Communications Manager

Climate Leadership Initiative San Francisco, CA Preferred

About the Climate Leadership Initiative

The climate crisis touches all our lives and impacts everything we hold dear. There is no question that that tackling the crisis is a formidable challenge – but the good news is that climate change is a problem with solutions.

Yet less than 2 percent of philanthropic giving goes toward climate solutions. The Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) was created by leading climate philanthropists and foundations to help those with the means to act now, since the climate crisis cannot wait. Every delay means the solutions cost more in money and lives.

CLI is an advisory service designed to help philanthropists find their path to climate impact.  Philanthropists can move with both urgency and rigor to address the climate crisis and protect our planet for generations to come. When working with CLI, philanthropists can get started quickly and with confidence, receive tailored guidance, and engage with our network of peers and world-class climate experts. CLI works with philanthropists to match their interests and passions with solutions ready to scale.

CLI is fully funded and does not raise money for itself or any one organization. This frees them to help philanthropists find the smartest path for them.

Climate change isn’t its own cause, it’s every cause, because of its ability to threaten progress on any issue – poverty, education, conservation, economic justice and more. It’s why CLI works across many sectors and regions to address this far-reaching problem.

The Opportunity

CLI seeks to fill the new position of Communications Manager, who will be responsible for providing writing and communications support across a range of initiatives. This includes developing and delivering high-impact, actionable content ultimately focused on dramatically increasing the amount of philanthropy flowing to the climate crisis. This position will be a part of an eight-person communications team working to engage new donors and support field partners. Success in this ambitious endeavor requires talented, skillful staff to effectively tell the story of climate—the challenges, successes, and opportunities—in a manner that inspires action and investment in the cause.

Reporting to the Director, Content Strategy, the Communications Manager will be an integral part of the team, creating content that often serves as an introduction to CLI in communications with and outreach to new philanthropists—from website content to impactful stories to event-related messaging. With an emphasis on presenting content in a clear and compelling manner, the Communications Manager will play a critical role in moving philanthropists to action.

Key Responsibilities

General Communications and Content Development

  • Create stories and case studies, presentation decks, and other storytelling-oriented deliverables and accompanying talking points—for general audiences and in support of customized donor materials—that may be delivered through a variety of different media.
  • Develop and execute an email newsletter strategy, including research and scoping, content creation (which could involve interviewing philanthropists and field partners and sourcing stories from internal and external sources).
  • Manage CLI’s core messaging document and ensure that the emerging/evolving CLI brand is appropriately reflected across a variety of communications products delivered through a variety of channels.
  • Collaborate across teams to develop materials for broad CLI audiences, such as the annual report to funders.
  • Work with external designers to develop polished, high-impact deliverables, including infographics.
  • With team members, participate in CLI’s first-ever branding initiative (to happen in the second half of 2023).


  • As part of a major organizational rebranding initiative, lead development of new web content that reflects updated format, messaging, and tone.
  • Maintain CLI website content in partnership with CLI Communications Coordinator.

Events and Experiences

  • Lead the development and execution of communications pertaining to donor events and experiences, including invitations, web copy, and follow-up materials consistent with CLI’s “voice” and reflecting CLI’s emerging brand and messaging.
  • Serve as a core member of event-specific teams, working closely with programmatic content developers to ensure all event content is consistent and aligned.
  • Provide multimedia support, including developing compelling presentation materials to accompany events.

Team Support/Project Management

  • Be a creative thought partner to the communications team and across the organization bringing crisp, clear writing and making sure materials and messaging are consistent and aligned. 
  • Serve as a resource to the entire team in editing and proofreading materials as needed, leveraging approved style guides.
  • Work in collaboration with CLI’s climate strategy team to develop and manage an ongoing, streamlined process for writing, maintaining, and sharing brief, easy-to-access descriptions of climate solutions for our knowledge management system.
  • Identify and share useful ways to collect information that streamlines the writing process.
  • Leverage project management skills to oversee the production of content deliverables.

Ideal Candidate

Above all else, the incoming Communications Manager must be deeply motivated by CLI’s mission to mobilize philanthropy to address the most profound challenge of our time: climate change. The ability to genuinely convey the urgency and scale of the issue requires individuals who lead with a commitment to positive change and a belief in the power of philanthropy.

CLI seeks individuals who understand the impact of and potential for communications, with the ability to think strategically and execute quickly in a fast-paced, growing organization.

CLI is a highly matrixed organization the selected candidate will support projects across teams and diverse stakeholders, The role requires a strong “client service orientation” that is complemented by a clear point of view on how to most effectively present content to a sophisticated audience.

The ideal candidates will bring a track record of working on issue-oriented communications that present global challenges, movements, or causes. Distilling complex material into relatable and digestible content is imperative, while reflecting the complexity and depth of the issues at hand. The Communications Manager will be comfortable creating content for a variety of different media and understands how to leverage images, videos, and animations to deliver a message. We seek crisp, compelling copywriting that brings brevity and clarity to our materials while maintaining the content’s substance. The ability to make complex issues and jargon accessible and interesting is essential.


Candidates for the Communications Manager role will bring at least a minimum of five to seven years of experience in communications, consulting, or writing for a variety of channels. While expertise in climate is not required, it is helpful. Candidates must possess a deep passion for the issue area and experience with mission-oriented communications, preferably in an advancement context. Given CLI’s global footprint, familiarity with international NGOs is also helpful.

CLI is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. The preferred location for the Communications Manager position is the San Francisco Bay Area. Occasional travel may be required.

The salary range for the Communications Manager role is $129,000 to $137,000, depending on experience.

Climate Leadership Initiative’s EEO Statement

At the Climate Leadership Initiative, we value diversity and always treat all employees and job applicants based on merit, qualifications, competence, and talent. We do not discriminate on the basis of or traits historically associated with race, color, religion, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status), domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.

To Be Considered

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” button.

Communications ManagerClimate Leadership InitiativeSan Francisco, CA Preferred

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by Climate Leadership Initiative to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director
Direct: 206.792.4300

Mollie Smith
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.462.6190

Gabe Sapuay
Senior Associate
Direct: 206.792.4221