Director of Communications | Ford Family Foundation
A national leader in rural philanthropy, The Ford Family Foundation is a private foundation benefiting rural communities in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. In 1957, Kenneth W. Ford & Hallie E. Ford originally established the Foundation to give back to the timber communities of southwest Oregon. During its formative years, the Foundation concentrated its support on three counties in Oregon and California: Douglas, Coos, and Siskiyou. Over time, the Foundation’s size and scope increased to include a statewide focus on rural communities while remaining committed to the original three-county region. One of the largest grantmaking foundations in Oregon, The Ford Family Foundation currently has assets in excess of $1 billion, an annual budget of approximately $45 million, a seven-member board of directors, 43 employees and two office locations (headquarters in Roseburg, Oregon and scholarship office in Eugene, Oregon).
Foundation Mission & Vision
The Foundation’s mission is Successful Citizens and Vital Rural Communities, reflecting a belief that children in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County should have the family, educational and community supports they need to become successful adults. The Foundation is targeting all of its philanthropic tools – grants, scholarships, community building, convening, research, and strengthening statewide systems – to improving the wellbeing of children, families and communities in the region.
In support of its mission of Successful Citizens, the Foundation invests in initiatives, partnerships, and grants focused on the people who live in rural communities. Current efforts and focus areas include early childhood development, youth development and education, child abuse prevention and intervention, postsecondary preparation and success, scholarships for college students, and career readiness for postsecondary students.
In support of its mission of Vital Rural Communities, the Foundation invests in initiatives, partnerships, and grants focused on rural communities. Current efforts and focus areas include community capacity building, leadership development, community-based efforts to improve local conditions, workforce and business development, rural community capital projects, and rural economic vitality.
Reporting to the President & CEO and serving as a key member of the leadership team, the Director of Communications will be responsible for the full spectrum of the Foundation’s communications activities. This is an exciting moment to join the Foundation, a leader in rural philanthropy, as it strategically positions itself to be a more visible and vocal advocate for rural communities in Oregon and across the nation. This is a new position in the Foundation.
This first-ever Director of Communications will play a pivotal role in the next phase of the Foundation’s evolution. For the past twenty years, the Foundation’s communications work has been overseen and performed largely by a consultant (recently retired). In 2019, a Communications Specialist was hired to establish internal capacity and enhance digital media presence. The opportunity for the new Director of Communications is to work with colleagues across the Foundation to co-create a strong, central communications function aligned with the Foundation’s new strategic plan. The goal for this new position is to leverage the Foundation’s significant expertise and relationships throughout the region to inform and influence leaders and policy makers on the range of critical issues affecting rural communities. It will also help elevate the voice of rural residents, organizations and communities to represent and advocate for issues that are core to their wellbeing. Finally, it will help rural residents across the region better understand the mission and vision of The Ford Family Foundation.