Customer Support Specialist
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a teacher in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.
Since 2000, more than 5 million people and partners have contributed $1 billion to support 2 million teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. Projects range from art supplies to build the set for a school musical, to books and puzzles that affirm students’ identities, to bird seed for an at-home science project. We proudly serve all US public schools, public charter schools, and Head Start centers, and we combat systemic inequity by driving a majority of donations to schools that have been historically underfunded due to economic and racial inequity.
DonorsChoose has been recognized as a best place to work by GOOD Magazine and the Nonprofit Times, while Fast Company named DonorsChoose one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World—the first time a charity has made this list. Our dedicated team works from across the United States bring classroom dreams to life.
As a Customer Support Specialist at DonorsChoose you’ll answer between 60 - 100 emails a day (depending on the day). These inquiries will span a variety of different topics across the entire teacher and donor lifecycles.
You may help a donor navigate our marketplace to support a school in their hometown. Or you may help a teacher get donations multiplied by qualifying for a partner-backed offer. You may walk a mother through surprising her daughter (a first-year teacher!) by fully funding her classroom project. Or you may spend some time tracking down a shipment of live crickets (yikes!) for a sixth grade science class. And sometimes you’ll have to do things like explain policies that won’t make the customer super happy, deliver difficult news about eligibility, or simply help a customer reset a password. It’s not all glamor and live insects, but at the end of every day you’ll have helped a bunch of people bring joy to a bunch of students!
In addition to this core work, sometimes you’ll be assigned capacity building work as workload and time allows. This capacity-building work is defined as work that executes against a CS manager’s OKRs and will be done in close collaboration with your manager, who will fully scope and define the work. This work could look like:
- Attend and participate in trainings as scheduled by your team leaders.
- Provide feedback to your peers on their tickets.
- Update or write public-facing help content.
- Hop on the phone to resolve a particularly gnarly issue. (We work primarily in email right now, but sometimes it’s just easier to get on the phone and hash it out!)
- Answer support questions for colleagues across the organization.
- Update our internal training decks or be asked to facilitate a session.
- Add information into our knowledge management system
- Lead mini-projects or fact-finding missions — and present ideas or findings to teammates, managers, or others across the organization.
The majority of your time will be dedicated to core ticket work. When time, performance, workload, and need allow, capacity-building work may be matched with you. The breakdown between core ticket work and capacity building work for a Specialist will vary as our volume fluctuates. Typically, we estimate that you can expect this breakdown of work:
Q1+Q2: 95% core ticket work, 5% capacity-building work
Q3: 90% core ticket work, 10% capacity-building work
Q4: 80% core ticket work, 20% capacity-building work
- Professional. You are the face of DonorsChoose to many of its customers. As such, you hold yourself to a high standard. You are task-driven, productive, attentive, collaborative, and accountable. Particularly as a remote professional, you can work autonomously and don’t require a ton of supervision.
- A solid communicator. It is your job to be clear and concise, to gain agreement on issues, to match tone and be understood by customers who have varied technical experiences and diverse backgrounds. You will also use these skills to engage with our customers on our Equity Focus when they reach out to us. You are a great writer and are not afraid of the phone.
- Thoughtful. You take pride in your work and care about outcomes. You think “What if I were in this position? What would I want to hear right now?” You foster positive experiences even when it means saying no or sharing difficult or highly-technical information.
- Productive. We have high expectations for the quantity of work that you will do each day, while maintaining an excellent quality of support.
- Tech comfy. You’ll use Zendesk (a ticket management platform), the DonorsChoose administrative site, and other third-party applications (Slack, GSuite, and more) in your daily work. You are supporting the use of a two-sided marketplace and want to learn the ins and outs of how it all works. You know basic troubleshooting techniques.
- A learner. You recognize that you are always in a position to learn and that you can learn from anyone at any time, including customers. This makes you flexible to change and open to feedback on your work.
- Decisive. You’ll make judgement calls and decisions based on your knowledge of our policies and processes. You have a bias toward action. You recognize you might make mistakes or occasionally say the wrong thing to a customer, but are confident in your ability to own mistakes and learn from them.
- Resourceful. Not every question has an easy answer, but you’re totally into figuring things out. You’ve used multiple methods to investigate and successfully discovered the answer to something tricky. (And you’ll be able to tell us about this in an interview!)
- Generous. Once you figure something out, you’re excited to share the new information. You want to lend your ideas to the team and make everyone around you stronger.
You might also be: (not required, but let us know if this is you!)
- A customer support pro. You already have experience providing customer support and genuinely enjoy working with people to solve problems. You’re interested in a career in customer support and contributing to projects that directly impact the culture and effectiveness of Customer Support at DonorsChoose.
- Interested in crowdfunding platforms, two-sided marketplaces, or K-12 Education.
- A seasoned work-from-home pro. Or, in the least, committed to and eager to try it out.
Hiring Process Outline
We are aiming for a start date of July 5th, 2023. Every application is reviewed by a member of our team and we will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis. To help you prepare for our hiring process, here's an outline of what you can expect:
- Assignment - We rely heavily on email customer support to resolve tickets. We will use this to assess how you might respond to different customer issues. Our recruiting software helps us review submissions anonymously to reduce bias in our process.
- Phone Screen - A chance to connect with our hiring manager to discuss your interest in the role and any questions you may have. The anticipated duration is about 20 minutes.
- Interviews - A chance for you to meet with your potential future teams. These will take place virtually and the anticipated duration is about 2 hours.
Compensation and Benefits
Our compensation philosophy ensures that we are both externally competitive with tech-forward nonprofits of a similar size and internally fair in our pay practices. The following ranges represent the target offer range given the scope and experience expectations for this role.
- The hiring hourly rate for this role is $18.75 - $20.67
- We have a hiring hourly range of $19.50 - $23.07 for specific higher cost of labor locations, which include New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
This role is an hourly, full-time position and is eligible for overtime pay under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Once employees are hired, the salary range for their role increases to ensure that employees are able to receive performance-based raises and grow in their role. We are open to a variety of experiences, and recognize that the person we hire may be less experienced or more senior than this job description as posted. If that’s the case, an updated salary range will be shared with candidates if they move forward in our hiring process.
In addition, we offer full-time staff 25 paid vacation days per year and 11 paid holidays, a rich employer-paid individual and family health plan, a matching 401(k) plan (up to 5% of base salary), annual professional development stipend, and casual and flexible work environment. To learn more about what it is like to work for DonorsChoose, visit our careers page.
Hybrid Workplace and Other Details
In this role, you’ll have the option to work a flexible hybrid schedule in our NYC office, or to work fully remotely from CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OR, PA, TX, or WI.
Candidates who are not in the NYC area should expect to travel to our NYC office on as-needed basis, about 4-6 times per year. All work-related travel expenses will be covered by the organization and proper safety precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
DonorsChoose is a fully vaccinated workplace and all new employees, regardless of their work location, will be asked to share proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 within two weeks of their hire date or request an exemption from this policy due to a disability or sincerely held religious belief or practice.
Please submit your resume online and answer the application questions. A cover letter is optional and may be addressed to, Diana Au, Customer Support Manager.
A Final Note
The DonorsChoose team works toward a nation where students in every community have the resources needed for an excellent education. To do this we hire and support a diverse team of the best and the brightest talent available.
We are an organization increasingly representative of the varied races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs, and abilities that comprise our nation. DonorsChoose focuses on attracting, retaining, and advancing diverse talent because it makes us more effective, high-performing, creative, and resilient.
If you are passionate about our mission, highly skilled in your field, and looking for a place where you can bring all of yourself to work, we want you.
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