Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

The Grassroots Fund seeks Strategic Communications & Network Weaver

Friday, February 19, 2021

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund) is a 501(c)(3) environmental justice funder with a mission to energize and nurture long term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe and environmentally sustainable communities.

Our program work:

• fosters innovation by directly providing grants to frontline environmental justice/just transition organizers and engaging in conversation around our guiding practices towards transformative work;
• amplifies voices through our participatory modeling focused on shifting power in decision-making;
• convenes changemakers through our Community of Practice work, RootSkills Training Series, Catalyst Conversations and pop-up offices;
• reimagines philanthropy through our shared decision-making ethos, including participatory grantmaking and by working to disrupt white supremacy culture across programs.

The Grassroots Fund co-creates healthy and sustainable communities throughout New England by providing individuals and groups—particularly those who have been traditionally marginalized—with access to the tools, resources and connections they need to achieve environmental and social justice. Our Guiding Practices are fundamental to our mission, functions and programs.

Position description

The Grassroots Fund’s participatory process creates a myriad set of communication moments – pre-application, during review and post-application - with a wide variety of audiences. The Strategic Communications & Network Weaver is a new position that will coordinate the development of strategic messaging/narrative to ensure these communications deepen network building and help audiences understand the opportunities, responsibilities, tools and resources available.

The Strategic Communications & Network Weaver will lead on external communications and knowledge management priorities in collaboration with all staff and will report to the Executive Director. The Strategic Communications & Network Weaver’s primary focus areas in support of the organization’s mission include:

1. Manage the design and implementation of a narrative strategy to develop audience profiles/identities and to further engage a broad network of grassroots-focused participants, including grant readers, grantmaking committee members, grantees and convening attendees. The organization’s narrative is built upon our guiding practices, which operationalize specific protocols and actions that center equity and justice across our issue area foci. Narrative tools might include community stories, blogs, e-bulletins, online forums, webinars, focus groups and cohorts;

2. Collaborate with the Director of Learning and program staff to develop strategies for audience-centric learning documents and communications. Communications will leverage grantee and program participant data synthesis, resulting from participatory action research and evaluation, and intended for shared learning and amplification of grassroots strategies that build toward a resilient, lasting environmental justice movement;

3. Manage and evaluate the organization’s communications strategy that implements the Fund’s brand platform and aligns with the organization’s strategic priorities;

4. Manage and create external digital communications (examples including social media and email newsletters) and coordinate staff content/contributions;

5. Assist with participatory grant review process for various programs as needed.

The Grassroots Fund is seeking a Strategic Communications & Network Weaver with lived experience in environmental justice and social change advocacy and organizing, particularly in under-resourced and marginalized communities. We are looking for someone who demonstrates excellent verbal and written communications skills with significant experience in synthesizing complex concepts and information into engaging and useful messages for specific audiences.

We are looking for applicants with a highly collaborative style. Candidates should demonstrate high energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to assess and interpret information to make strategic decisions and utilize narratives, stories and data from grassroots work for maximum impact to the region’s environmental justice movement. Candidates should be comfortable with (and ideally demonstrate experience with) facilitating participatory processes and strategies to disrupt white supremacy culture.

As the Grassroots Fund is a small non-profit, we seek someone who can work well independently and manage multiple projects and priorities. Candidates should have a high level of comfort working with online organizing tools like Google Docs/Drive, Asana and Zoom.

Candidates should have passion for and commitment to environmental, social and economic justice and believe in the power and impact of grassroots action leading to a just transition. We are looking for a proven ability to work productively and respectfully across diverse communities and populations. A candidate needs to have the ability to travel regularly within New England (when safe to resume) - and occasionally beyond - and participate in occasional evening and weekend obligations. We are looking for someone with flexibility and creative, solution-seeking skills.

Education/Experience/Skills

• College undergraduate degree or demonstrated lived experience;
• Experience delivering audience-centric communication/engagement strategies;
• Deep understanding and experience in storytelling approaches;
• Experience in narrative strategy development;
• Strategic ability to shift and refine messages for different audiences without compromising core values;
• Excellent relationship-building skills and ability to inspire collaboration and facilitate group convenings;
• Experience in environmental and social change organizing with diverse community members;
• Experience in participatory/democratic grantmaking practices a plus.

Salary and benefits

The Strategic Communications & Network Weaver is a full-time position of 40 hours with benefits and competitive compensation range of $45,000 - $55,000, depending on experience and education. The New England Grassroots Environment Fund is a nonprofit organization and an equal opportunity, at-will employer. The Grassroots Fund is committed to the belief that each individual is entitled to equal employment opportunities.

Job location

Staff members are working remotely for the foreseeable future due to the COVID19 pandemic. The majority of staff are based in one of our offices in Newmarket, NH or Burlington, VT. Consideration will be given to permanent remote staffing, provided staff member is based in New England and could work out of one of the offices on an agreed upon minimum routine with reimbursement of transportation costs.

How to apply

Please submit a single PDF that contains a cover letter, current résumé and the names and contact information of at least three professional or relevant references. We will begin review and interviews as applications are received. Please send your PDF application file to: job@grassrootsfund.org. Please direct any questions to email only.

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