Chalkboard is Hiring a Strategic Communications Director | Chalkboard Project

Chalkboard is Hiring a Strategic Communications Director

Thursday, July 11, 2019 Ashley Walker

Job Announcement

Position Title: Strategic Communications Director

Reports To: Executive Director

Compensation: Based on experience, $75,000 – $85,000 annual

Position Type: Full-time, exempt

Closing Date: July 31, 2019

About Chalkboard Project / Foundations for a Better Oregon

Foundations for a Better Oregon (FBO) is a nonprofit organization founded and led by five of Oregon’s largest foundations for the purpose of collaboratively addressing Oregon’s most challenging issues. Since 2004, FBO has focused on improving K-12 public education through the Chalkboard Project. The Chalkboard Project has helped to improve student outcomes statewide by amplifying the voices of teachers and students, learning through data, research, and innovative pilot projects, and advocating for significant legislation to increase the effectiveness and diversity of our educator workforce.

2019-20 marks an exciting turning point for FBO / Chalkboard Project, as we seek to examine how this unique organization can play an even more impactful role in improving outcomes for children and young adults by looking deeply at the root causes of inequity and courageously challenging the multiple systems that are causing these unacceptable disparities. We believe that by deepening partnerships, centering communities, and leaning into our unique role as intermediary between public, private and civic, we can use the power of advocacy, convening, research and storytelling to radically accelerate progress for children and families.

Work Environment

Chalkboard / FBO is a small, fast-paced, highly engaged work environment with partner organizations and work that extends across Oregon. We strive to communicate effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, orientations, identities and cultural backgrounds. We value personal growth, courageous communication, honest reflection and promote a willingness to change for continual improvement.

Position Description

This position calls for a possibility thinker who is passionate about co-designing, testing, and communicating system change strategies that deliver lasting impact for children and families across the state of Oregon. We seek a professional with proven nonprofit experience to develop and manage the components of a comprehensive communications plan that supports the launch of a new strategic direction for the organization. This is a roll-up-your-sleeves position with the capacity to impact the lives of youth and their families. If you are caring, resourceful, collaborative, outcome-oriented, and able to build strong relationships, then FBO is the place for you.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Strategic Communications Director will:

  • Collaborate with Executive Director and other directors on recommendations and decisions related to the overall mission, goals and strategic initiatives of the
  • organization.
  • Develop and implement a cohesive communication plan for the organization, including leading a potential rebranding effort in 2020.
  • Design and lead opportunities for staff and board to contribute to and practice core messages.
  • Ensure adequate frequency of communications, as well as media placement, and coverage throughout Oregon.
  • Travel and work in communities across Oregon, visiting schools, churches, parks, community centers, etc. for story gathering and partnership building purposes.
  • Conduct and manage media relations, including: initiating and maintaining relationships with reporters, editors and publishers; writing press releases; preparing information packets; coordinating media events; and promoting coverage.
  • Create and implement a social media strategy that is in-line with the core values of the organization, to increase and engage key audiences in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media venues.
  • Manage the website, including: managing work of vendors; writing and coordinating content; identifying opportunities to upgrade design, navigation and technology; and publicizing on directories and search engines.
  • Oversee the development of all print and electronic communications, including monthly newsletter, legislative handouts, invitations to key events, PowerPoint presentations for Board and community meetings and other publications.
  • Provide strategic guidance into the development and successful production of events, including an annual partner event.

Key Attributes

  • Excellent ability to synthesize complex information and write about it in an accessible and compelling style
  • Deep belief in community as experts with the keys to solving the state’s most intractable challenges
  • Self-directed, goal-oriented and a team player, proactively collaborating externally and internally
  • A curious learner with the ability to test and employ multiple research and communications strategies, and to continuously adapt and grow
  • Thrives in the complex messiness that accompanies change
  • Able to translate strategy into operational plans and execution
  • Deeply collaborative and a strong listener - able to build and maintain authentic, trusting relationships that facilitate shared action
  • Demonstrates an ability to work with a diverse group of partners
  • Ability to work well under stress and deadlines
  • Sense of perspective and humor

Skills & Qualifications

  • Five years of strategic communications, policy/advocacy, and/or nonprofit, government or philanthropic leadership experience
  • Proven ability to translate complex data into meaningful narratives and reports/presentations with compelling visual graphics
  • Demonstrates multi-cultural intelligence, appreciation and respect for diverse communities and sovereign nations across Oregon
  • Experience interacting with community-based organizations, policy-makers, and civic, business, and philanthropic leaders, and familiarity with divergent issues across the state (e.g., urban vs. rural, equity)
  • Proven ability to manage time and prioritize tasks to meet goals and deadlines
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Adobe Design and Google products
  • Proficiency in digital communications
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience

Compensation and Benefits

  • Annual salary between $75,000-85,000
  • Medical and dental coverage
  • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan with qualified match and contribution
  • Section 125 Flexible Benefits Plan
  • Transportation stipend ($100/month)
  • Generous paid time off, sick leave, and holidays

Chalkboard Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer

We are committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment with respect to race, color, ethnic background, religion, gender, age, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, political beliefs, affiliations, disability, or marital or veteran status.

Application Process

Please email resume, cover letter, and your responses to the following three questions to Ashley Walker,, by midnight on Wednesday, July 31.

Application Questions

Each response should be 200 words or less.

  1. Chalkboard / FBO is at an exciting turning point in determining strategic initiatives. This moment requires flexibility and iteration in a fast-paced work environment – can you describe your relationship to innovation and disruption, as well as your comfort with change?
  2. What is your experience in engaging with culturally specific communities?
  3. What responsibilities (if any) listed in the job description would you feel are a challenge or an opportunity for you to grow your skill set?


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