Development & Communications Associate

Waterkeepers Chesapeake

Takoma Park, MD, US

Waterkeepers Chesapeake seeks an enthusiastic self-starter with a passion for the environment to manage our development and communications efforts. The Development and Communications Associate will work closely with the Executive Director and program staff to promote our organization and clean water initiatives. The ideal candidate will have an educational and professional background that demonstrates success with nonprofit fundraising, issue advocacy campaigns, and communications skills. Proven experience leveraging social media, persuasive writing, visual media, earned media, and data-driven targeting to engage and inspire action is critical. Candidates must be organized, creative, and enthusiastic about joining a small organization with a big footprint in a pivotal period of growth. This is an excellent position for a self-starter candidate interested in working in an organization that welcomes creative ideas from staff at all levels, and provides a range of responsibilities and opportunities to learn and participate in campaigns that make a difference in people’s lives.

Key Responsibilities:

Development (50% of time)

  • Research grant opportunities, write grant proposals, and manage grants from state, regional and national foundations, including working with the Executive Director and program staff to meet reporting expectations and ensure all deliverables are met.
  • Prepare presentations, solicitation letters, proposals, annual reports, brochures, 1-pagers and other materials for current and prospective donors.
  • Coordinate fundraising events.
  • Monetize the organization’s digital assets through online giving.
  • Maintain detailed donor information in a shared database.
  • Collaborate with ED and program staff to identify and advance other fundraising strategies.

Organizational & Campaign Communications (50% of time)

  • Work with Executive Director and other staff to develop and execute communication plans for various programs and campaigns (including Fair Farms and Clear Choices Clean Water,
  • Promote organizational visibility and public policy positions through earned media, such as outreach to reporters and editorial boards, cultivation of feature articles, and writing of press statements and press releases, letters to the editor, and opinion pieces. Monitor media hits and participate in rapid response when necessary.
  • Draft online content for e-newsletter, action alerts, letters to elected officials, and web site/blog. Maintain our image library.
  • Develop our social media “voice” and maintain a strong presence through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Execute targeted goals for growth on these platforms and track progress on these goals with an eye on refining plans along the way as needed.
  • Plan and execute new website design. Manage content updates on website (WordPress).
  • Develop high-quality visual materials (info graphics, photographs, powerpoints, etc.) for publications and outreach efforts and/or work with our vendors to develop quality materials.
  • Provide communications assistance and training to our Waterkeeper member programs. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • 3-5 years of professional experience in non-profit advocacy, fundraising, development, political organizing, cause–oriented digital media, communications/public relations, and/or “green” journalism.
  • Multi-faceted fundraising experience.
  • Demonstrated track record of working with the media and organizing successful media events.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, combined with strong organizational and relationship building skills.
  • Creative and strategic thinking skills, ability to design initiatives and proposals to engage donors and prospects.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and timelines with a positive attitude, flexibility, and attention to detail.
  • Experience in planning and executing successful advertising or advocacy strategies through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and email marketing.
  • Demonstrated success in working as a member of a team and developing effective working relationships with staff, volunteers and media.
  • Intermediate or higher level proficiency with PowerPoint (or equivalent), WordPress, and Microsoft Office (or Mac equivalent).
  • Familiarity with Google Ad Words, Google Analytics, HTML5/ AdobeAnimateCC, Hootsuite, and Action Network a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, environmental studies, journalism, political science, or related field.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake

Waterkeepers Chesapeake is a coalition of nineteen independent programs working to make the waters of the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays swimmable and fishable. We amplify the voices of each Waterkeeper and mobilize our organizations to fight pollution and champion clean water. For more information, please visit

The position includes a balance of telecommuting as well as regular meetings in shared office space in Takoma Park, Md. A car will be necessary for meetings throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. Will require some evening and weekend hours.

Salary range is $43-48k. Position includes health and dental benefits; matching retirement plan available after one year. The position is available immediately – applications will be considered until the position is filled. 

Waterkeepers Chesapeake is a racial justice and equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Persons of color, women, persons with disabilities and LGBT persons are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to hiring someone with the right mix of experience (both traditional and nontraditional), commitment and the potential to grow with us. We strongly encourage people from communities most negatively affected by environmental injustice to apply.

Please submit a resume, a cover letter explaining why you are uniquely interested in this position and working at Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and at least two writing samples (preferably from a previous campaign, such as an e-mail action alert, op-ed, blog post, and/or social media content) to [email protected].