Organizer – Full-Time, Rural Oregon
Please note: we are not actively hiring for an organizer at the moment. That said, we are excited to hear from skilled, experienced rural organizers! Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line! We will keep your application on file for our next hiring window.
Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is a nonpartisan statewide organization dedicated to building the capacity of autonomous, all-volunteer small-town and rural groups committed to creating communities that uphold a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people and the need for equal access to justice. Founded in 1992, ROP has more than 80 active member groups in 34 counties across Oregon and one tribal community, along with almost 30 years of relationships with thousands of rural community leaders. ROP, our ever-evolving network of over human dignity groups across the state, and thousands of leaders have hope and an unbreakable resolve that together we can build beloved community through the rural traditions of community organizing, political education, critical thinking, finding common ground, breaking bread, and celebration.
A national struggle is underway for the hearts and minds of rural people, and Oregon is on the frontline. COVID-19 and wildfires on top of generations of neglect and divestment have exposed massive gaps in community infrastructure that communities rely on to survive and thrive in crisis, including libraries, schools, hospitals, broadband internet, and more. Many rural counties are finding themselves in the midst of armed confrontations, candidates running for all levels of local office who aim to advance white nationalist agendas, and rising temperatures as threats to safety and intimidation campaigns try to silence the groups organizing for Black Lives Matter, to stop detentions and deportations from tearing apart families and communities, and to advance rural democracy for all.
For almost 30 years, ROP has been on the cutting edge of advancing experimental and innovative organizing as we support our network of autonomous, community-based human dignity groups to act as moral compasses to lead their communities, rooted in the values of democracy, self-determination, human dignity, and economic, racial, and social justice. Human dignity groups are working to lower temperatures while courageously countering the politics of fear, isolation, and rejection with another vision of vibrant, healthy communities where everyone can live their lives fully with dignity and safety.
We are seeking a full-time organizer to build and strengthen the movement for justice in several rural and frontier counties in Oregon. We are looking for organizers that have a demonstrated ability to develop local leaders over time, use grassroots organizing to build community power, understand issues impacting small-town and rural communities, experience organizing with people most impacted by intersecting oppressions, enthusiastic about traveling and meeting new people, and excellent communication skills.
The position includes the following areas of responsibility:
- Relationship Building and Capacity Building: Develop strong working relationships with rural leaders and offer support that builds the capacity of each ROP member group. We define capacity as the ability for a human dignity group to create change through base-building and grassroots organizing. Key support from ROP includes assistance in building and troubleshooting the core structures needed for a strong group, including a named leadership team, a growing base of supporters, communications systems to communicate with supporters, and an action plan.
- Organizing: Work closely with the entire staff team to develop, communicate, and support local groups to identify local campaign opportunities, objectives, and targets. Facilitate member groups in developing local strategy, tactics, outreach, and mobilization. Coordinate the program, outreach, and logistics for meetings, actions, and strategic gatherings.
- Communications: Capture and share stories and resources from strategic local organizing. Develop innovative tools and resources with members for distribution across our network and beyond to break rural isolation. Lead and support colleagues in creatively engaging member groups in key program areas through organizational communications systems, community media, conference calls, and webinars.
Required Skills and Qualifications
- Demonstrated ability to use grassroots organizing to build community, develop leadership, and contest for power with leaders who are most impacted by inequity. Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with volunteer leaders over multiple years.
- At least 3 years of community organizing experience. We recognize that rural organizing is desperately under-resourced and that the majority of rural work is done on a volunteer basis.
- Stellar personal organization skills and attention to detail. If your calendar is always up-to-date and your notes are color-coded, we want to talk to you! There’s a lot to keep track of in this role and nothing can fall through the cracks.
- Strong public speaking, written and verbal communication, and group facilitation skills. Staff often present to groups, facilitate strategy sessions, lead workshops and trainings, write up stories about local organizing and action opportunities in email newsletters to our members, and start challenging conversations with our member groups.
- Emotional maturity and humility. Our work centers supporting a vast network of groups led by people most impacted by the issues we work on as an organization. ROP organizers need to be masters in the art of understanding the difference between what people say and what they mean. We rely on local leaders to be experts in their communities and ROP organizers need to be able to “read the room” and adapt, recognize unspoken boundaries, intently listen and learn, and understand when it is time to apologize and take accountability.
- Constructive optimism. While we are creating possible solutions to remedy deep structural issues, rural Oregonians are winning incremental victories, sometimes big and sometimes small. We believe that anyone can make meaningful changes in their communities and that everyone has something to give to the movement.
- Resourcefulness. Rural Oregonians pride ourselves on being able to patch together solutions from what we find around us, even if that’s baling wire and bubblegum. Successful organizers at ROP are able to identify opportunities and resources to best support our members, aren’t afraid to ask for help, and enjoy building relationships with unsuspecting allies.
- Skills and experience proactively setting priorities and goals, self-managing, problem-solving, and working independently to achieve shared organizational goals. Proven ability to complete high-quality work on shared timelines and operate in a fast-paced environment.
- Confidence using word processing, spreadsheet, and Google Suite applications.
- Must be able to drive.
Desired (but not required) Skills and Qualifications
- Spoken and written fluency in Spanish.
- Staff, intern, or fellow supervision skills and experience.
- Graphic design and layout skills.
- Experience working with community radio or newspapers.
This position is full-time and exempt, with an average commitment of 40 hours per week required. As exempt, this position is not entitled to overtime pay, and ROP has practices in place to ensure staff are working sustainable hours. This position includes significant and frequent travel to work with human dignity groups across the state, to participate in regular staff retreats, and to work occasionally out of ROP’s offices around the state. Flexibility in hours is needed to support rural leaders, including nights and weekends as needed. When operating normally, organizers spend approximately the equivalent of one week per month in the field.
Salary, Benefits, and Staff Resources
Salary is $48,000-62,000 annually based on experience: $48,000-55,000 for 3-5 years organizing experience, $56,000-$62,000 for 6-10+ years organizing experience.
Excellent staff benefits include:
- Healthcare: 100% coverage of health and dental care premiums for employees and 90% of premiums for partners and dependents, employer-funded health reimbursement account to cover the costs of the healthcare deductible and out-of-pocket medical expenses, annual wellness stipend, short-term and long-term disability insurance.
- Paid time off: 4 weeks of vacation, 12 days of paid sick time, 5 personal days, and 11 paid holidays per year. 12-week paid sabbatical after each five years of service, 12-week paid parental leave.
- SIMPLE IRA retirement program: employer contribution regardless of employee contribution.
- Student or medical loan repayment: employer will pay up to $200 per month toward employee’s student or medical debt.
- Travel support: per diem, caregiver travel support to cover care when employee travels or to cover the additional costs of care provider to travel with employee, access to a pool of well-maintained ROP vehicles.
- Staff development budget for initial and ongoing training and support.
- Technology needed to perform duties, including phone and computer, and a budget to set up an ergonomic home office and/or to rent and establish a field office in employee’s rural community.
Please note: we are not actively hiring for an organizer at the moment. That said, we are excited to hear from skilled, experienced rural organizers! Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line! We will keep your application on file for our next hiring window. To apply, please email a letter of interest, resume, three references, and the following application to email@example.com:
- Why are you interested in working with ROP? What do you hope to learn from working with ROP and human dignity groups?
- What experience do you have with community organizing? What organizations or groups have you been involved with and what was your role?
- What do you feel you can bring to the work with rural Oregonians and why?
- Please give two concrete examples from your organizing experience that demonstrate your approach, philosophy, or beliefs about organizing with communities facing inequity and injustice.
- How do you feel you meet the skills and qualifications criteria? What strengths do you most have to offer to ROP as part of our staff team?
- What systems and tools do you use to keep yourself and your work organized?
- If hired, would you be able to commit to working with ROP for at least two years?
Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is an equal employment opportunity employer. ROP prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, genetic characteristics, disability, status as a special disabled veteran or veteran, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or any other basis prohibited by law.