Communications Director

Working from home
Annual salary $110,000 or commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, exempt position.
Oct 02, 2019
Metro Area
San Francisco
Full Time

Communications Director 

Reports to: Chief Development Director 

Works with: Funder Organizing Department and Operations & IT Manager 


This is an Exempt, Full-time telecommuting position. 


Overview: Groundswell Fund is the largest funder of the U.S. Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement. For more than a decade, we have enabled foundations and individual donors to increase the impact of their giving by offering a different kind of philanthropic model. Different in who we are: A program staff of women of color who come directly out of community and labor organizing and have a combined 70 years + of grassroots organizing and civic engagement experience within communities of color; a board comprised of grassroots leaders shaping strategy alongside funders and donors. Different in who we support: Women of color (WOC), low income women, and transgender people who are organizing at the grassroots. Different in how we support the field: not just through grants, but also through capacity-building support focused on boosting grassroots power, and funder organizing that lifts up our grantees to a larger audience of funders and donors who can move resources to their work, whether or not these resources come through our doors. And Groundswell moves at least 80 percent of the dollars that come in our doors back out to the field. 


Since 2003, Groundswell has moved more than $50 million to the RJ movement in grants and capacity building support to RJ organizations; increased the giving of dozens of national and local foundations; and helped bring thousands of new individual donors into the RJ movement. Today, we support more RJ organizations than any other foundation in the country. Our grantees have moved from trepidation about participating in the political process to mobilizing thousands of voters and even seeing their own members run for office. They have been instrumental in the passage of more than 250 pro-RJ policies at the state and local level and in blocking many regressive policies, and they have built a growing grassroots base of support for RJ across the U.S. In 2017 we expanded our funding to support multi-issue organizing led by WOC and transgender people of color across other social justice movement sectors, from environmental and economic justice, to immigrant and LGBTQ rights, and on. We also launched a 501c4, Groundswell Action Fund, now the largest c4 fund in the country centering WOC-led c4 work. 


Fundraising Vision: Groundswell is committed to cultivating a vibrant and engaged, multiracial and multigenerational community of donors and funders who connect their values to their resources. We believe generosity and intention go hand in hand with the success of the RJ movement and that giving at every level empowers individuals, families and entire communities to create a better world. Groundswell’s values around authentic and respectful partnerships undergird our relationships with grantees and donors and funders alike. Our mission to support grantee organizations as they build their grassroots power mirrors our fundraising mission; supporting the power of our donors through learning about RJ, grassroots organizing, the importance of WOC leadership, and collaborating for greater collective impact.  


Position Summary: The Communications Director will report to Groundswell Fund’s Chief Development Director, and oversee the communications work for our 501c3 and 501c4, based out of the Funder Organizing Department and extending into support of our Grantmaking and Capacity Building Departments. The Communications Director is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive, data-driven communications and digital organizing strategy rooted in Groundswell’s mission and goals. This position serves to amplify the work and impact of Groundswell and our grantees to a broader audience of funders and donors, helping us raise an annual budget of approximately $16M across our 501c3 and 501c4; organize and track information through our database, platform analytics, and press hits to help Groundswell’s work grow and become more strategic; and support staff and grantees in maintaining a strong public voice in the philanthropic sector and the media to advocate for the wider adoption of a philanthropic framework grounded in reparations, self-determination and liberation, influencing shifts in giving to grassroots organizing led by Black, Indigenous and other women of color, including transgender women of color. 



Develop and implement a strategic communications plan for Groundswell Fund’s 501c3 and 501c4.  

Develop and monitor communications budget. 

Develop and execute individual communications plans for key events, which may include hiring and managing photographers or videographers; coordinating social media engagement efforts; pitching media stories, etc. 

Develop editorial calendar for yearly print publications (eight total), and coordinate production process with contracted project manager. Oversee and implement earned media plan, including media market research for key activities, press outreach, maintaining a press clipbook, and maintaining press lists. 

Hire, train, and support communications staff and contractors, including managing work plans and leading staff and editorial meetings. 

Maintain contracts and relationships with consultants and external entities providing communications services and tools. 

Synthesize staff requests related to communications, and provide support to the Chief Director of Development as assigned. 

Manage inventory of internal and external communications tools & platforms across organization.  

Draft or coordinate drafting of regular blog posts and op-eds by staff and grantees.  

Serve as press contact and draft press materials including media advisories, press releases, talking points, letters to the editor, and other communications priorities. 

Coordinate creative services for communications materials.  

Coordinate opportunities for externally facing staff to receive coaching and training for public speaking, social media, and op-ed writing coaching and training.  

Support and collaborate with digital organizer in their work to:  

Develop digital organizing strategies and implement content to support online fundraising and raising the visibility of Groundswell and our grantees through email, website, and social media. 

Monitor fundraising database activities including email subscribers and online donations.  

Monitor social media engagement and impact.  

Maintain website and monitor analytics.  

Compile data reports regularly to analyze and report to staff on communications impact.  


Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual should be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  

Committed to Groundswell’s mission. 

Experience working in social justice movements. 

Experience creating overarching communications plans for organizations, campaigns, or related context. 

Proven track record of leading successful online fundraising campaigns. 

Strong experience using a race, class, gender lens in verbal and written communications. 

Strong writing and editing skills (experience with op-ed, news writing, speech writing preferred). 

Good eye for visual content.  

Proven track record of pitching and placing in national media outlets. 

Proficiency across social media platforms, and understanding of how to grow and engage an audience.  

Detail-oriented and strong planning and implementation skills. 

Excellent team building and facilitation skills. 

Excellent organizational skills with the ability to work gracefully under pressure. 

Ability to work both independently and within a team on multiple projects and across several time zones.  

Good people skills and an infectious, positive attitude when communicating about Groundswell's work. 

Impeccable judgment and discretion in dealing with sensitive information. 


Education/Experience: Undergraduate degree or equivalent and/or training; Minimum 5 years’ experience in communications work, preferably within social justice or philanthropic organizations, and at least three years at the Director level.  


Language Ability: Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with adaptable and persuasive style for different audiences and a keen eye for proofreading and editing. Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, donors, funders and the general public. Must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English, the primary language used in the workplace.  


Computer Skills: Experience with Constituent Relationship Management systems (CRM) (experience with Civi preferred). To perform this job successfully, an individual should have proficiency with Microsoft Office suite of programs including Excel, the ability to work within social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and basic web platforms, database software, web browsers, Gmail, Google Calendar and the basics of conferencing software.  


Supervisory Responsibilities: Supervises any hired communications staff, and approximately five to ten consultants and outside vendors.  


Travel: Ability to travel up to 10 times/year, often cross-country, including overnight travel for events, donor meetings and Board meetings. Ability to drive. Valid driver’s license where employee is a resident. The above job description is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of duties and standards of the position. Incumbents will follow any other instructions, and perform any other related duties, as assigned by their supervisor.  


Compensation/Benefits: Annual salary $110,000 or commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, exempt position. Very generous benefits include fully paid for employee and family health, dental, vision, and matching 401K plan. Three weeks of vacation upon hire and a generous holiday schedule including the last week of December, as well as a flexible work schedule. 


To Apply: Please email a resume, three professional references, two writing samples, and a cover letter that includes your salary expectations and describes why you feel you are a strong candidate for this position with Communications Director in the subject line to: by 9/30/19. No phone calls, please. Due to the high volume of applications, only those selected for further discussion will be contacted.    


Equal Employment Opportunity: The Groundswell Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. We are committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and that enables each of us to realize our potential. Our work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of races, ethnicities, national origins, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities, beliefs, religions, faiths and ideologies, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and levels of physical ability. 


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