ACLU Field Organizer - Grand Rapids area

Job Type

Full Time




Details: Salary is based on experience and qualifications. This is a grant-funded position.



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



2966 Woodward Avenue
United States


Position Overview

The ACLU of Michigan seeks an innovative, organized, and dynamic individual to serve as a full-time Field Organizer. The Field Organizer is a newly-created position with responsibility for organizing and mobilizing a statewide infrastructure of advocates supportive of ACLU-MI issues and campaigns. Individuals with personal experience with the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply.

The ACLU of Michigan is currently engaged in two campaigns. The Smart Justice campaign is a broad-based coalition working for common-sense justice reforms that enhance public safety, strengthen communities, eliminate racial disparity in the criminal justice system, and cut incarceration rates in half. The Voting Rights campaign is designed to expand citizen access to and participation in our democracy, with a particular emphasis on those communities who have been or are being disenfranchised. The Field Organizer will play a significant role in organizing and mobilizing ACLU activists, supporters, and volunteers to advance the priorities of each campaign.

This position will be based in Grand Rapids and although focused on the Grand Rapids community, the organizer will be responsible for regional and statewide organizing and mobilization.

The Field Organizer will be primarily responsible for building volunteer capacity within a sustained organizing program to help achieve the ACLU of Michigan’s strategic objectives. The Field Organizer will work in close collaboration with other ACLU of Michigan communications, legal, organizing, and policy staff. This is an ideal opportunity for a talented organizing professional to have a significant impact on civil liberties, civil rights, and criminal justice reform in Michigan.


·      Develop and implement strategies to organize supporters across the state to work toward achieving the ACLU of Michigan’s strategic objectives, including developing campaign plans, and turning goals and strategies into tactics, timelines and metrics.

·      Identify, recruit, train, support, and supervise ACLU members and volunteers for specific campaigns and programs; serve as the primary liaison between volunteers and staff; identify and develop volunteer leaders and teams.

·      Ensure that mobilization efforts are part of long-term organizing and capacity building for the ACLU of Michigan, including assisting in setting up and executing two-way communication channels for volunteers and recruiting and supporting volunteer leaders and volunteer teams.

·      Devise and implement training for ACLU staff, members and non-member supporters to build an ongoing growth and development process, including specific training on community outreach and engagement, meeting with elected officials, volunteer-led outreach like phone-banking and canvassing, data management, interacting with media, and using technology to take online activism offline.

·      Ensure that the interests and vision of impacted communities and the broader community shape the affiliate’s work on campaigns and elevate leadership within impacted communities and the broader public to help shape campaign goals, strategies, and tactics.

·      Represent the ACLU-MI in select coalitions and work collaboratively on joint efforts with community organizations and coalition partners.

  • Develop strategic partnerships with key community-based organizations working in diverse communities around Michigan.
  • Build strong partnerships with key stakeholders across the state and political spectrum.
  • Mobilize volunteers to take action on legislative and ballot initiative campaigns using a variety of tactics: event attendance, calls, letters, petition signature gathering, canvassing, phone banking, etc.
  • Track programs’ progress to goals, produce reports and highlights and adjust plans as necessary.
  • Develop and implement strategies to expand the ACLU-MI’s membership.
  • Develop, strengthen, and nurture alliances with communities of color, youth groups, formerly incarcerated people, and other interest groups relevant to ACLU issues and campaigns.


  • At least two (2) years of experience in community/field organizing and base building. At least one (1) year of experience in political/advocacy/campaign organizing, with experience working directly with volunteers strongly preferred.
  • Personal experience being incarcerated or in other ways impacted by the criminal justice system, preferred.
  • A history of working collaboratively and successfully with people and organizations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and a broad range of ideological positions and religious views.
  • Knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of building and working in large, diverse coalitions.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills.
  • Strong written and oral communications skills.
  • Superb organization skills; detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines.
  • Creative, results-oriented, self-starting, and willing to learn.
  • Strong task and time management skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel in Michigan and flexibility to work weekend and evening hours when necessary.
  • Ability to work independently and initiative to see projects through from planning to follow-up.
  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil rights and civil liberties issues and their implications. 


Benefits include three weeks of vacation to start, medical and disability insurance and matching 401(k) plan.

Level of Language Proficiency

Individuals with personal experience with the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please send letter of interest outlining your relevant experience, what makes you the right candidate for this position, and how your skills will uniquely contribute to building a base of support in the Grand Rapids area and include two references. Please put “Field Organizer Grand Rapids” in the subject line and send to