Communications Manager & Operations Coordinator Wanted

Posted by GAR Foundation ; Posted on 
Communications Manager & Operations Coordinator Wanted



GAR Foundation is seeking a Communications Manager who can help us tell the story of how we work to help Akron become smarter, stronger, and more vibrant. The Communications Manager (full-time, 40 hours/week) is a reconsidered role, designed to drive three key functions:

Generate thoughtful written and visual content to convey GAR Foundation’s systems change grantmaking work to a variety of audiences; develop and implement long-term strategies that bridge content to targeted audiences
Oversee and liaise with the Foundation’s external communications firm, which handles some of GAR’s social media engagement, media relations, e-blast creation, and other content channels; leverage the firm’s capacity to advance communications strategies
Design community convenings and engagement opportunities in collaboration with GAR staff; assist with developing outreach strategies and content for the convening sessions

Systems storytelling and content creation. A large portion of GAR’s grantmaking program ties to systems change work in Early Childhood Education, K-16 Education, and Economic and Workforce Development. The Foundation’s work in these areas is built around deep partnerships and strategies designed to address root causes and move toward long-term solutions.

The Communications Manager will be:

Embedded in our program staff discussions and will be expected to develop a deep, comprehensive understanding of this nuanced work
Charged with distilling systems work into digestible written and visual content for various audiences and media
Tasked with assisting Foundation staff in developing general social media posts and other content on an ongoing basis

Oversight of / liaising with an outside communications firm. The Foundation has outsourced some of its social media engagement and media relations to a local firm. The Communications Manager will serve as the Foundation’s internal point person for robust coordination with the outside firm toward achieving all communications objectives. The ideal candidate will have excellent skills in understanding, distilling, and communicating complex topics as written and visual content. They will also have solid project management and relational skills to ensure alignment with the external firm and timely achievement of the objectives in the Foundation’s communications plan.

The overall strategic scope of the role is to:

Protect and build the Foundation’s reputation as a thought leader and strategic grantmaker in Greater Akron
Build awareness of, and broad support for, our programmatic objectives, particularly in our systems grantmaking areas
Enable a consistent flow of communication between vendor firm and Foundation staff for timely execution of the Foundation’s plans
Convening support. The Foundation strategically convenes grantees and other community stakeholders to explore and advance subject areas and opportunities that tie to its key strategies. The Communications Manager will provide critical support in the convening work, with meeting design, outreach strategies, and the development of engaging content that will drive the achievement of meeting objectives. The Foundation believes that excellent convenings that provide value to participants and advance strategic work do not happen by accident. Instead, they result from careful planning, preparation, and foresight. The Communications Manager will assist in all facets of this work to create the conditions for top-quality convenings.

Core Responsibilities

Prepare all draft communications in support of major Foundation initiatives aligned with our strategic plan; key strategies include systemic solutions and community grantmaking priorities
Work closely with a communications firm to achieve weekly and monthly messaging objectives
Ensure consistent communications engagement with the Foundation’s firm and regularly update internal Foundation contacts
Support press relations on occasion, working closely with an outside firm
In tandem with Foundation staff and the external firm, develop a communications strategy and steward the plan’s implementation, some of which will be executed by the external firm and some of which will be completed by the Communications Manager
Optimize resources to ensure effective execution of communications strategies
Support all facets of the Foundation’s convening work, especially the creation of engagement strategies and content
Over time develop a long-term strategic approach to communications that puts the needs of the Akron community in front of national funders and other resources
Position Reports to: President, GAR Foundation, with secondary direction and support by the Senior Vice President.

Core Knowledge and Skills

Superior written communication skills and demonstrated expertise in writing for broad and narrow audiences
The ability to distill nuanced topics into simple, clear message points
The ability to generate engaging, visually appealing content (PowerPoint presentations, infographics, video content, etc.)
Working knowledge of desktop publishing software and content creation platforms
Strong project/vendor management skills, including initiative, the ability to plan and implement work, and meet deadlines
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to create productive and healthy relationships
Ability to work independently, drawing on their own expertise but remaining open to feedback
Exhibits a high degree of self-awareness relative to their strengths and opportunities for growth
Possesses a growth mindset and flexibility in adapting to dynamic work
Media relations and social media management expertise, including video/webinar presentation
A current understanding of evolving tools and channels of communications
An understanding of the political, cultural, and media contexts of Greater Akron
Education and Experience

Masters or Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a relevant field such as Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, Political Science, Organizational Development
At least five years of experience in a professional communications, journalism, or public policy role
Experience managing vendors, consultants, or contractors
Experience working collaboratively with teams, preferably including partners internal and external to the organization
Experience working in a communications agency, a philanthropic organization, or a nonprofit is strongly preferred
Compensation and Benefits

Salaried, full-time position, 40 hours/week
Compensation ranging from $60,000 – $65,000, commensurate with experience
Health, dental, and vision coverage for employee and eligible family members
Participation in GAR’s employer-funded Health Savings Account program
Eligibility for GAR Foundation’s 401k retirement savings program
Participation in GAR Foundation’s matching gift program
Hybrid work environment; some flexibility for remote work
GAR Foundation is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and affirmative action employer. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability status, or any other applicable characteristics protected by law. We embrace and celebrate diversity and strive to create genuine belonging for all.

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and a digital portfolio of relevant communications work to with the heading “Communications Manager” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The first round of interviews will begin in April. Please, no calls or emails other than to the designated email address.



GAR Foundation is seeking an Operations Coordinator (full-time) to perform advanced administrative support and logistical tasks necessary to assure the smooth operation of the Foundation.

Administrative Support (approximately 80% of the time)

Assist with all matters pertaining to quarterly Distribution Committee (governing body/aka Board) meetings (logistics, food, dinner & travel arrangements, prepare and distribute board materials in electronic and paper formats)
Assist with event management, occasional retreats, room arrangements, refreshments, catering orders
Schedule individual and group appointments, meetings, and conference calls for all staff and outside organizations as requested or required
Retrieve mail from U.S. Post Office; open, process, and distribute
Prepare correspondence
Order and maintain inventory of office, coffee, and snack supplies for staff and meetings
Handle ballroom and garden level AV equipment setup for meetings
Compile and circulate weekly Staff Meeting minutes
Handle all postal and delivery functions (FedEx/UPS, USPS, others)
Run errands as requested (post office, meeting food, bank deposits)
Provide other administrative support as requested (expense reports, handle all cell phone upgrades, program subscriptions, memberships, staff celebrations, etc.)
Facilities tasks

Serve as Foundation and tenant liaison with numerous vendors concerning facilities-related services and maintenance requests
Serve as liaison on major capital projects with property management vendor, PSM
Identify, assist with negotiations, and maintain strong business relationships with service vendors, reviewing and making recommendations for annual contracts for renewal
Identify House needs for handyman service to address, communicate. Keep in touch with them frequently (Crystal Clear Building Services)
Welcome/Receptionist (approximately 20% of the time)

Maintain front desk reception greeting guests, welcoming with refreshments when applicable, and directing tenant guests to other offices; as the first person our guests see, friendliness, patience, and grace are a must
Provide primary phone support for incoming phone inquiries about Foundation operations and direct callers to appropriate resources and or personnel; take messages and return calls as requested
Skills and Ideal Qualities

Strong [demonstrated] organizational skills
Proficient with all Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, QuickBooks)
Adept at handling community inquiries about the functions of the organization
Able to handle many tasks at once; able to maintain a calm demeanor and organizational flow while supporting multiple requests, including interruptions
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in oral and written form
Adept at problem-solving: identifying issues, finding alternative solutions, and implementing them
Demonstrated superior writing skills
Actively participate and complete Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training
Able to be highly organized and maintain a tidy/neat workspace.
Proficient in setting up and scheduling Zoom calls
Interest and availability to attend community events when necessary – sometimes after typical business hours
Flexible and team-oriented; willing to contribute talent where necessary
Positive, even-keeled attitude, especially in the face of competing demands and quarterly deadlines
Demonstrates a commitment to serving the community and the mission of the Foundation, including a willingness to embrace learning alongside the rest of Staff about racial inequity and how it affects our work
Education and Experience

Bachelor’s Degree
Extensive administrative support experience required; in a small organizational setting is highly desirable. Evidence of independent responsibility and work highly desirable
Compensation and Benefits

$55,000 salary, depending upon qualifications and experience
Eligible for vacation, paid holidays, medical, dental benefits, 401(k) and matching gift program
GAR Foundation is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and affirmative action employer. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability status, or any other applicable characteristics protected by law. We embrace and celebrate diversity and strive to create genuine belonging for all.

Applicants should send a letter of interest with a resume to with the heading “Operations Coordinator Position” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The first round of interviews will begin in April. Please, no phone calls.


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