LOCATION: Great Lakes region with preference for proximity to Chicago, IL. Position will be based out of a home office.
TERM AND SALARY: Full-time salaried, non-exempt. Annual salary range between $42,000 and $48,000 commensurate with experience. Support for this grant-funded position has been secured through August 2021. Beyond that date, the position is contingent upon securing additional funding.
POSITION SUMMARY: River Network seeks an individual with significant direct experience leading community organizing and civic engagement initiatives and supporting leaders, organizations and coalitions to become effective change agents in their communities. We are looking for someone who is dynamic, highly organized, positive, and motivated to bring power to our regional and national network of water leaders, showing the path towards greater civic participation and impact.
This position will focus on developing resources, tools and training approaches to strengthen the capacity of leaders, organizations and coalitions to engage community members in advancing climate resilience locally. Toward this goal, the position will serve as researcher, writer, and connector, to identify, capture and disseminate successful examples of climate resilience initiatives that have resulted in positive change from across the U.S. Additionally, this position will work alongside River Network’s Great Lakes Drinking Water Program Manager to help Great Lakes organizations strengthen community organizing and civic engagement initiatives related to their drinking water campaigns.
Our ideal candidate understands how small nonprofit organizations operate and has experience working with under-represented groups, particularly racially and ethnically diverse communities. The position needs to fully understand the expertise available through the River Network team, engage various team members in developing resources and providing support (e.g., leadership development, communications, etc.), and establish partnerships with others to fill knowledge gaps. This person must be flexible and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously. We are looking for candidates who have the skills and motivation to become a successful member of our nationally dispersed team, who are excited about improving access to clean water and healthy rivers for all people, and who are inspired to achieve a sustainable and equitable future for our nation’s rivers, waters and the communities that depend on them.
ABOUT RIVER NETWORK: River Network envisions a future of clean and ample water for people and nature, where local caretakers are well-equipped, effective and courageous champions for our rivers. River Network’s mission is to empower and unite people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life. Visit www.rivernetwork.org to learn more about our current priorities. Our headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado and we have staff located in communities across the U.S. We are committed to embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas to achieve our mission – explore our core values and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, our explanation for why equity, diversity an inclusion are the foundation of our mission, and our principles for equitable and inclusive work. Through our programs, we seek to connect with all communities and increase the impact of their efforts to secure clean and ample water. Through our internal practices and external leadership, we seek an inclusive workplace culture that attracts diverse staff, board, members, and supporters.
Develop Community Organizing and Civic Engagement Tools and Resources
- Research and inventory examples and applications of community leadership development models and of community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods that have proven successful in building local leadership and advocacy capacity.
- Write and produce written tools to help groups working for healthy rivers and clean water create or strengthen their own leadership development and CBPR initiatives.
- Identify and establish effective relationships with issue experts and others (e.g. editors, graphic designers) to support the production of a high-quality, professionally designed toolkit.
Provide Training and Support to Leaders, Organizations and Coalitions
- Design, organize and host learning opportunities related to CBPR, civic engagement and leadership development, via virtual and in-person trainings.
- Coordinate activities to identify, select and provide re-grants and technical assistance to support a small number of community organizations incorporate CBPR methodologies in their work.
- Provide consulting services to organizations and networks on topics related to community organizing, civic engagement and issue campaign planning, in order to increase the impact of their water and community advocacy efforts.
- Provide training and support services to individuals and organizations to build additional aspects of their organizational capacity (e.g. board leadership, fundraising, strategic planning, effective partnerships, program evaluation and others).
- Cultivate and strengthen relationships and communication with River Network stakeholders in the Great Lakes states and beyond, including member organizations, conservation and environmental justice leaders, communities of color in both rural and urban settings, environmental advocates, local governments, academia and funders.
- Develop and manage outreach efforts to enhance the visibility of River Network programs and services in the region in cooperation with other staff.
- Collaborate with River Network staff on program development, grant writing, project management and grant reporting activities.
- Support planning activities and participate in River Network’s annual River Rally and other regional and national training events.
- Write and prepare materials for newsletters, blogs and training sessions.
- Positive, self-motivated, strategic thinker and quick learner with an upbeat attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, and drive to succeed with a diverse set of stakeholders, partners, staff and volunteers.
- Experience designing and implementing successful community organizing and civic engagement initiatives to effect positive change in communities.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education in a related field with at least 3-5 years professional work experience (e.g., community organizing, program management, water resources, public or environmental policy and/or advocacy).
- Experience working with community-based groups and leaders and organizations representing communities of color.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, group facilitation skills, interpersonal skills, strong technological abilities (e.g. Microsoft Office programs, Salesforce) and comfort learning new cloud-based systems (e.g. webinar and online communication platforms).
- Self-directed; demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team player, defining and tracking deadlines, progress, and contributions of others and staying on track and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
- Commitment to River Network’s vision and mission, and to our core values of strength, mutual respect, integrity, balance, growth and inclusion.
- Ability to travel within the Great Lakes region and nationally (average 4-5 days/month); attend the annual River Rally conference and 1-2 staff retreats/yr.
- Working knowledge or experience using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods.
- Experience supporting organizations and coalitions with other aspects of organizational effectiveness, such as leadership development, strategic planning or fundraising.
- Experience and working knowledge of strategies that advance climate resilience in communities.
- Have participated– or are willing to participate- in trainings related to undoing systemic racism; building skills around equity, diversity, and inclusion; and/or coaching and support to develop specific knowledge and skill sets around achieving just and equitable outcomes.
How to apply
TO APPLY: Please send cover letter and resume as one integrated PDF document to Diana Toledo (email@example.com) with “Community Organizing Associate” in the subject line of the email. All applications must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. Expected starting date: January 2020. Applicants granted an interview will be asked to provide work samples and references. No phone calls please.