Voices for Progress Education Fund
A Project of Tides Center
Job Title: Communications Director
Reports to: President
FLSA Status: Exempt
Voices for Progress (V4P) galvanizes the advocacy of business leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and other prominent individuals who unite to champion a healthy climate and environment, strengthen our democracy, and ensure economic and social justice for all. V4P staff equip members with policy information and opportunities to personally advocate through one-on-one outreach, at campaign trail events, Capitol summits, sign-on letters, and more.
V4P members recognize that they have an unusual amount of access to policymakers and that their views are sometimes given increased weight. Understanding this and believing our democracy shouldn’t work that way, they use their positions to ally with, and amplify the concerns and solutions put forward by, historically marginalized communities. V4P members believe that the communities closest to the problems are closest to the solutions, whether regarding criminal justice reform, pay discrimination, or environmental justice. Simultaneously, V4P members advocate for strong campaign finance reform to lessen their own influence and voting protections to give a more equal voice to all communities.
V4P was founded in 2010 and has an annual budget of 2 million dollars. Our 18 staff are based in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Sacramento, and New York. Our work is currently focused on federal and CA state policy and politics. Advocacy priorities have included economic inequality, budget and tax policy, health care access, climate change, immigration reform, voting rights, criminal justice reform, gender equality, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, environmental justice, and more.
The Communications Director will launch a new Communications Department. This position will develop an innovative strategy for and lead all aspects of the organization’s communications program, both federally and in California state. This includes responsibility for organizational brand identity, press engagement regarding the organization and its priorities, and strategic communications with current and prospective members, partner organizations, lawmakers, political candidates, and other stakeholders. This position is an exempt position and reports to the President. This position performs some similar responsibilities on behalf of a 501(c)(4) sister organization focused on building relationships with and electing progressive candidates with a focus on under-represented communities.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Design and implement comprehensive communication strategies that elevate V4P and its priorities to potential members in the political and philanthropic donor community, policymakers and candidates in D.C. and Sacramento, partner organizations, and others.
- Devise communications plans and content that drive fundraising, recruitment, program engagement, and advocacy impact through earned media, events, search engine optimization, collateral, newsletters, emails, blog posts, web content, social media, etc.
- Spearhead staff work with consultants in final design phases and implementation of organizational rebrand, including launching a new website, logo, and collateral. Ensure staff understanding and continual use of brand identity and communications best practices.
- Monitor press regarding V4P, its staff and Board, and similarly situated organizations for opportunities and possible impacts. Preemptively position V4P to withstand media attacks and lead crisis communications response if needed.
- Manage organizational messaging calendar and generate content acknowledging and responding to important public moments.
- Maintain website and social media presence.
- Formalize ongoing email and other communication strategy and methods for an expanded universe of stakeholders, including non-member program participants, advocacy partner organizations, and others.
- Create elementary graphic design, photography, video, etc. for use in collateral, web presence, emails, etc. with access to consultants when possible.
- Advise and assist staff on other teams with communications tasks, including by:
- Framing messages and drafting President and Board member remarks for events as needed (e.g., quarterly member calls, receptions, etc.)
- Strengthening and/or copy editing high-priority written content (e.g., template foundation reports/proposals, high-priority policy sign-on letters, etc.)
- Support and supplement the President as an organizational spokesperson, as well as preparing and providing media training to other staff, members, and Board members to do so as needed.
- Establish a media footprint for V4P by building and maintaining press lists and relationships, and liaise with the media by pitching stories, responding to inquiries, and positioning V4P and its members as leading voices of the grasstops community on V4P’s core issue areas.
- Collaborate with communications staff of partner organizations to contribute a grasstops voice to coalition press strategies.
- Craft compelling press releases, media advisories, statements, quotes, letters to the editor, op eds, etc. regarding V4P and, in particular, to highlight the policy viewpoints of V4P members for advocacy impact.
- Lead V4P’s involvement in press conferences, briefings, and other potential public events.
- Collaborate with the President and senior staff on internal and external matters as part of the V4P management team. Lead Communications Department, including supervising staff and/or interns once added.
- When COVID restrictions allow, travel occasionally to Sacramento and around the Washington, D.C. area as needed. Reasonable alternatives may be available.
OTHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- General office and administrative management tasks that come with being a part of a small, start-up operation.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
- College degree or relevant experience in lieu of degree
- Approximately six years’ experience in a related field (e.g., public relations, communications, or press roles with non-profit organizations, policy lobbying efforts, lawmaker offices, political campaigns, or other types of relevant experience, etc.)
- Minimum two years’ experience managing others preferred.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:
- Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing effective short and long-term strategic communications plans. Experience driving fundraising, recruitment, engagement, membership community, and/or advocacy messages to relevant audiences strongly preferred.
- Prepared to serve in a decision-making role requiring careful consideration of the political, strategic, and policy implications of public communications.
- Ready to quickly learn and craft messages on relevant policy and programming issues across a broad spectrum of topics with an intersectional lens that centers historically marginalized communities.
- Superb writing capabilities, including ability to summarize complex information and motivate across a variety of contexts, audiences, mediums, purposes, etc. Strong public speaker preferred.
- Experience working with press in crowded media markets and providing media training to lay people. Relationships with press and communications professionals in the national, D.C., and California markets preferred.
- Ability to maintain website and social media channels. Basic graphic design skills strongly preferred.
- Strong computer skills, and willingness to learn new software and computer skills as needed. Competency with Microsoft Office and Google Suite required. Experience with Canva and WordPress or other similar software preferred.
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced multi-office organization, in which change is not uncommon. Can successfully collaborate with colleagues in other parts of the country.
- A team player who works well with others and can manage multiple large projects, including urgent situations.
- During COVID, this position is remote. Eventually the position will be based in Washington, D.C.
- Part of the National Office and Communications Team.
- Reports to the President based in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
- Will supervise Communications staff in Washington, D.C. once added.
- Coordinates closely with other senior staff based in Washington, D.C. and Houston, TX.
- Interacts with press, members, and Board members via phone, email, and in person, as well as with communications staff of elected officials, campaigns, and allied organizations.
- The starting point for the annual salary for this position is over $115K+. Final salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
- Generous benefits, including full medical, dental, vision, and life insurance at $1/month.
- 12 federal holidays and 1 floating holiday per year.
- 20 days’ vacation and 12 days sick leave
- Retirement savings account immediately vested with generous employer contributions.
- Pre-tax public transit/parking, childcare, flexible spending account options.
- Position meets requirements for federal public service loan forgiveness.
- Referral Bonus of $500 being offered after the referred employee’s 90th day calendar of employment.
Interested applicants should apply here. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
V4P is committed to a diverse staff and to an inclusive culture that holds equity as a value and a priority. V4P welcomes applicants who bring a variety of perspectives, experiences, and competencies. People of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ persons are strongly encouraged to apply. V4P is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, creed, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, party or political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any illegal or prohibited factor.
The employee will be sitting in a stationary position, operating a computer and other office productivity machinery such as a copy machine and computer printer, and occasional movement within the office. Also requires communicating with internal and key external stakeholders of the organization in person, via the telephone, or via email. V4P is committed to supporting employees of varying abilities and to providing reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to thrive at V4P.
The position is located in an office environment in Washington, D.C. Currently, under COVID considerations, all staff are temporarily working remotely. The noise level in the work environment is generally moderate when in the office. Office is accessible via elevators. Office space has a mix of private and common offices. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those encountered while performing the essential function of the job.
Voices for Progress Education Fund, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. This position performs political and other activities on behalf of, and is compensated for such by, the 501(c)(4) Voices for Progress, a project of Tides Advocacy. This description reflects management’s assignment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.