Community Organizer

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $32,000.00
Details: Salary is negotiable based upon relevant experience.



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



2507 Mineral Springs Ave, Suite D
United States


Job Title: Community Organizer

Direct Supervisor: Reports to the Executive Director

Location: Middle TN (Nashville, Columbia, Murfreesboro, and surrounding area)

SOCM, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, a statewide, multi-issue, multi-racial community organization working for social, economic, and environmental justice in Tennessee, is seeking applications for a community organizer position. SOCM is democratically run by its members and invests in member leadership development as well as winning issues that affect their lives. 

SOCM Organizers work with members in chapters on local issues and in issue committees on statewide campaigns to help set strategy, build leadership, carry out work plans, and move campaigns forward. SOCM is committed to anti-racism work and to organizing that builds greater racial diversity. Position requires the ability to travel to chapter meetings, fundraising, and extensive writing duties.


SOCM works on a broad platform of issue goals including social, economic, and environmental justice issues. Parallel to our issue work run complimentary tracks of grassroots leadership development, organizational development, and building strategic alliances with like-minded organizations.

SOCM is led by a Board of Directors, composed of one elected representative from each of our seven chapters plus four officers who are elected by the full membership. This volunteer board is responsible for setting and evaluating organizational policies, as well as developing goals and strategic direction. SOCM’s staff team works with grassroots members and leaders to implement organizational goals and priorities, as well as local chapter campaigns.

SOCM invests significant time and resources in professional development of individual employees and the staff team as a whole. Each Organizer is responsible for pursuing an annual Professional Development and Growth Plan with guidance from the executive director. Organizers are also provided annual growth leave to pursue professional development opportunities.


Chapters are the building blocks of SOCM’s democratic structure and grassroots approach. Each chapter has its own character, traditions, issue interests, and challenges. 

Current challenges of organizer positions include:

  • Developing a growing base of young, diverse members with the skills and knowledge to provide vision and leadership within SOCM, our issue campaigns and the broader community.
  • Creating ongoing opportunities for SOCM members living in rural and underserved urban areas to learn about and contribute to the larger public debate about social, economic, and environmental justice issues.
  • Implementing a very challenging work plan with minimal supervision and often working in isolation from other staff members.


I. Develop a broad, diverse base of skilled, active, and politically conscious leaders.

  • Make good use of leadership development methods, including one-to-one conversations, individual mentoring, workshops, and on-the-job training; opportunities for individual and collective action, reflection, and evaluation; and exposure to events and information that deepen members’ understanding of community organizing as a tool for building power;
  • Foster members’ understanding of and commitment to diversity, including challenging members to deepen their understanding of racism, oppression, equity, and intersectionality;
  • Build members’ understanding of and commitment to SOCM, including our vision, mission, goals, strategies, structure, and democratic process;
  • Foster members’ involvement in fundraising, membership recruitment, governance, and other activities that strengthen the statewide organization;
  • Assist and train members in essential organizing skills, including speaking in public, working with the media, planning direct actions, lobbying, involving others, running good meetings, doing targeted research, developing campaign strategy, and building diverse, powerful organizations;
  • Model “best practices” such as thoughtful design and use of agendas, work plans, and strategies; consistent evaluation; and the encouragement of new leaders;
  • Encourage the development of strategic relationships and collaborations among SOCM leaders and between those leaders and key external players and organizations.

II. Develop diverse and powerful local chapters in Davidson, Rutherford, and Maury counties.

  • Continually recruit and build a diverse base of active members, leaders, and donors. Assist the group in developing and implementing plans for strengthening the chapters, including membership recruitment, grassroots fundraising, and publicity;
  • Work with members and leaders to select issues that advance a broader vision for social change and develop and implement effective direct-action campaign strategies;
  • Assist the chapters in developing an effective local structure, including communication and decision-making mechanisms that foster member participation;
  • Engage the chapters in consistent planning and evaluation;
  • Ensure the chapters make regular, thoughtful use of the SOCM Sentinel, our website, and other forms of communication to educate and enhance their organizing goals;
  • Regularly provide content (articles, photos, cartoons, and/or graphics) for the SOCM Sentinel, social media, and other SOCM publications;
  • Work with other staff and members to develop press releases and other communications to media about Chapter work;
  • Foster a spirit of mutual support and solidarity within and among SOCM chapters that crosses geographic, issue, race, class, and other boundaries.

III. Conduct and inspire effective, consistent grassroots fundraising.

  • Motivate and challenge members, leaders, and the chapter to understand the importance of grassroots fundraising and increase their fundraising skills and involvement;
  • Develop and implement an annual work plan with the chapter and leaders that results in increased membership recruitment and retention, enhanced chapter fundraising, an expanding donor base, and strong participation in the organization-wide fundraising campaigns;
  • Build relationships with members and donors in assigned at-large counties to solicit major gifts and coordinate donor and fundraising events within the at-large region, when feasible;
  • Model fundraising “best practices” by consistently and visibly asking people to join and/or contribute to SOCM and by fostering a spirit of celebration and accountability.

IV. Contribute to effective, successful statewide issue committees and campaigns.

  • Contribute to statewide campaign strategies that are based on a shared analysis, shaped by smart goals, targets and messages, and inclusive of base-building, media, research, alliances, direct action tactics, fundraising, leadership development, and other components of an effective organizing strategy;
  • Provide members with research, information, and training they need to make good decisions and participate actively in statewide campaigns;
  • Create the expectation and opportunity for all members, chapters, and staff to participate in SOCM’s statewide campaign strategies;
  • Assist members in planning and carrying out public meetings, doing direct actions, preparing testimony, acting as spokespeople, lobbying, and other organizing tactics;
  • Foster strategic relationships between SOCM and our allies, media, decision-makers, and other external players.

 V. Contribute to the development and success of staff teams.

  • Work with executive director to develop, use, and evaluate annual, quarterly, and weekly work plans, including self-development plans, which reflect the priority goals of the organization;
  • Participate fully and constructively in staff meetings, and periodically help to plan and facilitate those discussions;
  • Contribute to a culture of mutual respect, support, accountability, appreciation and learning, based on good working relationships and communication with other staff.

 VI. Contribute to effective work by SOCM in the state legislature.

  • Encourage, train, and orient members to lobby the legislature and coordinate regular lobbying trips to Nashville with members from the chapter and at-large regions;
  • Coordinate at-home lobbying by establishing phone/email trees providing members with quality, timely information and facilitating meetings between members and local legislators;
  • Contribute to strategy development by coordinating and participating in conference calls and other timely communication with staff and leaders;
  • Foster ongoing dialogue and communication with our allies in order to enhance mutual understanding, effectiveness, and accountability.

 VII. Other

  • Provide limited organizing support to at-large members when requested, appropriate, and feasible;
  • Efficiently fulfill administrative responsibilities, including email, phone and mail correspondence, expense forms, timesheets, board reports, and maintaining accurate and legible files, both hard copy and electronic, in an effort to leave an accessible trail for future staff and members;
  • Participate in and help organize the Annual Meeting and other major organization-wide activities; Maintain an orderly and professional field office and ensure care and maintenance of SOCM equipment and property, computers, and other technology.


Professional Experiences and Personal Attributes 

  • Commitment to member-led community organizing Commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice through community organizing; a passion for community organizing work and desire to pursue organizing goals for the long-haul; experience as a volunteer member or leader in member-led grassroots organizing group.
  • Self-motivated multitasker – takes initiative; self-starting; organized; creative; attention to detail; have a driver's license, own a car or have daily access to reliable transportation; ability to work independently and cooperatively in teams; demonstrated ability to work with multiple goals and responsibilities, prioritize work effectively, and to build and carry out work plans; continual learning and disciplined self-development.
  • Personable and charismatic leader – empathetic and compassionate; ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds (including race, income-level, age, and ability); integrity; patient; hopeful; positive and encouraging; ability to build trusting, challenging relationships; good communication skills including listening, asking challenging questions, and writing; confident and capable.
  • Flexibility – must be able to travel to different parts of state and region and accommodate work schedule that includes evening and weekend commitments; ability to adjust work style to diverse needs of members; ability to cope with changing and uncertain circumstances.
  • Previous organizing experience – at least 1 year of previous, paid community organizing or equivalent experience required; ability to create conditions that empower others to take ownership and become leaders; demonstrated problem solving abilities and abilities to think and work strategically; evidence of a commitment to diversity and an understanding of how to work effectively in and with diverse communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color; experience as a facilitator, trainer, and designer of participatory workshops with adults; experience organizing fundraising events: coordinating events and donor campaigns; experience in developing and implementing successful media campaigns; experience in direct communication with voters, including canvassing, tabling, and phone banks.
  • Ability to use technology to strengthen work product – knowledge of Microsoft Word; familiarity with Apple computers and ability to work in an all-Mac office; Knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, and other software is helpful; experience using listservs and social media to communicate with members; experience using digital cameras to capture event photos or willingness to learn;
  • Knowledge of and commitment to SOCM and our work – knowledge of TN politics, regions, issues, people, and organizations is desirable; Commitment to attend a mandatory anti-racism workshop and support efforts of organization to implement within all work SOCM’s commitment to become an anti-racist organization; knowledge of SOCM’s active issue campaigns.


SOCM offers full family health insurance for all employees that includes dental and vision coverage. Organizers are also provided with a work-issued laptop. Time off includes 15 vacation days per year for the first 5 years (20 vacation days thereafter), 11 holidays, and 12 sick days. We have a compensation time policy and a one-month maternity/paternity/family leave policy. SOCM provides sabbaticals after five years and offers a pension making contributions after two years of employment.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Please send resume, letter of interest, and three references to:

Organizer Hiring Team

c/o Ann League


2507 Mineral Springs Ave, Ste D

Knoxville, TN 37917

SOCM is an equal opportunity employer.