Charitable Advisors LLC
  • 01-Oct-2017 to 31-Oct-2017
  • - Simon Youth Foundation
  • Indianapolis, IN, USA
  • Full Time

The Communications Director provides media and messaging expertise as SYF's lead on strategic communication functions associated with the organization's awareness, fund development, digital/social media and relationship building; including public, community and SPG internal corporate public relations to enhance, grow and sustain the Foundation's presence on a local, regional and national level. Responsibilities include leveraging available internal and external assets to tell compelling stories about the work of SYF that achieve strategic goals for the Foundation.

Organization Overview:
Simon Youth Foundation, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, exists to help at-risk students who are on the verge of dropping out of high school stay in school.

Through 30 Simon Youth Academies in 12 states and Simon Youth Scholarships, SYF advocates, creates and initiates educational opportunities for students so they can start here and go anywhere. In partnership with local public school districts, SYF has maintained a 90% graduation rate at its Academies since inception, graduated more than 15,660 students, and awarded nearly $17 million in scholarships.

Primarily located in Simon Malls, Simon Youth Academies offer flexible schedules and small class sizes that make learning accessible to students who struggle to connect with material in a traditional classroom or school because of homelessness, bullying, serious illness, parenthood, supporting their families, or facing other challenging personal circumstances.
Each year, Simon Youth Scholarships program awards one-time and renewable scholarships to high school students in every community that is home to a Simon Mall. Targeting first-generation college students and those with demonstrated financial need, the Simon Youth Scholarships program furthers the SYF commitment to extending educational opportunities to all students who want to learn, regardless of their circumstances.

SYF believes that all youth, no matter their personal circumstances, have the abilities to go anywhere that their dreams lead them, but these abilities must be fostered by meaningful educational and professional-development opportunities.  Simon Youth Academies and Simon Youth Scholarships provide these opportunities, ignite hope and serve as a starting point for students' journeys toward lifetime success and achievement.

Position Duties:
Under guidance of President/Chief Executive Officer and Vice President, Advancement, develops and defines all messaging and messaging strategy relating to the Foundation and its mission for both internal and external use to create, maintain and expand a positive public image to establish and foster loyalty among stakeholders. Ensures direct reports and other internal colleagues effectively communicate SYF messaging across all platforms.

Specific duties include:
•     With the help of Communications staff and other colleagues, constructs correspondence, talking points and other communications collateral:
- Simon Youth Foundation Annual Impact Report
- Fundraising campaigns, including annual Simon Employee Contribution Campaign
- SYF Annual Conference
- Academy graduations, field fundraising events, and scholarship ceremonies, etc.
- SYF communications to SPG corporate
•     Serve as Foundation liaison with SPG corporate communications, digital media, global creative services and other areas as needed.
•     Support local special events as directed by Vice President, Advancement.
•     Drafts speeches, reports, presentation for CEO and other senior team as needed.
•     Edits, reviews and approves external communications as needed.

Position Qualifications
•     Bachelor's degree in journalism, English, marketing, communications or related field.
•     Minimum 5 to 7 years of experience working in public relations or corporate communications (Previous communications experience in a non-profit setting strongly preferred and highly desired.)
•     Effective communication generalist; superior, proven written and verbal communication skills that capture the attention of the receiver and a strong ability to translate complex information into informative, influential and easily understood accurate messages.
•     Demonstrated story generation and publicity for fundraising and special event management experience.
•     Capacity to work within a team environment, with multiple/simultaneous campaign and activation modes.
•     Ability to think, act and respond strategically within matrix relationships of clients and stakeholders.  
•     Computer/software competency. Desired knowledge of Blackbaud, HTML, CRM, CMS systems.
•     Previous experience in timely/proactive project management/personnel management role.
•     Capability to handle multiple projects at any time is a given, and must be substantiated.
•     Prior significant experience as a PR, corporate communications, or journalist generalist, highly desired.

ATTENTION: Be Prepared - To assist you and the search committee in discerning your match for the position, we suggest you prepare your responses to these questions prior to hitting "APPLY" to make your application. Applications will not be considered without question responses.
        1. What experience, assets or qualities do you feel make you a uniquely qualified match for this position and organization?
        2. Share a couple experiences from a comprehensive campaign effort you have been involved with. What was your greatest success? What would you change next time?
        3. Talk about how you have successfully engaged board members in sharing your organization's story.
        4. What questions would you ask of a potential employer to determine if their expectations of a new Communications Director are realistic?
        5. What process would you use to review our current strategies and determine what needs to end and what needs to be created?
        6. Give an example of how you have used outside marketing/PR firms and/or contractors to leverage your efforts and benefit your organization?
        7. What do you see as the keys to building and sustaining a high performing staff culture?
        8. How do you keep up-to-date on the leading edge of work being done in our field?

Click the APPLY button to submit a detailed cover letter, resume, and salary requirements by Oct 31.

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