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Cool job alert: The Maryland Food Bank is hiring a head of product

The nonprofit is seeking to grow Fenly, the peer-to-peer fundraising platform its team developed. We have details on the job.

With Fenly, Maryland Food Bank is looking to grow as a social enterprise. (Courtesy photo)

Welcome back to Cool Job Alert, a Technical.ly column where we feature interesting tech job openings from around the region. Got a posting you want to share? Email us at baltimore@technical.ly.

Founded in 1979, the Maryland Food Bank is a cornerstone of the region’s work to fight hunger, as it supplies food to a network of partners who distribute it to Marylanders. Increasingly, tech is part of that work.

“The challenges that lead to food insecurity are complex, and the Maryland Food Bank is working toward ending hunger for more Marylanders by proactively addressing the root causes of food insecurity across the state,” said Jami Dodson, the Maryland Food Bank’s VP of marketing. “This work requires introducing and developing new approaches, as well as utilizing data analysis and technology solutions, like ArcGIS mapping and Fenly.”

Fenly is the focus of a job posting we spotted this month that offers a chance to bring startup skills to that mission. It’s a peer-to-peer fundraising platform created in-house by the Halethorpe-based nonprofit.

The Maryland Food Bank is seeking a head of product as it seeks to grow the platform. Direct any questions through the posting below — but read on first, as we’ve got answers to a few.

See the posting

The Food Bank built on a virtual food drive it created, and spun out Fenly in 2018 as a product that could be used by other orgs. Since then, Fenly has taken part in programs offered by Innovation Works, a resource network that supports social entrepreneurs. Now it’s ready to drive a new wave of adoption.

“The pandemic has illuminated the great potential for food banks to fundraise in unique ways. After participating in Innovation Works and GSBI/Miller Center accelerator and in-residence programs over 2019 and 2020, we’ve learned a lot about further positioning the Fenly platform in the social impact space,” Dodson said. “As a food bank, doing good isn’t a new area for us. But Fenly has been a side-of-the-desk project for a handful of staff since 2018, and we’re ready to put some talent in the seat to take it to new heights.”

The head of product is a newly created role that will lead business planning, product development, sales and marketing, and customer service.

“A head of product role typically tends to lean into the tech development side, but this leadership role will be operational, driving the business by combining current learnings from our strategic advisors with a roadmap for growth,” Dodson said. “It’s a unique opportunity to provide a solution for food banks and hunger-relief organizations nationwide, while operating within a nonprofit.”

We asked Dodson about one thing that’s not in the job description that would make a candidate successful in this role.

“As a nonprofit, we all wear many hats and we have a strong marketing team, but if someone can bring the needed skills for implementing actions at each stage of the funnel, from implementing targeted campaigns to writing content for landing pages to SEO, we’ll get results much faster,” Dodson said.

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