Director of Strategic Partnerships


Pittsburgh, PA, USA


US$60k (annually)

Outreach/Community Relations

Full time

Mar 2

Position: Director of Strategic Partnerships

Description: We are seeking an energized and entrepreneurial leader to nurture and grow effective community partnerships that benefit Landforce participants and our strategic goals. This position will contribute toward strategy development and implementation of our existing work and planned expansion. We are a close and collaborative team, and the incumbent will join senior leadership to identify strategic partnerships, cultivate relationships, maintain momentum in partner conversations, and create opportunities for connection and growth. This will include building funding opportunities to support strategic collaborations and growth.

Landforce Background: Landforce is an employment social enterprise nonprofit that combines workforce readiness and environmental stewardship for people who have typically been excluded from family sustaining jobs (returning citizens, people with substance use disorders, mental health diagnoses, and people living in generational poverty). Landforce trains people in soft and hard skills, employs them in our environmental stewardship business (tree planting & care, habitat restoration, trail construction, green infrastructure maintenance, etc.), provides ongoing one-on-one career coaching, and supports their transition to jobs outside of Landforce. Over the last seven years we have hired 125 people and contributed 57,000 hours of environmental stewardship to our region. Our crew members have participated in 18,000 hours of training and 2,100 hours of case management. In a typical year, 80% of crew members complete their training with us, 72% of those who successfully enter the work phase complete their tenure with us, and 84% of our finishers go on to other employment within 2 weeks of completing our season. In 2022, 100% of our finishers showed an increase in job readiness during their tenure with us (maximum increase = 25%, average = 15%). In our most recent data (2020), 100% of respondents are still working 12 months after leaving Landforce. The average wage for our most recent cohort is $19.13/hour.

Landforce is currently working through its 2022 to 2025 Strategic Plan , including an expansion of our business model. This position will support that expansion.

Landforce culture: Landforce believes in a just and equitable world where our environment and all people are respected and nurtured. We understand that this begins with intentionally establishing an organizational culture that respects people in our fullest diversity. We believe that everyone brings pre-existing skills and experience to the table, that we all can learn from each other, and that if we fully embody these beliefs, we can lead the way to create a brighter tomorrow for people and planet.  


  • In collaboration with our leadership team, initiate, drive, and participate in effective & results-oriented partnership conversations with program partners (employers, stewardship clients, other nonprofits, elected and municipal officials, supporters) moving towards Landforce’s strategic expansion. 
  • Supervise the development of communications strategies that integrate advocacy, development, legal initiatives, marketing and program messaging to increase Landforce’s visibility to new, diverse, and existing external audiences and stakeholders; grow Landforce’s effectiveness and influence; and enhance understanding of and financial support for the organization’s work. 
  • Help craft media messaging.
  • Take the lead on building and maintaining relationships with elected officials and municipalities to ensure Landforce can take strategic advantage of growth opportunities and effectively advocate, alongside partners, for our organization and relevant policy matters.
  • Advise and support the Executive Director in the development and partnership building processes with local and national foundations, major gifts, and individual supporters, including drafting of proposals and reports, and fundraising campaigns.
  • Monitor marketing trends and policy content relevant to Landforce’s mission, and help translate information into compelling, actionable, effective, and best-practice strategies.
  • Provide input to the organizational budget.
  • Work with the Executive Director to interview, select, and train any employee that reports to the Director of Strategic Partnerships. 
  • Occasionally work alongside other staff in land stewardship or workforce development activities in order to foster and strengthen relationships with Crew Members and other Landforce staff. 
  • Provide all required documentation in a timely manner, which may include: monthly Key Performance Indicator reports, advocacy reports, and others that may be determined.
  • Participate in weekly Team Meetings along with Crew Members and staff, in Senior Leadership Meetings with other Directors, in Communications Meetings with Communications Manager, and in Board Meetings when needed.
  • Adhere to organization policy, procedures and the professional code of ethics.  
  • Perform other assigned related duties as required for the success of the organization.  


The ideal candidate is an organized, self-motivated, adaptable leader with strong interpersonal skills, possessing experience with and an understanding of effective partnerships, fundraising/development, political dynamics and the media. The candidate must have a track record of bringing initiatives and projects to fruition and completion. They should also operate with a strong justice, diversity, and environmental lens.


7-10+ years of operational experience in a complex organization required; background in organizing, public policy, fundraising/development, communications, consensus building, supporting elected officials, political campaigning preferred. While we envision someone who has completed a Masters Degree in public policy or a related field, we also acknowledge that lived experience can often substitute for formal education. Demonstrated experience and results are most important. 

Experience :

  • Superior problem-solving, organizational planning, and written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience with strengths-based communications.
  • Exceptional management, leadership, presentation, research, and written and oral communication skills.
  • Strategic and analytical thinker.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, ability to troubleshoot, prioritize, multitask, manage several projects at once and be collegial under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
  • History of bringing projects and initiatives to completion in a timely manner.
  • Experience working with diverse communities across race, economic, ethnic, political and geographic boundaries.
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills.
  • Experience managing a diverse and highly skilled team with capacity to give and receive feedback graciously.
  • Ability to rally support, spearhead initiatives and work as both a member of a dedicated team and as an independent self-starter.
  • Ability to work independently with a strong sense of focus, task-oriented, non-judgmental and open personal qualities, and a clear sense of boundaries.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and drive, creative problem solver, high degree of professionalism, and a “can do” attitude.
  • A demonstrated passion for justice, equity, and environment.
  • Willingness and ability to be both a leader and a team member.
  • Familiarity with Pittsburgh players is a strong plus, but not required. 
  • Ability to work locally (because of the nature of our work, we find it works best when our teams spend time together in the office, although a combination of home/office work is possible.) 

Landforce is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, arrest record, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

How to Apply: If you believe this position is for you, please review the job description, and send a resume with a cover letter to our Executive Director, Dr. Ilyssa Manspeizer, ilyssa@ We will accept applications until we find the right candidate.

Salary & Benefits: Salary is $60,000 plus benefits (100% health, medical, dental; 3% retirement match (from January following start of employment); 12 paid company holiday days, first year up to 19 days/year with increases at 2 and 5 years of employment; paid parental leave (after 6 months), etc.)

Special Requirements:

The employee may travel to locations in the service area as well as other locations in and out of the City of Pittsburgh. The individual will also have close contact with a computer screen. Weekend and evening hours may be required to attend board meetings, community forums, special events, and to meet specific deadlines.

The following paragraph is included to demonstrate the level of physical work for team members who occasionally (or usually) work alongside the crew. We encourage everyone who meets the qualifications above to apply for this position, including those who cannot meet the following physical requirements. No candidate will be excluded because of physical limitations. 

The incumbent may on occasion work alongside Crew Members as they engage in their daily work routine as a way of building rapport with Crew Members. In order to fulfill this part of the job requirements, the employee should be able to: walk on uneven, rough and steep terrain as well as paved and unpaved trails, use hands and arms to handle and manipulate or control objects or tools, and operate foot controls on equipment. The employee is required to stand and occasionally sit, climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. This position requires an ability to navigate stairs. The employee may carry items weighing up to 50 pounds. The employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental conditions including extreme cold, extreme heat, and humidity, as well as wet and slippery conditions. While outside, the employee may be exposed to direct sunlight, dust, pollen, insects, and equipment exhaust fumes.

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Restoring Land, Investing in People