Have questions? Here are a few of the most commonly asked:
What types of issues do DART organizations address?
A list of our accomplishments will show that DART organizations address problems that affect large numbers of people and violate a basic sense of fairness, such as the lack of quality education or access to essential quality healthcare, criminalization of children, predatory lending, etc. In our work together toward pragmatic solutions, we set aside labels like red/blue, conservative/liberal, etc. that divide a city, and focus on the common good.
Where is the job located?
DART is a national network of twenty-two local community organizations. Below you’ll find a list of cities where DART has organizations. These are also the cities where DART has community organizing career opportunities:
FLORIDA: Daytona Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Miami, Pensacola, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa, West Palm Beach
KANSAS: Lawrence, Topeka
KENTUCKY: Lexington, Louisville
SOUTH CAROLINA: Charleston, Columbia
VIRGINIA: Charlottesville, Richmond
To learn which cities are hiring this year, see the Job Description for a Community Organizer with DART.
What does the application process entail?
Application Submission and Initial Screening Candidates should submit their written materials according to the application instructions here. Applications are processed on a rolling basis, so early applications are encouraged. Select candidates will then be invited to conduct an initial interview over web conferencing or by phone.
Interview Event Following an initial interview, selected applicants will be invited to a regional interview weekend. The interview weekend serves two purposes. First, it allows candidates to gain insight into how we work, what we seek to accomplish, and how the DART Organizers Institute prepares individuals for a career. Many report feeling like the first day is a lot to take in but a great overview of the position. Second, it allows us to check for candidate potential through interviews and one-on-one exercises. It’s been our experience that people find the Interview Weekend to be enjoyable, challenging, and inspiring.
Final Review Candidates who remain under consideration following the interview weekend will be considered in the final stages of our screening process. This entails reference and background checks and a final interview via web conferencing or by phone. Candidates typically know whether they’ll be offered a position within three weeks of attending an interview weekend.
What does the training involve?
We know there aren’t many opportunities to gain experience organizing an assembly of thousands of people to address issues of justice in your city. That’s why we provide an intensive training for all organizers new to the DART Network — the DART Organizers Institute.
The DART Organizers Institute is the nation’s premier on-the-job training for faith-based community organizers. It begins with a four-day classroom orientation followed by five months of field training and a weekly reading and written curriculum related to the basic principles of community organizing. All parts of the Institute take place in each organizer’s respective city, so they begin building relationships in their community from day one.
Organizers are assigned to work with select religious congregations in order to expand participation at a major direct action where issues of justice are addressed. Skill development initially focuses on articulating the mission of the organization, intentionally developing relationships through one-on-one conversations, engaging leaders based on their personal motivations, time management, running effective meetings, building networks, long-term planning, working with clergy, and issue development.
Vocational development continues throughout an organizer’s career with an annual schedule of three two-day training and planning retreats, summer staff retreats, and joint regional staff trainings.
How does religion play a role in DART’s work?
DART works with religious congregations. It’s common for our meetings to open and close in prayer and for organizers and leaders to reflect on values of justice and equality found in our various faith traditions. Organizers do not need to be personally religious, but it is important that they respect all religions and are willing to be trained to work with religious institutions.
What are the hours?
Community organizers work hard. We work a minimum of 50 hours a week. There are several times a year when an organizer will put in 60+ hours a week leading up to major meetings. Also, it’s important to know that organizers work with leaders who are likely to be working during the day. Therefore, it is often necessary to meet in the evening and perhaps on the weekend, when it’s convenient for them.
How long is the commitment?
New organizers are asked to sign an agreement to work with DART for a minimum of three years. We require this commitment for many reasons. DART invests significant time, energy and resources to train great community organizers. Learning to become an effective organizer requires experience and coaching that can only be achieved with time. DART holds the communities we serve with the utmost respect, and frequent turnover harms people’s relationships and the ability to organize. However, we also understand it is difficult to determine one’s commitment to an unknown career. Our advice: if you think you may be ready to commit to an organizing career, but just need to learn a bit more, we would welcome your application. If you are seeking a short-term opportunity before moving on to what you really want to do, please look elsewhere.
What opportunities for advancement exist?
Most new organizers are hired as Associate Organizers. Once an Associate Organizer gains experience and a history of producing great results, she or he will be promoted to the position of Lead Organizer (aka Executive Director) of one of DART’s organizations. Upon producing exceptional results there, the Lead Organizer would have the opportunity to move to another organization or help build a DART organization in a new city.
Is DART planning to expand?
Yes. Plans are under way for the development of new justice ministry organizations . But please note, prospective organizers will often approach DART to be hired to begin a new organization in the city where they live. DART typically denies these requests as it undermines ownership from local congregations. Therefore, it’s important that applicants for DART’s community organizing careers have an interest in working where our organizations are currently located.