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Manager, Vendor Relations



Multiple locations · Fairfax, VA, USA · Rhode Island, USA · Texas, USA · Washington, USA · New Jersey, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2024

DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a teacher in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.

Since 2000, more than 5 million people and partners have contributed $1 billion to support 2 million teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. Projects range from art supplies to build the set for a school musical, to books and puzzles that affirm students’ identities, to bird seed for an at-home science project. We proudly serve all US public schools, public charter schools, and Head Start centers, and we combat systemic inequity by driving a majority of donations to schools that have been historically underfunded due to economic and racial inequity.

DonorsChoose has been recognized as a best place to work by GOOD Magazine and the Nonprofit Times, while Fast Company named DonorsChoose one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World—the first time a charity has made this list. Our dedicated team works from across the United States to bring classroom dreams to life.

About the Procurement Team

This role sits within the Vendor Management & Strategy (VMS) vertical of the Procurement team, a part of the broader Finance, Information & Business Technology and Procurement Department (FITP for short!). Our team‘s function is to deliver on the mission of DonorsChoose, by supporting the processes enabling the selection and fulfillment of materials that teachers choose for their classrooms.

The VMS team works closely with a roster of ~20 vendors as they support classroom needs by supplying a robust selection of products for teachers to shop from, and delivering those products to classrooms. We keep an ear to the ground to ensure that the end-to-end shopping and fulfillment experience goes smoothly, and leverage data and qualitative feedback to identify opportunities to improve processes and align vendors with our mission. We are strong advocates for DonorsChoose, the teachers we serve, and the vendors themselves, and will make sure that each group lives up to its promises and potential in a high volume, complex landscape.

About the Role

The Vendor Relations Manager will be responsible for driving productive business relationships with a core group of vendors, furthering the VMS team’s task of enabling our Vendor Community to provide a best-in-class customer experience to our teachers. The VR Manager will create strategies to gain efficiencies, scale processes, improve vendor performance and identify potential opportunities for further collaboration.

This role will require a relationship manager with a problem-solving mindset; who leads with humanity and curiosity, particularly during tough conversations; who loves to learn; and is comfortable with data-driven analysis and decision-making. This position will report to the Director of Vendor Relations, and may eventually grow into a people management role.

In this role you will:

  • Build and lead healthy vendor relationships through regular communication and collaboration with account managers, expeditiously resolving sensitive or urgent issues, and become a subject matter expert in vendor-specific issues
  • Identify, strategize and advocate for opportunities to put vendor resources toward projects that actively contribute to DonorsChoose goals, such as sharing supplier equity data, and, conversely, understand and communicate to team leads the potential impacts of vendor-related developments on DonorsChoose goals
  • Document and assess vendor end-to-end processes; identify opportunities for vendors to automate, eliminate and/or scale work done to support the DonorsChoose relationship
  • Analyze data to assess vendor performance and develop improvement plans to align vendors with DonorsChoose expectations, in conjunction with the Vendor Performance & Project Management lane
  • Regularly communicate and collaborate with teams across DonorsChoose, such as Customer Support, Finance and Business Technology, to identify and investigate new vendor-driven trends and mitigate their impact, or work with the Product & Engineering team to support vendor catalog issues and enhancement requests
  • Contribute to team culture, by participating in team meetings and retreats; supporting projects of team-wide impact, such as brainstorming and building a Back-to-School webinar or researching a potential new communication tool; sharing feedback; and identifying ways to further weave organizational priorities into our work

This role may be perfect for you if:

  • Have 5+ years of professional work experience, with at least 3 years building and managing relationships
  • Operate using a problem-solving, solution-focused philosophy and a customer-focused mindset. In this role, you’ll need to function a bit like a detective - you love to research and learn; you strive to understand how the work of various teams intersects with vendors you manage, and you dig until you find the root of a problem
  • Are a strong communicator: you have exceptional speaking, writing, interpersonal, and presentation skills; your ability to develop and maintain positive external relationships, while enforcing and advocating for DonorsChoose standards and priorities with finesse, will be a key to your success. You’re comfortable creating content to be shared among internal and external sources, and you can synthesize information and distill it into clear, action-focused headlines
  • Are tech savvy and have an interest in learning new tools; you’re comfortable in an online environment and you love exploring new programs or functionalities to figure out how they can help to streamline your work
  • Have excellent quantitative and analytical skills, and you rely on data to help you make informed decisions
  • Have a commitment to advancing racial equity and centering the perspectives of those most impacted in decision-making. You’re passionate about creating opportunities to weave equity into your work, and you are comfortable leading discussions on organizational equity goals with external audiences
  • Are extremely organized, thorough and detail-oriented; you’re able to coordinate and prioritize multiple activities simultaneously, and flexible enough to reprioritize based on new information. You document issues, decisions, and processes so that teammates can support your work
  • You achieve results both individually and as a member of a team - you are self-motivated to accomplish your tasks with minimal supervision, but you also thrive in a collaborative atmosphere, and enjoy sharing information and solving problems as a team

Compensation & Benefits

Our compensation philosophy ensures that we are both externally competitive with tech-forward nonprofits of a similar size and internally fair in our pay practices. The following ranges represent the target offer range given the scope and experience expectations for this role.

  • The hiring salary range for this role is $66,000 - $73,000.
  • We have a hiring salary range of $73,000- $80,000 for specific higher cost of labor locations, which include New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Once employees are hired, everyone at DonorsChoose is eligible to receive annual performance-based raises as they grow in their role. We are open to a variety of experiences, and recognize that the person we hire may be less experienced or more senior than this job description as posted. If you don’t check every box listed here, or you know you’d bring additional experience to the table, we hope you’ll submit your application.

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, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, ME, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, TX, VA, WA, WI.

Candidates who are not in the NYC area should expect to travel to our NYC office on an as-needed basis, about 4-6 times per year. All work-related travel expenses will be covered by the organization.

DonorsChoose participates in E-Verify. We will provide the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with information from each new employee’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.

DonorsChoose Core Values

Combating systemic inequity is crucial to a brighter future for all. This reality fuels our ambitions and drives us to persevere.

Complex problems require innovative solutions. We dream big, get creative, roll up our sleeves, and take action. We believe the best products can change the world.

People are the heart of our team and the communities we serve. Our compassion informs our goals and how we work together to achieve them.

We strive to do right. We’re up-front about the facts. We boldly learn and grow from mistakes.

Education is the beating heart of our organization, inside and out. We’re curious. We listen. We know we don’t know everything.

We begin and end with thanks. We take joy in our mission, our communities, and each other.

To Apply

Please submit your resume and answer the application questions online. Since we’re trying to get to know you through our hiring process, we ask that you please refrain from using AI writing tools to craft your response to our application questions. A cover letter is optional and may be addressed to Molly Gill, our Senior Manager, Vendor Relations.

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.