Communications Officer

Menlo Park
Jan 15, 2013
Feb 14, 2013
Chloe Walling
Full Time
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, is seeking a Communications Officer.

About the Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation’s assets are approximately $7.2 billion. In 2011, the Foundation distributed grants and gifts totaling approximately $353 million. For more information about the Foundation, its programs, and its grantees, please visit

About the Communications Department

The Communications Department serves a wide variety of functions within the Foundation. The department works with senior staff and program staff to help shape the Foundation’s strategic direction. It provides communications services to staff members by helping to analyze communications-based programs; analyzing and assessing potential grants and grantees and/or their communications plans; and helping staff members communicate effectively by assisting with presentations, message development, publications, and Web content. The department also provides communications services to grantees to help them develop messages and strategies for communicating effectively with their constituents.

The department is responsible for a range of external communications functions, including creating content for and maintaining the Foundation website; handling media relations; and producing the annual report, brochures, and other printed materials.

The department is also responsible for producing the “Board Book”—the set of materials used by the Foundation’s board of directors in their quarterly meetings.

About the Communications Officer Position

The Communications Officer provides project-related support to the Director of Communications and works closely with the director to ensure that the Foundation’s partners are kept informed about the Foundation’s grantmaking, its grantees, and its programs. These partners include decision makers working in areas in which the Foundation’s grantees are operating, journalists covering the areas in which the Foundation’s grantees are operating, other grantmakers, current grantees, and potential grantseekers.

In addition to being responsible for developing a variety of content for the Foundation’s internal and external communication initiatives using multiple media that includes print, Web, and social networking channels, the Communications Officer collaborates with the Director of Communications and Foundation staff to promote and convey the Foundation’s objectives and to enhance the effectiveness of the Foundation through communication.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Write, edit, and develop content for a wide variety of print and digital materials including annual reports, press releases, program profiles, press releases, publications, and internal communications.
  • Provide descriptive copy for the Foundation’s website and other digital media outlets.
  • Contribute to the creative development of new materials ensuring that work is supportive of the Foundation’s communications strategy, style guidelines, and objectives.
  • Edit documents for substance, organization, appropriateness, accuracy, syntax, and style.
  • Support the Communications team to enhance and maintain online engagement, Web analytics, and digital materials.
  • Manage the delivery of communications and publicity projects, and simultaneously develop and disseminate information about these activities internally and to partners.

Working with grantees and other Foundation partners to collaborate on communications strategy
  • Actively partner with program officers and program directors to help create communications strategies that support their programs, identifying opportunities for additional communications support in the form of consultants, training, and other resources.
  • Consult with Foundation staff on approaches to communicating its goals, strategies, and impact to diverse audiences.
  • Work with grantees and other Foundation partners to collaborate on press releases and other written materials.
  • Explore and pursue opportunities to work together with colleagues at peer foundations, gain an understanding of how they determine what to share externally, and also learn best practices around communications strategies.

Managing the Foundation’s social media strategy
  • Research and develop ways to engage diverse audiences through online channels.
  • Write, monitor, coordinate, and curate the Foundation’s blog and other social media tools.
  • Compile and curate a library of information about the field including online content from grantees.
  • Work with the Director of Communications to evaluate strategies, soliciting and analyzing feedback from partners and target audiences.

Required Skills and Knowledge
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field of study with a minimum of seven years of related experience; background in journalism a plus.
  • An understanding of politics at the statewide or national level desired.
  • Experience working in or with nonprofit organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience with Web publishing tools and managing website content.
  • Proven experience with various forms of social and digital media.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with people.
  • Ability to gather and synthesize information for a variety of disciplines, producing compelling materials for diverse audiences.
  • Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete tasks in a timely manner.
  • Ability to think creatively in approaching problems and assigned projects.
  • Ability to deal with sensitive issues and making them known to the director in an expeditious and appropriate manner.
  • Ability to multitask and set priorities without direct supervision.
  • Sense of humor.

Physical Demands/Work Environment

The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this position, the employee is required to spend extended periods of time at the computer. The job involves a minimal amount of travel.

Compensation and Benefits

The Hewlett Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with experience and education. This position is exempt and full-time.

How to Apply

Please send our Human Resources Department a resume and cover letter explaining how your skills fit this position:
Email: (Subject Line: [Your Name] – Communications Officer)
Fax: 650.234.1709

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

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