In 2002, acclaimed author Dave Eggers and award-winning educator Nínive Calegari founded 826 Valencia with a modest plan to support local students with one-on-one writing, tutoring, and homework help. Since then, the organization has grown its impact exponentially: 826 is now a thriving network of independently operated centers across seven cities (all separate 501(c)3s); each chapter offers a variety of inventive programs to provide under-resourced students, ages 6-18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills, while helping teachers to get their classes excited about writing.
In 2008, 826 National emerged as a nonprofit organization created to provide strategic leadership, administrative support, and other resources to ensure the success of 826’s network of writing and tutoring centers. 826 National supports the network by: sharing and leading research and evaluation; fostering collaboration and best practice sharing; lending infrastructure support, administrative assistance, and training; providing financial support; working to expand reach into new communities; and creating new resources to support teachers and out-of-school-time educators.
At 826, we strive to elevate the voices of students, especially those who are systemically disenfranchised. Each 826 chapter provides welcoming, creative spaces for students to build their writing skills and confidence and become engaged members of their communities. Of the students who attended our after-school tutoring program in 2015-16, 62% identify as Hispanic/Latinx, 17% African-American, 7% Asian, 5% White, and 4% are Multiracial. In addition, 38% of after-school tutoring students identify a language other than English as their first language. Our chapters also prioritize school partners where 51% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunches. Most partner schools far exceed this requirement.
In 2016, these seven chapters served more than 32,000 students with five core offerings: after-school tutoring, field trips, workshops, Young Authors’ Book Project, and in-school programs—all free of charge and fueled by a corps of nearly 5,000 volunteers.
The network’s unique focus on supporting students’ writing through creative lessons and attention from caring volunteers creates staggering demand for 826’s services. All seven of our existing chapters are outgrowing their original locations, and many have lengthy waitlists for programs. To help meet this need, 826 National is launching a new digital platform for educators in Fall 2017 to bring our signature approach to teaching writing to urban and rural communities everywhere. In addition, there are 25 826-inspired domestic organizations and 18 international organizations in cities such as London, Sydney, and Milan.
The next CEO will have an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with national staff and existing and emerging chapters to more than double 826’s reach and impact. In strong partnership with an outstanding, committed staff, the CEO will ensure that 826 National is providing support and guidance to the chapters, and uphold the accountability of the National office and network to its diverse stakeholders.
Leadership & external presence
The CEO will serve as an inspirational, focused leader within the 826 network and across the broader education sector, and to that end, the CEO will:
Fundraising and Financial Duties
The CEO will be responsible for leading a financially stable, well-resourced organization. In that context, this person will:
Organizational Development and Strategic Planning
The CEO will be responsible for articulating the organization’s direction and guiding the team. In that context, they will:
Management and Administration
The CEO will run an exemplary operation at the National office and model leadership across the network. To do this, they will:
In strong partnership with the 826 National Board, the CEO will:
Above all, the CEO must be a seasoned, focused leader with the gravitas, focus, and levity to lead 826 to its next chapter of growth, expansion, and impact. They must come to this work with a sincere belief that 826’s chapters improve students’ lives by equipping them with opportunities to raise their voices as writers, to build their confidence and become engaged members of their communities. There are unique challenges to running a national, geographically-distributed organization with independent, local chapters, and the ideal CEO will be a deft interpreter and navigator of this complex landscape. Therefore, the ideal CEO candidate should have the following experience:
The successful candidate will also possess the following skills:
Finally, candidates will possess these characteristics:
The CEO reports to the National Board. The Board delegates responsibility for management and day-to-day operations to the CEO, in accordance with the direction and policies established by the Board. The CEO also supports the Board as it carries out its governance functions. Direct reports to the CEO are: Director of Development, Director of Field Operations, Director of Research & Evaluation, Operations Assistant.
Location & Travel
This role is in San Francisco, CA, and may include up to 60% travel.
Compensation and Benefits
826 National offers the incoming CEO a competitive salary, commensurate with experience. 826 National offers a comprehensive benefits package including: medical, dental, vision care, and retirement, paid holidays, and generous annual vacation 20 days for the first two years of employment, with increases thereafter.
826 National is an equal opportunity employer that seeks to hire those representative of the diverse communities we serve. 826 National hires without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.
The executive search team at Bellwether Education Partners is leading the search. Inquiries and applications, comprising a resume and letter of interest, should be sent to: Rebecca Cagle, Associate Partner, and Crystal Combs, Senior Consultant, at 826CEO@bellwethereducation.org.
Bellwether Education Partners is a nonprofit dedicated to helping education organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors become more effective in their work and achieve dramatic results, especially for high-need students. Our Talent Services practice identifies, places, and supports education leaders through comprehensive executive searches, customized search advisory services, and individual coaching. We also partner with clients to build talent-ready organizations where diverse teams can work, develop, and thrive.