Accion International

SVP, Chief Communications Officer, Communications

Posted Date 1 month ago(4/11/2022 3:14 PM)
Job ID
Accion Washington, DC


About Accion:


Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of — or poorly served by — the financial sector. For nearly 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 160 partners in 55 countries. More at


Position Summary 

Working across Accion and its affiliates, the SVP Chief Communications Officer (CCO) is responsible for developing and executing a broad-based communications and brand strategy that supports and strengthens the long- and short-term objectives of the organization.


The CCO will have ultimate accountability for all communications, brand and marketing activities including campaign strategy and creative development, all online and offline channels, brand strategy, identity and positioning, PR, brand partnerships and content strategy, development and execution, as well as revenue responsibility for growing unrestricted individual fundraising at the $1,000 and below level.


This senior executive position is a member of Accion’s Operating Committee, and is responsible for the Communications Team across various functions, including digital communications, media and industry engagement, executive communications, internal communications, brand, donor acquisition strategy, and external communications and partnerships.


They will be responsible for communicating Accion’s work and promoting visibility to a wide range of audiences, including the media and donors, through increased media contacts, conferences, events and other external settings.


With this broad remit, the CCO will:

  • Develop a long-term vision for the communications function;
  • Drive and integrate an organization-wide brand strategy;
  • Develop and implement an annual communications plan which is aligned with the organization’s goals, including fundraising targets;
  • Work closely with the CEO and serve as a thought partner to executive leadership on communications-related issues.


Position Responsibilities 

  • Determine communications and marketing strategy, initiatives, plans, and project priorities; manage brand and reputation.
  • Serve as a strategic communications advisor to CEO and senior leadership with the success of Accion’s overall mission in mind, while supporting program areas with communication capacities, and ensuring an appropriate level of visibility for their work. Advise internal groups to create/identify communications strategies which will deliver higher levels of impact externally.
  • Develop a cohesive and compelling narrative that communicates Accion’s complex and impactful work to donors and other global audiences; ensure that key messages reach core audiences and are being delivered through the appropriate media.
  • Ensure that Accion's brand positioning, messaging and identity are a strategic driver of the entire organization by:
  • Measuring and monitoring Accion's brand strength with target audiences.
  • Continuously updating and enhancing Accion's brand identity and positioning.
  • Providing templates and guidelines for brand usage to the organization.
  • Collaborating with other externally focused teams within the organization to ensure a consistent and streamlined brand.
  • Ensuring consistency across the organization and its affiliates use of brand assets, including collateral and owned digital media, as well as staff use of social media.
  • Develop and own an integrated marketing strategy for the organization that:
  • Positions Accion as the leading organization advancing inclusive finance globally.
  • Leads successful multi-channel campaigns that leverage the entire organization and deliver a high return on objectives – brand awareness, lead generation, revenue, etc.
  • Provides unified leadership to team on strategy and direction, while evaluating most effective/efficient execution models.
  • Maximizes ROI on the lowest tier (sub $1k) individual donor fundraising initiatives – with specific attention to unrestricted funding.
  • Strategically cultivate donors and improve donor experience; create a data-led approach to growing Accion's supporter numbers and enhancing supporters’ experience by:
  • Monitoring all metrics related to our donor/supporter list – acquisition, retention, and reactivation of lapsed donors.
  • Developing strategies that broaden our traditional profile of donors using data and segmentation modeling.
  • In conjunction with the IT team, advise and inform the software and technology strategy required to support effective marketing and communications for the entire organization.
  • Continuous evaluation to monitor and enhance Accion's donors’ experience across all touch points and platforms.
  • Manage media relations and maximize media opportunities. Build relationships with key stakeholders in the sector, including journalists and influencers. Direct media outreach, press strategies, press releases. Respond to inquiries and publicize the organization’s programs and activities.
  • Serve as the liaison between the CEO as well as other stakeholders, and the media, ensuring spokespersons are prepared for interviews.
  • Identify and seize opportunities to react to events and breaking news.
  • Create, develop, and produce proactive and appropriate press releases, briefings, articles and other materials as required.
  • Ensure spokespeople are appropriately trained for media appearances and a consistent approach to media engagement.
  • Manage Accion’s public profile through the management of website, microsites, multi-media, publications, and social media. Oversee the development of rich and creative content that is optimized for search engines.
  • Oversee the writing and developing concepts for all printed promotional materials and publications to ensure that they align with the communications plan, conform to organizational style guidelines, and meet established timelines.
  • Manage internal communications, to include working with leadership and various departments to ensure timely communication to team members globally.
  • Act as a mentor, as well as direct leadership and management of the communications team and guidance and oversight of communications and marketing activities distributed throughout the organization (such as program and investment teams and resource development) and Accion affiliates, Accion Opportunity Fund and the Center for Financial Inclusion.


Position Qualifications 

  • Demonstrated passion for and commitment to Accion’s mission and vision.
  • Minimum of 15 years of innovative, strategic communications experience with 8+ years in a leadership role.
  • Experience gained in a purpose-centric, global environment would be beneficial.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in a changing, fast-paced, high performing world-class organization.
  • Demonstrated skills, knowledge and experience in the design and execution of marketing, communications and public relations activities.
  • Outstanding communication, public speaking and advocacy skills. Ability to effectively communicate complex information in English to all levels of staff, management and external audiences.
  • Adept in forming and maintaining external partnerships and networks.
  • Sound leadership capability and demonstrated track record in a strategic role in which communication considerations are a key part. A strategic thinker who can develop a long-term vision and execute to meet goals.
  • Demonstrated success in crafting a substantive and cohesive set of messages for an organization, which has been successfully communicated to key audiences and resulted in a measurable difference (e.g., elevated profile, broader visibility, increased funding, or donor support) to the organization.
  • Ability to quickly distill complex concepts into interesting and digestible pieces; ability to actively and thoughtfully listen to and incorporate ideas to influence strategy and shape content. Creative and skilled at identifying and seizing opportunities for an organization to reach key audiences.
  • Expertise overseeing the production of websites, online communities, videos, webinars, infographics and other multimedia web content. Knowledge and experience with new and social media. Broad understanding of, and willingness to stay abreast of, new media technologies, applications, and processes.
  • Commitment to Accion’s values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
  • Interested in our mission and working globally.
  • Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
    • Excellence: Accion staff should always put forth their best effort in all activities, strive for high quality of collective and individual performance; and demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times while in the workplace and while working on behalf of the organization.
    • Respect: Accion staff should value one another’s roles and responsibilities as much as their own, be encouraging, and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues. They should honor obligations and commitments to each other and to external partners.
    • Passion for Social Change: Accion staff should be committed to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, value the greater good of the organization over personal gain, and promote a productive workplace by acknowledging the accomplishments of others. 

Accion is an equal opportunity employer; employing qualified individuals without regard to age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, veteran status, creed, religion, citizenship, disability, parental status, marital status, gender or sexual orientation. This philosophy is practiced in, but is not limited to, employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising, layoffs or termination, rate of pay or other compensation, and selection for training. Accion also employs qualified individuals without regard to height, weight or record of arrest without conviction. Accion applies standards with regard to, and makes employment decisions based on, education, experience, interpersonal skills and general suitability for a position.


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