Resource Rural Communications Director

Heartland Fund is seeking a Communications Director to support the new Resource Rural program. The position requires a skilled communications strategist and manager with a commitment to equitable rural prosperity to lead the Resource Rural Communications Action Center (RRCAC). The Communications Director will run a national effort to identify, develop, distribute, and amplify compelling rural success stories that showcase how rural people are making good things happen in their communities with federal funding.

We are looking for a savvy communications professional who understands how to shape compelling stories, can skillfully manage a distributed team, and who is passionate about elevating racially and geographically diverse rural communities. The Director will manage a blended RRCAC team of employees, consultants, and vendors to work with local partners across the country to identify, document and share inspiring stories across a range of media. RRCAC will work with local groups to shape a positive, people-centered narrative and leverage relationships with partners and media to ensure wide dissemination of rural success stories.

This is an exciting and dynamic position with opportunities for leadership and rewarding collaborations with rural community leaders and content creators to drive investment in rural communities. You will have an opportunity to help develop and implement a brand new initiative with a diverse range of partners. We are actively building a small but mighty team to enable historic, equitable investment in rural America.

Read the Full Announcement – Applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis, with interviews anticipated to start in October 2023. The desired start date is December 2023 or January 2024.

This is a remote position with a salary range of $100,000 to $120,000 and includes a generous benefits package.

About Heartland Fund

Heartland Fund is a funding collaborative built to support and connect local leaders and organizations working for progress across diverse communities in rural areas, towns and small cities. Heartland's grantmaking supports rural people working to transform their lives and communities to advance shared prosperity and democracy. We invest in issue advocacy, community organizing infrastructure, civic engagement, and sustainable urban-rural coalitions, and we prioritize racial equity in all aspects of our work. In addition to grantmaking, Heartland also supports rural leaders and organizations through convening, research, and communications.

Heartland Fund is launching Resource Rural (RR), a new program which focuses on effective federal funding implementation to ensure historic climate and infrastructure investments land for maximum impact in rural communities. Heartland is also home to the Rural Climate Partnership (RCP), which supports hometowns across America to accelerate climate solutions and build healthy local economies. Our RR and RCP programs help remove barriers to federal funding for rural communities – through place-based technical assistance, local organizing, and a large-scale communications and narrative effort – to make a tangible difference in rural people’s lives and advance climate mitigation and resilience.

Why Resource Rural?

As unprecedented levels of federal infrastructure, economic development, and climate-focused resources begin to flow, we have a generational opportunity to make sure this funding lands where it is most needed and can have the biggest impact. Without targeted action, this influx of resources is likely to reinforce, rather than interrupt, entrenched patterns of geographic, racial, and economic inequity because communities with resources are fully prepared to take advantage of the opportunities, while rural communities—especially communities of color and low-wealth communities—are not. Helping underserved rural communities land these resources can dramatically improve quality of life for rural residents, advance climate solutions, and send a powerful message about the importance of federal investment to creating strong local communities and a healthy multi-racial democracy.

The Resource Rural Program

Resource Rural is an ambitious five-year program designed to build engagement, capacity and expertise, and a rural voice at the table in the national conversation about climate progress, workforce development, and equitable community and economic development. The program is built on four key strategies:

  • Resource Rural National Hub and Resource Partners: To address the capacity gaps that prevent rural communities and organizations from accessing federal dollars, Resource Rural will collaborate with local and regional partners to launch a national Resource Rural hub that supports place-based implementation. Place-based resource partners will provide support directly to rural communities, including grant funding, coordination, and technical assistance, while national hub staff will integrate resources and facilitate learning and rapid sharing of models across the network.
  • High-Leverage Climate Opportunities: To stimulate a virtuous cycle within which rural residents appreciate the benefits of interrelated economic and climate outcomes, Resource Rural will support high leverage efforts to unlock powerful climate resources (e.g., grants, incentives, rebates, tax credits) in key federal programs to benefit diverse constituencies and tackle barriers to clean energy implementation.
  • Resource Rural Communications Action Center: To shift rural narratives around federal investment and climate action, Resource Rural will invest in strategic communications and a coordinated narrative that finds and amplifies local success stories and centers how rural people have benefitted their communities and made progress on clean energy opportunities, infrastructure gaps, and economic development using federal investments.
  • Organizing and Advocacy Support: To make sure these resources truly benefit rural people, especially those most in need, Resource Rural will support organizing and advocacy in key places at the state and local levels focused on federal implementation participation, rule-making, and spending.