SAFSF Is Hiring!

Communications Director

Application deadline: 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, February 22, 2021.

Position Summary 

Working as a member of the Membership and Outreach team, and in collaboration with the entire SAFSF staff, the Communications Director will manage and execute all SAFSF internal and external communications in our core areas of work. This is a newly created position that requires an individual who has experience working with a broad range of communications tools and channels and who can work effectively across a wide range of communications activities. The individual hired will also help clarify the role, the relationships, and the responsibilities of the position within the SAFSF staff as they learn on the job. 

All SAFSF employees work remotely; candidates may live anywhere within the United States. 

About SAFSF

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) is a philanthropy-serving organization (PSO) that amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable food and agriculture systems. Established in the late 1990s and staffed since 2003, SAFSF has evolved into a vibrant network of approximately 100 organizational members from the philanthropic and investment sectors whose work spans a broad range of issues and strategies as well as a wide geographic range—domestic and international. Our vision is that all resources invested in food and agriculture systems enhance our collective wellbeing. Our core values of collaboration, equity, respect, stewardship, and integrity drive our organization on a daily basis. We use these values to guide our decision-making process in all our work, from developing programs and hiring new staff to choosing caterers, vendors, and venues.

SAFSF recognizes that a diversity of perspectives, lived experiences, and professional and personal skills among our staff, leadership, and membership is critical to our success as an organization. We are a dynamic organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork based on mutual respect.

The lean SAFSF staff is organized into four teams: Program, Membership and Outreach, Operations, and Executive. The Communications Director will be part of the Membership and Outreach team, but will work collaboratively with all teams. Each SAFSF team plays a unique role in our strategy to harness the power of our membership and community via three strategic levers: Strengthening Connections, Fostering Collaboration, and Building Capacity. 

These are some of the ways in which the Membership and Outreach Team activates these levers:

  • Strengthening Connections: The Membership and Outreach Team is the primary point of contact for prospective and new SAFSF member organizations, facilitating personal introductions to current members, other funders in our broader network, and outside contacts including government agencies, media, or nonprofits where appropriate. This team maintains ongoing contact with current members to bring them into stronger engagement with SAFSF and each other, and to help identify areas of strength, interest, or concern which are then shared with other staff teams. 
  • Fostering Collaboration: The Membership and Outreach Team leads cross-sector collaboration with other philanthropy serving organizations, and works with the Program Team to help bring together SAFSF members working on similar issues, geographies, and/or strategies in ways that lead to greater collective impact. 
  • Building Capacity: The Membership and Outreach Team works to ensure that SAFSF’s membership and communications activities expose funders to new ideas, topics, strategies, skills, and resources that can increase their funding impact, and help other audiences such as media, policymakers and nonprofits understand the role and value of philanthropy in the sustainable agriculture and food systems sector.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

Content oversight and management of all external-facing communication materials

  • Gather information and understanding of SAFSF’s work and network for content development by participating in meetings and events, interviewing members and staff, and reviewing current and historic materials.
  • Develop key messages and talking points for presentations and speeches.
  • Ensure effective, appropriate, and consistent use of graphic identity, brand materials, key messages, and tone.
  • Manage, maintain and expand digital presence including website, email and newsletters,  social media, audio and video content.
  • Oversee production of annual Year In Review report and other reports, evaluations and written materials as needed. 

Staff communications support

  • Provide support and advice to all staff on effective communications strategies and use of materials and tools.
  • Work across all SAFSF teams to provide support on internal and external communication needs spanning programmatic, membership, and operational areas.  

Develop media engagement plan and manage media relations 

  • Establish direct relationships with media; serve as media contact for SAFSF and an entry point to the sustainable agriculture and food systems philanthropic sector. 
  • Write and distribute press releases, backgrounders, fact sheets, and other media materials.
  • Pitch story ideas and SAFSF spokespersons to media in alignment with SAFSF’s strategic and programmatic goals.
  • Support staff and members in their interactions with media materials, talking points, interview coaching, participation in media calls, media follow-up, etc. 
  • Maintain database records of media contacts, conversations and coverage.
  • Develop and maintain a media resource area on the website.

Provide insights on SAFSF communication strategies and approaches 

  • Help clarify SAFSF’s key audiences and effective communications strategies to reach them. 
  • Analyze data to assess the effectiveness of communications tools and strategies. 
  • Over time, work to develop communications guidelines, strategies, and plans.

Required Qualifications 

  • Knowledge base in sustainable agriculture and food systems and the breadth of issues addressed by philanthropy in this space. 
  • Understanding of racial equity concepts and the importance of working to dismantle white supremacy.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including a sharp eye for editing and proofreading.
  • Strong project management skills and track record of developing content across multiple media including website, email, social media, press materials and written reports. 
  • Experience writing, distributing and pitching materials to print, online, broadcast and other journalists, bloggers and influencers, with a track record of message and spokesperson placements.
  • Experience maintaining and enhancing high impact websites and social media accounts.
  • Experience providing oversight and support on the use of brand materials and key messages for staff members outside the communications team. 
  • Experience working in a highly collaborative environment and ability to maintain focus and effectiveness on many projects simultaneously.
  • 5+ year track record of success with communications and media responsibilities similar to those described above.  

Additional Preferred Skills / Qualifications

  • Experience working with food, agriculture, and/or philanthropy media. 
  • Familiarity with philanthropy-serving organizations or other professional membership associations.
  • Experience developing and implementing a communications strategy.
  • Experience with Mailchimp – design, dissemination, audience management, and analytics. 
  • Experience with WordPress as a website platform.
  • Skills with Adobe Creative Cloud applications – specifically InDesign and Illustrator. 

Basic Work Requirements

Fluency in English. Familiarity with common computer-based tools such as Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and Google Drive (docs, sheets, slides); email; and websites. Willingness to travel within the U.S. occasionally, up to several times per year.  We acknowledge current COVID-19 related travel restrictions but expect that this position will require travel in the future.  

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time, exempt, permanent, remote position with a starting salary range of $60,000-$70,000. SAFSF offers an excellent benefits package, which currently includes automatic (5%) and matching (up to 3%) retirement contributions, medical, vision, dental, and prescription insurance (100% paid by SAFSF for employee), as well as health and fitness, internet, and cell phone reimbursements. Paid time off includes 8 federal holidays plus the day after Thanksgiving, summer half-day Fridays, the last week of the year (December 25-January 1), accrued vacation, and sick time. SAFSF has an entirely remote workforce. 

Application and Hiring Process 

All interested applicants must apply online at tfaforms.com/4879050 no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, February 22, 2021.  Applicants must respond to the following four questions in lieu of a traditional cover letter and upload a resume to complete the application. Please limit each response to 250 words or less.

  1. What compels you to want to be part of the SAFSF team and work at the intersection of philanthropy and food and agriculture?  
  2. What is one aspect of communications work that you especially enjoy and how do your unique skills and/or life experiences play into that? 
  3. Describe a challenge or success you have experienced in executing communications strategies within a membership organization or in a situation involving multiple stakeholders or collaborators.
  4. The events of 2020 helped to reveal the systemic racism and inequity present in the U.S. food and agriculture system. What are your thoughts on the agriculture and food systems narratives highlighted by the media and how SAFSF could or should contribute to those narratives?  

SAFSF is  committed to transparency and aims to minimize the stress and uncertainty of our application and hiring process. We also  seek to minimize bias and the impact of structural discrimination within our hiring practices. We focus first on relevant work skills, along with both professional and lived experience. We are seeking a diverse pool of candidates and are using processes that help to mitigate unconscious biases.

To this end, the application form will ask candidates to voluntarily disclose demographic information, which will not be visible to the members of the hiring committee. Voluntarily providing demographic information helps SAFSF assess the diversity of our applicant pool throughout the hiring process. 

Applicants who move forward through the hiring process may be asked to participate in phone interviews, video interviews and written assessments. Applicants will be notified if/as they are selected to move forward.  Our hope is to have a new staff member onboard  in early May 2021.

Please contact [email protected] with any questions. We look forward to getting to know you!

Equal Employment Opportunity 

SAFSF is a 501(c)(3) public charity that 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. SAFSF’s work environment is open to all people, 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.