Southern California Grantmakers

Communications Director

Employment type
Full Time
14 days ago
Los Angeles


Director, Communications

Application Deadline: 

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Southern California Grantmakers

Job Description: 

Southern California Grantmakers ( is a nonprofit membership association that brings together our region’s leading philanthropic organizations to learn, connect, and take action. Our mission is to champion effective philanthropy and advance collaborative efforts that bring about meaningful change for the common good.

Over the past four years, the SCG community has nearly tripled to include 300+ foundations, corporate giving programs, government grantmakers, generous families, and consultants across eight Southern CA counties as well as statewide and national funders who invest in our region. We offer 200 educational programs per year, and we have begun working with our members to take action on public policy. We partner with leading philanthropic-sector organizations across the country, including an initiative called Philanthropy California with our sister associations Northern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers that provides a platform for shared programs and policy work. Founded in 1973, SCG’s recent work is building a national reputation for innovation, collaboration, and leadership.

Our 20-person team shares a strong commitment to our work and to each other. We are a growing organization that strongly values learning. Our executive team spends a lot of time supporting each staff member’s professional development and fostering a caring, inclusive, high-achieving culture. We are passionate about philanthropy, fast-paced, hard-working, flexible, and fueled by laughter and snacks.

Position Description:

The Director will be a senior philanthropy/nonprofit professional who brings strategic leadership, a collaborative approach, and exceptional writing skills to elevate SCG’s full range of communications. Beyond day-to-day content creation, the Director will lead us forward on two key strategic challenges:

  1. How can we best create and communicate valuable content that engages our members and partners and advances their work and SCG’s impact?
  2. How can we lift SCG’s unique voice in our sector and beyond as a thought leader and advocate for meaningful change for the common good?


This is a newly redefined position reporting to the Vice President of Membership & Communications. The Director manages a full-time Communications & Communities Associate (the Associate), as well as vendors and consultants as needed. S/he collaborates closely with the rest of the Membership & Communications Team and across the entire SCG team.

Essential duties and responsibilities relating to strategy and leadership:

  • Develop and implement a communications plan that advances SCG’s mission and overall organizational goals. Play a key role in developing and executing on organizational goals.
  • Develop and manage cross-platform strategies to effectively engage with key audiences by promoting SCG in general and specific programs/initiatives/policy work as needed, by leveraging email, web, social media, online communities, remote programming, and other channels.
  • Manage the Associate, providing leadership, supervision, and professional development. Support an organizational culture that values empowering and developing the entire SCG team.
  • Work closely with the CEO and the VP of Membership & Communications to develop and implement strategies that position SCG and the CEO as leading voices in the philanthropy sector.
  • Represent SCG as a spokesperson and leader, externally and on key partnerships such as Philanthropy California.
  • Develop a compelling messaging platform that communicates SCG’s full value. Train and support staff and Board on consistent messaging and key SCG initiatives.
  • Keep up-to-date on trends, emerging topics, and discussions in the sector, and shape thoughtful strategies to lift SCG’s voice where our leadership perspective can add value.


Essential duties and responsibilities relating to communications:

  • Lead the editorial direction of all communications tools, including email templates, websites, print collateral, videos, social media, etc. Manage the Associate to design, produce, and publish communications, and to create and deliver tools and training for staff to do basic communications on their own.
  • Write content for key strategic communications such as conference and initiative messaging platforms, executive talking points, monthly CEO eblasts, and major announcements. Serve as editor on day-to-day content written by the Associate, other SCG staff, and partners for consistent voice and quality. Work with program/initiative managers for content approval.
  • Lead “testing and learning” on how to use advanced capabilities of our Salesforce-integrated email platform Pardot and our Online Communities to better engage members and to streamline internal work. Collaborate with the Senior Manager, Statewide Online Technology to identify, develop, and deploy new website capabilities as needed.
  • Strategically identify and manage media relations opportunities. Write press releases, pitch targets, and support SCG staff, board, and members as spokespeople if needed. Select and manage media consultants as appropriate.
  • Ensure that we have efficient, documented systems and processes for SCG’s communications functions, including an up-to-date crisis communications plan.


Qualifications and Requirements

  • Eight or more years of related experience in the philanthropy/nonprofit sector in increasingly responsible, writing-intensive strategic marketing/communications roles with significant experience leading a high-performing team to achieve excellent results.
  • Demonstrated experience leading and executing highly effective, integrated communications campaigns that elevate brands and engage key stakeholders to take action.
  • Masterful juggler with a track record of managing multiple simultaneous deadline-driven projects with distributed ownership on a nonprofit budget.
  • Exceptional written communication skills with adaptable style for different audiences and a keen eye for proofreading and editing.
  • Superb interpersonal skills with a diplomat’s ability to listen, engage, and build partnerships with internal and external stakeholders at all levels from diverse backgrounds.
  • Very comfortable with technology and social media; Salesforce experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in media relations.
  • Passion to drive meaningful change for the common good; experience communicating about issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Flexible, adaptable team player seeking a fast-paced environment of cross-functional teams where everyone is a both a leader and a do-er and everybody wears multiple hats.


To apply: send cover letter and resume to Karen Freeman at [email protected].

SCG provides equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, SCG will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.


To apply

Apply online here