Join our Team! | Communications and Development Assistant

We’re excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for a Communications and Development Assistant until August 15, 2022.

Please see below for more details, and feel free to pass this announcement on to anyone who might be interested in applying.

Communications and Development Assistant 

Location:  Front Royal, VA 

Closing: August 15, 2022 

Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL), a program of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI), was launched in 2010 in collaboration with community partners to combine the science of the Smithsonian with deep-rooted local expertise to collectively study, inform, facilitate, and inspire conservation management on working landscapes in Virginia. VWL combines a scientific approach with education, citizen science, and community outreach to maximize conservation outcomes. Our collaborative efforts give us the tools to understand, sustain, and maintain native biodiversity on working lands.  

VWL is currently seeking a highly motivated individual to support community outreach and fundraising activities throughout our 16-county working region. The position will be based out of the Front Royal campus of Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Warren County, VA. As part of the VWL team, the selected applicant will have opportunities to engage with a dynamic network of Smithsonian centers, partnering scientists, donors, local conservation professionals, landowners, producers, and community volunteers. As such, this role will require a unique individual equipped with strong interpersonal skills, fundraising experience, and a passion for conservation storytelling.  

Essential Duties: 

  • Generates content for blog posts, newspaper articles, and website, including content to be shared via broader National Zoo and Smithsonian platforms.  
  • Creates infographics that visualize research results, promote conservation management practices, and highlight focal species. 
  • Communicates with project collaborators to identify and plan joint outreach opportunities. 
  • Schedules and generates photo, video, and written content for social media. 
  • Designs and contributes content to VWL annual reports, with support from the VWL team. 
  • Engages with the NZCBI Office of Communications to align VWL communication strategies with those of the Zoo. 
  • Supports the VWL team with community outreach and fundraising events, including creating event announcements, event promotion, and helping design presentations to effectively communicate research results. 
  • Conducts research on individual, corporate and foundation prospects. 
  • Supports the VWL team with drafting grant proposals and funder reports. 
  • Supports donor campaigns with list development, reporting, bulk-mail logistics, contact tracking, and donor acknowledgments. 

Specific Skills, Educational Requirements, Experience, Knowledge, and Attributes that are needed for high performance: 

  • Enthusiasm for and positive representation of VWL’s mission and goals. 
  • Ability to communicate in writing and orally factual information about VWL’s programs through digital platforms. This includes blogs, video, and social media channels.   
  • Ability to assist with preparing written content about VWL relevant science and conservation for web publication using a variety of sources and techniques. These include interviews with organizational experts, drafting and editing written copy, sourcing images and video to accompany written copy.  
  • Ability to assist with drafting website content and social media accounts; using HootSuite to schedule and manage social media accounts; using Google Analytics for continued website improvement, gained through work experience. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing with a range of audiences about scientific programs. This includes research collaborators, partnering organizations, donors, landowners, producers, and community volunteers. 
  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task with a high level of productivity and accuracy, including organizing databases to maximize opportunities for targeted outreach.  
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, writing, biology, conservation science or a related field is required. 
  • Practical knowledge of national and local level conservation issues is required – knowledge of and/or experience in identifying flora and fauna of Virginia preferred. 

This full-time IS-05 position is a one-year appointment starting at $40,883 with Smithsonian Trust employee benefits (including healthcare, dental, paid vacation, and sick leave) which has the possibility of being extended for the right candidate.  

Virginia Working Landscapes offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a federal position but has similar requirements and benefits. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and contact information for 3 references to by August 15, 2022. Please include the position title in your e-mail subject line. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (Month and year); and average number of hours worked per week. 

The Smithsonian Institution ensures its employees (federal and trust), applicants, and affiliated persons (interns, research associates, fellows, and volunteers) are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), age, disability, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or political affiliation and are free from reprisal against protected activities. In addition, other Smithsonian policy prohibits discrimination based on membership in an employee organization or other non-merit factors, and political affiliation. 

The Smithsonian provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need an accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the contact person listed in this announcement. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. 

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