Director of Technology
About Little Kids Rock
Little Kids Rock transforms lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools. Our network of thousands of K-12 teachers across 45 states leads a national movement that brings innovative and inclusive music education to students.
Using genres including rock, pop, Latin, and rap, our program empowers teachers to build music programs as diverse as the kids they serve. Our students see themselves reflected in their classes, which strengthens their connection to their school, their peers, and their community. Little Kids Rock also donates necessary instruments, and curriculum, meeting a key need of many school music programs.
The world of music expands through innovation. We ensure that music education does as well.
More than 500,000 kids currently participate in Little Kids Rock programs nationwide. Since 2002, the organization has reached more than 850,000 students with highly-inclusive and culturally relevant music education. We aim to reach the 1,000,000th student in our history this year.
The Director of Technology will be accountable for all technology capabilities for Little Kids Rock. Working in close collaboration with the senior management team, they will lead the development and execution of the organization’s digital strategy, manage and update the organization’s technology portfolio, and ensure that technology capabilities and security are in place to support the organization’s goals and inspire the teacher/user community.
The Director of Technology will add value by inspiring innovative thinking at Little Kids Rock and ensuring the technology infrastructure is built to be scalable, flexible, and efficient and supports day-to-day operations while working in partnership with stakeholders companywide to develop digital tools to help fulfill the organization’s mission.
This role will involve both planning and execution, striving to maintain a balance between the two functions, with an understanding that developing/sourcing new digital and cloud-based tools and enhancing existing ones are critical and urgent to Little Kids Rock’s ability to effectively serve its community as teachers and students adapt to home-based educational environments and various forms of synchronous and asynchronous learning. The successful candidate will need to wear multiple hats and be comfortable flexing in different areas at different times.
Keys to Success
- Ability to balance between Strategy and Implementation – Able to be hands-on to develop, source and implement digital solutions quickly, while also operating as a strategic “big picture” thinker with a forward-looking vision
- Create and Maintain Internal Relationships with all segments of the organization to clearly understand current needs and future desires with different types of personalities and expectations.
- Matrix Manager – Strong ability to manage resources that are directly and indirectly reporting to them
- Up on Tech Trends – Understand current technology trends and capabilities – with a focus on educational and community platforms – within the perspective of a very financially-conscious and resourceful mindset to operate in a nonprofit environment
Innovation / Strategy / Planning / Execution (approximately 60% of time)
- Work in partnership with the senior leaders (Reports directly to the CEO) to provide strategic vision, thought leadership, prioritization and direction for technology and create execution plans for long-range and short term projects
- Manage innovation to achieve strategic programmatic imperatives, with an immediate focus on: Community building tools for teachers that encourage communication and collaboration (and eventually expand audience to include additional Modern Band stakeholders – e.g. students, higher ed, arts administrators, etc.) and online tools and apps for training, teaching, learning and monitoring teacher / student progress
- Plan, develop, select, implement and oversee digital and information systems and services that serve all departments and stakeholders (e.g. apps to improve teacher / student services, tools to optimize fundraising operations, etc.)
- Lead the development of budgeting and purchase plans for investments in technical infrastructure; manage vendor selection process for outsourced initiatives
- Develop protocol (with input from staff) to ensure consistency in data entry and systems usage
- Train and support staff on technology services, systems and protocol, including orientation for all new hires; serve as internal technology expert and staff resource.
- Maintain an appropriate mix of resources, balanced between internal (employee) and external (vendor, outsourced service provider, etc.) resources
- Ensure systems are scalable and designed to support planned growth
Business Relationship Management (approximately 20% of time)
- Along with the Senior Manager for Business Systems, build and continue to foster strategic relationships with all departments to proactively inform the IT strategy/road-map and performance of day-to-day operations
- Manage, develop, and grow internal LKR Technology resources, including identifying opportunities for professional development for LKR staff related to innovation in relevant functional areas
- Act as the main point for business and vendors
Run and Operate IT (approximately 20% of time)
- Overall responsibility for implementing, maintaining and upgrading all technology systems and services, including website, database (Salesforce), phone system, etc. working in direct partnership with an outsourced managed IT partner
- One direct report (Business Systems)
- Ensure continual improvement and updates based on performance of IT systems and services, as well as the needs of the organization
- Monitor and manage all IT systems and services to meet or exceed agreed upon service levels with the organization; this will be done through vendor management of SaaS systems, service providers (e.g. help-desk), and project work to enhance existing services or add new services per business requirements
- Work collaboratively with existing partners to leverage technology resources and define new initiatives to support the community
- An experienced professional with a fairly broad business background with a focus in technology
- Experience with online learning and training systems and community platforms
- Experience in back-end systems logical architecture, and strong linkages across platforms and applications
- Exceptional ability to prioritize projects in a way that ensures available resources are being maximized for the organization’s most pressing needs
- Strategic and hands-on as needed, and comfortable switching between the two quickly
- A proven history of working effectively cross-functionally on technology-driven initiatives
- Experience managing teams and developing individual contributors remotely
- Strong communication skills, with ability to connect effectively with people across the organization
- Knowledge of data governance models and data strategy
- Experience with non-profit organizations and comfortable with ambiguity/inconsistency with regards to the available budget and changing priorities
Compensation and Benefits
Little Kids Rock is committed to its team and strives to offer employees a competitive compensation package that reflects the organization’s values, culture, and mission. Salary is in accordance with Little Kids Rock’s competitive compensation and career path plan, and the organization’s array of benefits include medical coverage (health, dental, vision) with significant employer contributions, short and long-term disability, life insurance, matching 403(b) plan and pre-tax spending accounts (FSA, commuter). Perks include generous discretionary time off policy, flexible work arrangements and professional development.
Location and Travel
This position may be based remotely with some travel to New Jersey required.
Working at Little Kids Rock – Our Workplace Values
- We are committed to kids and teachers and passionate about the power of music to impact their lives.
- We are one team, with one mission, and one groove, and together we make good things happen.
- We are creative, entrepreneurial, positive and playful.
- We are inspirational.
- We are accountable.
- We are respectful.
- We support personal and professional growth.
- We work to lead the field – thoughtfully, strategically and with urgency.
Little Kids Rock is committed to recruiting and maintaining a diverse staff; individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in order to create a healthy and safe workspace as we work together to foster success for future generations. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parenthood, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.