Community Engagement Associate

Job Locations US-CT-New Haven
Posted Date 1 year ago(7/6/2023 10:35 AM)
Job ID
# of Openings
Fiscal Sponsorship Organizations
Location : Name
School and State Finance Project


The School and State Finance Project ( is a nonpartisan nonprofit policy organization that works collaboratively with policymakers, communities, and other key stakeholders to develop data-driven solutions that ensure all public school students receive equitable education funding that supports their learning needs. We are an independent and trustworthy source of high-quality research and accessible analysis, and serve as a bridge between those who demand equity for all students and the elected leaders who are charged with making policy.


Our Mission: To eliminate racial and economic disparities in Connecticut education funding.


Our Vision: All Connecticut students have equitable funding, access, and opportunities — no matter their race, socio-economic status, learning needs, or zip code.


Since our founding in 2015, we have secured additional need-based funding for over 400,000 Connecticut students, directly engaged nearly 15,000 community members, and led the effort to implement a comprehensive, student-centered funding formula.


Our work includes conducting front-line community engagement work with families, students, and schools; building public knowledge about how Connecticut funds K-12 education; and increasing transparency around education funding and district spending by providing greater public access to timely, accurate, and easy-to-understand data and information.


The School and State Finance Project is a fiscally sponsored organization of TSNE (



Community Engagement Team Overview

The Community Engagement Team for the School and State Finance Project is active in approximately 60 communities across Connecticut. We simultaneously build knowledge and equip people to add their voice in the civic process. We work across both grassroots and grasstops, and are rooted in longitudinal relationship building. We strive to approach our work through a trauma-informed lens, ensuring that we meet people where they are, and respect the challenges and struggles they face every day.




Reporting to the Director of Community Engagement, the Community Engagement Associate will help develop and execute the organization’s community engagement strategies, build and maintain relationships with external stakeholders, establish partnerships with communities and aligned organizations, and work with the Project’s External Relations team to ensure strong connectivity across communities.


The ideal Community Engagement Associate will be a highly-skilled communicator, in both communicating out to target audiences through verbal and written forms, and listening to the needs of community members. The candidate will demonstrate a knack for communicating complex information and engaging people around challenging — and at times politically sensitive — topics. The candidate must be passionate about improving how public schools in Connecticut are funded.


This is a great opportunity for an individual who is experienced in social work, public affairs, journalism, public policy, education, or other communications and academic fields to work more directly on policy issues and help drive productive conversations about some of the biggest economic and social challenges facing Connecticut.


Essential Functions

  • Collaborating with the Director of Community Engagement to develop and execute the organization’s community engagement strategy by continually assessing ladders of engagement, maintain the Community Engagement team’s CRM, and update the department’s strategic plan;
  • Presenting independently to individuals, small groups, and large groups (any of the workshops offered by the organization);
  • Representing and articulating the organization’s mission, positions, goals, and values to community members, policymakers, partner organizations, and other stakeholders;
  • Establishing collaborative partnerships with communities and organizations and developing positive, longitudinal relationships to achieve the Project’s mission.
  • Working with the Director of Community Engagement to identify opportunities and needs in communities in order to produce and update community-specific materials about school funding (such as workshops, collateral materials, online needs, etc.);
  • Developing new, creative ways to communicate information to audiences with varying degrees of knowledge, experience, and viewpoints, to include, but not limited to, the development of new workshops, the identification of other information opportunities, and the differentiation of information by communication method;
  • Interacting independently with community members via email, phone, social media, or in person formats that may include individual (one-on-one), small group, and large group connections;
  • Attending presentations or events where an organization team member or partner organization is speaking;
  • Supporting the Communications Manager in developing and executing the organization’s social media strategy;
  • Developing detailed communication plans and implement new strategies and methods, as needed, for communicating to various stakeholder groups;
  • Presenting the perspective of community in internal meetings, articulating how proposed changes or ideas may impact community and building a sense of understanding with other team members;
  • Other duties and special projects, as assigned.


Special Requirements

  • Valid driver’s license and access to car;
  • Ability and willingness to travel throughout Connecticut;
  • Occasional evening and weekend work will be required.


We will consider exceptional candidates who demonstrate a strong combination of the specific qualifications and skills described below.

  • 2-4 years of experience working as a community engagement or education professional, or social worker, at the macro level, with Connecticut or New England experience preferred;
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships, network to build audiences, and exercise independent judgment and discretion;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Superb organizational skills with demonstrated ability to “multi-task” and produce high-quality work in a timely manner;
  • Strong ability to work with others to create and implement plans;
  • Proficiency in Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Microsoft Office, specifically Word and PowerPoint;
  • Social media skills with a proficient knowledge of Facebook;
  • Comfort and experience translating data into meaningful information and takeaways for various audiences;
  • Familiarity with Connecticut education issues preferred;
  • Bilingual (Spanish) preferred but not required.

Don't meet all the qualifications? That’s ok! Studies have shown individuals — in particular those who are women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, or have a disability — are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single condition. Our organization is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive culture of belonging, so if you're excited about this role but your experiences don't match every qualification exactly, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or another role in our organization!



Physical Demands/Work Environment


The physical demands described here are representative of those for this position. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. Work is performed in an office environment and in close proximity to other workers.


While performing the duties of this position, the employee is required to:

  • Handle, or feel objects, tools or controls;
  • Reach; traverse; sit (usually for longer periods of time); occasionally ascend/descend; and position self (to) move;
  • Occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds;
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate;
  • Job is not subject to significant occupational or environmental hazards;
  • Likelihood of personal injury would be relatively slight;
  • Environmental and work hazards are not present to a measurable degree.

To apply, please submit your resume by the closing date of July 28, 2023. Additionally, in lieu of a cover letter, all applicants will be required to submit written responses (no more than 500 words each) to the following two questions:


  • Our organization is focused on longitudinal relationship building. Please articulate why you believe longitudinal relationship building is important, and the challenges that may be encountered in approaching community engagement in this way.
  • Write an email as if you are requesting a one-on-one meeting with an individual regarding something you are deeply passionate about and would like to connect with them to share.


Application Closing Date: Friday, July 28, 2023

Position Start Date: Monday, September 25, 2023


Compensation and Benefits


Location: Hybrid: remote or organization office at 2321 Whitney Avenue, Suite 104, Hamden, CT 06518. Presence at community events around the state and work at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, CT may also be required for legislative/stakeholder meetings.

Position Schedule: Regular Full-time, 37.5 hours per week

Compensation: The starting salary for this position is $57,000-$62,000/yr., commensurate with experience.

Benefits: This position is eligible for a full benefits package including:

  • Generous Paid-Time-Off (PTO): twelve paid holidays, three weeks of vacation, one week of personal holiday, and ability to accrue up to 487.5 hours of health leave time for benefited staff;
  • 80% Employer-paid, offering some $0 deductible Health Insurance through Harvard Pilgrim along with several low-deductible plans;
  • Low-cost MetLife Dental and Vision;
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for Health and Dependent Care;
  • Employer-paid Life, Long- and Short-Term Disability Insurance;
  • Employer-paid Pension through TIAA;
  • ...and more!

Organization Commitment to Equity

The School and State Finance Project was founded with the mission to mitigate inequity in education funding and provide opportunities to Connecticut’s public school students no matter their race, ethnicity, community, or background.


We recognize that within this work, systemic racism plays a powerful and harmful role in the creation of inequitably funded school systems and the outcomes of students. We also recognize this same systemic discrimination is deeply intertwined in our state’s economic policies.


We are committed to explicitly addressing how systemic racism and racial injustice intersect with our work. We will consciously use the independence and self-acknowledged privilege of our organization to call for equity and fairness in all facets related to our mission, and will actively listen to — and collaborate with — the historically underserved and disenfranchised communities we are working to strengthen.


We continually work to ensure this commitment is reflected in the diversity of our staff, the data we analyze, the policies we develop, and the conversations we have with policymakers, stakeholders, and community members across Connecticut.


We know as an organization, and as individuals, we will always have learning to do, room to grow, and ways we can be better allies. We hope you join us in this commitment to build a more equitable state for Connecticut’s students, families, and communities.



TSNE/SSFP strives to achieve excellence through a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment that embraces all of our individual and collective differences. Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Middle Eastern and North African, Bilingual and/or Bicultural candidates, and LGBTQ2SIA+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We value and honor the unique talents, learning styles, and lived experiences of each individual that enrich and strengthen our workplace culture, and we are proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.


All employment conditions are based on an individual’s performance and job qualifications. TSNE/SSFP prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, creed, color, religion, native language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, race-based hairstyles, or any other protected characteristic stated by federal and state law. Regardless of any class’ protection under the law or lack thereof, TSNE/SSFP celebrates diversity and values the strengths that come with having a diverse team of employees. It is represented in our workplace culture, and it is who we are.


TSNE/SSFP's EEO statement extends to volunteers, interns, contractors, vendors, and clients.


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