Director of Community Engagement

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Position Overview

Beginning its 19th year of operation, The Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA) seeks a Director of Community Engagement (DCE) to build a culture of philanthropy that will support its next phase of growth and pursuit of excellence.  HAPA thriving community needs a vibrant Culture of Philanthropy and effective fundraising to fulfill the organization’s mission.  As the new Director of Community Engagement, you will have a key role in creating and developing the operational functions of the new Community Engagement Office.  The Director will be responsible for developing a strategic plan for managing relationships with potential donors and influencers, and managing HAPA’s communications in the philanthropic community that will ensure HAPA continues to fulfill its mission and provide measurable objectives for success.

The ideal candidate will be a mature, resourceful leader who can build relationships with potential funders and community partners; inspire, develop, organize and oversee various fundraising events, marketing communications, and providing strategic leadership for fundraising strategy for HAPA.  The DCE ensures that staff have the resources they need to effectively serve scholars; thus, fundraising is a critical component of the role.

HAPA is a K-12 Public Charter School located on the northwest side of Milwaukee, WI authorized to serve scholars from preschool through 12th grade.  A high-performing and award-winning organization known for academic achievement, HAPA currently serves over 1,800 scholars, with a vision to grow to serve over 2,100.

 Reporting Structure

This position reports directly to the Founder/Chief Executive Officer.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Innovative, Strategic, Visionary, Adaptive and Transformational Leadership:

Collaborate and advise the Chief Executive Officer to determine and develop a strategic fundraising plan for execution coupled with alignment of resources to strategy and goals; effectively communicate and establish processes, procedures, and best practices for the new Community Engagement office.  Raise HAPA’s profile through marketing and one-on-one networking with key stakeholders, media outlets, and the general public.  Work with CEO and Boards to plan annual friend-raising events.

  1. Accountability, Results-Driven:

Create a framework for the high-priority relationship-building tasks necessary to develop the Culture of Philanthropy.  Establish HAPA’s development calendar and annual communications plans (including fundraising communications) that maximize the external relations of HAPA’s CEO.  Oversee the development and organize potential donor and influencer information in a new CRM software. Write reports and proposals for 5-6 figure grants.

  1. Management and Development:

Develop and implement an annual fundraising plan that includes independent foundations, corporations and individuals.  Act as the administrative point of contact between the CEO and community leaders.  Work with HAPA to communicate its many points of distinction in letters, emails, social media and grant proposals highlighting HAPA as an important asset throughout the greater Milwaukee community.  Maintain CEO’s cultural of philanthropy’s schedule by planning and scheduling meetings, conferences, teleconference, and follow-up activities.  Manage the office tasks of receiving calls, taking messages, and routing correspondence from supporters and community leaders, managing requests and queries promptly and appropriately. Review fundraising initiatives, maintain high priority relationships, and expand donor base.  Manage an active CRM database of major donors and influencers and develop strategies that will engage them productively with HAPA’s school community.

  1. Other duties as assigned by the CEO.


  • A passion for and the belief that all students deserve the opportunity for a great education.
  • Proven track record of initiating, cultivating, and managing relationships with key constituencies.
  • Knowledge of Wisconsin’s corporations, foundations, community-based organizations, and institutions of higher education.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to build, cultivate, and leverage personal and professional networks and relationships, develop and deliver successful presentations, and collaborate and negotiate effectively.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A minimum of five (5) years of leadership experience in nonprofit organizations; particularly working with CEOs and Boards of Directors as they carry out their philanthropic commitments.
  • Experienced in strategic planning, office management, and relevant technology.
  • Strong organization skills, and the ability to work productively with the leadership team of the CEO.
  • Demonstrate a record of successful fund development.
  • Exceptional communications skills
  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree in a pertinent field preferred.
  • Exhibit the aspirations, attitudes, and behaviors of understanding of and commitment to the HAPA’s mission, vision, and goals.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, the candidate must demonstrate and possess the highest integrity and champion the values, beliefs, and culture of HAPA.
  • Enthusiastic and positive.

Job Parameters:  (Full-time)

  • This is a year-round position.
  • 12 PTOs (Paid Time Off) and 8 Paid Holidays.
  • Full life, health, dental and vision benefits.
  • Eligible to participate in voluntary Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability plans.
  • Eligible to participate in 403b retirement plan (within the qualification guidelines).

Non-Discriminatory Policy

HAPA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, national and ethnic origin or any other basis prohibited by law when hiring, promoting, establishing wages, or providing benefits.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and 3 signed letters of recommendation to Mai Shoua Xiong, Chief of Staff (

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