The Consulting Opportunity

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (and collaborating closely with the Development and Program Operations Teams), the Strategic Consultant has a unique opportunity to help shape the future direction of Reach Out and Read (ROR) in both Iowa and Nebraska. Reach Out and Read has operated in Iowa since 1998 and Nebraska since 2000, with flagship sites at Blank Children’s Hospital (IA) and One World Community Health Center (NE) paving the way for future expansion of the program across the respective states. ROR sites range from small community clinics to large Health Systems and serve a diverse population across these states, primarily targeted at serving children and families in high-need areas. In Iowa, a local Affiliate has supported Reach Out and Read sites since 2007 (scaling impact progressively to move from a single program site in 1998 to 99 sites in 2023), while in Nebraska, grassroots growth and a recent strategic partnership through secured state funding have contributed to a growing presence of the program across the state.

In alignment with the strategic direction of Reach Out and Read and a commitment to establishing high-quality and sustainable Affiliate infrastructure in support of local program sites, ROR National has prioritized the development of a Regional Affiliate in Iowa and Nebraska. The development of this two-state effort will allow us to strengthen the impact of our intervention in serving nearly 100,000 children at 125 clinical locations and explore ways to expand the presence of Reach Out and Read to the communities that need us most. Experience throughout our network of 28 Reach Out and Read affiliates has demonstrated that strong local staffing and infrastructure are required to have a maximum impact on the children and families served. Effective staffing includes a strong founding strategic presence, an Executive Director responsible for program sustainability and growth, a Medical Director, and a Program Director and Program Managers to ensure continued engagement of healthcare providers for our intervention.

Reach Out and Read is excited to bring on board a Strategic Consultant to help kickstart this next phase of growth and infrastructure in a newly developed Iowa-Nebraska Region. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned professional with deep connections across the two states; non-profit, philanthropy, and early childhood sector experience; and a proven track record of building effective partnerships at all levels. We seek someone who is passionate about early childhood development and the mission of Reach Out and Read.

With the goal of in the next year establishing a local Reach Out and Read Affiliate with designated and funded staff to serve all Reach Out and Read sites in Iowa and Nebraska, the Strategic Consultant role will help to lay the groundwork necessary to strengthen the existing infrastructure to support Reach Out and Read programs across these two states and ensure high-quality program delivery, sustainability, and growth.

Key Responsibilities and Outcomes Include:

Build Support, Public Awareness, and Partnerships in the Region (75%)

  • Engage and build an Advisory Committee to advise and thought partner on the overall strategy for the Region and engage other stakeholders and advocates.
  • Work with the Advisory Committee to secure strategic partnerships and connections to advance the launch and success of the ROR Iowa-Nebraska Regional Affiliate.
  • Prospect potential further funding in collaboration with the Reach Out and Read National Center. • Build partnerships with allies to engage in policy and advocacy support.

Strategic Analysis and Positioning (20%)

  • Carry out Strategic positioning analysis for Reach Out and Read in Iowa and Nebraska.
  • Understand and coordinate where ROR services fit within the Iowa and Nebraska early education and health landscape, and the operating model that best supports those services as they exist now and allow for expansion.

Expand Reach Out and Read Affiliate Team (5%)

  • In collaboration with the National Center, guide the hiring process for a high-caliber Executive Director, including working with Advisory Committee and National Center to create a ROR Iowa-Nebraska ED job description and managing the search for the ROR Iowa-Nebraska ED.
  • In collaboration with the ROR National Team, onboard the ROR Iowa-Nebraska ED, with an emphasis on supporting introductions to key influencers in the local early childhood field.

Qualifications and Experience

There are innumerable ways to learn, grow and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. We’ll honor your lived and professional experience as key aspects of your candidacy for the role and prioritize applicants with experience dismantling the structural inequities that disproportionately impact children and families with traditionally marginalized identities. We are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below.

  • 10+ years of relevant work experience
  • Deep understanding of the early childhood landscape in Nebraska and Iowa
  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent knowledge or experience
  • Strategic planning and leadership experience
  • Proven track record with the funder, project, and partnership management, and development experience • Knowledge of and experience working in pediatric and/or early childhood development space • Proven track record of building partnerships and relationships with key stakeholders, including field leaders, policy and advocacy supporters, allies, etc.
  • Ability to deliver on ambitious goals and benchmarks
  • Strong analytical skills and use of data to drive decision-making and to build consensus/support for evidence-based solutions
  • Exceptional listening, trust-building, and ability to lead inter-personally
  • Excellent problem-solving, operational, and communication skills
  • Proactive attitude, out-of-the-box thinking, sense of humor, and ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment

Position Specifications

This position will be filled by an independent contractor, at a rate of $75/hour for a max number of 500 hours, anticipated 9-12 month commitment, based in Omaha, Nebraska, or the surrounding area.

Commitment to Diversity

Reach Out and Read is committed to building an organization that embraces diversity, pursues equity, and fosters an environment of inclusion. ROR sits at the intersection of health and education, uniquely positioned to play a critical role in addressing systemic disparities and inequities in the public health framework. ROR strives to be an antiracist organization, using its influence to fight against social injustice by supporting a culture of learning, empowerment, equity, and a deep appreciation for the unique experiences that we each bring to our communities. And, we believe that changing the world begins with holding ourselves and our workplace to that same standard.

About Reach Out and Read

Founded in 1989, Reach Out and Read is a national non-profit organization working to ensure all families have the opportunity to create meaningful everyday moments through shared reading aloud and building relationships. By leveraging pediatric care to champion the positive effects of reading daily and distribute books, Reach Out and Read

gives young children a foundation for success and reaches 4.2 million children across the county – half of whom identify as BIPOC and quarter of whom come from low-income families.

Reach Out and Read’s tens of thousands of trained pediatric providers use books as a diagnostic tool during regular check-ups, and teach parents how to engage their child with a book to promote positive parent-child interactions during the rapid brain growth between birth and age five. The daily practice of reading aloud with a parent supports children’s literacy and math skill development, their social-emotional development, and prepares them for future success in school. Working together with our sites and providers, we leverage our three decades of expertise, build on our literacy foundations, and engage our shared networks as a catalyst for change, focusing on equitably strengthening and deepening our impact on the children, families, and communities we serve.

The Impact

  • Reach Out and Read program sites are located in 6,000 clinics, safety net hospitals, medical systems, and other healthcare settings in all 50 states, Washington, D. C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Reach Out and Read serves 4.2 million children and their families annually.
  • More than 6.5 million new, developmentally appropriate books are given to children annually. • 33,000 medical providers currently participate in Reach Out and Read.
  • Our peer-reviewed body of evidence demonstrates that Reach Out and Read parents are two-and-a-half times more likely to read regularly to their children, and that children experiencing Reach Out and Read show enhanced language development.

To learn more about Reach Out and Read, visit

------------------------------ EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER ------------------------------

Reach Out and Read is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, cultural heritage, ancestry, political belief, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability or veteran status. Reach out and Read is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and we are committed to making special accommodations for your interview or work as a member of our team. If specific accommodations are needed, please notify us and our HR team will work to accommodate your needs.