Communications Officer

28 Jan, 2021


Communications Officer

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
New York, NY


Wellspring Philanthropic Fund is a private grantmaking foundation dedicated to advancing the realization of human rights and social and economic justice for all people. With offices in Washington, DC and New York, NY, Wellspring’s work is rooted in respect for the dignity and worth of every human being and is informed by the following beliefs:

  • Social institutions and structures should promote the full realization of human rights and human potential, and should be accountable to these ends
  • The rights of all people are advanced when the rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable peoples are protected
  • Social justice movements should employ means that are consistent with their ideals, and should give agency to the people whose interests they seek to advance
  • As responsible stewards, we must strive to maximize the impact of our charitable investments

Wellspring’s Communications team develops and implements communications strategies and plans designed to help advance foundation and programmatic goals. We help set the strategy and direction for all internal, external and donor communications that support the executive leadership and the staff. The Communications team operates with an equity lens, building collaborative relationships and continuing to learn, adapt, and improve. This position offers a unique and exciting opportunity to help shape a growing communications department and drive communications, influence, and initiatives that contribute to the Foundation’s overall mission and vision.


The Communications Officer will work collaboratively with the Communications team, cross-functionally with other Wellspring staff and with external partners, including consultants, in helping to conceive, develop and implement a forward-thinking communications strategy and initiatives to achieve the foundation’s communications objectives. The person in this role has an opportunity to shape how Wellspring communicates by bringing a creative and strategic approach to communications to ensure that people don’t just read a message — they absorb information, learn through context, and have reliable resources from which to draw when they need them.

The Communications Officer will help define communications standards and norms, design communications and change efforts and help ensure that we apply a culturally-informed, equity lens to our communications strategy and storytelling practices.

Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Communications Officer will initially work remotely and then be based at Wellspring’s headquarters in New York once our offices reopen.


The primary responsibility of the Communications Officer will be to help plan, organize, direct and execute the foundation’s communications strategy toward increasing transparency and engagement across the foundation.


  • In collaboration with the Communications team, the Communications Officer will help manage and execute institutional communications efforts, working to protect the foundation’s reputation, and share its knowledge and learning
  • Develop and disseminate consistent, clear, and effective messaging about foundation-wide initiatives
  • Make recommendations and provide tactical assistance to build and leverage the voice of program staff to help achieve programmatic goals
  • Retain and manage freelancers and external consultants, when relevant
  • Align internal and external communication on institutional initiatives
  • Anticipate, protect against, and respond in a crisis, partnering with legal and other staff, as needed, to help advise Wellspring leadership and/or program staff
  • Write, edit and produce clear and concise messaging and content for Wellspring’s communications assets, such as the Annual Report, donor materials, communications collateral, etc.


  • Help develop and implement donor engagement and communications strategies and tactics to elevate programmatic and grantee work and their impact
  • Support the continued development of the donor newsletter and related microsite
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to curate and share compelling stories about the foundation and grantees


  • Maintain a broad understanding of the needs and dynamics of program teams to best advise them
  • Ensure employees have the communications information (talking points, templates, protocols, messaging) they need to be successful
  • Provide communications counsel to program staff, including tools, resources and/or communications-related trainings
  • Work with program staff to organize and provide communications counsel and/or communications assistance for grantees as needed, including developing RFPs, managing vendors, and/or conducting communications-related trainings
  • Contribute to the ongoing learning and development of the communications team, and the wider foundation, about best practices in the field of strategic communications
  • Be an active thought partner and advisor to Foundation staff, guiding colleagues through communications crises, messaging and planning


  • Assist in defining and developing communications standards and norms for internal communications
  • Help execute an internal communications strategy, ensuring messaging is clear and consistent while aligning with the Foundation’s overall objectives, culture and values
  • Develop presentations, talking points, and other communications activities for Wellspring leadership as necessary
  • Lead planning of all-staff meetings to share foundation news
  • Improve upon existing communications channels and develop new ways to engage and inform staff
  • Help anticipate and manage communications challenges that may arise
  • Serve as a supportive, creative, and flexible Communications Team member on foundation-wide projects, initiatives, and learning on the impact of communication activities
  • Support communications-related work with intranet development and knowledge management


  • 7-10 years of relevant work experience in communications, marketing, PR or journalism, including nonprofit, philanthropy and/or public affairs experience
  • Experience providing communications counsel to an organization’s senior staff
  • A “big picture” problem solver, who can drive projects independently and collaborate cross functionally
  • Proficiency with Microsoft 365 suite and familiarity with WordPress and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage shifting priorities with time limitations
  • Team player with ability to adapt quickly and communicate across all levels of the organization
  • Experience developing thoughtful and creative communications strategies that positively impact multiple audiences and meet crisis communications needs when appropriate
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including emotional intelligence, strong judgment and tact with the ability to foster trust and build relationships
  • Experienced communicator: Strong communicator with excellent written and verbal communication skills (e.g., presentations, storytelling) to convey complex information to stakeholders with different backgrounds, viewpoints and needs. Demonstrated ability to create and edit different types of content. Excellent proof-reading skills; knowledge of AP style. Accomplished at communicating and influencing both inside and outside an organization. Strong sense for messaging and tactics that resonate with audiences.
  • Execution and Implementation: Proven project management skills and the ability to effectively multi-task. Track record of managing vendors and contractors effectively to ensure timely, high quality work products. Experience managing cross-functional relationships and priorities. Ability to manage projects from conception to execution
  • Adaptable and Inclusive: Ability to demonstrate inclusiveness, collaboration, respect and broad organizational interests. High degree of comfort with rapidly changing, ambiguous contexts and an 4 ability to help craft a clear path forward in these environments. Flexible in the face of organizational change and shifting priorities. Ability to contribute to a collegial, respectful, and supportive office environment
  • Creative and strategic thinker: Clear understanding of how to set and implement communications strategies that consider both proactive and reactive tactics. Highly strategic about messaging, timing, and communications channels. Excellent analytic abilities and critical thinking skills, with ability to see the big picture and chart a path towards achieving goals. Understand how to measure and assess the effectiveness of communications and adapt accordingly.


The ideal candidate is a skilled, mission-driven problem-solver, who is comfortable with developing strategy and executing tactics; with a strong ability to manage projects; and a deep belief in the power of communication to do good in the world. Fluency in Spanish (reading, writing, speaking) is a major plus. The ideal candidate possesses and demonstrates emotional intelligence, strong judgment and tact and must be committed to Wellspring’s mission and core values: humility, respect, teamwork, and support for others.


The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position. The team member may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

How to Apply

For employment consideration, please submit ‘application’ to Chaloner with the subject line “[Your name] – Wellspring Communications Officer”.

All applications must include:

  • a resumé (PDF);
  • a thoughtful cover letter, including how you became aware of this opportunity and minimum salary requirements; and
  • two (2) writing samples (e.g., talking points, press release; blog post) attached in PDF format

A writing test may be administered. Please advise if you require any accommodations.

Job posted: 2021-01-28