Development Communications Manager

Development Communications Manager
Organization Name: 
Job Category: 
Job Description: 

PeerForward is the national nonprofit that transforms the lives of students in low-income high schools through the power of positive peer influence. A pioneer in the field and one of the very first college-access organizations, PeerForward puts into action decades of research that demonstrates that the social aspects of schooling drives achievement. The organization develops teams of high school juniors and seniors who mobilize their peers to and through college, as well as solving pressing school-wide problems, in partnership with educators and administrators. The organization, which has been recognized for its social innovation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and President Obama, who shared his Nobel Peace Prize with PeerForward in 2009, annually serves 100,000 students and is currently gearing up to significantly increase that number through an innovative scaling strategy. PeerForward is a national organization operating in 13 states and the District of Columbia where it is headquartered.  

PeerForward is seeking a Development Communications Manager to develop a multi-channel communications strategy to attract, motivate, and sustain our funders and supporters. Working as a member of a dynamic, fast-paced team, the Development Communications Manager will engage in hands-on development and execution of communications strategies to attract and steward funders.

This is a unique opportunity for a dedicated, enthusiastic, relationship builder with exceptional writing skills to make significant impact at an innovative nonprofit. Though PeerForward has a history spanning two decades, our small, dedicated staff and lively work environment is similar to a start-up. You will be a key contributor to priority intiatives, helping PeerForward to create new programs and approaches for fulfilling its mission and building awareness of its work. This position will develop and release consistent, compelling pitches, proposals, and messages for distribution through all possible channels, including the website, social media platforms, press advisories, newsletters, and events.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to broaden awareness and increase the visibility of PeerForward’s programs and priorities with funder audiences in support of revenue targets.
  • Liaison with the Marketing team to ensure development communications are fully integrated into the overall communications strategy to advance our mission and brand.
  • Develop and manage stewardship/donor communications strategies and lists for each type and tier of donor to keep them informed and actively engaged. 
  • Create compelling proposals and reports, serving as the lead writer/editor and managing cross-functional teams to produce effective pitches.
  • Work closely with the CEO to identify and contribute to the building of relationships with key leaders and stakeholders in youth activation and college success.
  • Lead the process of revamping PeerForward’s donor case statement.
  • Conduct research into major donors and support the nurturing and management of relationships with high value donors including maintaining a database to provide an effective program of donor acknowledgement and stewardship.
  • Synthesize research into organized reports to inform the appropriate outreach and communication approach and help prepare development officers to effectively engage with current and prospective donor partners.
  • Work with the programs team to discuss program priorities and vision; creating communications plans for each program; and maintaining a donor/funder tracker to capture progress and deliverables.
  • Collaborate with internal teams to review messaging for each program and create an off-shelf resource for fundraising staff to describe and promote all programs consistently across audiences.
  • Connect program efforts to storylines and events related to youth activation and college and career success.
  • Support the planning, management and communications for fundraising events, as well as program launches to increase their impact and visibility.
  • Recommend, drive, and support interviews, op-eds, speaking appearances, and other external engagement by fundraising staff related to our programs.
  • Maintain guidelines and policies for accurate and ethical management of donor and prospect information.
  • Create and maintain tools to accurately and efficiently track and report on the communication efforts related to PeerForward programming.
  • Draft press releases, funder and media pitches, and other messaging.
  • Manage the process for ensuring grant compliance and timely reporting.
  • Other special projects as needed.

Qualifications & Skills requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required plus 3-5 years of communications experience for a nonprofit organization.
  • Enthusiasm for PeerForward’s mission.
  • Excellent computer and internet skills, including Microsoft Office, and experience using a CRM database tool and digital platforms and tools (e.g., Salesforce, MailChimp, etc.).
  • Experience in planning, leading, and managing development/communications projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking and reporting on progress to leadership/board of directors.
  • Demonstrates ability to juggle short-term and long-term tasks/responsibilities within a deadline driven environment without letting details slip through the cracks.
  • Great Influencer: Gets others to accept ideas by using convincing arguments, creates a win-win situation and responds appropriately to key stakeholders
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills. Skilled in creating powerful, compelling written and oral communications for fundraising. Ability to convey complex ideas through brief, simple materials. Experience and credibility when presenting materials to external audiences. Proven ability to tell a story effectively through a range of media engagements.
  • Expertise in social media applications and multimedia tools.
  • Experience in using infographics and data visualization to tell stories about specific issues and demonstrate an organization’s work 
  • Effective at working with others to reach common goals and objectives. A creative, results-oriented team player adept at managing collaborative processes and projects in an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Willingness to travel, less than 25% of the time.

Physical Requirements

The employee is frequently required to see, talk, hear, walk, and sit.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee may occasionally push or lift up to 20 lbs. such as boxes, supplies, etc.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the individual(s) assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required.  Management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign other duties as necessary.  In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.