This section dis­cusses the ways that IHDF Programs meet their personnel needs including paid staff, volunteers, and government service programs. It also reviews some of the practices that may help Pro­grams deploy personnel effectively.

Affiliate Staff 

Each affiliate is responsible for managing not only the operations of their programs, but for staying on top of the needs that are typical of any nonprofit—fundraising, donor management, board governance, reporting, and performance management. As a result, we require that each affiliate, whether it has one or multiple Programs, hires an Executive Director. Additionally, we have found other roles to be useful over the years, particularly as programs scale, and have shared some examples and job description templates below. 

Link to example org chart

Required roles and responsibilities when starting an affiliate: 

Executive Director / Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

  • Collaborate with Board of Directors to fulfill IHDF Mission
  • Create, facilitate and manage organizational partnerships
  • Create and maintain strategic plan for program expansion
  • Lead all fundraising efforts and ensure financial health of the organization
  • Responsible to ensure that the operations of the organization are appropriate

Program Director (PD)

  • Responsible for the overall success of the IHDF program/cohort
  • Provide long-term, comprehensive support directly to Dreamer Scholars and their families
  • Maintain licensing necessary to supervise Social Work Interns on-site (or finding an alternative SW Intern supervisor)

Assistant Program Director (APD) (position added with cohorts of 60 or more)

  • Provide long-term, comprehensive support for Dreamer Scholars and their families
  • Manage daily after-school, Saturday, and summer programming
  • Supervise Group Leaders and AmeriCorps Members

   AmeriCorps Member(s) (AC)

  • Full-time service volunteer who commits to one year (September through July) with an option for a second year
  • Provide logistical support during morning hours
  • Provide academic and socio-emotional support working directly with Dreamer Scholars in Dreamer Scholars’ classrooms during the day, and outside school hours during program hours

Group Leaders (supplemental to AmeriCorps positions if needed for adult-child ratio)

  • Part-time staff – often high school or college-aged students
  • Provide general support working directly with Dreamer Scholars during program hours

Interns (if university offering interns is available to affiliate)

  • Student interns from partner MSW and college programs; 3 days per week/one year
  • Provide mental health services through 1-1 counseling and small group session

As the IHDF affiliate grows to serve more Dreamer Scholars over multiple program cohorts, certain specialized supports can be most effectively and efficiently provided through additional staffing. 

Office of College and Career Success (OCCS)

Director of Postsecondary Success

  • Ensure strong college prep and application support for high school Dreamer Scholars
  • Ensure that case management services are provided to all postsecondary Dreamer Scholars
  • Facilitate scholarship request system and make scholarship payments
  • Manage collaboration with Opportunity Network
  • Supervise all staff of the IHDF: Office of College and Career Success

Manager of Career Services

  • Manage the Building the Dream Internship and College Readiness Program
  • Provide case management services to postsecondary Dreamer Scholars
  • Facilitate career exploration workshops for K-12 IHDF Programs

Alumni Coordinator 

  • Facilitate Dreamer-to-Dreamer/Career Coaching/Mentoring program for IHDF
  • Host Alumni Engagement Events throughout the year

Additional Program Support Staff (positions typically added when IHDF affiliate serves 350+ Dreamer Scholars)

Chief Program Officer 

  • Responsible for maintaining high-quality programming at all levels
  • Supervise and support the Director of Education, Director of Social Work, Volunteer Manager, Director of Postsecondary Success, and Program Directors
  • Collect, analyze, and report on data related to all Dreamer Scholar outcomes

Director of Education K-12, M.Ed.

  • Utilize resources to develop appropriate curricula for elementary, middle, and high school academic support
  • Provide training and on-site support to Assistant Program Director and after-school staff at each IHDF site to ensure high quality academic programming

Director of Social Work MSW (could be filled by contract with an outside organization)

  • Ensure that all programs have appropriate resources and are providing the necessary social and emotional support and life-skills curriculum to all Dreamer Scholars and their families
  • Supervise Social Work and other Interns at all sites that do not have an MSW on-site
  • Provide intervention services in crisis situations for all programs

  Director of Volunteers / Volunteer Coordinator

  • Conduct volunteer recruitment effort for all programs, including corporate engagement opportunities
  • Manage mentoring program for K-12 programs
  • Train and supervise volunteer tutors, mentors and activity specialists

Additional Administrative Support Staff

Chief Financial and Operations Officer (CFOO)

  • Manage budgets for central office and all programs
  • Provide Human Resource services for the organization
  • Manage all aspects of insurance (incl. program liability, space, D&O, etc)
  • Support CEO and Dir. of Development to ensure strong fundraising infrastructure


  • Provide accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services
  • Act as internal fiscal control and assist with annual audits

Director of Development

  • Work with CEO, CFOO, and Board of Directors on all fundraising efforts
  • Oversee major gifts program, annual giving, planned giving, corporate/foundation grants, special events, and capital campaign
  • Oversee all marketing initiatives to raise the visibility of the organization

Communications Associate and/or Grant Writing Associate

  • Intern, AmeriCorps VISTA or employee
  • Provide support for specific foundation/corporate grants
  • Provide support for specific marketing / website / media

Link to example org chart (example of larger org)

Recruiting Staff 

The best place to start looking is in the community where the program is based. How should that search be structured? Some Lead Sponsors conduct the search themselves for the ED. Others rely on the orga­nizations they’re working with—usually their CBO or the local IHDF Affiliate ED—to oversee the process of hiring the PD. If the local Affiliate has an active board, the members can use their community con­nections to recruit candidates, and then review resumes, or con­duct initial interviews.

Another approach is to create a formal ED search committee including the Board Chair, the Lead Sponsor and representatives of the Program’s major organizational partners such as the school, CBO, housing author­ity, and a local business. This approach has an added advantage. Those who have a role in this important early decision may be more supportive of the staff, more interested in the success of the Program, and more likely to be heavily involved along the way. Here are some suggested steps to take when planning a search: 

Determine how to publicize the position. Once the search committee is formed, it should use networking to recruit candidates. Networking includes distributing the job announcement to contacts at CBOs, veteran PDs, youth service agencies, religious organizations, colleges, and universities. The advantages of networking are the job announcement reaches a narrower audience of people who are likely to possess the required qualifications for the position; it generates a manageable number of potential candidates; and  it is likely to generate candidates that someone familiar with IHDF or the Sponsor knows and recommends for the position.The committee may also decide to place a job announcement on online job listing sites. This will help encourage a diverse pool of qualified candidates. The search com­mittee must be prepared to manage the responses. They may wish to set up a special email address for inquiries.

Establish a procedure for responding to applications. Two or three members of the search  committee should screen the resumes to select a first round of candidates for an initial interview. Set aside time periods for conducting interviews and then designate one person responsible for scheduling. Usually an hour is long enough for a first interview; leave some time between each appointment for the interviewers to take a break, discuss the candidate, or make notes on the interview. After an ED is hired and the committee is sure it does not want to review any of the applications of the candidates who had not been accepted for an initial interview, the Board Chair should send a letter to each of these candidates thanking them for their interest.

Conduct initial interviews. The initial interviews can be conducted by the Board Chair, the Lead Sponsor, or members of the search committee can narrow the initial pool down to a few top candidates. The interview can also include more than one interviewer, but it is best if the same interviewers see each candidate so that they can make good comparisons. The committee should also have a reasonable  deadline in place so that it can give the candidates an idea of when they should expect to hear the committee’s decision.

Conduct subsequent rounds of interviews with the top candidate. The number of rounds of interviews that the search committee will have to conduct depends on how many qualified applicants there are, how many decision makers need to meet the candidates, and whether a clear choice rises out of the process. It is important for the Lead Sponsor to participate in the interviews after the initial round. The Board Chair and Lead Sponsor will certainly benefit from the guidance and opinions of the search  committee members, but ultimately, the selection is the Board Chair’s choice.

Screen the top candidate. “I Have A Dream” staff are entrusted with the care of the Dreamers and will work with them in sensitive situations. To protect the Dreamers and the Program from any misconduct, the search committee must check the references and complete a criminal history screening for the top candidate. This means running the candidate’s name or fingerprints through the state’s criminal history records system and/or any child abuse or molestation registry that the state maintains. Since the screening process can be expensive and may take several weeks, Programs typically make an offer of employment to the top candidate contingent upon the background check being clear. The ED can start working while the check is being conducted. Any negative findings result in termination. The school, CBO, or another youth-serving organization in the community should be able to advise the search committee on how to proceed with a screening in its locale; procedures differ from state to state. 

Make an offer. Once the candidates have been screened, the Board Chair should decide on his or her first choice and compile an offer for the candidate. The offer should consider the candidate’s experience, salaries for similar positions in the community,  the local cost of living, and the available benefits. If the offer is accepted, the search committee should draft a formal letter of hire to the ED setting forth the agreed-upon salary and benefits. See below for further discussion of extending an offer to a ED candidate.

Follow up with remaining candidates. Once a final decision is made, the search committee should notify each of the applicants that the process is complete. Most of the candidates can receive a standard letter, but  it is good form for a member of the search committee  or  the Board Chair to send a more personal letter to candidates who were interviewed several times or who were finalists for the position.

Don’t be discouraged if the process takes longer than the esti­mated six to eight weeks. It is not uncommon not to find the ideal candidate on the first try and sometimes this is a blessing in dis­guise. It takes time to select the right individual for the vital posi­tion of ED, so they can get started hiring a PD.

Program Director Orientation

Position Overview

Each cohort (Class) of participating youth (Dreamers) is managed by a Program Director (PD), who is responsible for every aspect of their respective Dreamer Class.  From individual case management and building relationships, to the day-to-day operations of programming (Dreamer and Parent), to managing resources (staffing, program partners, donations, volunteers, etc.), and to the myriad of connections and facilitations necessary to the success of the Dreamers and the organization, the PD is the critical “cog in the wheel.”

“I Have A Dream” Orientation for New PDs

In general, a PD’s orientation will include:

  • Orientation with the ED (or VP of Programs) (person who supervises program staff)
  • Orientation with other Central Staff, including AmeriCorps Supervisor training
  • Introduction to Employee Handbook and Organization Calendars, Policies and Practices
  • Meetings with other PDs and Shadowing at Sites
  • Introduction to Core Program Components and Best Practice Models

In this section, find copies of:

  • PD position description
  • PD Performance Standards
  • PD Performance Evaluation Template
  • Staff Administrative forms (timesheets, vacation leave request, etc.)

Additional References to Consult: 

  • Employee Handbook 
  • Board Governance Policy  
  • Emergency Policies and Procedures 
  • Transportation Policies and Procedures  
  • Dreamer Enrollment Policies 
  • Client and Donor Grievance Process 
  • Volunteer Management Policies  (See Director of Volunteers)
  • Holistic Screening Policy (See Director of Volunteers)
  • AmeriCorps Supervisor’s Handbook  (See AmeriCorps Site Director)
  • Intern and Workstudy Policies and Procedures  (See Director of Volunteers)

Program Director (PD) Performance Standards

  1. Individual Case Management
  • Provide individual case management for each Dreamer:
  1. a)  Create individual case files, and a success plan for each individual Dreamer.  Success plans will include goal-setting that is driven by the Dreamer in at least three areas: grades, school attendance, and personal goals.  In addition, goals for behaviors or other  should be set individually to reflect the most appropriate next level for each Dreamer.
  2. b)  Meet one-on-one with each Dreamer at least once each school semester.
  3. c)  Develop a plan for each Dreamer to address challenges and develop strengths and interests.  Implement strategies for academic progress for each Dreamer.
  4. d)  Collaborate with Dreamer, parents, teachers, appropriate school administrators / staff, mentors, tutors and other supporters to advocate and form a team for Dreamer success.
  5. e)  Conduct at least one home visit per Dreamer household each year.
  1. Educational Support
  • Provide educational support to Dreamers:
  1. Create individual academic case files, and an academic case management plan for each individual Dreamer.  Gather and assess all available information regarding academic strengths and challenges; involving the Dreamer, parents, teachers, and any other expert resource to develop and implement strategies for the Dreamer’s academic success.  
  2. Create, implement, and routinely adjust academic programs that best leverage resources, and provide the most effective support for Dreamer achievement.
  1. Operate programs that support academic progress for each Dreamer. Structures include after-school programs, acting as classroom aids, and conduct study skills/study hall classes within the school day, evening study sessions, one-on-one tutoring and counseling, or other approaches as developed by the Program Director and support staff to support academic achievement.  
  2. Study and homework help sessions outside of school hours will be mandatory for students with Ds and Fs.
  3. Out of area Dreamers, who are not able to regularly attend program, should be referred to other after-school programs (other Dreamer Classes, at Dreamer’s school, YMCA, teen center etc.)
  4. Serve as school liaison 
  1. For Dreamers who do not attend a school where programs are based, visit Dreamer in their school at least once each semester
  2. Attend school staffings, contact counselors, teachers, ESL & Special Education teachers each year
  3. Maintain communication with teachers, counselors and school administrators
  1. Monitor major assignment and exam dates and finals through school systems
  2. Design after-school program to complement student learning at school 
  1. Attend Back to School Nights, and Parent/Teacher Conferences as scheduled
  2. Stay up to date on alternative ways for graduation in the district, such as GED, alternative schools, vocational education, correspondence classes, etc.
  1. g) Establish Academic Goal Sheets on an annual basis with each Dreamer (and parent), that includes an individual incentive plan and updated parent agreement.
  1. Relationship with Dreamers
  • Contact each Dreamer at least monthly (phone calls, lunch, after-school program, etc.)
  • Meet in person with each Dreamer at least quarterly
  • Report significant issues to the VP of Programs, and together determine appropriate action (mandatory reporter for any suspicion of abuse or neglect)
  • Provide or refer any resources to meet the needs of individual Dreamers
  1. Relationships with Parents
  • Contact each parent at least quarterly (phone calls, programs, etc) 
  • Through collaboration with parents, identify and implement parent programming and structure. 
  • Establish, support, and facilitate  monthly meetings with all Dreamer parents
  • Parent Committees elect executive council, determine parent fees for specific activities, organize events, provide input to Dreamer programming, request parent education topics of interest, etc. 
  • Program Director is a strong continuing resource; social services are referred.
  • Workshops will be arranged in collaboration with parents and will include topics such as: parenting, supporting academic achievement at home, and at least one workshop each on college admissions, financial aid and COF, and FAFSA beginning in 9th grade.  Collaborate with College and Career Dept.
  • Conduct home visits at least once/year; renew Dreamer Contract as needed
  • Strongly encourage and facilitate active parent involvement and participation in Dreamer and school programs.
  1. Enrichment Program
  • Provide at least one incentive field trip each semester
  • For Dreamers 9th grade and under, offer a weekly Enrichment Program 
  • Provide Service Learning activities to recognize MLK and two other National Service Days each year
  • Dreamers must participate in service learning each year, and  complete a minimum of  80 service hours while in high school (5 hours/year before the 9th grade and 20 hours/year beginning in 9th grade)
  1. Summer Program
  • Program Director will develop an array of age-appropriate programs for at least 6 weeks during the summer (academic, art, literacy, computer labs, sports, community service, experiential educational activities, etc.)
  • Participate in All Dreamer days as coordinated and set at the annual Summer Planning Retreat, including the annual Boulder County Dreamer Conference
  • Nominate four Dreamers, rising 7-12th grade, to attend National Dreamer Conference
  • Provide summer work program or internship for eligible Dreamers (CU or other internship for Dreamers 14 years old and above) – set up interviewing workshops, resume writing class, and other related workshops, to ensure that Dreamers have completed a personal statement and resume.
  1. Career & College Preparation Program

Coordinate roles and activities with the College and Career Dept for the following:

  • Set up a job tour and/or job shadow for each Dreamer – at least once each year
  • Elementary- Career Day, draw maps of the future, exposure to 4-yr campus, etc.
  • Provide 3-6 college activities a year to Dreamers in the 9th – 12th grades to prepare for college. Should include, but not be limited to:  financial aid, scholarships, completion of college applications, pre-collegiate program, test preparation, study skills, at least three in-depth campus tours, and the “I Have a Dream” Scholarship policies and procedures.
  • In the 6th grade, ensure that each Dreamer creates an account with College in Colorado and begins to use this resource to explore careers, interests, post-secondary options, and the requirements for each, as appropriate.  
  • In 8th grade, create a High School Transition Plan, and discuss best secondary school for each Dreamer.
  • Ensure that each high school Dreamer, is using and building on the College in Colorado delivered ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan).  In 9th grade, enroll Dreamers in pre-collegiate, leadership, extracurricular as applicable.
  • In the 10th grade, ensure Dreamers take PSAT, coordinate college tours, and offer volunteer/internship opportunities.
  • In the 11th grade, ensure that all Dreamers have taken the ACT, have completed three in-depth campus tours, and completed a personal statement (essay for college application), and compiled a list of schools to apply.
  • In the 12th grade, use a Senior Plan Notebook (created by program staff/Dreamer)  and ensure that each Dreamer edits their college essay, requests 3 references from teachers and counselors, submits 6 scholarship applications, submits the FAFSA and COF, submits applications to at least one (but ideally 6: 2 reach, 2 middle, and 2 fall-back) post-secondary schools, and/or has created a workforce readiness plan.
  1. Mentor Program
  • Determine Dreamers who may benefit from a mentor relationship and have five Dreamers on a waiting list at all times
  • Interview and supervise Mentors (with Volunteer Dept assistance)
  • Pair all interested Dreamers with a mentor within two weeks of approval
  • Supervise mentors – contact Mentor/Dreamer/Parent once a month the first year and once a quarter the second
  • Participate in regular meetings for mentors/tutors (with Volunteer Dept assistance)
  • Provide career mentors through job shadows & internships for high school Dreamers
  1. Management/Supervision
  • Supervise AmeriCorps and other staff members, lead weekly site team meetings, and oversee all programs
  • Manage and provide on-site supervision of all work-study and volunteer tutors assigned to Dreamer Class
  • Attend monthly program meetings with Vice President of Programs, and monthly staff & management meetings
  • Attend three Sponsor meetings each year, with Vice President of Programs and Chief Executive Officer
  • Attend all team meetings and all required “I Have a Dream” events
  • Participate in setting Dreamer milestones and evaluating progress toward achieving them.  
  1. Record Keeping/Evaluation/Administrative
  • Record all activities / contacts with Dreamers on the “I Have a Dream” Database through Program Attendance entries
  • Maintain an updated directory of Dreamers on Database  (contact info for Dreamer/parents, school data, mentor, etc)
  • Enter case notes in Salesforce, for each Dreamer, at least once each semester.
  • Maintain Dreamer file folders and update student development profiles, which record all significant information (not limited to those listed below) in the life of each Dreamer:
  • Initial application forms
  • Current information updates (basic contact information, computer logins name and passwords, etc.)
  • Case notes or new school related records and information (monthly)
  • Intervention Strategies/Goal Sheets and renewed contracts with parents, behavior contracts, etc.
  • Provide report of annual PD assessment of Dreamer goals met, and other achievement data
  • HS credit tracking, and any other forms used to set and track goals for Dreamer
  • Contribute articles and photos to “I Have A Dream” newsletter as requested 
  • Provide Class Update for inclusion in report to the board, three times each year
  • Implement annual Dreamer and Parent surveys (online surveys, and PD led focus groups for each)
  • Accurately balance and keep an account of any petty cash, and carefully manage your program budget
  1. PD Development
  • Set personal goals.  Discuss with VP of Programs and pursue personal training and development
  • Attend National Staff Conference or other seminars that would develop skills and performance 
  • Attend other educational training programs as provided through “I Have A Dream”