

  1. Collaborate with the supervisor, current VISTA, and Free Store staff and volunteers to assess supply needs (based on utilization data and stakeholder engagement,) identify potential supply sources, outreach to businesses and individuals, and coordinate logistics for receiving new product donations.
  2. Steward and expand new and existing supply donor relationships.
  3. Recruit and steward collection site hosts for the 2020 back-to-school supply drive and support and adjust overall supply drive process documentation as needed (March –August 2020)
  4. Collaborate with the Development Manager to establish and maintain a system to integrate product donors into SHS donor database and email marketing platform.
  5. Improve gift processing and recognition and awareness, and refine and implement plans developed by current-year VISTA.

Volunteer Program

Objective: Build volunteer engagement capacity.

  1. Develop and pilot off-site corporate volunteer opportunities.
  2. Coordinate and lead at least two volunteer groups per month, at the Free Store for Teachers or off-site, as we pilot adjusted volunteer schedules and opportunities in a new facility. 
  3. Refine volunteer program policies and procedures to better align with current best practices and trends, specifically improving the orientation and onboarding process.
  4. Assess the Volunteer Program’s diversity and inclusion status and practices, make recommendations, and be part of implementation.
  5. Represent Schoolhouse Supplies at community and partner volunteer fairs and tabling events.

Donor Stewardship and Fundraising

Objective: Increase Schoolhouse Supplies fundraising capacity in order to fulfill the mission and to support organization-wide strategic program goals to serve more low-income students.

  1. In collaboration with Development Manager, retain first-time and repeat donors by improving and maintaining processes for timely gift processing, tracking, and donor acknowledgement, recognition and awareness. Refine and implement plans developed by current-year VISTA to support two annual fundraising campaigns (back-to-school and year-end.)  Carefully document any process improvements that are made.
  2. Assemble trend data from the donor database to inform fundraising campaigns and new fundraising and recognition strategies.
  3. Coordinate small special event fundraisers with community partners.
  4. Support annual donor recognition event (Fall 2019).
  5. Along with all staff, support annual fundraising gala (Feb or Mar 2020).

Administrative Duties/Teamwork

  • General office duties related to position (greeting visitors, email correspondence, answering phones)
  • Actively participate in scheduled meetings
  • Provide positive customer service to all donors, teachers, volunteers and other guests of the organization
  • Attend all Campus Compact of Oregon AmeriCorps VISTA required trainings and events
  • Complete and submit all Campus Compact of Oregon AmeriCorps VISTA required progress reports, timesheets, and other paperwork
  • All other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

  • 18 years and older
  • Must have at least an Associate’s Degree or equivalent credits
  • Demonstrate a commitment to or willingness to explore issues of racial justice and equity
  • A U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident
  • Able to serve full-time for 365 days
  • Ability to pass a criminal history background check
  • Must be able to effectively communicate with donors, volunteers and coworkers in-person, via email, and on the phone
  • Must be technologically adept and excited to learn online databases and social media platforms 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Project management experience
  • Marketing and/or social media experience
  • Proficient in all Microsoft Office software
  • Valid driver’s license

AmeriCorps VISTA Member Benefits

  • A living allowance of $14,136 (for VISTAs serving in Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill counties)
  • An education award of $5,920 or cash stipend of $1,500 upon successful completion of service
  • Health benefits
  • Loan forbearance and interest accrual payment on qualified student loans
  • Child care (if eligible)
  • Training and professional development opportunities
  • Access to an extensive network of AmeriCorps Alums
  • Federal jobs non-competitive eligibility for one year after service

Site Specific Benefits

  • Monthly TriMet Pass or gas card or other negotiable transportation support
  • Professional development opportunities
  • 35-hour work week most weeks (several event weeks during the year require 40 hour work weeks.) Flexibility to work four approximately 9-hour days or five 7-hour days (or other mutually agreed upon schedule), and flexibility to adjust throughout year

Application Instructions

Please apply through Campus Compact of Oregon. Instructions and application survey here:


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