Director of Communications


organization:Grantmakers for Education
position summary:

GFE is seeking an energetic and highly skilled professional for the position of Director of Communications. This position is a key member of GFE’s leadership team, responsible for establishing the strategic direction for GFE’s communications as well as managing the hands-on execution. The position balances leading and supporting responsibilities: leading the development of GFE’s branding, website, collateral materials and media relations, while supporting the success of GFE’s programs through marketing and outreach. Reporting directly to and working closely with the Executive Director, the Director of Communications will supervise GFE’s Staff Writer and manage the work of a number of external consultants.

Based in Portland, OR, this position is a unique opportunity to be part of an entrepreneurial, diverse and collaborative team that is enhancing the impact of education philanthropy and working to improve outcomes and opportunities for all students. With a lean and dedicated staff of eight, the contributions of each team member are essential to the overall success of GFE. As such, the successful candidate will be an energetic and flexible professional with a passion for GFE’s mission, an unwavering focus on results, and a highly collaborative work style.

Salary / Pay Rate:GFE offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience and qualifications, an excellent benefits package (including fully paid health insurance, life insurance and a generous employer retirement contribution), and a collegial, casual and flexible work environment.
Apply by:June 29, 2011
Required Skills and Abilities: At least 8 years of progressively responsible communications experience across the range of duties described above, ideally in an “in-house” leadership role in a nonprofit entity.  Professional experience in the field of education required; knowledge of philanthropy strongly preferred.  Exceptional written and oral communication skills, including the ability to produce compelling and concise copy in print and online media in a range of styles and voices.  Strong team player with a friendly and engaging style and the motivation and ability to collaborate in a fast-paced environment with many cross-functional efforts.  Excellent project management skills. Demonstrated ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, organize time and identify resources for projects in a fast-paced environment.  Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies. A relationship builder with the flexibility and finesse to manage by influence.  Strong web editorial skills, with 3+ years of website management experience. Proficient in HTML and experience working in a Drupal environment.  High technical proficiency (including Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, Photoshop and Dreamweaver); able to quickly learn new software.  Passion for GFE’s mission of improving education outcomes and opportunities for all learners.  Strong supervisory skills, with the ability to motivate and bring out the best in others.  Demonstrated experience managing relationships and budgets with external professional service providers, including graphic designers, writers and web developers.  Bachelor’s degree in journalism, writing, communications or a related field. Master’s degree preferred.  Ability to travel nationwide to attend GFE programs and meet with members (~8 trips per year).
Qualifications:Strategic communications:  Work with staff and board to develop a strategic communications plan to enhance GFE’s impact, reputation as a national thought leader, and membership growth and engagement. Manage all aspects of executing the strategy.  Refine GFE’s brand identity, and maintain a style guide and templates that reinforce the brand.  Conduct informal market research to evaluate current and future marketing and communications efforts. Website and e-communications:  Serve as chief editor and content developer for GFE’s website, ensuring the site maintains fresh information and a relevant, engaging presence. Analyze usage statistics to maximize impact.  Identify and implement opportunities for GFE to engage new and existing audiences via Web 2.0/social networking tools to support peer-to-peer interactions among GFE members.  Lead the launch and content development for GFE’s new website (currently in development) and the refinement and expansion of GFE’s e-communications.  Serve as chief writer and editor for GFE’s monthly e-newsletter and other e-updates, providing timely updates on GFE activities and key policy developments and synopsizing new reports and research. Marketing:  Develop and implement marketing and communications strategies for GFE programs. Produce program announcements, brochures and collateral, working in close coordination with GFE’s program team.  Strengthen GFE’s articulation of its value proposition and reinforce the benefits of GFE membership and activities for key audience segments. Collateral materials:  Oversee the development of a compelling suite of collateral materials that support grantmakers’ professional learning, ensuring complex issues are appropriately synthesized for multiple audiences.  Manage the development, design and production of all print and electronic collateral, including reports, case studies and funder guides.  Serve as lead editor on all GFE materials and lead writer on some. Manage staff writer and contracted graphic designers, writers, videographers, web developers and others.  Develop and implement a dissemination and outreach strategy for GFE’s publications. Media and External relations:  Cultivate relationships with appropriate media outlets. Serve as frontline responder to media inquiries.  Write speeches and design presentations for GFE’s executive director.  Represent GFE at public functions as needed.  Develop strong relationships with communications staff at member foundations. Leadership:  Serve as member of GFE’s management team, working with other staff leaders to develop and implement organizational strategy and initiatives.  Spearhead GFE’s annual member survey and share findings with staff to help refine GFE’s offerings.  Supervise Staff Writer position.  Mentor staff members to enable them to take on progressive levels of responsibility and ownership.
Education Required:College degree
Other:Equal Opportunity Employer