1. Work with FCNL

Associate Executive Secretary (VP) for Communications

February 23, 2018


The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a nonpartisan Quaker lobby based in Washington, DC, is seeking an experienced communications professional who will drive FCNL’s national narrative and lead our communications team to tell the story of our impact to Quakers, donors, advocates and the media throughout the country.

Executive Summary

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a nonpartisan Quaker lobby based in Washington, DC, seeks nominations and applications for an Associate Executive Secretary (Vice President) of Communications, who will drive FCNL’s national narrative and lead the communications team to tell the story of impact to Quakers, donors, diverse advocates, and the media throughout the country. This is a newly created position designed to build FCNL’s presence in the media, to oversee organizational marketing, and to provide strategic direction for all communications. At a time when the country is becoming more and more polarized, this is an exciting opportunity to work across partisan lines in a respectful and consensus-based way to find common ground.

FCNL is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to live out its values of integrity, simplicity, and peace as it builds relationships across political divides to move policies forward. Communications is an integral part of FCNL’s mission across all aspects of the organization. The Vice President will develop an integrated communications strategy to cultivate a stronger media and marketing presence that promotes FCNL as an effective advocate for peace and justice in all media platforms and communications channels. Reporting to the Executive Secretary, they will supervise the Communications team and work closely with the FCNL lobbyists, the Development team, and Field and Quaker Welcome Center staff to develop media-friendly messages and strategies to advance FCNL’s legislative priorities and to integrate the communication and marketing needs of the entire organization. The Communications Team currently includes a Digital Communications Manager, Graphics and Social Media Manager, and Program Assistant for Communications. The ideal candidate will be responsible for the hands-on execution of integrated digital marketing and communications strategies to support internal and external organizational communications goals and objectives. Additionally, they will collaborate with leadership and peers within the organization to appropriately elevate its funding strategies, key programs, and partners to priority audiences.

The successful candidate will possess at least eight to ten years of communications experience, preferably in the nonprofit sector, and have a demonstrated track record of developing and implementing integrated communication strategies, writing and curating content, and providing counsel based on best practices in the field. They will be an exceptional project manager with outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail; possess excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills; and bring a self-starter attitude to project execution and toward working in a resource lean environment. They will have a solid understanding of a variety of communication channels and a passion for using those tools to expand outreach to new audiences. They will be entrepreneurial-minded, a self-starter, and highly-motivated with a desire to learn and for building and maintaining professional relationships. They will also be a well-rounded, driven, and highly dependable individual who thinks creatively, has a passion for delivering quality results on large projects and daily tasks.

The search committee is being assisted by Katherine Jacobs and Nureen Das of the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group. Please see application instructions at the end of this document.

The Organization

FCNL lobbies from a basis of spiritual and ethical purpose and seeks to change government policy and practice for the better, playing a key role in lobbying initiatives on Capitol Hill that focus on racial and economic justice, peace, stewardship of the environment, and election integrity. FCNL’s lobbyists have extensive connections with federal legislators and conduct focused legislative campaigns on the following priorities: peacebuilding, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, curtailing endless war, criminal justice sentencing reform, immigration reform, refugees, solutions to climate change, economic justice and Native American issues. FCNL and Friends approaches each of these priorities by identifying, exposing and working to eliminate institutional racism, sexism, and militarism in order to promote genuine equality of opportunity and communities in which everyone can safely live, learn, work, worship and love.

Its dedicated grassroots network brings constituent perspectives into congressional offices—both in Washington at two major lobbying events each year, and in local district offices. FCNL informs and educates its network through newsletters and collateral materials and activates its grassroots network through a robust website, email, and social media outreach.

FCNL’s national network includes people from many different faiths and backgrounds who are activists and donors. The organization is dedicated to growing the network with a particular emphasis on building effective relationships as a path to policy change. In the past three years, FCNL increased the number of in-person visits from its constituents to legislators by 50%. Headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, FCNL is governed by a General Committee of 190 Quakers from across the country and employs a staff of 48, including 20 registered lobbyists.

FCNL has brought Quaker values to bear on national policy throughout its 75-year history through congressional testimony, Capitol Hill visits, grassroots lobbying, and educational initiatives. Its strategic direction in the coming years is to create a bigger presence for FCNL—through media and marketing, as well as through its growing and vibrant network of activists.

Communications at FCNL

The Communications team is an integral part of FCNL and serves to advance communications across all aspects of the organization. The Communications team partners with and contributes to the execution of strategic communication and narrative strategies that are grounded in FCNL’s mission, vision, and values. The primary responsibilities of the Communications team are to oversee and manage integrated digital and print marketing and communications strategies and tactics across FCNL, including its digital ecosystem for web, social, mobile, email, SEO/SEM, events, digital advertising, and more.

Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Vice President of Communications

The new Vice President of Communications will be responsible for the hands-on execution of integrated marketing and communications strategies to support organizational goals and objectives. In collaboration with the broader Communications team this position will be responsible for the following:

General Communications

  • Design communications strategy and execute programs to deliver media, marketing, and all communications objectives throughout the organization and across departments.

  • Lead FCNL’s effort to secure earned media placements in Washington and in focused states around the country to advance legislative goals including, but not limited to, quotes from FCNL staff, opinion pieces/op-eds, editorials and letters to the editor in print, radio and television.

  • Drive organizational message development, pitch, and announcement strategies focused on specific audiences.

  • Help generate rich and creative content that is multi-purpose and optimized for search engines.

  • Lead the communications team to develop specific metrics and goals for communications and media engagement and provide quarterly reports on these goals.

  • Maintain the quality of FCNL’s communications products and ensure they are consistent with Quaker values and FCNL’s priorities and policies.

  • Oversee the production calendar for all internal and external communications

Marketing

  • Manage FCNL’s brand and reputation to ensure that the public and FCNL’s established network of donors and activists view the organization favorably.

  • Oversee the production of advancement and promotional materials such as newsletters, email announcements, planned publications, online, internet, video, and special projects and assignments.

  • Draft and edit media-focused content, including op-eds, press releases.

  • Oversee the management of FCNL’s email database to engage existing donors and constituents and to broaden the audience.

Media

  • Develop relationships with and pitch stories to journalists that support FCNL’s Hill and grassroots lobbying by developing framing and content to journalists, editorial boards, columnists and other media influencers. Draw on these relationships to secure strategic placement for interviews with FCNL staff, advocates, and validators in the media. Serve as a point of contact for media requests.

  • Oversee the creation and development of a media contacts list and the tracking and analysis of media coverage of FCNL.

  • Train the communications team and lobbyists in message development and media relations. Lead FCNL’s media strategy to generate social media, print, radio, and broadcast media coverage on the local and national levels to infuse an ethical, morally grounded perspective on legislation that advances FCNL legislative priorities.

  • Oversee the maintenance of FCNL’s website, social media presence, and other digital organizing platforms.

  • Monitor the news cycle to identify opportunities to generate or influence news coverage in ways that advance FCNL’s campaigns or organization.

  • Assist with on-the-ground events, press engagements and internal strategy to effectively disseminate media coverage.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

While no one person will embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • 8+ years of experience in communications, 5+ years of experience leading and supervising a team in a fast-paced advocacy environment.

  • Journalism background and/or media relations experience of more than five years essential.

  • Previous experience on Capitol Hill, political campaigns, and in advocacy preferred.

  • Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills. Willingness and ability to work cooperatively in a fast-paced environment, set priorities and work independently as well as be an effective team member.

  • Collaborative mindset. Ability to establish trust and build relationships with people at all levels of the organization and to work across all departments to design and drive an integrated strategy.

  • Demonstrated ability to be decisive and persistent while making good judgments.

  • Ability to work independently, handle multiple projects with various deadlines and priorities, and exercise good judgment and multi-tasking skills.

  • Possess the high energy, maturity, and leadership presence to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.

  • Experience with content management systems and media contact databases.

  • Facility in digital organizing and advocacy.

  • A self-starter who is able to build new structures and initiatives while maintaining professional relationships.

  • Deep understanding of FCNL’s policy positions and faith-based perspective toward lobbying.

  • The ability and willingness to travel.

Applications and Nominations

The search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Nureen Das of Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to: fcnl-vpc@nonprofitprofessionals.com

FCNL seeks to create a diverse workplace. We are actively soliciting applicants from all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.