Summary

We seek a highly motivated individual with a passion for writing and developing cause-oriented communications campaigns. The ideal candidate is a top-notch writer with a diverse portfolio showcasing an ability to write a variety of copy that motivates readers to act. We seek a self-starter who thrives in a fast-paced environment and collaborates easily with others.

The Staff Writer is on the front lines of reaching tens of thousands of people with the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ water protection agenda every day. They will lead the Alliance’s digital and direct mail fundraising campaigns, manage the Alliance’s social media channels, and develop a wide range of copy including email action alerts, blogs, webpages, and fact sheets. The Staff Writer will need the ability to switch content format, style, and tone as needed to achieve goals.

Above all we are looking for someone who has a passion for non-profit communications, is a curious people-person, and has a strong interest in environmental and water issues. The Staff Writer is a core member of the Alliance’s Communications & Engagement Team and will partner closely with the Alliance’s Development Team. They will also work with staff throughout the organization.

A typical day for the Alliance’s Staff Writer might look like this: The day starts with a quick scan of the Alliance’s social media accounts and Google alerts on key Alliance campaign issues to have a pulse on what’s happening in the news and what’s of interest to our supporters and partners. They’ll then join the Communications & Engagement Team’s daily 30-minute check-in video call, where the team shares out key updates from the previous day and discusses any key project changes. The Writer might then spend time drafting content for an end of year giving season appeal letter, tracking down final approval on a print newsletter article from a staff expert, writing a breaking news tweet announcing a win on a key Congressional vote, brainstorming ideas with the team for the annual report theme, and building a blog page for a profile of an Alliance volunteer.

The Staff Writer reports to the Vice President, Communications and Engagement.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is a nonpartisan nonprofit working across the region to protect our most precious resource: the fresh, clean, and natural waters of the Great Lakes. The Alliance is a four-star Charity Navigator organization. Learn more at greatlakes.org.

Responsibilities

  • Drafts and edits compelling content primarily for the Alliance’s supporter engagement campaigns including but not limited to print and digital fundraising appeals, advocacy action alerts, social media posts, web copy, and fact sheets, while ensuring consistent messaging across all of the Alliance communications channels.
  • Manages the Alliance’s social media channels, including development of the social media content calendar and writing and deploying all social media content. Develops and implements strategies to organically grow and maintain online engagement of volunteers, advocates, and donors. Partners with the Alliance’s Marketing Strategist to develop and implement paid social media campaigns.
  • Manages production process of the Alliance’s print and digital fundraising appeals, including content development, selection of images/graphics and budget.
  • Manages the production process and budget of the Alliance’s quarterly newsletter, Watermarks, and the annual report, including content development and selection of images/graphics.
  • Partners with Vice President for Development to set Annual Fund goals, develop strategies and tactics for improving donor acquisition, upgrading and retaining donors, and assessing progress on an ongoing basis.
  • Partners with communications and program staff to develop communications strategy and tactical plans for advocacy and volunteer campaigns.
  • Provides proofreading and copy-editing for written materials and acts as a quality control point for the organization’s communications.
  • Deploys content, including building webpages, emails, etc.
  • Keeps up on current news and policy campaigns in the Alliance’s core issue areas.
  • Communicates and develops relationships with staff across the organization to stay ‘in the know’ on upcoming Alliance projects and to find interesting story ideas.

Knowledge/Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, English, Marketing, or Journalism degree preferred.
  • 5-7 years relevant work experience in cause-based marketing, non-profit communications, or fundraising with a focus on content development for multiple audiences and platforms.
  • Superior writing, editing, and grammatical skills.
  • Commitment to mission-driven public interest work.
  • Proven experience developing content that relays complex policy or scientific issues that compels audiences to action through advocacy, volunteer, and/or fundraising advertising or marketing campaigns, including tailoring content to motivate specific audiences.
  • Proficient with major social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,etc.).
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and engage authentically across cultures, identities, races, life experiences, and knowledge systems.
  • Experience working in a collaborative team environment. Solid interpersonal skills and ability to facilitate a team process and collaborate with various stakeholders.
  • Experience developing and managing production schedules, working well under pressure, and handling multiple priorities simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated ability to adjust communication campaign strategies and tactics as data and external events warrant.
  • Available when needed for urgent breaking news situations, fundraising events, or other events, possibly on nights or weekends.
  • Knowledge of CMS (such as WordPress) or HTML, email campaign software (e.g., Campaign Monitor, etc.), and photo or video editing helpful.
  • Comfortable working in a remote (non-office) environment.
  • Environmental, particularly Great Lakes or water-focused, experience or background helpful but not required.

Job Parameters

  • This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy. Salary to be commensurate with experience.
  • Excellent benefits including health, dental, and vacation, along with a retirement plan after 1 year of service.
  • This position will occasionally work outside of normal business hours, possibly on nights or weekends, to support communications needs for breaking news situations or fundraising events.
  • The Staff Writer must be located in the Great Lakes region. If they are not located near the Alliance’s Chicago headquarters, occasional travel, approximately 6-8 times per year, to Chicago for meetings and events will be necessary. Some limited travel, approximately 2-3 times per year, around the Great Lakes region to attend events or meetings may be necessary.

Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, references and 3 writing samples or a link to an online portfolio that showcases a variety of copy to: hr@greatlakes.org. Include job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted in a rolling basis until the position is filled. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please.

About the Alliance for the Great Lakes

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The search process will reinforce the Alliance’s belief that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors. The Alliance’s vision is a healthy Great Lakes for people and wildlife, forever. Its mission is to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. For more information about the Alliance’s programs and work,  please visit us online at greatlakes.org.