Now hiring: Communications associate

Smart Growth America (SGA) seeks an exceptional writer, editor, content producer, and strategic communicator with experience in smart growth principles such as land use, planning, transportation, placemaking, or economic development. We deeply believe that improving racial disparities is at the core of a smart growth approach, and the Communications Associate will play a key role in the external communications surrounding SGA’s organization-wide voice on racial equity, climate mitigation and resilience, and creating healthier, more connected communities.  

Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Communications Associate will work closely with each of our three core teams—Land Use and Development, Economic Development, Transportation and Thriving Communities—to develop strategic communications to advance each team’s work, helping to support and execute all external communications to enhance SGA’s brand and mission.

Organizational overview

SGA is a national non-profit organization that envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. That vision is our North Star, and we empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize our vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.

Position overview

The communications team is the hub of SGA, always connected to and sharing the multi-faceted work of our many programs

The associate will help manage the communications team’s day-to-day operations and coordinate sending emails to our lists, serve as a liaison with all of SGA’s varied programs, manage our digital advocacy efforts to change policies, and help coordinate the release of all publicly released content. This position features significant freedom and responsibility, regular contact & collaboration with our supporters, the opportunity to shape the direction of the smart growth movement, and valuable hands-on experience with room to advance. The associate’s core responsibilities are:

  • Maintain our calendar of all external communications, brainstorm ideas for creative campaigns throughout the year on notable days, milestones, anniversaries, etc. 
  • Develop and write regular content about our work, as well as enterprising, original content about smart growth, SGA’s focus areas, and/or current events.
  • Draft and edit email blasts and advocacy alerts on our issues and send them out to tens of thousands of supporters using Salsa Engage.
  • Execute social media strategy and manage social media accounts day-to-day. This includes producing and posting content, as well as tracking analytics to inform future strategy.
  • Assist with internal SGA communications. 
  • Develop, write, edit, and help design or layout SGA’s numerous publications and reports, and then help manage those public releases.
  • Assist in the design of SGA collateral, graphics, and other organizational documents. 
  • Conceive and help produce visualizations and videos that tell compelling stories.
  • Manage SGA’s WordPress-based website.
  • Help plan and execute our on- and off-line year-end fundraising campaign, as well as other one-off fundraising efforts throughout the year.
  • Help build and hone the organization’s brand and overall message.

Required knowledge and skills

  • Commitment to SGA’s North Star, with a demonstrated commitment to advancing racial equity.
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, business, or relevant field preferred. 
  • 2 to 4 years of communications experience in a nonprofit, advocacy, or similar organization.
  • Experience and interest in smart growth, including SGA’s focus areas: land use, transportation and transit, urban planning, climate resilience, economic development, and equitable real estate development. The ideal candidate will be able to write and communicate about a variety of these focus areas in an integrated and compelling way, particularly with respect to the intersection of these issues with racial equity.  
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Excellent and efficient writing and editing skills. 
  • Experience with WordPress and HTML.
  • A collaborative working style while also being an enterprising and creative self-starter who can offer up new ideas or content and work independently. 
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Candidates should have a solid understanding of how nonprofits use social media effectively. 

Preferred knowledge and skills

  • Experience with issues-based advocacy.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, or other graphic design software.
  • Experience with video editing and design. 

Compensation and location

Salary is commensurate with experience, with a set range of $52-56k per year. SGA has an entrepreneurial and innovative workplace culture where employees work collaboratively to achieve the mission with a focus on equity. SGA offers a generous employee benefits package featuring a fully paid medical plan, optional dental and vision coverage, 401k with a strong company contribution, company-paid life and disability insurance, three weeks’ vacation in the first year, and 12 paid holidays.

Office schedule and COVID protocols

This position is based in Washington, DC, and reports to the Director of Communications. SGA staff are currently working in the office at 1152 15th Street NW, Washington, DC once a week, while generally working remotely the rest of the week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be adding more in-person days in the near future but expect that work will remain hybrid in the long term. The specifics of that hybrid environment are currently being determined.

SGA requires employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted. Other COVID protocols include social distancing for meetings and masks are encouraged, though not required.

To apply

If you possess the desired qualifications, including the requisite experience and subject matter knowledge of smart growth, please send a resume, a cover letter that describes your interest in smart growth and what you would bring to the position, references, and 2-3 writing samples (1,000 words or less) to [email protected] with “Communications Associate” in the subject line. Selected applicants will be contacted via email. In your cover letter, please indicate how/where you learned of this job opportunity. Applications will be accepted immediately on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

SGA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion/creed, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, veteran or active military status, alienage or citizenship status, arrest or conviction record, credit history, salary history, caregiver status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or partnership status, familial status, unemployment status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or any other status protected by applicable law.

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