Saint Paul, MN

Communications Associate, Bush Foundation

The Organization

The Bush Foundation is a private foundation based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, the Foundation works to inspire and support creative problem solving — within and across sectors — to make our region better for everyone. To do this, we invest in great ideas and the people who power them in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share that geography. Learn more at

This role is the operational and administrative anchor to the Communications team. We are a highly collaborative organization and team, and communications work involves implementing our team priorities as well as being highly responsive to the priorities of other teams. The Communications team is responsible for amplifying and promoting the great ideas and people we have invested in and equipping our staff to engage people throughout our region to inspire and support creative problem solving.

Our Values
Spread Optimism. We encourage individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible. We are positive and supportive in our internal and external interactions.
Work Beyond Ourselves. We actively seek opportunities to work in true collaboration with others to have more impact. We are willing to both lead and follow. We candidly share what we learn with others.
Everybody Matters. We are a champion for both excellence and equity inside and out of the Foundation. We have fair, open and inclusive processes. We work to raise overall quality of life while also closing opportunity and achievement gaps.
Steward Well. We demonstrate appreciation for the Foundation’s history and thoughtfully build on its legacy. We hold ourselves to high standards of integrity and accountability and conduct ourselves in a way we hope would make our founders proud.
More Good. Every Year. We are a true learning organization and work to be smarter and more effective every year. We never lose sight of the reason we exist: to do the most possible good with the resources left to the community by Archibald G. Bush.

Position Overview

We’re seeking a new Communications Associate. The right person for this job is someone who is excited to use their project management, administrative and interpersonal skills to move important work forward. The Foundation has a strong commitment to both equity and learning and we look for people who are energized by both. If you are good at keeping projects moving, helping people meet shared goals and get excited about discovering connections and simplicity in processes, this might be the opportunity for you!

Job Purpose
The Communications Associate role focuses on two primary areas of work: 1) managing the operational side of the Foundation’s community engagement strategy and 2) leading the administrative activities of the Communications team.

  1. In community engagement, this position plays a key role in implementing our engagement strategies in ways that better equip our staff members, especially grantmaking staff, to deepen relationships and work with communities in our region. This work is mostly internal, helping to develop and implement the processes and tools that support effective community engagement. We expect the engagement work to take up roughly 75% of the role’s capacity.
  2. The remaining 25% of this role will support the administrative needs of the Communications team. While a smaller percentage of the work, these responsibilities are very important to the team and organization.

This role reports directly to the Communications Director, while also working closely with the Grantmaking team on community engagement activities.

Core Responsibilities
Project management

  • Coordinate a wide range of engagement activities across the organization, acting as a key organizer, point person, connector, and resource for others.
    • Specific activities include:
      • Track and identify community events and speaking opportunities for staff to attend.
      • Track media coverage and community conversations that relate to our grantmaking and that of our grantees and Fellows.
      • Develop simple processes and tools to help staff track and record their engagement efforts in our Salesforce database for our own reporting purposes.
  • Work closely with the Grantmaking and Talent, Learning and Evaluation (TLE) teams to coordinate and implement trainings, data reviews and workshops that help us understand what is and isn’t effective in our efforts to effectively engage with key partners and communities.
    • Work closely with the Program Operations team and TLE to expand how we use our database for engagement work, such as keeping contacts’ current; segmenting lists for communications; and creating workflows or processes that help us consistently enter, maintain, and use data and information about our engagement activities.
    • Work with teams and individuals across the Foundation to ensure engagement work is reflected in team and individual work plans.

Contact Hub management

  • Serve as primary coordinator of our inquiry line – Contact Hub – which serves as the front door to the Foundation and is staffed by our Grantmaking team. Coordination includes:
    • Work closely with Grantmaking team members to set the schedule and assign staff to the Contact Hub.
    • Ensure staff have the communications tools and resources needed to provide effective and helpful responses to Contact Hub inquiries, including identifying additional communications tools and resources as they arise.
  • Monitor Contact Hub data, listening for new ways and opportunities to engage in different ways with people and organizations. Partner closely with TLE, Program Operations and Communications team members to review Contact Hub data and glean insights for how we might incorporate what we’re learning into our evaluation and learning work, our operation approach and our communication tools and strategies.
  • Work closely with the Grantmaking team to coordinate, implement and support our Office Hours strategy, which directly connects communities, organizations, and individuals with our staff – often in person – to learn together and share knowledge and opportunities.

Administrative support

  • Provide all administrative support to the Communications team, including:
    • Keep the communications budget regularly updated, working closely with the Communications Director to build out the annual budget.
    • Manage contracts, invoices and other team expenses, and work closely with vendors and the Finance team to ensure all information is submitted accurately and quickly.
    • Manage, organize, track, and order all communication-related assets and products, including:
      • Swag needed to support our program work and engagement activities.
      • Digital communications assets, such as logos, graphics, photos, and illustrations that are used on our website and various materials.
      • Print orders for collateral, business cards and stationery.
      • Staff photo shoots as needed.
  • Serve as key point of contact for a variety of communications questions, such as logo or branding requests; use of visual assets for presentations; providing responses to online scams; and pointing people to communications tools and resources.
  • Provide support for Communications team activities, such as workshops, presentations and other needs that arise.

Key Qualifications and Attributes

  • At least 3 years’ experience in a communications-focused role or a role within a complex organization that includes collaboration with a variety of units and teams. In order to thrive in this highly collaborative organization, experience working in a mid-size or large organization would be a plus.
  • Familiarity with a variety of communication tools and strategies and how they can be used to improve engagement. Examples might include social media, website design, live chat, marketing tools, etc.
  • Experience leading and managing projects with the ability to prioritize and keep multiple partners up to speed on progress and keep multiple tasks, timelines, schedules, and projects moving forward. Training or certification in project management is a plus. Able to manage current work and plan for future challenges. Ready to offer support, seek input or ask for help when needed. An active problem-solver.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and customer service skills, with experience engaging a broad and varied group of people, at all levels of organizations. Able to effectively work with people from a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Excel and PowerPoint. Familiarity with Salesforce or other customer relationship management (CRM) systems is a plus.
  • Enthusiasm for finding simple and effective ways to use technology to improve outcomes would be a plus as would experience bringing others along who are less experienced or enthusiastic.
  • Willingness to take on new opportunities and challenges with curiosity, energy, enthusiasm, and initiative.

Job Data

Reports to Kari Ruth, Communications Director

Classification: Full-Time, Non-Exempt (Hourly)

Starting salary: Annualized salary of $82,794, based on a 40-hour work week.

Benefits: We offer excellent benefits, including health, dental, life and disability insurance; generous retirement contributions; professional development and vacation, sick and holiday leave.

Location: This position is Twin Cities-based. The Foundation’s office is located in St. Paul, MN. We are a place-based foundation with a focus on serving the people in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share that geography. All employees are required to live in the region that we serve. Currently, 32 of the Foundation’s 35 employees live in the Twin Cities.

Work Context: We work in a hybrid environment, with a mix of virtual and in-person work to help us strike a good balance of independence and connection. Twin Cities-based staff work on-site every Wednesday, with one additional ‘connection and learning’ on-site day each month. Once a quarter, staff who live outside the Twin Cities travel to our St. Paul offices for those two on-site days. Staff are welcome to work in the office more frequently if desired.

Schedule & Travel: This role may require schedule flexibility and occasional travel in the region (up to 10%) to participate in events or meet priority deadlines.

To Apply
Please send a cover letter and resume to In order for us to see your application quickly, please put ‘Communications Associate Application: [your name]’ in the subject line.

In your cover letter, please describe your interest in this specific position and the experience you’ve had that lines up with the qualifications for the job. We’d also like you to tell us about a project that drew on your project management and problem-solving skills. What was the problem? What did you do and why? How did it turn out?

We’ll be accepting applications until Friday, 11/3/23 at noon (Central). We will start reviewing applications as soon as we receive them and strongly encourage early applications.

Learn More
We will be recording a brief webinar to introduce the Bush Foundation and the position. The closed caption recording will be posted on our website at by 10/16/23.

The Bush Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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