Communications Manager

57701, Rapid City
$55,000 annual minimum + a comprehensive benefits package
Nov 12, 2020
Dec 12, 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

Location: Rapid City, South Dakota - Currently, temporary remote arrangements due to COVID; a permanent remote arrangement will be considered.


First Peoples Fund (FPF) is a national non-profit organization founded in 1995. Its mission is to honor and support the Collective Spirit® of First Peoples artists and culture bearers. Collective Spirit® is that which manifests a self-awareness and sense of responsibility to sustain the cultural fabric of a community. Collective Spirit® moves each of us to stand up and make a difference, to pass on ancestral knowledge, and simply extend a hand of generosity. First Peoples Fund recognizes the power of art and culture to bring about positive change in Native communities, beginning with individual artists and their families. 

This is an exciting time to be joining the First Peoples Fund. In Winter 2020 we are launching a communications and fundraising campaign to raise up Collective Spirit® and kick-off First Peoples Fund’s 25th anniversary. This campaign meets the moment we are in right now with a necessary urgency. We want to bring to life public conversations about key issues in a way that centers on responsibility and stewardship of just communities, and that reflects deep truths about the history and experience of this country’s Native people. This year-long campaign will culminate in two-days of events -- We the Peoples Before at the Kennedy Center in September 2021 -- that will launch a new point and a new future for the organization and for the overall narrative that is rooted in land and place.


The Communications Manager reports to the Vice President of Advancement & Communications (VPAC) and is responsible for developing and executing communications strategies that advance the First Peoples Fund mission, vision, values, stories, and impact while increasing the visibility of the organization and broadening our reach to local, regional and national audiences. This position also supports FPF’s visibility as a leader in the field, assists with developing fundraising materials, and helps to increase the number of allies, policymakers, and other colleagues who support and partner with the organization and our artists.

Utilizing various platforms and approaches, this position leads all internal and external communications efforts for the organization. The Communications Manager crafts and implements a strategy that aligns with FPF’s voice, values and theory of change and utilizes appropriate messaging and imagery that comply with the organization’s brand. This includes supporting and promoting FPF programs, events & activities and the Oglala Lakota Artspace; partnering with staff and external collaborators; proactively pitching stories to the media; and finding creative ways to amplify our work that will ultimately help grow the Indigenous Arts Ecology.

This position requires a skilled individual with a background in the creation and dissemination of marketing and communications materials for a non-profit organization, and impact measurement of the strategies used. As a member of the Advancement & Communications team, the Communications Manager must be a creative, highly organized, resourceful and self-driven person. Success is dependent on effective working relationships with the Advancement & Communications team, Program staff, President, and consultants. 


Essential Functions

  • Create and implement an overall communications strategy for FPF. This includes content planning, creation, distribution or publication, and analysis. Balance the big picture, strategic thinking with the day-to-day work.
  • Create written content in alignment with FPF’s brand and values for a variety of materials, documents and publications with attention to audience and purpose for each platform. Check content for tone and accuracy.
  • Adopt the First Peoples Fund’s voice, values and theory of change so that all communications are reflective of them.
  • As the designated arbiter of the First Peoples Fund logos, style guidelines and messaging, provide staff with training and guidance to ensure cohesive and consistent branding across the organization.
  • Oversee the development and distribution of the monthly eSpirit newsletter.
  • Maintain FPF’s website, updating content as needed. Revisit architecture and design on a regular basis to optimize impact.
  • Manage FPF’s social media presence by creating, curating and posting content on a regular basis, as well as daily monitoring of the accounts and responding to messaging and comments, as appropriate. Track keywords, FPF culture bearers, artists, grantees and partner organization mentions in online media.
  • Work closely with program staff to oversee and manage the marketing, outreach and communications of each program.
  • Prepare deliverables for leadership in a timely manner, including written copy, presentations, talking points, background and briefing materials.
  • Assist in the planning of in-person and virtual gatherings and presentations from the communications perspective.
  • Work with the Advancement team to prepare and disseminate regular updates to the board of directors, funders and staff.
  • Identify media and press opportunities, cultivate press contacts, write and distribute press releases, and create press kits.  Prepare leadership and designated staff for media interviews.
  • Design simple collateral (invitations, programs, certificates, signage, awards, etc.) Determine hierarchy, size and arrangement of copy and graphics, select style and size of type, and arrange layouts using basic design concepts adhering to FPF branding guidelines and style guide.
  • Lead the design and production of content when working with contractors and partners (graphic designers, artists, videographers, photographers, copywriters, researchers, etc.).
  • Build segmented digital campaigns that leverage social media, website and email platforms.     Optimize performance through A/B testing and creative copy; test all aspects of email marketing including day and time sent, from address, subject line, call-to-action placement and contact frequencies. 
  • Ensure that web and social media content meets the needs and interests of our visitors/followers by monitoring visitor/follower behavior and tracking website and social media statistics.
  • Solicit feedback and implement measures of success that will inform recommendations and improvements to FPF’s communications functions. Monitor & research trends, best practices and new opportunities.
  • Ensure that we are always in compliance with copyright and privacy requirements.
  • Represent FPF in a variety of settings and to a variety of audiences.
  • Perform other duties and projects, as assigned.


Specific responsibilities, but not limited to, include the following;

  • Participate in strategic planning, budget and proposal development and other organizational activities.
  • Responsible for regular reporting requirements as requested or required by the organization.
  • Assist with organizing program and project meetings, workshops, conferences and special events to advance program goals.
  • Maintain mailing lists, databases and communications files in the shared drive, google docs and Basecamp.
  • Manage all photographic and video assets for the organization
  • Document the position duties, associated procedures and protocols in a Communications Manager desk manual. Update the manual as needed and annually.
  • Adhere to all FPF Policies and Procedures.
  • Participates in appropriate professional development training to attain and maintain competency.
  • Perform other duties, as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Mass Communications, Marketing or related field.
  • Three to five years’ work experience in Communications/Marketing, or comparable combination of education and experience, preferably for nonprofit and/or Native organizations.
  • Broad knowledge of tribal communities and cultures across North America.
  • An understanding and awareness of the Native arts and culture field.
  • Strong writing and proofreading skills. Proficient with AP style. Demonstrated experience composing and editing content to effectively communicate to a variety of audiences.
  • Highly organized, efficient, and attentive to detail, with excellent follow-up and follow through skills
  • Experience in digital marketing (particularly email, website management, social media).
  • Tact and excellent interpersonal skills.  Must be able to communicate effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders. Ability to develop, build and foster positive working relationships
  • Demonstrated history and experience with general office procedures, standard office systems and professional office culture and norms.
  • Ability to work in a busy, fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to clearly define tasks and set priorities.
  • Demonstrated time management and organizational skills to complete assignments in the context of fluctuating & competing workloads, shifting deadlines and stakeholder priorities.
  • Able to work both independently and collaboratively as a member of a team.
  • Able to communicate appropriate information and deliverables to other departments in a timely and effective manner.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to understand and create budgets.
  • Basic layout skills to create simple collateral.
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite (namely Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Suite.
  • Demonstrated experience using common graphic design platforms such as Canva, Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign).
  • Experience with Squarespace, WordPress, or other content management systems.
  • Experience with Mailchimp or similar email marketing platform.
  • Basecamp project management software is a plus.
  • Some weekend and evening hours may be required. Some travel may also be required (once it is safe to travel again).
  • No extraordinary physical requirements beyond the ability to travel. The job involves normal physical requirements for an office position.

To apply please email a cover letter, resume, and three samples of work (1 digital example, 1 printed collateral, 1 writing sample) to with the position title in the subject line.