NOW HIRING: Communications Officer

Whom We’re Looking For

The Matthew Shepard Foundation (MSF), an LGBTQ+ oriented national civil rights organization based in Denver, is looking for an experienced, creative, well-connected communication professional as our next Communications Officer. You’ll be putting your strong passion for civil rights and social change to work for an organization that seeks to “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion and Acceptance.” Working from our annual Operating Plan, you will craft year-round and long-term communication strategies to drive programs, build relationships, support fundraising and influence policies and social attitudes.

You will be stewarding and improving MSF’s online platforms, social media, direct constituent communication and media coverage, providing editorial direction for MSF’s messaging, and supporting speechwriting, statements and op-ed placements. You will be a thought leader in developing compelling messages and case statements to solidify and expand our support from funders, opinion leaders and members of the public. You will track MSF’s communication successes and engagement, and develop and pitch new coverage opportunities with assistance from other team members. You will help our inspirational founders Judy and Dennis Shepard amplify their pro-diversity messaging. You’ll curate our extensive multimedia archive and help deploy past coverage to enrich our organizational videos, publications and other message delivery vectors. And you will be a vital part of an energetic team, helping make sure we creatively and efficiently integrate communication objectives into all our mission-driven work.  

Your gifts for collaboration with peers and external contacts will allow your fellow professionals to reach their full potential in carrying out communication that positions the Foundation for programmatic and financial sustainability. Your passion for sharing and showcasing personal stories will impel our partners and supporters to live authentically, speak up and improve the world around them. After 20 years since our founding, we believe strongly in the power of individual stories like Matthew Shepard’s to change the world.


What It’s All About

  • Establishing and executing short- and long-term communication plans that advance the Foundation’s mission, vision, Strategic Plan and annual Operating Plan.
  • Managing and optimizing the Foundation’s website.
  • Creating and executing an editorial content calendar, encompassing programmatic and fundraising objectives, including e-mail, social media, blogs, op-eds, speeches and multimedia elements.
  • Tracking communication performance and adapting strategies in response to data.
  • Conceiving, drafting, editing and pitching MSF press releases with support from other team members.
  • Fielding and coordinating media requests of the Shepards and Foundation staff.
  • Producing content for statements and correspondence issued under founders’ or team members’ name(s).
  • Representing and/or appearing on behalf of MSF for to promote the organization and its work.
  • Designing, assembling content for and creating content for seasonal newsletters and the annual report.
  • Cultivating productive long-term relationships with opinion leaders and relevant beat reporters to facilitate coverage of our mission-driven work.
  • Collaborating with the Development Department to plan, create, schedule and execute donor communications and solicitations.
  • Independently devising special communication projects..
  • Producing and curating custom content for external partners as needed.


What We Need From You

  • A bachelor’s degree (career-relevant master’s degree preferred) and minimum three (3) years’ professional organizational communication experience such as multimedia or multiplatform production, digital design, journalism, marketing, business writing, programmatic content production, social media management and/or similar duties, ideally in the LGBTQ+ movement.
  • A proven track record of effective message and content development and execution.
  • Strong experience identifying, cultivating and stewarding media and opinion leaders.
  • A record of success in developing and fulfilling mission-driven communications planning.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills and experience.
  • An open and collaborative work style that fosters both structured and spontaneous team member collaboration.
  • Passion for civil and human rights and LGBTQ+ community issues specifically.
  • A way with words and an ear for how our diverse audiences interpret our messages.
  • Comfort with the sometimes unpredictable nature of small organizations doing social-change work.
  • Proficiency with typical office software including Google Suite, Microsoft Office, WordPress and constituent records management systems.
  • An understanding, compassionate and accepting outlook on life.


What You Can Expect From Us

  • Market-based competitive salary and above-average benefits
  • Professional development and leadership opportunities
  • A dedicated and experienced team backing you up through excellent program work, creative fundraising and inspiring board leadership
  • A place your work will truly make a difference


More About Us
The Matthew Shepard Foundation is an LGBTQ- and Ally-focused 501(c)(3) charitable organization which empowers the individual to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach, advocacy, and resources.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.  Applicants are considered for employment based on qualifications and experience without regard to sex, national origin, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, or any other category protected by applicable local, state or federal law. The Foundation will make reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants with known disabilities.


Please email all applications (resume, references, and cover letter) to

Matthew Shepard FoundationNOW HIRING: Communications Officer