Communications Manager

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Job Detail

  • Career Level Officer
  • Experience 3-5 Years
  • Qualification Bachelor's Degree

Job Description

Communications Manager

College Possible, Portland


About College Possible: As one of the largest and most successful college access and success programs in the country, since 2000 College Possible has helped more than 80,000 students from under-represented communities get into and through college through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Its pioneering model matches students with a near-peer coach and an evidence-based curriculum designed to help students overcome the most common barriers to getting into college and completing their degree – all at no cost to students or their families. Nationwide, College Possible students are three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years than their peers from similar backgrounds.

College Possible is a proud AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps is a federal agency that brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges through national service. Our AmeriCorps members commit to a year of service as a College Possible coach in communities throughout the country. Many coaches represent the identities of the students they serve, and each brings a commitment to social justice and closing the college equity divide.

Our near-peer coaching model has earned national recognition: the inaugural Evergreen National Education Award recognized our leadership in increasing access to and success in college for students from low-income backgrounds. It also earns top-of-field results: a Harvard study found that the program more than doubles a student’s chance of enrolling in a four-year college, and our students are four times more likely to become college graduates than their low-income peers. College Possible has an annual operating budget of $33 million, more than 200 full-time employees and more than 300 AmeriCorps and VISTA service members. During the 2021-2022 school year, we reached an estimated 24,000 students nationwide. During the 2021-2022 school year, we reached an estimated 24,000 students nationwide.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

College Possible is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeks to build a diverse workforce to create impact in partnership with the communities we serve. We welcome a diverse pool of qualified applicants. For each of its positions, College Possible is mindful about what best serves our students, and seeks to hire staff with relevant experience, skills and aptitude, and a commitment to the power of education. To learn more, read our Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, College Possible operates: regional sites in Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA; College Forward in Austin, TX; and Catalyze partnerships in California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee. Learn more at CollegePossible.org.


Equal Opportunity Employer

College Possible is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals and conduct all possible activities in fully accessible settings.


Your Role as Communication Manager

We’re seeking a creative individual to be our new Communications Manager at the Oregon site who understands and successfully uses an asset-based and community-centric approach to marketing and communications. This person will be responsible for leading the Oregon site’s marketing, communication and media activities to build awareness and support for College Possible’s mission. As the Communications Manager, you’ll focus on strategic development, brand management, media relations, social media, production of publications and print materials, donor acquisition and business promotion activities. The position works closely with both the Oregon development team and the National external relations team to customize the design, messaging and strategy for the Oregon site to elevate College Possible’s story throughout the state and to achieve our fundraising and marketing goals.


Essential Job Functions

Media and Community Relations: Create and implement annual media plan. Develop media, marketing and outreach plans for the various programs and events; develop and write flyers, brochures, press releases, educational materials and newsletters. Manage and cultivate media partners. Oversee content development and strategy for communication vehicles, such as deliverables, websites, newsletters, videos and other media platforms. Write letters to the editor and pitch stories to media. Create and keep current a standard College Possible press packet and help coordinate media events and staff media interviews. Manage internal daily news clipping service and media archives library. Book community engagement opportunities for volunteers and team members with local organizations and associations. Manage all organizational marketing materials, press materials, the website and social media content. Ability to tell College Possible’s story in new ways to new audiences that drives community and donor engagement.

Marketing: Manage development, customization, distribution and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral including newsletters, brochures, e-communications, social media and the College Possible Oregon website. Collaborate with the external relations team in creation and implementation of individual donor strategies, including writing and designing direct mail appeals and donor communications. Guide innovation and refine strategies by tracking and measuring engagement. Work with local print, design and photographer vendors to produce marketing materials within budget.

Communications: Develop, implement and evaluate the annual communications plan across all audience groups in collaboration with departments to build our brand, retain donors and support the acquisition of new donors. Develop and implement internal communication best practices.

Strategy: Drive the overall marketing and communications strategy with the goal of increasing community awareness and donor support across Oregon. Position the external relations team as a service to the organization and coordinate cross-department collaboration to ensure consistent mission-focused messaging. Support education and advocacy work and relationship-building with key stakeholders and elected officials. Provide guidance and support for the external relations team and Executive Director in stewarding a portfolio of key stakeholders and elected officials and working with coaches and students to elevate their voices from a place of empowerment to effectively tell College Possible’s story in Oregon.

Other Duties as Assigned: Work with the Senior Director of Development on projects as assigned.


What You Bring


  • Bachelor’s degree required

Related Work Experience:

  • Three or more years of experience in communications, marketing, development or transferable skills
  • Experience writing, editing and proofreading feature stories, website content, news articles, social media content, donor materials and e-news
  • A strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing multiple projects and deadlines concurrently
  • Experience creating marketing materials using Adobe Creative Suite or similar platform
  • Ability to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels
  • Experience with a variety of marketing communications channels including writing social media posts, video shooting and editing and photography with photo editing skills
  • Experience developing and implementing communications strategies

Computer/Software Skills:

  • Strong computer skills, with proficiency in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite required
  • Experience with Blackbaud, Canva, Luminate, CRM and email marketing tools preferred

Other Skills, Abilities and Requirements:

  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills
  • Comfort with public speaking
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work in fast-paced work environment
  • Ability to manage stressful or sensitive situations
  • Relationship builder with the flexibility and sensitivity to balance the perspectives of others
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, volunteers, donors, program participants, elected officials, community partners and other supporters
  • Self-starter, able to work independently and entrepreneurial
  • Enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Skilled at multi-tasking and handling potentially stressful situations calmly
  • High energy, enthusiastic, strong commitment to public service and social justice
  • Desire to work in a growing nonprofit organization, ability to adapt, creativity and commitment to excellence highly valued
  • Strategic thinker and problem-solver

Physical Requirements

  • Hybrid office environment (min 2 days in the office) with limited travel
  • Ability to stand and/or sit for a minimum of 7 hours a day


What We Offer

In addition to joining a committed, diverse, values-based organization, we offer:

  • Salary range: $55,000 – $65,000 (based on experience)
  • Excellent benefits including complete health, dental, life, short-term and long-term insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan with a generous 6% company match
  • Encouraged sustainability through a generous paid time off program
  • Personalized professional development and growth opportunities
  • An opportunity for you to have a tremendous impact both internally and in the broader country


To Join Our Growing College Possible Team

Please apply at: www.CollegePossible.org/careers

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