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Communications Manager

Science Philanthropy Alliance

Palo Alto, California

Date Posted: 08/30/2019

About the Science Philanthropy Alliance 

The Science Philanthropy Alliance is a group of funders that have come together to increase philanthropic support for basic scientific research to accelerate scientific discovery in the twenty-first century. We accomplish this goal by understanding the opportunities and complexities philanthropists face in their quest to advance basic science. We provide advice and learning opportunities for individuals and foundations so they can help answer scientific questions, solve big problems, and further our knowledge about the natural world. We empower them to advance their own science interests and priorities, primarily by utilizing our deep connections in the worlds of science and philanthropy. By serving as impartial advisers to philanthropists, promoting collaboration among those who are interested in this vital stage of scientific discovery, and bringing together donors and top scientists, we aim to substantially increase philanthropic funding for fundamental research and to create a community of funders for discovery-driven scientific inquiry.

Job Description

Under supervision of the executive director, and in close collaboration with Alliance staff and members, the communications manager will manage and execute all communications to support the mission of the Science Philanthropy Alliance and the communication needs of the Alliance. Responsibilities include significant writing or editing for all materials produced. The communications manager will also be responsible for managing or creating all aspects of the Alliance’s website, as well as the creation of its outreach and collateral pieces (i.e. slide presentations, blog posts, feature stories, member practice compilations, case studies, and specialized advising materials targeted to key individuals and audiences). The manager will also draft, as needed, emails, talking points, grant proposals, acknowledgements, and other communications aimed at achieving the Alliance’s goals. In all duties, the manager will establish and ensure that the high editorial standards of the Alliance are met, and that all copy is meticulously proofed for style, grammar, accuracy, and consistency of presentation. The manager will also oversee the design and execution of Alliance branding, including marketing collateral materials, again ensuring quality and brand consistency. Furthermore, the manager will lead the publicity and media activities for the Alliance, including the writing/issuance of news releases, proactively approaching key reporters, responding to press queries, and preparing talking points for Alliance executives, board and staff.


  • Update the communications strategy for achieving the Alliance’s mission and goals; ensure that all copy and design is consistent with the Alliance’s brand, strategy, editorial standards, organizational metrics, deadlines, and content expectations
  • Support advisors by creating and updating materials needed for individual advising projects, and by being project manager on initiatives related to communications
  • Support membership retention and growth through developing/updating all membership materials, stewardship reports, brochures, annual reports, strategic plans, slide presentations, blog posts, newsletters, etc.
  • Support Alliance staff by drafting and designing emails, invitations, and other communications, as needed, including communications to board, members, and advisees
  • Serve as editor and content manager for the Alliance website, determining design, developing content as needed, and implementing a plan that will make the website a robust, informative, effective, and up-to-date resource for Alliance constituents
  • Determine value and scope of the Alliance’s social media presence and develop relevant social media support for Alliance projects
  • Identify, contract with, and manage partners and vendors as needed to achieve communication goals (i.e., social media consultants, web developers, designers, videographers, photographers, etc.)
  • Lead the publicity and media outreach for the Alliance as needed, including for Alliance-produced events

Skills and Experience

  • At least 5 years of experience in a communications role, ideally with experience communicating with foundations and philanthropists
  • Excellent and proven writing skills
  • Excellent and proven editorial skills, demonstrating an ability to produce engaging copy on complicated topics
  • Design skills, particularly for the development of slide presentations (PowerPoint and Keynote). Additional design program knowledge a plus
  • Excellent and proven project management skills
  • Resourcefulness in developing content with limited direction
  • Familiarity with and creativity in the use of web communications (WordPress), social media, newsletter distribution services (Mailchimp), and similar tools, and have proven experience in their use
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to multitask, prioritize projects, and meet urgent deadlines
  • Passion for the power of basic science to transform our world

Additional Preferred Experience

  • Background/experience in science writing and communications for a philanthropy or foundation, and/or communications for a research institution
  • Experience working with thought leaders in science or philanthropy

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to

New Venture Fund 

Science Philanthropy Alliance is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. The New Venture Fund is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding, and enables each of us to realize our potential. The New Venture Fund’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

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