Breakthrough Central Texas: Director of Communications & Community Engagement


Breakthrough builds a path to and through college, beginning in middle school, for students from low-income communities who will become the first in their families to earn a college degree. Our program provides academic support and individualized advising to students who statistics say will not enroll in or graduate from college without significant support. Breakthrough makes a 12-year commitment to successfully guide each of its students and families through the long and complicated process of preparing for, enrolling in and completing college. We believe that every child can achieve that success and deserves the opportunity to benefit from the life-changing power of a postsecondary degree.

Breakthrough is on a mission to double the number of students we serve over the next five years and ultimately double the number of first-generation college graduates in Central Texas. Breakthrough is expanding rapidly to meet the growing needs of our community.


As Director of Communications & Community Engagement for Breakthrough Central Texas, you will develop and lead successful strategies in marketing, communications, public relations, community engagement and volunteer services. You are a creative, thoughtful and strategic leader, a proven high-performer, an enthusiastic collaborator and relationship builder, with strong supervisory experience, high emotional intelligence, and a commitment to social and racial equity.

Under the direction of the Chief Development Officer and as a member of the Development & Community Relations Team, you will be responsible for three main areas: Communications, Marketing and PR (45%), Volunteers (30%), Community Engagement (25%), and will supervise two employees: Communications Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. You should be comfortable working within the nonprofit fundraising space and see you role as largely supporting, directly and indirectly, Breakthrough’s fundraising goals.


Overarching Role

  • Provide leadership and vision to create a strategic plan for community relations including marketing, media relations, community engagement and volunteers. Develop and maintain goals and metrics; milestones and defined target audiences; track and regularly report to the CDO on progress and effectiveness.
  • Work as a collaborative and supportive team player on the D&CR team to support achievement of ambitious fundraising goals for the organization.
  • Liaise with the appropriate program and operations leadership to ensure the highest quality volunteer engagement and community relations efforts.

Communications, Marketing & PR

  • Lead Breakthrough’s communications strategy, supervising our Communications Manager who is responsible for website, graphic design, social media, newsletters and digital communications. Develop and refine strategies, channels and focused messages for key constituent groups, e.g. business leaders, donors, community leaders, etc.
  • Lead Breakthrough’s marketing strategy, including working with outside firms to lead all video and advertising production.
  • Lead Breakthrough’s public relations strategy, significantly increasing Breakthrough’s media coverage and brand awareness.

Volunteer Strategy, Recruitment & Retention

  • Develop and lead successful strategy to refine and grow Breakthrough’s volunteer program, supporting our Volunteer Coordinator who is responsible for recruitment, screening, interviewing, placement, retention and communication for 400+ volunteers.
  • Develop and refine systems for increased quality, efficiency and data collection.
  • Develop a strategy for engaging more volunteers from diverse communities who understand our students’ unique strengths and challenges.

Community Engagement

  • Create and lead a robust new community engagement strategy for Breakthrough.
  • Build fruitful relationships and partnerships with diverse communities , i.e. East Austin, business, faith-based and donor communities.
  • Create and execute a robust speaker’s bureau.
  • Position Breakthrough as a trusted voice in the field of education and college completion.


  • Strong commitment to the mission and values of the organization
  • Bachelors’ degree or higher in a communications-related field from an accredited four-year university
  • Bilingual English/Spanish preferred
  • Proven success in developing and executing strategic initiatives for communications, community engagement and volunteers
  • Excellent verbal, written and visual communication skills
  • Strong public speaker
  • Ability to supervise and evaluate the work of others
  • Highly relational with strong ability to motivate and build relationships with program and development staff, volunteers, community groups and leaders
  • Highly organized with the ability to multi-task and deliver commitments in a timely manner
  • Disciplined, strong work ethic and comfort with working non-standard hours (weekends and evenings)
  • Strong computer proficiency with expertise in MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel; proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite and WordPress strongly preferred
  • Attention to detail and strong analytical, editing, and proofreading skills
  • 5+ years of communications/community engagement/volunteer management experience with increasing responsibility


  • Breakthrough is a fast-paced, needs-responsive environment. While office hours can be flexible, full-time employees typically work more than 40 hours per week on a regular basis.
  • Some evening and weekend work is required.


  • Competitive annual salary, depending on qualifications and experience
  • Health, dental and vision insurance, Breakthrough pays 100% of employee premiums
  • Generous paid leave policy
  • Optional 401K retirement plan available with 3% employer match

TO APPLY: Please submit resume, a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for the position, salary requirements, and a list of three references via e-mail to

Breakthrough Central Texas is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its relations with its applicants, staff members, and families, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. People of diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.


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