OVEC, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, is seeking a Director of Organizing to join our small but growing team—we have three organizers currently on staff. This individual must be an experienced organizer, with supervisory experience, and well-versed in community organizing strategies and leadership development.
OVEC formed in 1987 to stop a toxic waste dump/incinerator proposed for a low-income community near Huntington, West Virginia. We won that campaign, and by supporting organized voices and empowered communities, we’ve been winning environmental and social justice campaigns ever since.
OVEC’s mission is to organize and maintain a diverse grassroots organization dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the environment and communities through education, grassroots organizing and coalition building, leadership development, strategic litigation, and media outreach. Our work encompasses much of West Virginia, and our members and volunteers are crucial to our work.
OVEC works to defend our water, air, climate, and democracy. Our major program focuses on curbing and ultimately stopping the development of fracking-and-plastics-related petrochemical build-out in our state and region. We also work to restore and/or safeguard civic engagement, fair courts, and judicial independence.
Job Description Overview: Director of Organizing
OVEC strives to carry out work collaboratively with shared leadership.
The role of the Director of Organizing is to develop and direct OVEC’s organizing and campaign strategies and to lead and manage OVEC’s team of organizers. The Director of Organizing will work closely with OVEC’s Communications Specialist, and is responsible for training and managing organizers in order to build OVEC’s community outreach, our base, and community power. The DO will also work closely with the ED to hire new organizers when funding permits.
The DO ensures that organizers are clear about their roles, have the skills to accomplish their goals, and provides timely, meaningful, constructive, and fair feedback. The DO provides strategic direction to OVEC’s issue campaigns, and works with all staff to evaluate and adapt work plans, and hold one another accountable. The DO reports to the Executive Director and partners with her to provide leadership to the OVEC team as a whole and to the community.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Direct OVEC’s organizing campaigns:
a. Direct the development and implementation of outreach and organizing plans including: youth outreach and engagement, training, communications, strategic and tactical plans
b. Oversee and facilitate the development of action campaigns including: developing effective campaign strategies and plans, conducting power analyses, coordinating campaign activities and actions, and recruiting coalition allies
c. Maintain and build coalitions with key community partners
2. Direct/mentor/supervise/lead, train, evaluate and work with organizing staff to effectively execute the following:
a. Undertake grassroots member recruitment
b. Identify best practices—online and offline—for improving grassroots member recruitment, volunteer cultivation, leadership development, and campaign development and escalation
c. Plan and execute outreach and organizing activities
d. Conduct leadership development and trainings of grassroots leaders and members on a variety of organizing topics including: member recruitment, media outreach, facilitation and public speaking, planning, issue analysis, and campaign strategy
e. Represent OVEC in meetings with community members, policy makers, allies, and coalitions, and in the media
f. Assist with fundraising and development including: developing and identifying new streams of funding, assisting in proposal writing, and maintaining records on quantitative and qualitative metrics for grant reports
3. Management and evaluation:
a. Convene organizing team meetings on a regular basis
b. Oversee the development, tracking, and reporting of advocacy and organizing program goals, outcomes, and performance metrics
c. Lead the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of organizing policies and procedures
d. Monitor and evaluate community organizing program, practices, and initiatives to ensure quality and effectiveness; make recommendations for improvement
e. Manage performance of organizing team, meet at least bi-weekly with individual team members, establish criteria for reviews and evaluations, oversee yearly self-evaluations of organizing team members
f. Review and revise work plans and job descriptions as needed
g. Help staff with professional development plans; identify opportunities for personal growth and professional development
h. Work in close collaboration with the ED to hire new organizers as funds become available
Excellent community organizing skills with minimum 5 years experience; demonstrated success in organizing, strategizing, implementing, and identifying victories on organizing campaigns.
Staff supervisory experience.
Values in line with OVEC’s mission and our values as expressed in our Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, both of which can be found at ohvec.org/about-ovec/.
Knowledge of OVEC’s program areas is helpful; willingness to learn about our programs and issues is a must.
Knowledge of the region and the issues we face; cultural competence.
Excellent time management, project management, and delegation skills. Delegates tasks according to staff’s strengths/skills/schedules;
Ability to help build and maintain team relationships; be a team player.
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Strong listening skills; good facilitator who encourages staff to communicate actively and openly, address conflict, share ideas and listen to one another.
Proficiency in use of: Internet; Microsoft Office programs (especially Word, Excel and Outlook); Google Drive, Docs,Sheets and Forms;constituent relationship management tools (we use CiviCRM).proficiency in utilizing the internet, and familiarity with Survey Monkey or other online evaluation tools.
Valid driver’s license.
Ability to complete required administrative tasks on time.
Available to work flexible hours, if needed.
Bachelor’s degree preferred but not required.
OVEC recognizes that we all are imperfect beings who don’t always live up to our own expectations for ourselves or our organizations. The ideal candidate will strive to attain and maintain the following behaviors:
Strongly demonstrated commitment to OVEC’s values and vision (see ohvec.org/about-ovec/).
Strongly demonstrated commitment to environmental and social justice in West Virginia.
Commitment to grassroots organizing and the training and development of community leaders.
Self-motivated, creative thinker with the ability to work both independently and as part of the team.
Ability to be held self-accountable for actions and deadlines and able to hold others accountable.
Flexible and well organized.
An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities.
Strong critical thinker and planner.
Commensurate with experience. Benefits package includes personal health insurance, a generous vacation/holiday time off, a SIMPLE IRA plan with 3% employer contribution, and flex/comp time.
OVEC is based in Huntington, WV. Applicants are encouraged to be based in Huntington, although that may not be mandatory. The person hired must be able to attend weekly staff calls, monthly face-to-face meetings in the OVEC office (once these are resumed, that is; these currently taking place via video calls), off-site staff meetings (currently virtual), and staff’s annual retreat in the mountains of West Virginia (at the moment, we are uncertain whether we will have a 2020 retreat).
Submit a resume and a cover letter that explains how your past experience is applicable to the job requirements.
You may apply by email to email@example.com. Your resume and cover letter must be submitted in PDF format. Be certain that your name is in the filename of each attachment (e.g., cover-letter-Jones.pdf). Your email submission subject line should read “Director of Organizing application.”
You may also submit your cover letter and resume by mail to:
Vivian Stockman, Executive Director
PO Box 6753
Huntington, WV 25773-6753
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Receipt of your application will be acknowledged via email. Please, no phone calls to check on the status of your submission.