The Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) hires experienced, self-directed, and collaborative staff to join our dynamic national organization supporting the field of worker cooperative development.


Job Posting: Communications Director

The Communications Director will lead DAWI’s work to popularize employee ownership to a broad range of audiences through a variety of means.

Position Description

The Communications Director plays an integral role in promoting the concept of employee ownership and the work of DAWI’s program staff, positioning DAWI as a credible and innovative field-leading organization. This position will work with the Executive Director to develop a strategic communications plan for the organization, and will then lead and execute that plan. In addition to someone who is a great writer, we’re looking for a quick study who is strategic, intrepid and well-connected. This is a remote position; we prefer a candidate who can work out of our Oakland or New York offices, but we will consider strong candidates from all locations.  We are open to contractors.

Essential Job Functions

Communications Strategy, Vision and Leadership (25%)

  • Develop and implement an integrated, strategic communications plan to broaden awareness of DAWI’s work.
  • Strengthen DAWI’s brand identity across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Create a public relations strategy that will allow DAWI staff and board leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-­level external audiences, including the media, public officials and key influencers.
  • Work in tandem with the board and staff to identify emerging issues, recognize communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
  • Work in tandem with our sister organization, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, to develop messaging and collateral to support local and federal policy initiatives in support of worker ownership.

Organizational and Program Communications (45%)

  • Oversee the continued development and use of the DAWI brand.
  • Oversee and manage all copy intended for public consumption to ensure its alignment with the strategic communications plan.
  • Oversee and manage the development of all print and branded materials.
  • Oversee and manage the development of electronic communications, including DAWI’s website, monthly electronic newsletter and other electronic communications.
  • Curate content and increase audience engagement on DAWI’s social media channels; manage staff in social media communications.
  • Prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations and other supporting material as needed.
  • With the Executive Director, serve as point person on media interactions; actively cultivate and manage press relationships to ensure coverage of issues of strategic importance to the sector, as well as DAWI’s programs, special events, public announcements, and other projects.
  • Manage relationships with any communications-­related vendors or consultants.
  • Act as liaison with our sister organization, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, to ensure cohesive branding and messaging across the organizations.
  • Create a responsive communications process in the case of emergency, time-sensitive, or public relations-sensitive situations.
  • Support and collaborate with DAWI’s program areas to produce program-related materials that amplify the work of our programs, including reports, information, toolkits, and other items. (Specific program communications needs change year to year and are available upon request.)

Team Development/Management (10%)

  • Maintain the organization-wide communications calendar, and work with the Executive Director to prioritize and integrate ad hoc work to preset communications plan.
  • Manage two staffers with part-time communications/design/social media responsibilities. Mentor and develop junior staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • As needed and possible, recruit and manage a communications support team, relying primarily on intern and volunteer talent to execute basic communications tasks.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.

Development Support (10%)

  • As needed, support development team with editing proposals, grant reports, and funder communications.
  • Administration and Organizational Development (10%)
  • Participate in staff meetings, retreats, discussions, and committees, and board of directors.
  • Contribute to the building of organizational systems and processes.
  • Support effective administration.

Skills and Qualities We Seek

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including experience copy editing and proofreading, are required. 
  • A design eye and spatial sensibility is required. Design skills and familiarity with design and web development tools such as Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign, Wordpress and Drupal are not required, but always desirable. (Note this is not a design position; this is an overall communications position.)
  • This position requires an entrepreneurial work ethic, particularly the ability to be responsive to new opportunities. We seek creativity and initiative in finding new ways and outlets to amplify our message.
  • Remote work is required. You will need to be able to work independently to prioritize and execute day to day tasks, with self-management systems in place to support remote work.
  • Willingness to constructively share ideas and collaborate with both senior and junior staff is required, as we are a small and highly collaborative team.
  • We value emotional intelligence, kindness, and sense of humor. Diplomacy, judgment, and discretion are particularly important in this position. 
  • Experience with basic office tools (Microsoft Office Suite, social media platforms and applications, online project management systems, online/remote meeting tools) is required. Fearlessness in the face of new technology is desired.
  • Passion for social justice, racial equity, small business, and/or labor organizing, and ability to speak authentically about these issues to multiple audiences is required. Familiarity with or interest in employee ownership and worker cooperatives will be important to cultivate.

Qualifications and Experience Required

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications or related field
  • 3+ years experience in a communications role
  • Experience managing and executing across several communications media
  • Experience with multi-phase project management
  • Experience capably leading, managing and coaching staff, interns and volunteers


This is a full-time exempt position.

Reports To:

Executive Director


This position is salaried, with a range of $65,000-75,000 per year commensurate with experience. We offer full health and dental benefits, 403(b) plan, a generous time-off policy, travel opportunities, professional development budget, and a highly participatory, mutually supportive workplace. We are committed to the personal and professional growth of all staff.

About the Institute:

The Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit movement-based think-and-do tank that expands the promise of cooperative business ownership to communities most directly affected by economic, social, and racial inequality. We do research and advocacy; we develop tools and new models; we train worker-owners and developers; and we build cooperative development capacity to ensure that further growth in the worker cooperative movement reaches low-income people, people of color and recent immigrants.  In all our work, as well as internal operations, we strive to embody our organizational values of Excellence, Equity, Entrepreneurialism, Collaboration, and Human-Centeredness. We are affiliated with the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the national grassroots membership organization. All programs integrate USFWC member input and foreground the experience of worker cooperatives.

About Being on Staff:

Started in 2013, DAWI is a relatively young organization, and all staffers are expected to help build organizational capacity, including organizational processes and documents. A certain amount of travel for all staffers is expected and supported. We are a remote organization, with staff around the country, and a heavy reliance on technological tools and good communication loops. We love our work, and we work hard, but we also strive for work-life balance. We are a tight-knit team with extremely low staff turnover. Full-time staff are eligible for membership in the organization after a year of employment. Members are eligible to serve on the board of directors, elect two directors, and participate in the strategic guidance of the organization.

Notice of Non­discrimination:

Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) is committed to a multi-racial and class-diverse staff that reflects the future of worker cooperatives. Women, people of color and others who may be underrepresented at senior levels of the nonprofit workforce are strongly encouraged to apply.  DAWI is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law. It is the policy of DAWI to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding equal opportunity. In keeping with that policy, DAWI is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Accordingly, DAWI will not tolerate unlawful discrimination against or harassment of any of our employees or others present at our facilities by anyone, including any supervisor, co­worker, vendor, client, or customer of DAWI.

How to Apply:

Email a cover letter, resume, and two references to hiring [at] Cover letters should be addressed to Melissa Hoover and include a 2-3 paragraph statement of interest describing how your skills and experiences qualify you for the position. Include the subject line “Application for Communications Director.” All materials must be submitted in PDF format. The position was announced in August of 2018 and is open until filled.