Communications Director

Communications Director

Organizational Information

Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) is a national nonprofit organization based in Chicago that works to make schools healthier places for all children. HSC believes that every child should have a chance to learn and thrive, and advocates for policies and practices that support health and learning, including nutritious food, physical activity, health services and clean air at school. HSC focuses on issues affecting students of color and those from under-invested communities, and strives to make equity part of the public dialogue about education and health.

HSC’s key strategies are to empower school stakeholders to be agents of change at the school and district levels, advocate for district, state and federal policies and build the capacity of schools, school districts and educational agencies to better support student health. HSC works with parents, teachers and principals in Chicago Public Schools, and uses the lessons learned from that work to advocate for key policy and practice changes. This work takes place at the intersection of health, education, equity, community and sustainability.

HSC produces a robust set of reports, policy briefs, action alerts, articles and newsletters on an annual basis that keep our stakeholders informed and engaged. HSC has a $2 million budget and a staff team of 16.

Position Opportunity and Description

HSC is seeking a full-time Communications Director to oversee, develop and implement the communications plan through an inclusive process that builds the organization and supports and promotes HSC’s programs, advocacy, fundraising and leadership. The successful candidate will bring strong experience advancing a nonprofit’s mission and goals and building audiences via a diverse set of communications platforms; excellent writing skills; a commitment to HSC’s mission; a demonstrated commitment to racial equity; and a hands-on, collaborative approach. The Communications Director will work closely with communications colleagues, senior leadership, and program leads.

This position reports to the Senior Vice President. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing HSC’s communications team, which consists of a Communications Manager, and several communications consultants.
  • Leading a team effort to develop and successfully implement an annual communications plan, as well as tailored plans for individual programs, that result in a comprehensive and coordinated strategy for communicating with a variety of audiences and meeting HSC’s program, policy, development and outreach goals.
  • Writing and providing editing support for program materials, marketing materials, press outreach and other organizational communications (e.g., reports, newsletter articles, action alerts, letters to the editor, policy briefs, blogs, sign-on letters, policy and fundraising campaigns); producing content for general organizational materials.
  • Developing, monitoring and interpreting key metrics for evaluating the success and reach of communications strategies.
  • Developing and successfully meeting project goals and deliverables including scope of work, project workplans and budgets.
  • Overseeing HSC’s websites, social media channels, blog and newsletters to effectively engage HSC’s key audiences.
  • Developing and refining key messages and ensuring integration through all channels (e.g., websites, traditional media, social media, newsletters, webinars, speeches, photos and videos, event presentations and donor solicitations).
  • Contributing to the development and execution of an online giving and individual engagement strategy. Providing significant communications support for other fundraising activities including email, social media and print campaigns and the development of collateral to support corporate and individual donor engagement.

Qualifications

  • 10+ years of post-college experience in a senior communications role with a nonprofit advocacy organization(s); smart and analytical team-oriented person who understands HSC’s mission, goals, programs and structure and can deploy internal and external resources with a sensitivity to organizational capacity and competing priorities.
  • A commitment to HSC’s mission, vision, values and equity priorities.
  • Experience effectively managing a team, and demonstrated experience with successful project management; proven ability to work in collaboration, integrate constructive feedback, prioritize work, manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Very strong writing skills and experience writing for a diverse set of audiences and in a variety of styles; substantive experience across a variety of communications channels including print, digital, press and social media.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to use communications as part of an advocacy agenda to create compelling messages, build audiences and build support from key decision makers, partners and funders preferred.
  • Experience writing reports, memos and other materials for an audience of education and health policymakers and leaders and philanthropic program officers preferred.
  • Experience messaging to corporate and individual donors – both prospective and existing; experience using social media to build brands and attract and steward donors preferred.
  • Experience working with the media to place stories, be responsive to timely news and develop relationships that result in longer-term story development and organization/program brand building opportunities preferred.
  • Strong technology skills and an understanding of how to apply technology to achieve communications goals. Experience using Adobe Creative Suite (specifically InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator), WordPress, Trello, data management systems (HSC uses Salesforce), and social media platforms preferred.

Additional Requirements

  • The Communications Director must be based in or near Chicago where the HSC office is located; the HSC office is currently closed so applicants must have a functioning home-office space for effective virtual work through at least the summer of 2021.
  • This position will require some travel.
  • This position will require working some nights and weekends.
  • This position requires some meeting and event setup and support.
  • Candidates must be willing to submit to background checks including criminal and driving record reviews.

The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $80,000 depending on experience. Generous benefit package includes employer paid medical, dental and disability insurance, 6% employer matching contribution to a retirement plan after one year of employment and paid vacation and sick leave.

To Apply

HSC is committed to equal opportunity and nondiscrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability or veteran status. HSC strongly encourages Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), women, LGBTQIA+ people and members of other marginalized communities to apply.

Please respond to this opportunity by May 14 with the following documents and send to communications-director@healthyschoolscampaign.org. Please put your full name in the subject line.

  • Resume and cover letter that includes how you have centered racial equality in your communications work
  • Sample organizational communications plan or project that you shepherded from beginning to end
  • Three references

No phone calls please. The application deadline is 11:59 pm on June 2, 2021.