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Communications Associate

William Penn Foundation

Title: Communications Associate
Department: Communications and Creative Communities
Reports to: Director of Communications
Location: Philadelphia
Travel: 0-10%
FSLA Status: Exempt
Effective Date: January 2021

The William Penn Foundation is a leading American philanthropy located in Philadelphia. With over $2 billion in assets and a $100+ million annual grant budget, the Foundation is a vital part of the civic life in one of the country’s most important and historically significant regions. The Foundation has charted a vision consistent with its enduring focus on education, the environment, and the cultural vitality of Greater Philadelphia.

The Foundation’s core strategies include:

  • Increasing the number of low-income children receiving a high-quality education
  • Ensuring clean water by protecting the Delaware River watershed
  • Fostering a vibrant city through support to arts and culture organizations, arts education programs, and creating great public spaces

The Foundation believes that successful execution of these strategies is critical to the success of the region and seeks candidates who will operate with a sense of urgency, leadership, and entrepreneurship in advancing this work.

Position Summary

The Communications Associate will primarily focus on the arts and public space program, known as Creative Communities. This individual will be responsible for helping with strategy and execution for all communications activities for the Creative Communities grant center. This work will include creating a communications plan, developing website and other collateral content, media relations, managing social media content, planning and execution of convenings, release of new research or evidence, and other activities. This position will also identify new venues for sharing information about the Foundation’s work and its grantees and will help manage relationships with outside consultants. The Associate will participate in all key Creative Communities team activities with the expectation that s/he will become fully-immersed in all Creative Communities work. The Associate will also support the Communications Director with broader communications initiatives for the Foundation, and may support other program areas.


  • Generate story ideas related to Creative Communities projects by meeting with the Program Director to identify new opportunities for press and securing coverage.
  • Conduct interview preparation work – reporter background, search of relevant articles, prep of key messages, and spokesperson prep.
  • Identify opportunities for commentaries and op-eds.
  • Identify strategic opportunities for WPF to offer comments on arts and public spacerelated stories by monitoring relevant national industry news and trends.
  • Generate Creative Communities related content for materials including the newsletter and annual report.
  • Manage and produce Creative Communities Twitter content and participate as a member of the Foundation’s social media team.
  • Ensure that new, engaging, and consistent information is posted regularly on the Foundation website including the Foundation’s blog.
  • Create and maintain Creative Communities contact management system in Salesforce.
  • Plan and implement Creative Communities related events and convenings.
  • Prepare Creative Communities team for speaking engagements at conferences, meetings, and convenings.
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.


Expected Competencies

  • Excellent writing and editing skills with experience writing for different audiences in various formats.
  • Ability to construct a compelling narrative based on a defined set of information.
  • Rapid generation of materials for public consumption, including PowerPoint presentations, press releases and brief comments.
  • Ability to quickly understand information, synthesize findings, and make recommendations; demonstrated ability to learn and master new issues quickly.
  • Demonstrated project and time management skills ensuring all deadlines are met. Able to define project scope, roles, responsibilities and deliverables.
  • Excellent organization, prioritization, and judgment. Strong detail orientation and follow-through.
  • Track record of strong ownership of work, active self-management, and initiative.
  • Adaptable and flexible to changing environments. Able to identify new approaches to support a dynamic organization.
  • Capable and willing to do work at all levels, including thinking and working strategically and also performing administrative tasks.
  • Demonstrated team-orientation with the ability to collaborate and achieve actionable results with others; build robust and sustainable relationships through strong interpersonal skills. High degree of integrity, poise, humility, diplomacy, and tact.
  • Good judgment and ability to make wise decisions based upon available and sometimes limited data.


Education, Training and Experience

  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience is required in communications
  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in Communications or Journalism
  • Digital experience including website management, social media strategy, and implementation. Experience with shooting and editing video not required, but a plus
  • Experience with contact management systems not required, but a plus
  • Strong media relations experience developing story ideas and success generating coverage
  • Experience developing communications strategies and implementing them
  • Experience in setting priorities, long-term project management, coordination and management while working under tight deadlines
  • History of successful work with communications and event-planning agencies and vendors
  • Bi-lingual English and Spanish preferred


Physical Demands/Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to walk, bend, sit, talk, lift, or hear. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk and use hands and arms to operate general office equipment (PC, telephone, file cabinets, copier, fax machine and printer). The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to ten (10) pounds. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Education Level: 
Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in Communications or Journalism
To Apply

The William Penn Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and considers applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, marital status or sexual orientation. All who believe they meet the stated qualifications are invited to apply by emailing their resumes to