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CLOSED: Communications Officer

Open Philanthropy is looking to hire a Communications Officer (title flexible, depending on level of seniority) to help us share more about our work as we move into the next phase of our growth. Our staff of ~40 currently gives away over $150 - 250 million per year with the aim of doing as much good as we can per dollar, in causes like criminal justice reform, farm animal welfare, and biosecurity and pandemic preparedness. Over the next decade, we plan to increase our giving by several times while continuing to raise our bar for impact.

We are no longer accepting applications for this role, but we keep the page up so previous links don’t break. If you are excited to support our work, but don’t see any open roles that are a match for your skills, you can always fill out our General Application.

About the Role

In this role, you will join our existing two-person communications team, and focus on helping us produce public content that shares more of the thinking behind our grantmaking. Your core responsibilities would include:

  • Turning internal writeups and research into public-facing writing, primarily for publication on our website.
  • Ensuring Open Philanthropy’s voice remains consistent across all implementations, from web content and social media output to internal communications (over time, this would likely involve creating a writing “style guide” and/or creating training for new staff in how to use our voice).
  • Developing an understanding of our key audiences and communications priorities, and proactively seeking out ways to help us achieve our goals (this could include seeking opportunities for media coverage, or proposing other ways of reaching target audiences).
  • (As needed) Triaging and responding to communications issues and media requests, as well as providing guidance to other staff on how to publicly represent Open Philanthropy, in collaboration with our external public relations consulting firm and other communications staff.

Over time, you could take on significant responsibility in helping shape and execute our communications strategy, managing other communications staff and providing high-level guidance on how the organization should present itself publicly going forward.

About You

We think you might be a particularly good fit if you:

  • Are able to write quickly and cleanly in our voice. To get a sense of the kind of writing you would be asked to produce, we encourage you to read a few past posts (two examples of past blog posts are linked here and here, and an example of a “medium investigation” of a potential cause area is linked here). In general we strive to communicate as clearly and carefully as possible, with strong reasoning transparency. While we want to make a positive case for our work, we care much more about maintaining accuracy and rigor than telling a compelling narrative, or otherwise making the organization “look good.”
  • Have good instincts for how a range of audiences are likely to perceive our written output. You can usually predict when something might be confusing, off-putting, or easy to misconstrue, and can help us navigate communicating complex ideas with sensitivity and nuance.
  • Have a solid understanding of Open Philanthropy’s focus areas and/or the ideas of effective altruism. You feel able to represent Open Philanthropy positively and persuasively to people with a wide range of backgrounds and levels of familiarity with our work.
  • Are sufficiently comfortable with scientific principles and quantitative reasoning to translate technical content for a non-technical audience (with support from other staff — you don’t need to be an expert on any particular topic we work on yourself).

While there’s no single background that we’re looking for, relevant examples may include: experience as a science writer or journalist, especially if you have experience reporting on topics Open Philanthropy works on; previous work in media or public relations on behalf of a mission-driven organization; maintaining a personal blog that focuses on highly analytical content, or otherwise producing writing that adheres to an especially clear and calibrated style.

If this description resonates with you and you feel excited about this work, we hope you’ll apply. (And if you are on the fence because you are unsure whether you are qualified, we would strongly encourage you to err on the side of applying.)

Additional Information

  • We’d prefer candidates to work from San Francisco if possible, but are open to full-time remote work if the best candidate is only able to work remotely. We also have a smaller cohort of team members based in Washington, D.C. who may work together in-person once it is deemed safe to do so.
  • As we are considering candidates with a wide range of experience levels, compensation will be decided on a case by case basis. However, we aim to pay competitively enough to make salary unlikely to be a major consideration for candidates who would otherwise be interested in taking this role. If concern about compensation is keeping you from applying, we encourage you to reach out to [email protected].
  • The start date is somewhat flexible, though we would prefer that candidates be able to start by late summer or early fall 2021.
  • We offer a comprehensive benefits package including full health, dental, vision and life insurance, flexible work hours and location, and a stipend for ergonomic equipment.
  • We may be able to sponsor visas for this role, and may be able to hire a successful applicant who lacks U.S. work authorization to work remotely outside the U.S. (though it would be necessary to operate mostly on U.S. working hours).1

We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from self-identified women and people of color who are excited about contributing to our mission. Open Philanthropy is an equal opportunity employer. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, or have any other questions about applying, please contact [email protected].

  • 1. We can’t guarantee equivalent benefits for an international hire, though we will try to provide core benefits.