Director of Communications (New York, New York)

Organization Overview

Founded in 1999, PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper. Such communities offer access to quality jobs, affordable housing, good schools, transportation, and the benefits of healthy food and physical activity.

Guided by the belief that those closest to the nation’s challenges are central to finding solutions, PolicyLink relies on the wisdom, voice, and experience of local residents and organizations. Lifting Up What Works is our way of focusing attention on how people are working successfully to use local, state, and federal policy to create conditions that benefit everyone, especially people in low-income communities and communities of color. We share our findings and analysis through our publications, website and online tools, convenings, national summits, and in briefings with national and local policymakers.

Our work is grounded in the conviction that equity – just and fair inclusion – must drive all policy decisions. To hear more about the important role public policy plays in leveling the playing field for marginalized communities, click here for a discussion featuring our inspirational Founder and CEO, Angela Glover Blackwell.

Position Summary

PolicyLink is seeking a highly skilled communications professional to enhance the organization’s communication function, serving as a strategic leader to elevate the work of cross-functional teams as they tackle policy initiatives that aim to create a more just and equitable society. As a member of the communications leadership team, this individual will partner with senior leaders throughout the organization to advise them on how best to leverage the power of communication strategies to advance important equity and inclusion work that disrupts inequity in communities of color. Overseeing a capable, passionate, and intellectually curious team of communications professionals, the Director of Communications will ensure that PolicyLink has the communications strategies, content, workflows, and systems in place to effectively advance the organization’s programs and advocacy work while elevating the visibility of PolicyLink as a thought leader in the equity movement.

Key Responsibilities

  • In partnership with senior leaders, collaborate on the creation of a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy that will enable PolicyLink to maximize our social impact through thought-leadership and key initiatives.
  • Serve as a communications “visionary,” consistently bringing an understanding of communications trends, best practices and technologies and how these might be best utilized given our organizational goals and resources.
  • Communicate PolicyLink’s complex and powerful ideas to a diversity of audiences, engaging internal and external stakeholders in ways that foster a sense of community.
  • Act as a strategic communications counsel, partnering with senior leaders to build internal and external content, such as fact sheets, position papers, marketing materials, press releases, and digital resources for dissemination across PolicyLink’s various communications platforms, with a particular eye for PolicyLink’s specific audiences and constituents.
  • Lead and mentor our team of dedicated communications professionals to help them achieve success in their roles; work with individual team members to support their professional development goals; be an advocate for the communications team, and advocate for cutting-edge resources
  • Oversee the development of consistent messaging across the organization to promote PolicyLink’s mission, vision and values
  • Enhance communications standards and systems including branding and style guides, social media content policies, and inter-departmental workflows
  • Train cross-functional teams around communications best practices and systems
  • Qualifications
  • Significant experience in external affairs, communications, and/or marketing with progressive leadership responsibility and a track record of creating innovative communications strategies
  • Excellent analytical, written and verbal communication and presentation skills, with proven success tailoring messages to a variety of audiences, particularly in translating complex policy and advocacy work to a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Keen understanding of promoting thought-leadership to strengthen an organization’s brand and support differentiation in a competitive market.
  • Ability to develop and enhance strong communications standards, workflows and branding guidelines while disseminating content across multiple mediums, including social media, newsletters, and more.
  • Excellent project and team management skills, alongside a profound enjoyment for leading and mentoring individuals in their professional development
  • An innovative and opportunistic approach to identifying new opportunities to advance the mission of an organization through strategies that position it to be a thought leader, develop new partnerships, and elevate organizational visibility.
  • Independent thinking with openness and excitement for new ideas; passion for collegial team environment and working with multiple colleagues on different projects at the same time.
  • Intellectual curiosity coupled with a sense of humor
  • An entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in a changing, a fast-paced, high performing world-class organization
  • Comfort with national travel in support of collaborative work efforts
  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s degree, or similar advanced degree preferred

To Apply

Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Milly Hawk Daniel, Vice President for Communications at

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

PolicyLink offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills. PolicyLink is an equal opportunity employer.

About Commongood Careers

PolicyLink has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for a Director of Communications. Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of high-impact nonprofits. With an approach that leverages robust talent networks, recruitment and search management expertise, and a deep understanding of our clients’ missions and cultures, we help organizations secure the talent they need to create greater social impact. Since our founding in 2005, Commongood Careers has led more than 700 searches at 275 organizations in 33 states, making us one of the most experienced and dedicated nonprofit search firms in the country. Learn more about nonprofit job opportunities at Commongood Careers.

Development Assistant (Oakland)

Positon Overview

The PolicyLink Development team works on many grants and projects at once, and every member of the team is organized, efficient, and able to manage their time well without micromanagement. The Development Assistant is the keeper of schedules, deadlines, and files, making efficiency and time management even more critical. The ideal candidate is someone who communicates well with all audiences, pays close attention to detail, takes pride in a well-organized filing system, and likes to work independently within a fast-paced team.

The Development Assistant position is both outward and inward facing—on any given day, it can require a range of interactions. From scheduling internal meetings with other members of the PolicyLink staff, to liaising with contacts at the large national and international organizations that fund PolicyLink, the Development Assistant role will require a confident individual with strong communication skills and the ability to problem solve.

Scope and Impact

This position reports primarily to the Development Director, and supports the Chief Operating Officer with some administrative assignments.  The Development Assistant is a key member of the small and driven Development team at PolicyLink, and participates in all fundraising activities including proposal preparation and submission, grant management and reporting, donor and public relations, direct mail appeals, and special events.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Maintain foundation, corporation, and individual donor files in Salesforce and internal filing systems.
  • Create weekly fundraising reports and other database reports as needed.
  • Continually update and correct database records.
  • Conduct preliminary research on prospective corporate foundation and individual donors.
  • Proofread letters, reports, and documents.
  • Process donations and prepare acknowledgment letters and other correspondence.
  • Coordinate production and dissemination of donor spring and year-end appeal.
  • Send appropriate documentation to process credits to donors.
  • Maintain guest lists, gather and prepare registration materials and other duties as assigned for fundraising and development events.
  • Prepare media materials for distribution. (i.e., copying, filing, mailing, e-mailing)
  • Assemble media and donor kits for events and meetings.
  • Schedule meetings for the Development team with both internal and external parties.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Development team.

Desired Qualifications and Skills

  • Associate's or bachelor's degree in a related field.
  • A minimum of four years' experience in an administrative position, preferably in a not-for-profit development office.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Database management experience—Salesforce is a must.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Ability to present information concisely and effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work.
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision.
  • Ability to communicate workflow progress and challenges in a timely manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: this position interfaces with everyone in the organization and is the first point of contact with many external stakeholders, so a pleasant, articulate, and efficient demeanor is essential.

Application Process

If you meet all the requirements in the description above, please send your Résumé and Cover Letter, with salary requirements, to:

In order to be considered, the subject line must read: “your name” - Development Assistant

Position open until filled.


Excellent benefits including paid vacation, health, vision and dental insurance, and 401(k) retirement plan.

Please note: No phone calls please. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

PolicyLink is committed to maintaining a diverse, multicultural working environment.