Communications Officer

Water FoundationFlexible

About Water Foundation

The Water Foundation is a public foundation working to catalyze lasting water solutions. It complements strategic grantmaking with creative field-building and engagement with community leaders and high-level decision makers, and helps funders identify and act on opportunities to better manage water. As a singularly focused water funder, the Water Foundation serves the entire water field, deploying staff expertise to move resources to the groups that can most effectively improve water systems that affect people and nature.

The Foundation works in and across a limited range of US watersheds and states, as well as on federal policy, recognizing that water crosses political boundaries and natural places face similar challenges across the country. Foundation partners include: conservation organizations, environmental justice groups, agricultural associations, water providers, business groups, and local, Tribal, state, and federal governments. 

The Water Foundation is in the process of updating its ambitious strategic framework to guide the efforts and impact of the organization in the coming years. This strategy, which reflects extensive field input from partners and other stakeholders, takes a systemic approach. It prioritizes securing equitable, clean, and accessible water for people; restoring and sustaining freshwater environments; and building climate resilient communities and watersheds. These three goals are essential to the future of water. In pursuing these goals, the Foundation supports the field in tackling immediate water problems, including polluted drinking water and collapsing ecosystems, in ways that alter system drivers, such as social inequality and outmoded infrastructure.

Inequity and injustice underlie many of the challenges the Water Foundation is working to address, such as the failure to provide clean, safe, and affordable drinking water or access to free-flowing rivers and green space to all communities. The Foundation is dedicated to working in concert with our partners to eliminate those inequities, address the systemic drivers behind them, and encourage other philanthropic organizations to do the same.

The Water Foundation’s work is driven by the following organizational values:

Collaboration: Strategize, act, and learn in partnership with colleagues internally and externally to advance our collective goals. Deepen connections across and between water sector networks and related issues like climate, health, nature, food, and equity.

Humility: Recognize and center the knowledge, experiences, and leadership of our partners and the communities we serve, while honoring the power of nature. Listen to and learn from our partners and nature, so that we support a community-led and nature-based vision for a resilient water future.

Sustainability: Advance resilient, intergenerational solutions that sustain the environment and those who depend upon it while honoring the intrinsic value of nature and strengthening organizations and communities that seek an equitable, alternative vision for the future.

Transformation: Shape our strategies, work, and practices for systemic change towards a collaborative, just, and sustainable water future in the US.

Justice: Align our policies, practices, and resources so that all people and ecosystems have genuine opportunities to thrive.

More information about the Water Foundation can be found at

The Opportunity

The Water Foundation seeks a creative communications professional to join a vibrant and dynamic institution with a compelling mission to ensure reliable, clean water for people and nature. Reporting to the CEO and working in close partnership with the Water Foundation team, the Communications Officer is responsible for helping to drive compelling water narratives that build political will to secure clean and safe drinking water for all people, restore collapsing freshwater ecosystems, and build climate resilience. For a driven professional, this position provides a unique opportunity to help shape communications strategy on one of the most important issues of our time.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Communications

  • Develop an integrated communications strategy for the Water Foundation to convey its work in compelling human-centered ways through a myriad of communication channels (including earned, social, and trade-based media), galvanize new partners to support its work, and establish communications protocols for its team. This strategy will be developed in partnership with the CEO and other staff.
  • Collaborate with internal teams to identify key messaging and target audiences for Water Foundation communication campaigns and initiatives.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of communication efforts and adjust strategies as needed to achieve desired outcomes.

Content Creation and Storytelling

  • Oversee the execution of organizational communications strategy, including drafting and editing content and managing design, production, and translation of public-facing materials such as website pages and features, periodic partner updates, social media content, op-eds, blog posts, and other communications collateral.
  • Collaborate with program staff to gather stories, data, and testimonials that showcase water successes.
  • Ensure that all communication materials adhere to brand guidelines and convey the Foundation’s values and messaging accurately.

Internal Communications and Collaboration

  • Build internal relationships and work closely with Water Foundation staff members to synthesize program activities and data for communication materials. Build alignment around how to articulate the brand identity and work of the Water Foundation.
  • Collaborate with and provide expertise and guidance to Water Foundation staff members working on programmatic communications campaigns and initiatives, as requested and practicable.
  • Develop and facilitate processes for Water Foundation communications to ensure alignment and coordination across departments and teams.

Digital Engagement and Public Affairs

  • Oversee the website, social media accounts, and web-based communications platforms with support from external vendors, when applicable.
  • Coordinate dissemination of publications and publicize events in partnership with program staff.
  • Increase the Water Foundation’s capacity to respond rapidly in key moments, including quickly drafting and posting public/press statements and placing quotes with journalists.
  • Support the CEO and other external-facing staff with thought leadership, public comments, and other speaking engagements.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate is a communications strategist who is deeply motivated by Water Foundation’s mission and the power of philanthropy in building a sustainable and just future.

The Communications Officer will possess a blend of strategic vision, creative flair, and collaborative spirit, along with a deep commitment to advancing water resilience and equity. They can effectively navigate between high-level strategy and hands-on implementation in partnership with staff across the organization. 

They will possess strong skills for working closely with internal teams to identify key messaging and target audiences for communication campaigns and initiatives. Additionally, the ideal candidate will demonstrate proficiency in monitoring and evaluating the impact of communication efforts, adeptly adjusting strategies as needed to maximize engagement and drive desired outcomes across a variety of communication channels.

The Communications Officer will excel in content creation and storytelling, overseeing the development and execution of compelling narratives and materials that highlight the success stories and impact of the Foundation’s efforts. They will possess strong editorial skills, managing the production and dissemination of public-facing content such as website updates, social media posts, op-eds, and other collateral.

Desired Qualifications

With the understanding that no person will offer every desired skill and characteristic outlined below, compelling candidates will offer much of the following:

  • 7+ years of experience working in a communications role, preferably in philanthropy or social change organizations.
  • Demonstrated success planning, executing, and evaluating communications strategies.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and synthesizing skills.
  • Proven experience in writing successful high-quality communications materials.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills.
  • Strong commitment to a collaborative, team-oriented organizational culture.
  • Demonstrated success in managing and prioritizing multiple, complex projects, preferably with the use of team-oriented project management tools (e.g., Asana).
  • Strong background in content creation and media relations.
  • Experience with social media management and website development.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Strong work ethic, initiative, follow-through, and good judgment.
  • Patience, grace, and humor under pressure.
  • Passion for and commitment to the Water Foundation’s mission.
  • Commitment to advancing the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and in the Foundation’s work with its partners.

The Water Foundation strongly encourages Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Intersex, Trans and Gender non-conforming people; individuals from under-resourced communities; immigrants; differently-abled people; and others with diverse perspectives and experiences to apply.

Location and Compensation

The Water Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The starting salary for the position is $118,000 to $140,000 depending on experience. The Communications Officer will ideally be based in the San Francisco Bay Area or Sacramento; however, remote work for those with easy access to a major airport in the western US will be considered. Intermittent travel within the US will be required. Water Foundation follows public health agency guidelines with respect to COVID-19 and requires testing for in-person events.

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. Letters may be addressed to Martens Roc.

Applicants applying by May 13th will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.

Communications OfficerWater FoundationFlexible

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by the Water Foundation to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Martens Roc
Managing Director
Direct: 202.933.7616

Celene Haque Tanner
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.462.6189

Gabe Sapuay
Senior Associate
Direct: 206.792.4221