Vice President, Public Relations & Marketing (GCF)

Organizational Overview

Grand Rapids Community Foundation leads Kent County in making positive, sustainable change. With its endowment, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. Guided by our North Star, we believe that for West Michigan to grow and prosper, we must ensure that everyone can apply their talents and creativity to fuel our future. By connecting across perspectives and overcoming inequities, we can build and sustain an inclusive economy and thriving community.

General Summary

The Public Relations & Marketing Specialist works closely with and under supervision of the Vice President, Public Relations & Marketing to develop and implement communication and marketing strategies and tactics to connect and engage the Community Foundation’s various audiences. This Public Relations & Marketing Specialist position oversees marketing and media relations projects and creates content and experiences to advance the Community Foundation’s strategic goals in alignment with the North Star, as directed by the Vice President.

The ideal candidate will have an extraordinary understanding and commitment to the Community Foundation’s North Star. They will have extensive experiences working effectively with persons from various cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds. They will have a demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative setting, effectively communicate around sensitive issues, a highly developed cultural awareness and the ability to be an active listener.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Strategic Planning and Measurement
    • Assists with the development and implementation of integrated strategic communications plans for the Community Foundation.
    • Works with the Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing and other Community Foundation staff to create and implement innovative and audience-specific strategies and messaging that increase the Community Foundation’s value among donors, community leaders and grantees.
    • Assists with planning, designing and conducting market research to help guide sound marketing decisions, including audience segmentation and insight development.
    • Assists with evaluating and reporting the success of the communications and marketing strategic plan and uses data and assessment to refine plans for future years.
  • Content Development and Management
    • SME in: Donor partners, Giving Strategies, Challenge Scholars, Scholarships, Centennial
    • Assists with the development of audience-specific messaging and promotes the use of key messages in all communications.
    • Helps ensure the consistency of the Community Foundation’s voice and that all material abides by brand and cultural competency standards.
    • Assists with development and management of a content calendar for the Community Foundation, while staying abreast of trends in philanthropy and communication metrics to ensure effectiveness.
    • Creates and edits print and digital content for core communications, including copy, graphics, photos and videos for final approval by Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing.
    • Uses design and editing software for in-house graphic design projects, videos and presentations with an emphasis on collateral materials for events and development (fundraising) needs. 
  • Media Relations, Advertising and Sponsorships
    • Identifies stories and develops and distributes press releases, pitches, talking points and other editorial content, serving as a liaison between the Community Foundation and news media.
    • Assists with maintaining strong media ties for dissemination of Community Foundation stories.
    • Helps identify advertising and sponsorship opportunities to promote the Community Foundation among key audiences. 
  • Internal Communications
    • Assists with the development and implementation of internal communications strategies to ensure that all employees understand the Community Foundation’s core messages, as well as the Community Foundation’s role in bringing about change in West Michigan.
  • Project Management
    • SME in: Giving Strategies, Fundraising, Advertising, Sponsorships, Centennial
    • Efficiently and effectively manages a variety of cross-departmental projects at once from inception through finished product.
    • Works with departments, creative partners and vendors to develop and implement communication strategies.
    • Manages production and mailing oversight.
  • Organize Our History 
    • Maintains news clipping files for both print and electronic media stories involving the Community Foundation. Organize and maintain catalogs of images, CDs, DVDs and audio files.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience, in communication, public relations, marketing, advertising or other related fields.
  • Minimum 3 years of progressively more responsible experience in communication, public relations, marketing or advertising. Experience and knowledge of the nonprofit sector and foundations preferred.
  • Ability to establish and maintain respectful and inclusive relationships with a diverse network of donor, nonprofit and community partners, including media contacts and vendors.
  • Successful record of conceptualizing and implementing communications goals and strategies.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills. Must be a proficient editor and a persuasive writer.
  • Experience planning and implementing public relations and marketing campaigns; proven track record in pitching media and securing local TV, print and radio coverage.
  • Proficiency in developing and implementing digital communication strategy and tactics. Experience with social media and website management is required.
  • Ability to serve as a catalyst among internal and external constituents; broad experience of implementing plans through various communications avenues while meeting deadlines.
  • Demonstrated project management skills and ability to meet deadlines. In a setting with multiple projects a high level of organization and detail-orientation are musts.
  • Self-motivated with ability to make independent decisions.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products and Adobe Creative Suite. Understanding of graphic design, print and video production processes.
  • Experience with graphic design, photography and basic video production.
  • Fluency in Spanish is preferred, but not required.
  • Ability to contribute to a work environment in which collaboration, respect and honesty are valued. Excellent interpersonal skills are needed.
  • A sense of integrity and strong work ethic seasoned with humor and perspective.


Special Work Requirements

  1. Safe & reliable, personal transportation required. Properly licensed and properly insured.
  2. Travel within Michigan.

Organizational Competencies

All employees are required to uphold the values of Grand Rapids Community Foundation which are: Integrity, Excellence, Inclusion, Sustainability, and Bold Aspirations.  All employees are required to comply with the policies, procedures, and safety programs of GRCF as well as follow all state and federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to those related to donor rights, confidentiality, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Percent of Work Time

  1. Sitting 25-60%
  2. Standing Less than 25%
  3. Walking Less than 25%
  4. Lifting or carrying up to 30 lbs. Less than 10%
  5. Pushing or pulling up to 30 lbs. Less than 10%
  6. Climbing Less than 10%
  7. Kneeling, stooping or bending Less than 10%
  8. Repetitive movement Less than 10%
  9. Keyboarding 25-60%

To Apply

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