Communications Specialist

Vancouver, BC Full-time $28.39/hour

A neighborhood where every person’s worth is celebrated and all people thrive.

We seek a just society, nurturing spirits through ministry, housing, advocacy and community services.


Acceptance – we practice a presence of acceptance – caring for people no matter who they are, no matter where they are on life’s journey, no matter their race, gender identity/expression, or who they love. We meet people where they are and offer help when asked.

Discernment – we develop and grow our skill at using critical thinking and judgement in our interactions with the community we serve. We know that behaviour is in itself communication, and sometimes rules cannot be one-size-fits-all. And that the world does need rules. We use the same skills to plan how the organization should respond to the neighbourhood we serve.

Empathy – we practice empathy – truly seeing and hearing the experience of those around us. Empathy communicates to those we serve: “You are not alone.”

Accountability – we show up and we go the extra mile. We deal with our own issues and we take ownership and responsibility for our work and its impact.

Social Justice – we aspire to a sustainable and equitable society.

Each job within the First United Church Community Ministry Society should in some way promote our accomplishment of this vision and mission.


This position oversees the strategic communications supporting the vision and objectives of First United Church and promoting the work of First United and its image, including managing digital assets and content creation, writing, editing, and managing the production of print, on-line, video and event materials, and liaising with the media to share and promote the work and social justice objectives of First United.

This position assists the Fund Development department through the creation of donor, public, and internal communication materials with an emphasis on digital, including developing appeal assets, gathering newsletter stories, and writing donor correspondence.

This position shapes and amplifies the voice of the organization, and works to ensure that, in all our encounters, First United’s communications reflect our mission and values.


  • Implement First United’s strategic communications plans with a focus on fundraising initiatives and email acquisition.
  • Oversee website content and functionality, ensuring timely updates and accurate information. Contract and manage website support as needed.
  • Work with the Development Department to develop and execute a social media plan. Create and coordinate content for First United’s social media communications including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, and conduct regular evaluation of channels to meet strategic objectives
  • Support the Development Department through editing and design on fundraising appeals, donor communication, email campaigns, social media posts, newsletters, event and program promotion, reports for foundations, and other written and visual material.
  • Monitor First United’s general and communications mailboxes and social media streams and respond to comments and inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Maintain a communications calendar that reflects all planned external communications.
  • Coordinate media relations and outreach: write and issue backgrounders and press releases, build relationships with journalists, manage media and stakeholder lists, support staff as organizational spokespersons, coordinate media interviews and press conferences, and write or solicit op-eds and articles from First United community (staff, Board, volunteers, United Church congregations, and community members)
  • Support the Development team to implement donor acquisition and cultivation strategies to grow and steward our network of support.
  • Produce or manage the design, content production, layout, publication and distribution of digital and print material for First United, including newsletters, annual report and other collateral. Ensure stock of relevant print material is always available.
  • Implement organizational brand style guide and create design templates to ensure consistent and effective application of First United’s brand for both internal and external communications and assets.
  • Develop, update maintain a bank of testimonials, stories, interviews, case studies, statistics and fact sheets related to First United’s programs and activities. Represent and promote First United in relevant community groups and at Downtown Eastside community events and meetings as needed or as requested.
  • Manage relationships with external vendors/contractors for design, web development, print collateral, photography etc.
  • Participate in fundraising initiatives and other Development tasks as required.
  • Other duties, as required.


Supervisory/Management responsibility

The incumbent works closely with the Associate Director of Development, Associate Executive Director and Executive Director to develop work plans and strategic priorities. Otherwise works independently consulting as needed with leadership and other team members to respond to staff needs and program objectives. 


  • Regular communication is maintained with all levels of staff and management. Communication is also maintained with management and co-workers as work is assigned and completed, and information exchanged on an ongoing basis.
  • First United Staff: to exchange information, advise and receive instruction on specific tasks (i.e. setting up meetings, telephone calls) and to communicate daily.
  • General public: regular communication, to answer general inquiries, emails, etc.


  • Related post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate(s) related to the position (marketing/public relations /journalism/communications) required. A combination of relevant experience and education may be considered.
  • Experience with content development, website and social media management; experience with analytics software (Google Analytics, Hootsuite) and WordPress is required
  • Experience with campaign communications, fundraising communications, and email campaigns
  • A strategic thinker and planner – ability to anticipate, analyze and think through issues, problems and generate new ideas; strive for innovation
  • Experience with and strong knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • Strong understanding of SEO
  • Proven success in developing, executing, and analyzing email acquisition campaigns
  • Creative and professional writing for social media, organization e-newsletters, blog posts, and reports
  • Research, editing and proofreading skills with attention to detail
  • Experience with both earned and paid media, particularly digital ads including Google Ads
  • Competency with photo-editing and layout software; basic design experience is an asset
  • Strong task management and organizational skills
  • Fluidity in working in a fast-paced environment with multiple stakeholders
  • Experience working within the not-for-profit sector and/or within a fundraising context is an asset
  • Excellent verbal communications skills
  • Knowledge of and/or experience related to issues of homelessness, substance use and mental health, social and economic justice, frontline service provision, and/or advocacy an asset


Physical conditions:

  • No unusual physical demands 
  • Must be able to lift up to 15lbs at times

Environmental conditions:

  • No unusual environmental conditions.

Sensory demands:

  • Prolonged periods sitting or standing at a desk and working on a computer
  • Must be able to read, watch, study, observe, and engage in focused listening for concentrated blocks of time

Mental Demands:

  • Possible exposure/proximity to traumatic medical events and clients in crisis
  • Possible exposure to emotionally disturbing experiences. 

Unionized Position: UFCW 1518
Starting Wage $28.39/hr

Internal candidates will be prioritized until the internal job posting closes on January 13, 2022 at 3pm.

We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

Please visit our careers page to see more job opportunities.

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