DonorsChoose engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable, and personal way to address educational inequity. In this clip, board member Stephen Colbert tells our story.
To date, teachers at 87% of all the public schools in America have posted classroom project requests on our site. Projects range from paper and markers for a poetry writing unit to violins for a school recital. More than 4 million “citizen philanthropists” have supported such projects, channeling books, field trips, technology, and other resources to more than 40 million students nationwide. In all, we’ve generated $970 million for learning experiences designed by our country’s most dedicated public school teachers.
GOOD Magazine highlighted us as one of 30 Places We Want to Work, while Fast Company named DonorsChoose. one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World—the first time a charity has made this list. Through our dedicated team and culture, DonorsChoose earned recognition as the #1 “Best Nonprofit to Work For” by the Nonprofit Times.
About the Customer Support team:
As a branch of the Operations team at DonorsChoose, Customer Support is responsible for all one-to-one touchpoints — reactive and proactive — and self-service tools that help teachers, donors, administrators, or any member of the general public successfully use our website.
As a small and mighty team consisting of primarily remote team members, autonomy and ownership are of the highest value. The quality of our support is a shared responsibility across the team and we all bring ideas to the table to improve our work. We appreciate and take advantage of the time we have to get in sync, but we also deeply value and prioritize our ability to focus on solving customer inquiries.
Finally, we are passionate about serving our customer base — we get to help people bring classroom projects to life and enrich learning experiences! — and believe in support that is kind, personalized, and simple. We go the extra mile when we need to, give people the benefit of the doubt, and take pride in providing engaged and complete support. We get that providing exceptional support to teachers and donors adds value to the DonorsChoose mission. We are pretty darn awesome!
About the role:
As the Customer Support Manager at DonorsChoose you’ll help to manage a team of remote Customer Support Specialists. Core responsibilities include:
- Direct people management. Managing a team that varies between 4-18 remote team members, you will help them onboard; gain confidence in our tools, systems, and customer lifecycles; and help them gain consistency in their output and quality of work. You will work to establish performance goals and conduct recurring check-ins to ensure progress against goals. You will also work with the team in facilitating conversations about equity within our team and in our customer-facing work through our equity focus.
- Performance management. You’ll drive success against our customer-facing service level agreements, in part by ensuring that all team members (this includes folks you won’t directly manage) know what to work on daily. You’ll review the work of all team members, providing substantive feedback that helps Specialists improve performance and quality. This aspect of your work requires a high comfort level with data analysis and use of our business intelligence tool (Looker) to analyze quantitative performance indicators. You’ll also have comfort interpreting other inputs to reveal the qualitative stories that round out individual performance. We use data to inform quality, not to chase metrics.
- Scheduling and logistics. You ensure we’re appropriately covering our business hour requirements, which includes: reviewing vacation requests; and ensuring all team members adhere to schedules, are on time, are communicative, and appropriately manage ticket assignments.
- Process improvement. You’ll be on the lookout for ways to optimize workflows that will allow Customer Support Specialists to improve the quality and speed at which they’re able to work. This may include drafting enhancements to our administrative tools or suggesting optimizations to our ticket management strategies.
- Direct customer contact. You’re responsible for direct customer contact and will manage escalated or particularly complex tickets, manage mail merges for outages or persistent bug communications, and — to stay closely connected to work — you should expect to spend ~20% of your week responding to standard customer inquiries.
- Daily team and org-wide support. You’ll answer team and org-wide support questions throughout the day — making sure key support stakeholders across the org are able to connect with the information (or people) they need in a timely manner. And making sure our team members feel empowered to answer tickets without needing to escalate.
- Project management. You’ll formulate ideas to lead other types of projects or be assigned projects/tasks by leadership — and present ideas or findings to teammates, managers, or others across the organization.
As a successful Customer Support Manager, you are:
- Professional. You are a leader on the team that is the face of DonorsChoose to many of its customers. As such, you hold yourself to a high standard. You are task-driven, attentive, collaborative, and accountable. You take pride in setting a great example.
- An impeccable communicator. It is your job to be clear and concise, to gain agreement on issues, to match tone, and to be understood by customers and team members who have varied experiences and diverse backgrounds. You are a great writer but are not afraid to pick up the phone or jump on a Hangout when written words aren’t connecting.
- Thoughtful. You take pride in your work and care about outcomes. You think “What if I were in this position? What would I want to hear right now?” You foster positive experiences even when it means saying no or sharing difficult information.
- Process minded. You know that a small tweak here can create a huge time savings three steps down the line, and you seek to find ways to optimize work without sacrificing quality.
- A leader. You’ve been doing Customer Support, Technical Support, Implementation Management, or similar work for 5+ years and have directly managed employees for at least one year. You also may have led projects, been a trainer, or coached individuals to improve their performance and quality of output.
- Tech comfy. You’ll use Zendesk (a ticket management platform), the DonorsChoose administrative site, and other third-party applications (Slack, GSuite, Trello and more) in your daily work. You are supporting the use of a two-sided marketplace and want to learn the ins and outs of how it all works.
- A learner. You recognize that you are always in a position to learn and that you can learn from anyone at any time, including customers, peers, and your direct-reports. This makes you flexible to change and open to feedback on your work.
- Decisive. You’ll make judgment calls and decisions based on your knowledge of our policies and processes. You have a bias toward action. You recognize you might make mistakes or occasionally say the wrong thing to a team member or a customer, but are confident in your ability to own mistakes and learn from them.
- Resourceful. Not every question has an easy answer, but you’re totally into figuring things out. You’ve maybe used Nancy Drew as a verb (i.e., “I’m gonna Nancy Drew this.”) and successfully discovered the answer to something tricky. (And you’ll be able to tell us about this in an interview!)
- Generous. Once you figure something out, you’re excited to share the new information. You want to lend your ideas to the team and make everyone around you stronger.
You might also be: (not required, but let us know if this is you!)
- Interested in crowdfunding platforms, two-sided marketplaces, not-for-profits, or K-12 Education.
- Interested in managing and improving the performance of a geographically distributed team. While previous management experience is not required, you should be prepared to speak to your leadership experience whether formal or informal. And be committed to and eager to learn how to be effective at managing a remote team.
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation for this role is competitive with equivalent roles at other nonprofits of our size. In addition, we offer full-time staff 25 paid vacation days per year and 11 paid holidays, a rich employer-paid individual and family health plan, a matching 401(k) plan (up to 5% of base salary), annual professional development stipend, and casual and flexible work environment. To learn more about what it is like to work for DonorsChoose, visit our careers page.
Hybrid Workplace and Other Details
In this role, you’ll have the option to work a flexible hybrid schedule in our NYC office, or to work fully remotely from CA, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OR, PA, TX, or WI.
DonorsChoose is a fully vaccinated workplace and all new employees, regardless of their work location, will be asked to share proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 within two weeks of their hire date or request an exemption from this policy due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief or practice.
Please submit your resume online and answer the application questions. A cover letter is optional and may be addressed to Tien Le, Director of Customer Support.
A Final Note
The DonorsChoose team works toward a nation where students in every community have the resources needed for an excellent education. To do this we hire and support a diverse team of the best and the brightest talent available.
We are an organization increasingly representative of the varied races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs, and abilities that comprise our nation. DonorsChoose focuses on attracting, retaining, and advancing diverse talent because it makes us more effective, high-performing, creative, and resilient.
If you are passionate about our mission, highly skilled in your field, and looking for a place where you can bring all of yourself to work, we want you.