Unify America

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Director of Community

  • Customer & Community
  • Full-time
  • Chicago, IL
  • Remote friendly

2022-09-21 18:51:00 UTC

Director of Community

Unify America seeks a team builder, organizer and manager to take our budding Community Department to the next level so that Unify America can work toward our vision of building a community of volunteers dedicated to saving our democracy. 

Saving democracy? Seriously?

Reasonable question. We’ll get to that. The ideal candidate is someone who knows how to hire and manage extraordinary talent, is highly organized, and can create, run and optimize systems designed to bring people together in a way that is delightful.  We are in the early days and are looking for a smart and passionate person to help our growing, ambitious team.

Let’s get back to the saving democracy part.

Well, we are on the way to proving that the vast majority of Americans (over 90%) share MANY of the same goals for the country. If that sounds crazy, then here’s an example: we demonize each other over gun control legislation, but gun control isn’t the goal, it’s a tactic. Reducing violence is the goal, and most of us want that. We don’t realize that for most political issues we’re just arguing about tactics.

Our journey begins with an experience we call “The Unify Challenge.” Americans who are outside each other’s bubbles get together online and take a survey to help uncover how we not only share the same goals, but are grossly misinformed about the intentions of people “on the other side.” However, we don’t want the Unify Challenge to be a one-off activity before participants go back to the status quo. That’s where you come in.

Tell me more. What’s the job?

We’re looking for a leader who will grow, organize and lead the team that will grow, organize and manage our volunteer community.   Our Director of Community needs to put a system in place to invite volunteers into these programs, making sure they are well trained, supported and recognized for their volunteer efforts. 

Who joins the Unify America community?  

Americans who want to be part of the effort to replace political fighting with a deliberative process that allows us to solve our problems cooperatively.  Community volunteers (who we call “Catalysts”) participate in training, primarily in small groups.  The training that we are developing includes active listening, facilitation, overcoming biases, understanding how science works, consensus-building, deliberation and other skills necessary to work with fellow citizens to find shared solutions to shared goals.  We are in an experimental development phase right now to see if Catalysts who have been trained in certain skills can, with the right support, train the next generation of Catalysts in those skills.  We aspire to create a community where Catalysts are not only getting trained but becoming leaders who are training others.  

Catalysts will also engage in impact activities, like our “Listen Mission,” where Catalysts listen one-on-one to Americans who are highly polarized (and offer an alternative way of seeing things, if the person is interested). 

Ultimately, there will be a universe of fun, life-changing experiences in which Catalysts can engage, all of which work toward our mission.

We have a Creative Team building all these programs.  

You might say, our Community Team is responsible for cultivating the “careers” of Catalysts at Unify America, helping them to find opportunities where they can thrive and make meaningful contributions.

More specifically, you will be leading the Community Team’s effort to:

  • Oversee the selection of new Catalysts in partnership with our Director of Marketing (Catalysts apply to be part of our community and need to be accepted)

  • Establish communication needs, track distribution and Catalyst responses, working closely with our Marketing and Creative Teams on the content itself.

  • Put systems in place, human and digital, to organize the community (e.g. forming small “squads” of Catalysts to train together, scaling training and impact programs; tracking all activity in our CRM, etc.)

  • Create a Catalyst Services group at Unify America, similar to a customer services or member services function. Individual Catalysts will have ideas, complaints and requests and we’re going to want to handle them with grace and fun.

  • Grow and organize the Community Team itself (1 FT + 2 PT + Interns currently)

  • Work collaboratively with all other departments: Outreach, Creative, Deliberation, Tech and Support.

  • See to it that the values of Unify America (what we call “Living the Mission”) permeate our Catalyst Community.

And this position reports to…

The Founder, at least for the next year or two as the foundation for the vision is being put into place.

Are there specific qualifications?

Yes. You need to be someone who:

  • has 5+ years of experience hiring, managing and leading sizable teams.  Including interns, we anticipate our Community Team growing to at least 12 staff over 24 months (and that’s just the beginning).

  • Has 2+ years of experience in volunteer management

  • is flexible while also being disciplined at organizing and scheduling a team to execute against goals

  • works with an experimental mindset.  Everything we do we approach as an experiment.  You need to love documenting goals, hypotheses, methodology and results.  And iterating and iterating.

  • Is not ruffled easily.  When you build a community, you’re dealing with people and feelings. You need to be someone who cares, but who also just handles it when things go sideways without becoming anxious or distraught.

  • Is a world-class listener who, in turn, has good instincts about people

  • is a great communicator. You’ll be communicating all kinds of things to all kinds of people, so the ability to communicate in writing, on the phone, and on Zoom clearly and concisely is important; as is writing and speaking in the kind of inclusive, welcoming, intelligent, conversational and delightful voice that we want to be the hallmark of interacting with Unify America.

  • can take initiative. You’re going to need to make stuff happen without a lot of management.  Collaboration, yes! Managerial oversight, not so much. No time for that. You need to be comfortable working toward goals independently, asking for help when you need it, and keeping others updated on what you’re getting done. 

  • is diligent about follow-through. Like, really diligent. It’s important that we don’t let people or tasks get forgotten.

  • welcomes and can give feedback. Our mantra is “Be Honest & Be Kind Simultaneously.”  You need to have the confidence and grace to be able to give feedback effectively and be able to take direct (but kindly worded) feedback constructively...and grow from it.

  • is relentless, creative and innovative about solving problems. We’re looking for someone who is positive and can figure out how to get to YES.

  • is capable of, and willing to commit to embracing radical non-partisanship. Warmly welcoming all community members (no matter who they voted for) is central to our mission. You will interact with a lot of people - and you need to be deeply committed to being respectful to people with whom you may disagree on important topics.

  • It’s not a requirement, but experience in any one or combination of the following areas would be a big plus:

    • Training

    • Customer Service

    • Working with College Students (who will be a big part of our community)


I’m interested. How do I apply?

Great! Follow the link to upload your resume and write us a cover letter that includes your salary requirements. Give us three reasons why you’d be great for the job and if you like, share your political beliefs (liberal? conservative? something else entirely?). Most importantly, be yourself (yes really!). 

Remote restrictions

  • Must be a resident of United States