Start Date: Spring 2021
Location: Sarasota, FL
Who we Are
Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity (SURE) is a member of the Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART), one of the largest faith-based community organizing networks in the country. DART’s 27 affiliated organizations span 9 states. By harnessing the power of organized people, these organizations hold political and economic systems accountable for acting fairly—pushing them to become more equitable and just. Since 1982 our network has fought for and won policy changes that have addressed systemic failures which disproportionately harm low-income communities as well as communities of color. Some of our victories include:
- Hundreds of millions of dollars invested in affordable housing
- Implementation of fair discipline policies in hundreds of schools, breaking the school-to-prison pipeline
- Nearly $950 million invested in public transportation
- Criminal justice reforms resulting in 5,000 fewer arrests of children in Florida each year
Why Choose the DART Network
DART is a network of doers. We understand that the road to a society free of racism and economic injustice is a long one that requires dedication and persistence. To create lasting change, we must do work that extends beyond charity and advocacy—while important, these efforts generally only serve as temporary solutions to permanent, systemic problems. In a world where the interests of the wealthy are prioritized, DART seeks to create communities that honor people power as the true catalyst for change.
DART stands out from other organizing networks thanks to our unrivaled investment in our team members through intentional training and development. During your first year, DART will provide intensive professional development through an initial five-day classroom-style training, one-on-one mentoring from an experienced DART consultant, and three multi-day trainings with other organizers across the country. You will learn basic organizing principles while gaining concrete skills, such and identifying and developing volunteer leaders, planning effective meetings, researching problems, driving forward issue campaigns, conducting a power analysis, fundraising from grassroots, corporate, and foundation sources, and developing and managing an organizational budget. Ongoing professional development will continue well beyond your first year through individualized coaching and mentoring, as well as local, regional, and national staff trainings and retreats.
About the Work
SURE is hiring a full-time Lead Community Organizer / Executive Director who will train people of faith to hold political and economic systems accountable for justice. Through your work, everyday people will fight on their own behalf for justice in the form of things like affordable housing, police reform, public transportation and more. In time, your efforts will result in a noticeable shift in the power dynamics of the local community.
Day-to-day, the Lead Organizer/Executive Director will spend most of their time in the field coaching community leaders and recruiting new congregations to join the organization. Through three annual processes, DART organizations identify community problems, research viable solutions, and rally people to demand the implementation of those solutions by public officials. You will foster relationships, develop leaders, drive forward issue campaigns, and manage the operations of the organization.
- Building engagement in the community
- Train grassroots faith leaders how to engage others within their congregations in the fight for justice
- Recruit new leaders and congregations into the organization
- This work will be done primarily by conducting an average of 10 one-to-one meetings with clergy and lay leaders per week
- Organizing issue campaigns
- Train and assist grassroots leaders to identify community problems
- Train and assist leaders to conduct research and develop action plans for winnable issue campaigns on community problems
- Organize public actions of over 1,000 people
- Train grassroots leaders to effectively negotiate with decision-makers
- Organizational development & management
- Train, supervise, and evaluate Associate Organizer staff
- Organize an annual 6-8 week annual fundraising drive with grassroots leaders who fundraise from individuals, small businesses, and major corporations in the community.
- Work with the organization’s Board of Directors to map out the strategic direction and development of the organization. This includes working with grassroots leaders to design and implement an annual strategic planning process.
- Ensure that the organization’s finances are in order. This includes maintaining accurate financial records, ensuring that all foundation proposals and reports are submitted in a timely fashion, and making sure that dues from member congregations are collected on a routine schedule.
Who You Are
DART community organizers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The common denominators are a passion for justice and a strong desire to make change. As an ideal candidate, you are someone who is naturally curious, values strong relationships, and is energized by the prospect of uniting people around a common cause. You should be able to demonstrate a strong work ethic and ability to produce results through previous positions or other endeavors. Community organizers are afforded a great deal of autonomy when it comes to building their schedules. They also need to make themselves available to community members, many of whom work during the day, so the ideal candidate is able to work nights and weekends when needed.
Successful organizers in the DART network find fulfillment from seeing other people develop their ability to speak powerfully in the public arena, and from being part of something bigger than themselves. They thrive in a culture of accountability and work hard to secure results.
The ideal candidate does not have to be personally religious. Because you will be working with faith communities on a daily basis, you should have a genuine respect for the faith traditions of others.
DART organizers are multi-faceted and actively seek environments that allow them to use a variety of skills or hone new ones. The ideal candidate thrives in a space where no two days are the same and welcomes work that is mentally stimulating.
- Core passion for justice and equity
- Excellent relationship-building skills
- Exceptional work ethic
- Enthusiasm for working with diverse faith communities
- Two years of community organizing experience or equivalent (experience with DART Center is preferred)
- Possession of a valid driver’s license and access to a car
- Fluency in Spanish a plus
Compensation and Benefits:
Starting salary is $50,000+ annually. Additional benefits include: paid vacation and holidays, healthcare coverage, retirement, parental leave, and reimbursements for work-related travel.
Salary increases will be determined by the Board of Directors after a 6-month probation period is completed satisfactorily, and from then on, based on annual performance reviews.
SURE is a diverse coalition that includes communities of color, low-to-moderate-income communities and immigrant communities. We strongly encourage people from these backgrounds, as well as fluent Spanish speakers and DACA recipients, to apply.
SURE is an equal opportunity employer.
Email your resume and cover letter to hannah [at] thedartcenter [dot] org with the subject “SURE Lead Organizer.”