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Communications Officer, Writing and Editing and Communications Officer, Social Media and Impact

The Joyce Foundation

Chicago, Illinois

Date Posted: 09/06/2019

About Us

The Joyce Foundation is a Chicago-based foundation that works with grantee partners to develop and advance policy reforms that promote racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. The Foundation works to achieve these goals by investing in policies that support the region’s young people, so they enter adulthood ready to thrive in work, family, and community. It makes grants in the areas of gun violence prevention and justice reform, education and economic mobility, environment, democracy, and culture.

The Joyce Foundation focuses much of its investment in six states in the Great Lakes region: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Projects supported in the region may also have broader implications given the interplay between work on the ground in the states and national policies taking shape in Washington. Experience has shown the Foundation that success in the states can point the way to federal policy changes and also serve as examples for local action. Conversely, the Foundation brings promising ideas percolating at the national level back to the Great Lakes region. The Foundation has a staff of 27, is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, and holds approximately $1 billion in assets.

The Foundation distributes approximately $50 million in grants annually to organizations that combine creative, evidence-based ideas for broad, systemic change with a strong strategic sense of how to make change happen. In addition to its grantmaking, Foundation staff play a critical leadership role facilitating high impact conversations and connecting the dots between grantees, government and other philanthropies.

Proactive Communications

The Foundation knows that robust communications is a critical element to effecting change — amplifying and elevating grantmaking and thought leadership. The Foundation recently refined its grantmaking and leadership to sharpen its impact — and this year, it will do the same with its communications work, with the goal of increasing the tempo of Foundation communications. The Communications Director seeks to strategically build out the Foundation’s communication team with the addition of two new staff people — a writer/editor and another dedicated to social media and measuring impact — allowing the 2 communications work to move into a far more dynamic and active role. These two positions would report to the Communications Director and be supported by a Communications Associate.

The Foundation’s strategic communications work will support Joyce grantmaking and thought leadership by engaging audiences on multiple platforms, including a broad range of creative communications strategies, e.g., traditional and electronic media, media relations, crisis management, collaborative partnerships, events, and interactive social media platforms. The goal of the strategic communications work is to reach key audiences.

Together, the expanded Communications team, in close collaboration with Program and Executive staff, will actively seek and create communication opportunities to:

● Foster a deeper understanding of Foundation’s program areas and related policy work to educate and engage audiences on the issues.

● Amplify the work of grantee partners and the impact of the Foundation’s investments.

● Reinforce Joyce’s reputation and voice as a foundation working to develop and advance policies informed by evidence, and as a trusted policy resource.

Communication Officers Qualifications and Core Competencies:

The Joyce Foundation currently has two Communications Officer positions immediately available:

1) Communications Officer, Writer/Editor and

2) Communications Officer, Social Media and Impact

Communications Officer, Writing and Editing


This position will be responsible for helping to shape and maintain the Foundation’s voice and identity with exceptional written content. They will be responsible for establishing an editorial calendar to manage workflow, track content types, promotional channels, and publish dates.

The Writer/Editor will be required to gain the trust and cooperation of program officers, grantees and partnering organizations in order to identify and execute story ideas. The ideal candidate for this position must be a seasoned storyteller with a history of high volume compelling writing that demand attention and stimulate reaction. They must be equally skilled at seeing stories and working collaboratively with others to thoughtfully extract the facts and storylines. Successful candidates will be deeply experienced at working independently and in a team to both write and edit, including collaborating with the Communications Officer Social Media and Impact on creating content for social media. The Writer/Editor will assist the Communications Director in identifying opportunities to include Joyce Foundation staff in coverage of relevant news stories and help prepare leadership and program staff for media interviews or other opportunities to deliver the Joyce perspective on the Foundation’s issues. This position will share responsibilities for staffing and coordinating events.

Core competencies/requirements:

● Experience and proven passion for the Foundation’s values and programmatic priorities.

● Demonstrated strength as a writer: ability to produce compelling, clear, and engaging content for multiple platforms.

● Experience researching, writing, and editing digital and print content, including speeches and talking points for foundation leadership and program officers; blogs and other web content; social media posts; news releases; briefings/background papers; strategy memos.

● Intellectually curious, creative, strategic thinker to contribute ideas, and think broadly, imaginatively, and strategically about Joyce Foundation communications.

● Experience working collaboratively across teams and instinctively pitching in when needed to support communications goals.

● Experience with fast paced-deadline driven work environments that require the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities and shift priorities quickly when necessary; improve/streamline operations; recognize when detailed operational tasks may take precedence over more creative pursuits.

● Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 years of experience, with 10+ years preferred, at the intersection of policy, media, and communications, such as previous work at a news organization, public affairs agency, or as a communicator at a foundation, nonprofit, or government office.

● Journalism experience a plus.

Communications Officer, Social Media and Impact


This position is responsible for managing social media platforms to expand and elevate the Foundation’s online presence. This position would work closely with program staff, grantees and partnering organizations to coordinate and optimize social media. They will serve as the standard bearer for the social voice of the Foundation and will be responsible for growing and engaging influential social media followers. This work will include managing, scheduling and posting the day-to-day posts on Foundation channels; developing content and social media plans; coordinating program staff and grantees to engage and interact online; and exploring—and testing—innovative tactics to reach higher numbers of influencers. Managing digital tools, and any related contractors, is another responsibility, along with training internal users, where appropriate. This position is responsible for developing and implementing strategic social media plans for inclusion in the editorial calendar. It will share team responsibilities for staffing and coordinating events. And it will create, update and maintain guides and processes related to digital channels including: social media playbook, social media account management, managing social media requests from grantees and partners, and more. In addition, this position will be responsible for tracking impact and utility of various communication efforts to guide the Foundation’s investments of time and talent. Determining impact is particularly critical as the communications effort ramps up, experiments and expands its activity and reach.

Core competencies/requirements:

● Quick, digitally-minded writer with the ability to convey complex ideas through compelling, pithy writing. Solid understanding of digital strategy and best practices, including how to engage in and maximize impact of social media, email, and web.

● Natural curiosity, excellent judgement, experience working collaboratively across teams and instinctively pitching in when needed to support communications goals.

● Experience with fast paced-time sensitive work environments.

● Experience trying creative approaches to reach and engage new audiences on digital platforms. Experienced with exploring and developing new channels, content, and experiences to advance communications goals.

● Experience managing outside visual communications consultants, including graphic and digital design and photography support.

● Has a good grasp of standard social media measurement techniques and experience with metrics to determine the impact of various communication platforms and understands how to draw actionable insights from available social media measurement.

● Enthusiastic to share digital media expertise with colleagues and actively engage all members of the organization in utilizing social media platforms to the fullest.

● Bachelor’s degree with 5+ years of experience with proven record of managing social media accounts.

How to Apply

The Joyce Foundation values diversity of thought, experience and culture and actively seeks to reflect this value in this search process. We anticipate filling these two positions Fall 2019.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and interested candidates are encouraged to apply early. SAL Consulting, Inc. has been hired to support this search process and kindly asks that applications be submitted electronically to, with only your name and the communications position you seek in the Subject line. (EX: Maya Angelou: Social Media and Impact)

Applications must include:

1. A thoughtful cover letter that communicates your interest in the position and how your credentials meet the core competencies articulated above for the position you seek;

2. A current resume; and

3. Writing samples or social media links that best demonstrate your talents

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