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Opening: Associate Director, Policy & Communications

Publication date: 
December, 2016

Position: Associate Director, Policy & Communications
Organization: Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Location: Washington, DC

The Forum – where philanthropy’s infrastructure comes together.

The Forum is the largest network serving philanthropy in America. We build and leverage the collective power of philanthropy associations and networks to maximize philanthropy's effectiveness in strengthening communities and improving lives throughout the United States.


Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer, the Associate Director, Policy & Communications is responsible for ensuring that the Forum works as effectively as possible to advance the work of our members to engage in government relations and public policy work at the state and national level, and to use communications as effectively as possible to advance the Forum’s mission and vision. The Forum is in the initial stage of implementing an exciting new vision to be the place where philanthropy’s infrastructure comes together, expanding our network to include both regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs). The Associate Director will play a pivotal role in ensuring that we are successful in achieving our new vision, serving our members and fulfilling our national leadership role in the philanthropy sector.

Working in collaboration with the rest of the Forum team and with our members, and in collaboration with other partner organizations, the Associate Director will plan and execute strategies to help regional and national PSOs advance effective policy that will strengthen philanthropy and advance issues that their members support, strengthen relationships and partnerships between philanthropy and government, and provide a collective voice for the Forum network. The Associate Director will also develop and execute effective communications plans, maximize the Forum’s new brand identity, and make appropriate and effective use of all Forum communications channels.

The Associate Director will contribute as an active member of cross-organization teams and work collaboratively with other staff to advance program and organizational goals.

This is a full-time, exempt position based in the Forum’s Washington, DC office. Salary is in the mid-80s, with a competitive benefits package including health coverage.


Submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

The Forum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse team and encourage applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds.

No telephone inquiries please.



  • Develop, organize and implement the Forum’s programs and services to strengthen the capacity of Forum members to engage in public policy and government relations work, including the annual policy institute.
  • Develop tools and resources to help Forum members engage in public policy and government relations work.
  • Plan, organize and implement the Forum’s annual Foundations on the Hill event, as well as a yearlong program to help Forum members engage with their federal legislators back in their districts.
  • Identify prospective relationships, strengthen existing relationships, and facilitate the exchange of information between the Forum and federal agencies, as appropriate.
  • Work with the CEO, Chief Strategy Officer, other identified staff, and volunteer members to support strategic alliances and collaborative activities in order to build a national presence for organized philanthropy with policymakers.
  • Work collaboratively with Forum members and key national partner organizations to ensure coordinated public policy and advocacy efforts.
  • Provide primary staff support to the member committee that provides general direction and support for the Forum’s public policy and government relations initiatives and programs.
  • Monitor, analyze and communicate key policy issues and legislation relevant to members’ and the Forum’s interests.
  • Supervise policy consultants and public policy fellow.
  • All other duties as assigned.


  • Develop and execute a strategic communications plan to guide the Forum’s use of communications to advance the Forum’s mission and vision.
  • Develop and execute communications implementation plans for various Forum projects and initiatives.
  • Manage the effective use of the Forum’s new brand identity (which is under development) in all Forum communications.
  • Manage all Forum communications policies and procedures.
  • Manage evaluation of all Forum communications.
  • Manage content, design, structure and navigation for Forum’s website.
  • Manage the design and writing for all Forum communications, including e-newsletters; marketing, membership recruitment and other promotional materials; annual conference communications; and annual report, working with Communications Associate (to be hired) and other identified staff.
  • Manage the Forum’s social media communications, including blog, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Manage Forum’s media relations efforts.
  • Serve as key staff liaison for Forum’s services and support for two Forum member groups, for people working in public policy and communications.
  • Support CEO and other members of the Forum team, as needed, in developing presentations.
  • Offer support and guidance to Forum team members, as needed, on communications.
  • Supervise Communications Associate (to be hired).
  • Manage work of any outside vendors used to support the Forum’s communications efforts.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Five or more years’ experience in policy/advocacy in philanthropy or nonprofit field and/or experience working in government; strong, existing relationships and experience with public officials at national level a plus.
  • Enthusiasm for the use of public policy and communications in the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to manage key public policy relationships with integrity and consistency, including a keen ability to work effectively and respectfully with politically, ideologically, culturally and geographically diverse people and communities. 
  • Strong analytical and technical skills and ability to translate complex subjects into approachable concepts.
  • Strong oral, written and online communication skills. 
  • Experience with website, email and social media communications.
  • Experience in marketing communications.
  • Experience in maintaining an organization’s brand identity.
  • Orientation toward continuous learning for self and others.
  • Effective project management and organizational skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a high-performance, collaborative, constructive peer group.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility and a commitment to and passion for the Forum’s mission.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as a part of a team.
  • Knowledge of philanthropy/nonprofit sector preferred.

The Forum team has identified the following core competencies as critical for our work:

  • Building Relationships
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Customer Focus
  • Strategic Agility
  • Supporting Organizational Goals
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