Director, Communications - Edmonton, AB | Homeward Trust Edmonton | | 05/11/15
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Director, Communications full-time

Location: Edmonton, AB
Company Name: Homeward Trust Edmonton ()
Category: Communications, Marketing
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About Homeward Trust Edmonton

Homeward Trust Edmonton (HTE) is a community-based, comprehensive housing organization that provides leadership and resources towards ending homelessness in Edmonton. We fulfill our mandate by leading initiatives and programs, engaging community stakeholders and partners, conducting research, creating awareness and funding housing and support projects. As the designated Community Based Organization for both the Province of Alberta and the Federal Government of Canada, and the Management Body responsible for implementing “A Place to Call Home”, the City of Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, the organization is responsible for planning with the community and administering public funding for housing and homelessness accordingly.

A dynamic work environment with high-energy, dedicated and passionate people, Homeward Trust identifies the gaps and priorities of the community with respect to the continuum of housing, support services and other needs. Based upon those needs, HTE consolidates and leverages public, not for profit and private sector funding to support those initiatives. In the process HTE instills a high degree of accountability, promotes community awareness of housing and homelessness issues, and provides central administration to programs as necessary and appropriate. In addition, Homeward Trust funds formal research projects and liaises with leading thinkers and practitioners in housing and homelessness from across Canada.

Position Summary

The Director, Communications (DC) is responsible for the development, implementation, evaluation and leadership of comprehensive communications, marketing, public /government relations, events and fundraising strategies for Homeward Trust Edmonton, Find Furnishing Hope (furniture bank), and our related subsidiaries (as required).  The primary focus of the position is to raise the profile of homelessness and specifically strategies to end it with effective media and stakeholder relations, managing social media, and ensuring consistent messaging about Homeward Trust, our purpose and community progress.  The Director Communications also manages a broad spectrum of events, community activities, and communication/public relations activities.

This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer, and is a member of the senior leadership team. It has three full time direct reports, a Media & Communications Coordinator and two Event & Volunteer Coordinators, as well as external contractors as assigned.  Team composition and size may be subject to change.

As a senior manager, the DC works closely with all department leaders and staff in provision of communications support for their operational functions and the achievement of our annual strategic plans.  The position also interacts with external stakeholders such as media, partners, sponsors, government representatives, agencies, committees, contractors, and industry professionals to represent Homeward Trust, lead our communications initiatives, and to support our organizational success. Due to the nature of the responsibilities, this position requires flexibility to work on weekends and evenings as needed to oversee events.

Duties & Responsibilities


  • Establish, implement and proactively manage an annual communication plan including all events and projects, and supporting budgets to implement the plan.
  • Develop and implement an effective social media plan, with regular updates in appropriate channels.
  • Lead the development of the annual report up including approval and dissemination to stakeholders.
  • Utilize strategic issues management for the office of the CEO, the Board, each department, and the organization as a whole to advance a positive position and objectives of HTE.
  • Identify and recommend opportunities to increase visibility and professionally promote/ inform the community of the activities and progress of HTE and its subsidiary operations.
  • Oversee the development of all communication materials for HTE and Find Furniture Bank, reflecting the scale of the organization and the strengths of each department. Ensure succinct consistency in messaging, style and content for all communication materials including reports, website and other electronic presence and collateral materials.
  • Lead and participate in community and stakeholder committees related to events and other initiatives involving marketing, communications and fundraising.

Government Relations

  • Track issues and developments in municipal, provincial, and federal governments that affect housing and homelessness, informing and advising CEO on actions required.
  • Develop and implement an annual strategy and protocol for engagement of elected officials.

Events Management

  • Oversee major events initiated by HTE, including media & community relations, debriefings and reporting. Events include and are not limited to Homeless Connect (2X annually), stakeholder/volunteer appreciation events, project/program openings, fundraising events, National Housing Month and ROOPH awards
  • Ensure adherence to protocol for Aboriginal community, government officials and related stakeholders for all events.  Work with Senior Liaison, Aboriginal Relations for inclusion of Aboriginal elements in all activities as required.


  • Seek and secure non-governmental resources via a robust and professional fund development strategy to meet the mandate of HTE. Source new partners and funding opportunities outside of current funding providers and government resources.
  • Oversee strategic promotional, fundraising and networking events such as Walk Run, and national Raising the Roof toque sales campaign.

Management, Reporting & Administration

  • Contribute to the overall objectives and goals of HTE across all departments, programs and initiatives.
  • In conjunction with the CEO and Senior Management Team, participate in the annual Strategic Planning process and the development of the annual Edmonton Community Service Plan.
  • Work collaboratively with community stakeholders in implementation and advancement of the Community Plan and meeting the objectives of the annual HTE work plan.
  • Effectively motivate and coach team members to deliver excellent performance.
  • Provide operational scorecard analysis and reporting systems to deliver accurate and timely reports for the CEO and stakeholders regarding communication activities and results.
  • Preparing briefings & reports on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.


Education & Experience

  • A graduate of a recognized post‐secondary institution with a degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Public Relations, Political Science, Journalism or related fields.
  • Minimum five (5) years related experience at a management level, leading a communications, marketing, public relations or fund development function
  • Minimum three (3) years prior management work with public, non‐profit or private sector organizations is preferred.
  • A combination of education and experience will be considered.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Exceptional verbal, written, listening, and interpersonal skills to convey concepts, statistical, analytical, operational and financial information
  • Team builder with commitment to create and support an environment that enables staff to achieve results and develop and build organizational capacity for the future
  • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, able to engage with stakeholders of diverse and at times competing interests to work towards achieving a common agenda.
  • Excellent time and resource management skills, with the ability to lead and drive change.
  • Technical knowledge and computer skills; IT savvy familiarity using Social Media, electronic media communication and programs including word processing, graphics and layout programs.
  • Ability to handle several, ongoing initiatives at once and be able to prioritize work to meet deadlines using project management methodologies and tools.
  • Advanced knowledge of communication, media management and fundraising principles, techniques and practices
  • Team builder with commitment to create and support an environment that enables staff to achieve results and develop and build organizational capacity for the future
  • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, able to engage with stakeholders of diverse and at times competing interests to work towards achieving a common agenda.
  • Must pass criminal record check including vulnerable sector clearance.
  • Excellent time and resource management skills, with the ability to lead and drive change.
  • Working knowledge of the non-profit sector, especially organizations involved in homelessness and housing in Edmonton is preferred.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal cultures and tradition and ability to work with culturally diverse people.

Leadership Characteristics

  • A role model for the organization – exemplifies the values and principles of Homeward Trust Edmonton in a senior leadership capacity both internally and externally.  Demonstrates maturity, professionalism, discretion and reliable judgment.
  • Focused on results - understands what is important to clients, partners, employees and stakeholders, and is committed to achieving goals.  Tenacious approach to delivery, quality of output and success of assigned functions, and Homeward Trust as a whole.
  • Inspires confidence –establishes credibility, respect and builds strong working relationships with senior management, employees, and external stakeholders.  Works in a collaborative and solutions focused manner to achieve outcomes that align best with the needs of our clients and our organizational objectives.
  • Demonstrates passion and integrity- approaches all tasks in an enthusiastic way.  Committed to upholding professional standards.  Sincere in own behavior and in dealings with others
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