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Strategic Partnerships Director

Outward Bound USA
$80 - $90 USD yearly
Job Type

Reports To: Brand and Marketing Director 

Location: Remote

Job Type: Full-time

FLSA: Exempt

Date Updated: 1.10.24


Who We Are

Outward Bound USA (OBUSA) is a national non-profit educational organization in the United States, in operation for more than 60 years. Outward Bound’s mission is to change lives through challenge and discovery. While perhaps ambitious and bold, our vision is a more resilient and compassionate world, with more endurance in response to change and more courage in the face of challenge.

Outward Bound programs provide increased access for today’s youth to develop social emotional skills and build their capacity to navigate the future with confidence, compassion, and curiosity. Programs are far-reaching – inside city and suburban classrooms and outside in rugged backcountry settings – lasting anywhere from one-day to an entire semester. Outward Bound staff are positive, fun, passionate, mission-driven change makers who uphold a high standard for quality and commitment to our students. We strive to provide educational experiences that are inclusive and relevant for all participants and are committed to organizational improvement in support of an equitable and just society. Learn more about us at: outwardbound.org/about-us/


OB in the United States

Today in the United States, Outward Bound programs have served over 1,000,000 alumni, and bring our mission to life for nearly 30,000 students annually. Hundreds of experienced, dedicated educators deliver over 1,000 courses at our network of 10 different Outward Bound Schools across the country. The Outward Bound Network is supported by two national organizations – Outward Bound USA (OBUSA) and the Outward Bound Services Group (OBSG). OBUSA is the national chartering/governance organization that provides oversight and critical support services for the Regional Outward Bound Schools—including brand management, marketing, technology, safety, human resources, risk management, educational approach and research, and other system-wide resourcing. OBSG is a marketing division and call center supporting Outward Bound’s range of open enrollment programs offered at 8 of the 10 Regional Schools. Outward Bound is also part of an international network (Outward Bound International) that supports the operation of 36 Outward Bound Schools in 33 countries. 

Learn about our Schools: outwardbound.org/about-us/schools 

Position Impact

Outward Bound prioritizes high-quality educational experiences and a strong culture of safety in delivering our mission. Guided by a strategic Vision for Impact 2030, our work prioritizes access to the outdoors for underrepresented youth and communities and expands the capacity of Outward Bound USA’s national network.  We engage in organization-wide continuous improvement and cultivate a workplace that attracts top talent—like you. This new role becomes part of a collaborative organization that is rich with talent, connection and teamwork contributing to the expansion of our mission nationwide.  

The Strategic Partnerships Director will develop and implement a national/regional plan for revenue generating mission-aligned partnerships that advance OBUSA’s Vision for Impact 2030. The ideal candidates for this role will understand the value of brand partnerships for non-profits, including concepts and deliverables, and bring experience in working with institutional partners to generate high-impact, innovative, mutually beneficial results.  As a member of the Brand and marketing team, you will lead the effort to research, cultivate, acquire, and sustain strategic partnerships for OBUSA. Working remotely and collaboratively as the primary point of contact for national partnerships for internal and external stakeholders, you ensure that these important relationships, concepts, and deliverables meet objectives and deliverables of OBUSA’s national strategy. You are a self-starter, focused, data driven, and have skills and experience to build and maintain relationships with strategic national partners.

Our Culture

As a leading non-profit educational organization, Outward Bound is designed to embrace challenge. Thriving here takes compassion, a learning mindset, and a deep desire to do meaningful work to achieve our goals. At Outward Bound, we are crew, not passengers. Everyone is on the crew and we all contribute. We share success and view challenges as opportunities. From the office to the wilderness, we grow together. You belong here. 

Functions and Responsibilities


Develop Strategic National Partnerships  

  • Identify new collaborative opportunities aligned with OBUSA’s strategic plan, organizational mission, and brand. Target, cultivate, engage, and steward partnerships with corporate, philanthropic, youth-serving, and other national institutions, aligning with OBUSA and Regional School organizational goals.
  • Design and build a 3 to 5-year comprehensive national partnership program plan and timeline to sustain current and acquire new partnerships, including revenue generation strategies, benchmarks, and results within a mix of short-term gains and long-term growth metrics.
  • Create opportunities for licensing the Outward Bound brand and key intellectual property to develop diverse revenue sources.  
  • Collaborate with OBUSA’s Marketing and Advancement teams to develop strategies for partnership opportunities, promotions, and campaigns, and to plan and conduct outreach campaigns, digital activities, and virtual/in-person programs engaging current and prospective partners.
  • Monitor outdoor and education industry developments and understand competitors’ strategies. Blend knowledge of national education policies, outdoor education industry trends, general outdoor industry trends, as well as corporate philanthropy and social responsibility trends into the national partnership program plan.

Build and Maintain Strategic Partnerships  

  • Cultivate, secure, and sustain strong relationships with strategic partners (e.g., major brand partners, key institutional partners, etc.).
  • Generate innovative ideas to continuously cultivate, recruit, onboard, engage and steward strategic partnerships to generate revenues, raise awareness, grow audience, and spark connection.
  • Develop and pitch creative vision of sponsorship opportunities to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Serve as the organizational representative at relevant events, engaging with attendees, coordinating frontline support, and developing new relationships.
  • Establish mutual goals, budgets, and strategic direction with each assigned partner.
  • Gather and present clear information for effective decision-making for current and prospective partnerships.

Manage Partnership Engagement, Negotiations and Agreements  

  • Perform due diligence research, including financial analysis and risk assessments in support of partnership plans and ventures.
  • Collaborate with OBUSA’s Risk Management Counsel, OBUSA’s Chief Advancement Officer and National Director of Brand and Marketing to advise, drive, and negotiate partnership deliverables, benefits, and terms.

Measure Success and Track Partnership Lifecycle  

  • Create reports, and analytics tracking partnership program benchmarks, KPI’s, ROIs, and program and plan effectiveness.
  • Produce reports on a quarterly or as-needed basis for OBUSA Leadership Team and Board, and report on activities for internal stakeholders (OBUSA staff, Regional School ED's and staff, etc.)
  • Track all sales and marketing activities using a CRM program (Salesforce) and/or CDP (Segment) and analyze data to optimize business development approach and management. 
  • Manage the Partnerships Program budget, including annual revenue and expense, and monitor to ensure budget efficiency.

Key Skills and Qualifications

  • Strategic Thinking and Planning: Ability to evaluate value of potential partners and align with the Outward Bound brand and strategic direction. 
  • Brand Licensing: Understand how to leverage opportunities for licensing the Outward Bound brand and intellectual property to generate revenue and growth.  
  • Relationship Building: Display strong interpersonal skills with an ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships with partners and internal teams. Experience working and negotiating with senior level/C-suite leaders and boards, both internally and externally.  
  • Organization and Collaboration: This position's success depends on highly effective collaboration with OBUSA staff and Regional Schools (within our federated organizational model) for all elements of national partnerships.  
  • Communication: Demonstrate mastery in verbal and written communication skills to clearly articulate Outward Bound’s mission and brand positioning. Highly effective listening skills are also needed to gain deep understanding of partners goals and identify opportunities to increase mutual value. 
  • Industry Networking: Showcase experience with relevant industries and the education field, to inform approach for identifying new partnership opportunities and building relationships with existing though leaders across industries.? 
  • Project Management: Ability to manage multiple partnerships and projects simultaneously, ensuring successful execution and delivery of agreement terms. 
  • Financial Acumen: Understanding of financial metrics, ability to evaluate the financial impact of partnerships and make data-driven decisions. 

Work and Educational Experience

  • 8-years plus experience in non-profit national partnerships, business development, revenue generation (sales/fundraising), or a related field is essential.  
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in non-profit management, business development, marketing, or a related field is preferred. 
  • Experience in understanding the nuances of partnership dynamics and market strategies.
  • Familiarity with the outdoor education industry is beneficial for identifying potential partners and understanding non-profit and education market trends. 
  • 3+ plus years in Salesforce (or equivalent CRM) proficiency required.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite: Excel, Word, Teams.

Location and Physical Requirements

  • Permanent work authorization in the United States is required to apply for this position. We welcome applicants from anywhere in the contiguous United States. 
  • Up to 15% of work time may be spent travelling.
  • The position may occasionally travel to Outward Bound Regional Schools.  
  • Ability to work at a desk and on a computer for most of the day.

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • Salary $80k - $90k per year base + up to $50k commission
  • OBUSA offers competitive benefits package, including health/dental/vision insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, and life insurance, plus retirement plan with an employer match. 
  • OBUSA offers PTO, plus 10 federal holidays and paid time off for the last week of the year. 
  • In the interest of transparency and pay equity across our team, a candidate with the minimum experience can expect to be offered in the lower third of the range.  

Application Information

  • Application deadline is March 18, 2024
  • Please address cover letter to Ben Worden, National Brand and Marketing Director. 
  • Please reach out to [email protected] if there are any accommodations you might need when applying or if asked to be interviewed. 

Outward Bound USA (OBUSA) is an equal opportunity employer and values the inclusion and collaboration among employees of diverse backgrounds and experiences. OBUSA prohibits discrimination against, and harassment of, any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, genetic information, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, military or veteran status, qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of the disability, or any other category which may be protected under applicable state or federal law. Outward Bound USA also promotes respect for all people and will not tolerate harassment based on any of these characteristics nor on differences based on gender identity or expression.

As we strive to reflect the communities we serve; people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. Read our equity statement.

Salary Description
$80k - $90k per year base + up to $50k commission