| Job Description: ||
SOCM, a statewide, multi-issue, multi-racial community organization working for social, economic, and environmental justice in Tennessee, is seeking applications for several community organizer positions. Originally based in the coalfields of east Tennessee and named Save Our Cumberland Mountains, SOCM has changed its name to Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment to reflect a more diverse constituency, issues, and geographic areas. SOCM is democratically run by its members and invests in member leadership development as well as winning issues that affect their lives.
SOCM Organizers work with members in chapters on local issues and in issue committees on statewide campaigns to help set strategy, build leadership, carry out work plans, and move campaigns forward. SOCM is committed to anti-racism work and to organizing that builds greater racial diversity. Positions require some internal fundraising and extensive writing duties.
Introduction to SOCM:
SOCM works on a broad platform of issue goals including social, economic, and environmental justice issues. Parallel to our issue work run complimentary tracks of grassroots leadership development, organizational development, and building strategic alliances with like-minded organizations.
SOCM is led by a Board of Directors, composed of one elected representative from each of our six chapters plus four officers who are elected by the full membership. This volunteer board is responsible for setting and evaluating organizational policies, as well as developing goals and strategic direction. SOCM’s staff team works with grassroots members and leaders to implement organizational goals and priorities, as well as local chapter campaigns. Currently we have a staff of 9 people, including 3 organizers.
SOCM invests significant time and resources in professional development of individual employees and the staff team as a whole. Each Organizer is responsible for pursuing an annual Professional Development and Growth Plan with guidance from the organizing team director. Organizers are also provided annual growth leave to pursue professional development opportunities.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
I. E3 (Energy, Ecology, & Environmental Justice) Strategy and Goal-Setting:
- Coordinate the work of the E3 Committee and engage members in the creation and prioritization of strategies and goals on a yearly basis.
II. E3 Research and Analysis
- Become familiar with Tennessee’s environmental agencies, rules and regulations, and relevant legislation.
- Become familiar with sources of information and analysis about environmental regulation in TN.
- Create frequent opportunities for SOCM leaders to share and learn information about E3 strategies and the TN political landscape.
- Become familiar with data collection methods and practice them when necessary, sharing with allies whenever appropriate.
- Develop repository of resources on recurring resource extraction issues for use by staff and members.
III. E3 Base-Building, Outreach, Education, and Communications
- With staff and leaders, identify target communities for outreach and set goals for each community, keeping in mind that room should be made for new, unexpected areas.
- Help design compelling and effective education tools that communicate simple, powerful, and inspiring messages.
- Engage the Committee in consistent planning and evaluation.
- Ensure the Committee makes regular, thoughtful use of the SOCM Sentinel, our website, and other forms of communication to educate and enhance their organizing goals.
- Regularly provide content (articles, photos, cartoons and/or graphics) for the SOCM Sentinel, Enews and other SOCM publications.
- Work with SOCM’s Communications Director and members to develop press releases and other communications to media about Committee work and positions.
IV. Leadership Development and Training
- Develop new leaders
- Create and conduct workshops and presentations to inform and train SOCM’s staff, members, and allies on priority issue work (e.g. mountaintop removal mining).
- Maintain excellent lists of contacts (allies, members, potential members) and provide them with timely, ongoing information about ways to participate.
- Empower members to participate in public hearings, testimony, and lobbying on E3 issues, and to develop positions and act as spokespeople.
- Help identify leader development needs and create a plan for meeting those needs.
V. Contribute to the development and success of staff teams.
- Work with team director to develop, use and evaluate annual, quarterly and weekly workplans, including self-development plans, which reflect the priority goals of the organization;
- Participate fully and constructively in Organizing Team meetings and other staff meetings, and periodically help to plan and facilitate those discussions;
- Contribute to a culture of mutual respect, support, accountability, appreciation and learning, based on good working relationships and communication with other staff.
VI. Contribute to effective work by SOCM in the state legislature.
- Encourage, train and orient members to lobby the legislature, and coordinate regular lobbying trips to Nashville with members from the chapter and at-large regions;
- Coordinate at-home lobbying by establishing phone/email trees; providing members with quality, timely information; and facilitating meetings between members and local legislators;
- Contribute to strategy development by coordinating and participating in conference calls and other timely communication with staff and leaders;
- Foster ongoing dialogue and communication with our allies in order to enhance mutual understanding, effectiveness and accountability.
VII. Coordinate SOCM’s participation in the Alliance for Appalachia and federal lobbying efforts regarding surface coal mining and water quality issues primarily associated with MountainTop Removal.
- Represent SOCM at quarterly and other periodic face-to-face meetings of the Alliance;
- Actively recruit SOCM members to participate in planning committees of the Alliance, including but not limited to: coordinating, legislative, enforcement, economic and steering committees;
- Coordinate trips to Washington, DC to participate in annual Week in Washington lobby trips and periodic mini-lobby trips as well as occasional regulatory agency meetings; recruit members to participate and oversee all logistics for visits.
VIII. Work with Agencies and Allies
- Build and maintain relationships with relevant state and federal agencies.
- Build and maintain excellent relationships with coalition partners.
IX. Conduct and inspire effective, consistent grassroots fundraising.
- Motivate and challenge members, leaders and the chapter to understand the importance of grassroots fundraising and increase their fundraising skills and involvement;
- Develop and implement an annual workplan with the chapter and leaders that results in increased membership recruitment and retention, enhanced chapter fundraising, an expanding donor base, and strong participation in the organization-wide fundraising campaigns;
- Build relationships with members and donors in assigned at-large counties to solicit major gifts and coordinate donor and fundraising events within the at-large region, when feasible;
- Model fundraising “best practices” by consistently and visibly asking people to join and/or contribute to SOCM and by fostering a spirit of celebration and accountability.
- Provide limited organizing support to at-large members when requested, appropriate and feasible.
- Efficiently fulfill administrative responsibilities, including email, phone and mail correspondence; expense forms; timesheets; board reports; maintaining accurate and legible files, both hard copy and electronic, in an effort to leave an accessible trail for future staff and members.
- Participate in and help organize the Annual Meeting and other major organization-wide activities.
- Ensure care and maintenance of SOCM equipment and property, including cars, computers, and other technology.
- Other duties as negotiated and assigned.
Qualifications and Experiences:
- Commitment to member-led community organizing – Commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice through community organizing; a passion for community organizing work and desire to pursue organizing goals for the long-haul; experience as a volunteer member or leader in a member-led grassroots organizing group.
- Self-motivated multi-tasker – takes initiative; self-starting; organized; creative; attention to detail; own a car or have daily access to reliable transportation; ability to work independently and cooperatively in teams; demonstrated ability to work with multiple goals and responsibilities, prioritize work effectively, and to build and carry out workplans; continual learning and disciplined self-development.
- Personable and charismatic leader – empathetic and compassionate; ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds (including race, income-level, age, and ability); integrity; patient; hopeful; positive and encouraging; ability to build trusting, challenging relationships; good communication skills including listening, asking challenging questions, and writing; confident and capable.
- Flexibility – must be able to travel to different parts of state and region and accommodate work schedule that includes evening and weekend commitments; ability to adjust work style to diverse needs of members; ability to cope with changing and uncertain circumstances.
- Previous organizing experience – at least 1 year of previous, paid organizing experience required; ability to create conditions that empower others to take ownership and become leaders; demonstrated problem solving abilities and abilities to think and work strategically; evidence of a commitment to diversity and an understanding of how to work effectively in and with diverse communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color; experience as a facilitator, trainer and designer of participatory workshops with adults; experience organizing fundraising events: coordinating events and donor campaigns; experience in developing and implementing successful media campaigns; experience in direct communication with voters, including canvassing, tabling and phone banks.
- Knowledge of campaign issues – knowledge of the broader environmental movement and the movement to end mountaintop removal mining.
- Ability to use technology to strengthen work product – knowledge of Microsoft Word; familiarity with Apple computers and ability to work in an all-Mac office; Knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint and other software is helpful; experience using listservs to communicate with members; experience using digital cameras to capture event photos or willingness to learn.
- Experience with large-scale organizational change and ability to proactively seek problem-solving resolutions in an ever-evolving environment.
- Knowledge of and commitment to SOCM and our work – knowledge of TN politics, regions, issues, people and organizations is desirable, particularly environmental issues; Commitment to attend a mandatory anti-racism workshop and support efforts of organization to implement within all work SOCM’s commitment to become an anti-racist organization; knowledge of SOCM’s active issue campaigns.
Salary is negotiable based upon relevant experience. The SOCM base salary is $27,000. SOCM offers full family health insurance for all employees that includes vision and dental coverage. Staff is also provided with a work-issued laptop, digital camera, and cell phone/internet stipend when appropriate. Time off includes 15 vacation days per year, 10 holidays (New Year’s, MLK, Memorial, 4th of July, Labor Day, 2 days at Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, + 1 personal day) plus business days between Christmas and New Year’s when office is closed, 12 sick days, and 5 personal days for growth leave. We have a compensation time policy and a one-month maternity/paternity/family leave policy. SOCM provides sabbaticals after five years, and we offer a pension plan and begin making contributions after two years.
To Apply: Please send resume, letter of interest, and writing sample with “E3 Organizer” in the subject and three references to: Kazi Wilkins, email@example.com.SOCM is an equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Deadline: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.