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Strategy Manager: Policy and Network Evaluation

Ignite Afterschool


Organization Summary:

This position will be an employee of Ignite Afterschool.  Ignite Afterschool is Minnesota’s statewide afterschool network.  As a network, Ignite partners with many afterschool networks and organizations across the state.  50% of this position will be contracted by Ignite Afterschool’s partner, Sprockets - Saint Paul’s Out-of-School-Time network.    

Ignite Afterschool’s vision is that every youth in every community will benefit from the power of afterschool. As Minnesota’s representative in the 50 State Afterschool Network, Ignite brings afterschool stakeholders together to address race, income and geography-based access gaps to afterschool through policy, issue education, partnership building, and continuous program improvement. 
Sprockets is Saint Paul’s out-of-school time network which includes the City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Public Schools and over 45 community organizations. Sprockets’ vision is that all Saint Paul's youth will develop their abilities as learners, contributors, and navigators so they can recognize and achieve their greatest potential. Sprockets key strategies are designed to improve the quality, availability and effectiveness of out-of-school time learning for all youth in Saint Paul.  
This position has guaranteed funding for one year with plans to continue the position dependent on meeting fundraising goals.


Location: Twin Cities Metro Activity Area: Human Services and/or Youth Development
Category: Public Policy Closing Date: Mar 10, 2019
Job Type: Full Time Salary: $21.63/hr - $26.44/hr
Hours: 40hrs/week 

Primary Duties:

Increase Ignite Afterschool’s and Sprockets’ organizational and network capacity for data collection, analysis and use.

  • Lead the design and maintenance of a constituent relationship management data system (CRM) that supports the following key functions: (a) management of stakeholder and partner relationships, (b) coordination of continuous program improvement activities to expand afterschool program quality, and (c) facilitation of policy tracking, advocacy, and issue education activities.
  • Ensure strong data governance through creating and maintaining data dictionaries, establishing data collection procedures and protocols, and training staff on established procedures and protocols. 
  • Work with a variety of stakeholders to determine organizational analytic needs and develop and document regular analysis plans.
  • Build or customize reports and other tools for extracting and analyzing data.
  • Support Ignite and Sprockets staff and stakeholders in data analysis, visualization, and utilization.   
Coordinate Ignite Afterschool’s public policy activities. 
  • Participate in setting Ignite Afterschool’s policy agenda and update the agenda annually. 
  • Track, monitor, research, and analyze federal, state, and/or local policies or potential policies that impact young people’s access to high quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities.  
  • Produce written products, including policy and research briefs, research memos, white papers, fact sheets, blogs and/or presentations that educate network partners, elected officials, community leaders and other stakeholders about existing policies or about potential policies that impact access to afterschool.
  • Draft testimony and talking points on public policy issues and support network partners and stakeholders in use of these documents.
  • Contribute to event planning and other network engagement activities related to policy and advocacy.
  • Inform and participate in government relations strategies and tactics.
Promote sustainability and positively represent both the Ignite and Sprockets network.
  • Work within approved project budgets and submit invoices and track expenses.
  • Contribute to grant prospecting, writing, and grant reporting as relates to job functions.
  • Prepare presentations and lead workshops and trainings at industry and regional conferences 
  • Oversee and manage the work of relevant national service volunteers (i.e. VISTA, Promise Fellow), interns, and contractors contributing to work under the positions’ purview


Education and Experience:

  • Required bachelor’s degree with a degree in political science, public policy, youth studies, education, social work, program evaluation, or other relevant area of study preferred.
  • Required Master’s Degree in public and nonprofit management, public policy, youth development, education, social work or related field OR a minimum of 3 years’ experience in either public policy, afterschool/summer program management, evaluation, or comparable experience.
  • Required experience with evaluation of social programs and/or data collection for evaluation.
  • Required experience engaging in advocacy and public policy activities.
  • Required ability to travel to meetings throughout the Twin Cities and, occasionally, around the state. Some national travel. 
  • Preferred experience with afterschool and youth development effective practices, program quality, and access issues.
  • Preferred experience working with a CRM.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Curious with a desire and openness to learn new things and engage in continuous improvement. 
  • Strong analytical skills with an ability to use data to improve and ask good evaluative questions.
  • Superb ability to communicate ideas effectively in written and oral communication.  Ability to make data accessible and understandable to others.  
  • Thrives in an environment with multiple perspectives; ability to build productive relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders and partners.  Enjoys working with others and motivating them to act. 
  • Comfort with complexity; flexible and adaptive. Ability and willingness to work with two different networks and staff teams
  • Comfort with and an aptitude for technology and database management 
  • Ability to think at a network/systems level
  • Comfort with public speaking and presenting


Additional Info:


According to the America After 3pm survey, over 219,000 young people in Minnesota are left unsupervised afterschool.  Older young people’s responses to the Minnesota Student Survey demonstrate that only 51% of lower-income youth regularly participate in afterschool while 69% of their higher income peers do.  The Strategy Manager for Policy & Network Evaluation will support both the Ignite and Sprockets network to use data, evaluation, and research to understand afterschool participation and access gaps, potential policy opportunities and solutions, and the impact of each afterschool networks efforts to support program quality while addressing access gaps.  In the positions first year, the Strategy Manager will coordinate development of a shared Constituent Relationship Management system or CRM.  In subsequent years, the Strategy Manager will use data from the system to help Ignite and Sprockets staff and partners better achieve their respective network goals by acting in more targeted and strategic ways.  For Sprockets, the position will coordinate city-level data collection, analysis, and interpretation activities to understand how and which afterschool and summer programs are currently engaged in program evaluation, professional development, and continuous improvement.  For Ignite Afterschool, the Strategy Manager will provide policy research and analysis to identify state and federal policy opportunities that increase access to and close funding gaps for high quality afterschool programs.  This position may also support direct and grassroots lobbying activities allowable for nonprofits.  As networks, building healthy partnerships is critical to accomplishing our mission.  The Strategy Manager must be skilled at working with others, building positive relationships, and engaging our partners and other staff in policy work and reflection on data.

Ignite offers a generous benefits package. 


How To Apply:

Submit resume and cover letter via email to with subject line “Application: Policy & Network Evaluation” or mail to Kari Denissen Cunnien at 970 Raymond Ave Suite 204, Saint Paul, MN 55114.  All applications must be received by 11:59pm on Sunday March 10th, 2019.  


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