Unify America

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Director of Community

  • Customer & Community
  • Full-time
  • Chicago, IL
  • Remote friendly
  • 75K - 125K USD a year

2023-01-03 21:18:31 UTC

is seeking a Director of Community

What is Unify America?

Unify America is a nonpartisan nonprofit on a mission to replace political fighting with problem solving. We are seeking a Director of Community who will join our Community team. We’re looking for 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. Our ideal candidate has strong communication skills, attention to detail and organization, and experience working with teams and independently on their parts of a project to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. The candidate must be passionate about bringing Americans together across divides. Having experience with dialogue, deliberation, and/or community engagement will be an asset in this position. This remote position will involve occasional travel to support our projects.   

Let’s get back to the saving democracy part.

Think Americans are hopelessly divided? 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 let us give you 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 or even less productively, political personalities.

Our long term quest is ambitious: bringing together thousands (and someday millions) of Americans to replace political fighting with problem solving.  In other words, to jettison the idea that we can solve our problems through partisan arguments and show that there is a better approach: to deliberate through many possible solutions with our fellow citizens to achieve a goal nearly everyone shares. 

To that end, we are building a model for members of a community to come together to learn about and decide how to solve a difficult problem.  This process is sometimes called a “citizen jury” or “citizen assembly” and many places have used them around the world.  Our plan is to tackle broad, difficult problems through deliberation, bringing in far more citizens than any model has done before. We will be working with jurisdictions, starting small and growing rapidly, to create an expansive, participatory model of deliberative democracy.

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 bring Americans together, who want to learn how to listen to each other, collaborate, and take action to solve problems.  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:

  • Collaborate with our Marketing Team, experiment our way into figuring out how best to recruit and cultivate an initial stage of engagement with Catalysts.

  • Work with our Creative Team to experiment and build a growing, scalable menu of opportunities to learn and engage with us over time.

  •  Experiment to find the best methods for Catalysts to form groups, where they can form actual friendships and real relationships with other Catalysts.

  • Create a scalable, but personal mechanism to get feedback from Catalysts so that we can constantly improve the community’s offerings and functions.

  • Measure and consistently track meaningful actionable data  so we can monitor and evolve our progress, as well as provide data for marketing and  fundraising purposes (we currently have a CRM for this purpose). 

  • Hire more staff on the Community Team (currently 1 FT + 2 PT + interns). And manage and mentor that staff to greatness.  You and the Community Team are responsible  for cultivating, organizing, supporting and training our community of Catalysts…

    • …likely including those who all live in one location who join to participate in a Deliberation.

    • …as well as Catalysts who volunteer to support and facilitate Deliberations virtually, who live in other parts of the country.

  •  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 processes, to organize the community

  • 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.

  • 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 two or three years as the foundation for the vision is being put into place.  You’ll collaborate closely and regularly with the Founder and other leaders.

Are there specific qualifications?

Yes. You need to be someone who:

  • has 8+ 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 recruitment and engagement and community management or significant experience doing analogous work.

  • 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.  Then iterating and iterating. You need to be someone who revels in the process of trying something, failing, learning, and changing…until you’ve got it right.

  • is very comfortable with and embraces change.  We are figuring things out right now.  There are frequent pivots in direction, tactical and strategic.  Some will be changes you want to make, some will be made by the Founder after consultation with leadership. 

  • has lots of creative ideas for solving problems and creating new opportunities for Catalysts and the organization.. 

  •  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)

Where is work?

We work remotely, and we welcome candidates from anywhere within the United States. In fact, we value having a team from different areas of the country. However, travel is required from time to time. Currently, we have two annual company meetings in Chicago. Travel expenses are covered by Unify America.

What is the compensation?

The salary range for this role is $75,000 to $125,000 based on experience.

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!). 

​​Anything else I should know?

Yes! Here are a few benefits you can expect:

  • Excellent 401k Matching

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance

  • Self-managed “unlimited” PTO policy

  • Health and wellness reimbursement

  • Internet and phone reimbursement

Unify America is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at all levels of the organization in all of its forms. This includes a commitment to having a team filled with people at every point on the political spectrum.

Remote restrictions

  • Must be a resident of United States