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Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Citizen Action of Wisconsin


Organizing Director

Based in Milwaukee, WI


Objective: Citizen Action of Wisconsin seeks a dynamic and socially committed person to lead the issue and electoral organizing of one of the strongest and most dynamic grassroots groups in Wisconsin.

Organizational Background:
Citizen Action of Wisconsin (Citizen Action) is a statewide grassroots democratic organization which develops and implements long term strategies to transform the issue climate, electoralize cutting edge reform, make interim advances, and open new possibilities for realizing the full promise of American life. Citizen Action is an active participant in 2 major national organizing networks, People’s Action and the Partnership for Working families.

Citizen Action’s approach integrates grassroots mobilization, new deeper organizing models, actionable public policy research, strategic message development, and cutting-edge use of earned and digital media to build a statewide reform constituency. We have assembled a talented interdisciplinary staff team which brings to our campaigns advanced organizing, communication, policy, and strategic planning capacities.

Citizen Action has developed an innovative organizing co-op model that is helping us build capacity across Wisconsin. When 250-300 people agree to contribute an average of $20 per month we establish a self-governing organizing co-op with a full time professional organizer who works directly with them on issues and elections. The model has been successful in both creating more sustainable organizing capacity and greatly magnifying the activism of our members. Co-op members see themselves as “member-owners” and have a much higher propensity to volunteer and take action than traditional members. There are currently 4 Citizen Action regional Organizing Co-ops and 1 issue based co-op which cover 60% of the population of Wisconsin.

Citizen Action WI invested heavily in creating a long term agenda in all of the major issue areas, positioning us to work on a very wide variety of issues in elections. We created an 8 year platform (for a two term Governor and State Legislature) which was developed with co-op members across the state and unanimously approved by our Boards and Member Assembly in December 2017.

Citizen Action WI also is a major innovator in communications. We are building powerful emotional messages which resonate with voters and build support for our bold long term agenda. While focusing on long term communication strategy, Citizen Action is adept at shifting the public agenda in the short term. Using our integrated organizing model, we have built one of the most effective earned media operations in the country.

Citizen Action’s lead issues are good jobs, health care reform, the expansion of democracy. We are also building a campaign focused on a just energy transition which creates racial, environmental, and economic equity.

More information on Citizen Action of Wisconsin can be found at citizenactionwi.org.

Position Overview:
The Organizing Director reports directly to the Executive Director, and works closely with the Lead Organizer, Deputy Director, and the entire Citizen Action organizing team. The position is part of the management team.

The Organizing Director is responsible for leading Citizen Action’s organizing program and also has significant membership data and fundraising responsibilities. Duties include developing, evolving, and implementing Citizen Action’s organizing model, ensuring that all organizers are well managed, aligned with the organization, achieving program objectives, and building their skills and capacities.

The Organizing Director is responsible for managing the data infrastructure for traditional organizing and for the financial tracking required for the organizing co-ops. The Organizing Director also raises resources to sustain and expand programs, and manages relationships with major national funders of Citizen Action programs. The Organizing Director also works with the Executive Director on the public communication elements of organizing campaigns and on the planning of strategic campaigns to shift power and make progress in create economic, racial, and environmental justice. The Organizing Director supervises the Lead Organizer and directs all organizers, and when needed engages in direct organizing.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Lead the implementation of Citizen Action’s organizing model both for the organizing co-ops and grant funded programs.
    • Ensuring that all organizers are well managed, aligned with the Citizen Action’s worldview and strategic objectives, and achieving program outcomes.
    • Implementation of program benchmarks and metrics, and their execution in co-ops and grant funded programs.
    • Supervision of the Lead Organizer.
    • Direction of all organizers, in collaboration with the Lead Organizer.
    • Work with the Lead Organizer to implement the day to day organizing, including working directly to train and develop organizers, and working to improve the skills and capacities of the organizers.
    • Working with the Lead Organizer, develop Organizer Training program that on-boards all new organizers with thorough education in our organizing model and the organization’s vision and long term strategy.
    • Continuing to evolve Citizen Action organizing model, both for co-ops and grant funded programs.
    • Developing the skills and capacities of Citizen Action organizers.
  • Lead major Citizen Action program areas and specific issue campaigns.
    • Providing thought leadership on major strategic campaigns.
    • When called upon, leading major Citizen Action issue campaigns and develop leadership of organizes to take over these campaigns.
    • Maintaining direct connection to organizing department of Citizen Action’s national affiliate, People’s Action.
  • Fund Development
    • Assure adequate revenue to make co-ops self-sustaining and to support some Citizen Action staff support, and develop and implement intervention plans when co-ops are not operating at a sustainable levels.
    • Raise resources to fund Citizen Action’s base operational costs and to expand programs in targeted issue area.
    • Maintain and deepen relationships with a set of national funders who support Citizen Action’s non-co-op program work.
    • Grant reporting and grant writing for funders for which the Organizing Director has designated responsibility.
  • Data management.
    • Management of data infrastructure for tracking and fulfilling co-op membership, membership renewal, and payment systems.
    • Maintaining tracking system for development of leaders and achieving organizing benchmarks for both grant and co-op funded organizers.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position which includes health care, dental and vision, employer-matched 401K, life insurance, disability insurance, cell phone allowance, and other benefits. Some weekend and evening hours required. Compensation is based upon experience and demonstrated organizing skills.

Application Process: Email cover letter and résumé to Brian Wooldridge, Operations Director at brian.wooldridge@citizenactionwi.org

Please, no calls.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin strongly encourages people of color, women and femmes, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and other marginalized communities to join our team. Citizen Action is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an affiliate of People’s Action, which is a network of over 50 independent social justice organizations in 31 states. It we are also affiliated with Partnership for Working Families.

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