Founded in 1924, Victoria Foundation is a private foundation based in Newark, New Jersey, with an endowment of $320 million. For the past 55 years, Victoria Foundation has focused most of its resources on children and families living in Newark, New Jersey, with grants totaling $300 million. The current grantmaking of about $11 million a year has been traditional in nature, with 160 grantees receiving annual grants to support operations and to provide a broad range of programs and services.
The Foundation is emerging from an intense time in its 99-year history. Throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, trustees and staff engaged in a strategic planning journey to consider how the foundation might generate greater impact with its resources. The key question at the outset of this effort was: How might the Foundation address the root causes of generational poverty in Newark? Foundation trustees and staff grappled with the need to be more explicit about the central role structural racism has played as a root cause of persistent poverty. The strategic planning journey came to focus on the question: How should the Foundation approach place-based funding, given the long history of government-sanctioned racist policies and other forms of institutional racism that have shaped Newark as a highly segregated, majority Black and Brown, post-industrial city where 36% of children are living in poverty or extreme poverty?
Victoria trustees recently adopted the following mission:
Victoria Foundation partners with Black and Brown residents and other marginalized communities and nonprofit organizations in Newark to champion bold strategies that strengthen community power, foster economic justice, promote youth self-determination, and respond to pressing needs.
Read more about the new framework and changes we are making to align our team, operations, and investments with this new mission.
A newly-created position reporting to the Vice President – Strategy, Impact and Communications, the Communications Specialist will play a pivotal role in the next phase of the Foundation’s evolution, helping develop and implement an overarching strategic communications strategy that aligns with the Foundation’s new vision, mission, and values.
This new role will include support for a range of internal and external communications activities as well as activities that position the Foundation as an engaged partner in the Newark community, especially as it relates to the new framework, partnership with nonprofits and residents and becoming a more visible and vocal advocate for policies and issues of high priority to Newark community leaders. As needed, a communications consultant will be available to support the Communications Specialist and the staff as a whole in developing and advancing Victoria’s communications capacity.
The Communications Specialist’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Strategy support and implementation
- Collaborates with the executive leadership team, strategy officers, and communications consultant to refine and implement a strategic communications plan for the Foundation.
- Serves as an active member of the strategy team to develop content, with primary responsibility to implement internal and external communications (e.g., blogs, website, annual reports, social media, op eds, LTEs, speeches, surveys, fact sheets etc.).
- Develops and maintains regular electronic contact with priority audiences via emails, web and social media with the goals of sharing Foundation updates, story gathering, and highlighting key learning relative to the new framework.
- Engages audiences on various social media platforms by curating, creating, and publishing content that uplifts the work of the Foundation and its grantees.
Evaluation and adapting activities
- Monitors the foundation’s social media presence (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), email analytics, and website activity, adapting content based on analytics and sharing report outs to the team on engagement on these channels, and progress toward communication goals.
- Works closely with Vice President – Strategy, Impact and Communications and web contractors to overhaul the website. Responsible for updating content on the website to keep in line with current initiatives, grantmaking, staffing, and news.
Content development, program support
- Provides counsel, support, and prep to staff on communication activities, such as social media, speaking engagements, and media interviews.
- Manages communications for events, such as Victoria-hosted grantee gatherings and convenings.
- Assists program staff with development of blogs, presentations and other outreach materials that further the Foundation objectives, strategies, and initiatives.
The Communications Specialist position requires travel outside of New Jersey at least 2 to 4 times a year for events, retreats, and conferences.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
While no candidate will meet every qualification, we seek candidates that meet most of the following criteria:
- Outstanding oral, written (including editing), and interpersonal communication skills.
- Experience with grassroots and people of color-centered storytelling. Able to develop effective strategies to lift up and amplify the voices of the grassroots community.
- Lived and professional experience demonstrating a commitment to the Foundation’s values of anti-racism and solidarity.
- Demonstrated record of successfully developing communications strategies for other nonprofit organizations and experience with a wide variety of communications tools including social media.
- Talent and enthusiasm for embracing new digital communication technologies.
- Knowledge of the nonprofit sector and strong desire to support those who work in the sector.
- Working knowledge of the media landscape, from mainstream to alternative outlets.
- Bachelor’s degree preferred (open to consideration of robust and relevant work experience).
IDEAL CANDIDATE PROFILE
A passion for the Foundation’s mission is essential. We are seeking a new team member with a working understanding of the connection of race and systems change, and the important role of language, stories and communications have as a tool for change. The ideal candidate will be an accomplished, compelling storyteller able to translate stories across channels, exceptional writer and gifted communicator who is intellectually curious and has the facility to write and speak about complex social issues in a manner that inspires action. Anticipating that the Communications Specialist will join the Foundation during a shift in overall strategy, candidates should be creative, energetic, adaptable, and comfortable with uncertainty. Our team is a group that strives to maintain a healthy, values-aligned internal culture characterized by humor, collaboration, respect, kindness and humility especially during high-stakes times. We are hoping to bring in a new team member that wants to join and help grow this workplace culture.
For the Communications Specialist position, Victoria Foundation anticipates an annual base starting salary is $85,000 to 90,00 range. The Foundation is committed to supporting its staff with a highly competitive benefits package and multiple opportunities for professional development.
VICTORIA FOUNDATION COMMITMENT TO EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT
We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We employ qualified people without regard to: race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; individual capabilities; sexual orientation; pregnancy or breastfeeding; veteran or military status; marital status; civil union or domestic partnership status; arrest record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law.
How To Apply
Send a cover letter and your resume to email@example.com. Application period will close on Friday, May 19th.