2022-2023 AmeriCorps Member, Membership Engagement

PEN America, a dynamic nonprofit organization of writers and their allies celebrating and defending free expression, seeks a Membership Engagement AmeriCorps Member to join the Membership and National Engagement department. This hands-on role will mobilize PEN America member volunteers in support of the organization’s work to address threats to free expression, engage with literature, and promote discourse across differences. The role will advance PEN America’s mission by developing strategies for the recruitment, retention and expanded engagement of volunteers across the organization’s activities. This program will run from September 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

The AmeriCorps Member will be instrumental in enabling PEN America to maintain, expand and diversify its community of member volunteers. The Member will be responsible for developing new strategies to systematize the volunteer experience so that we engage ever more PEN America members in bolstering our efforts by bringing their literary talents, professional expertise, and commitment to free expression to advancing our shared mission. We will look to the Member to identify and implement best practices that fortify the PEN America volunteer base through new and retained membership, ensuring the membership is representative and inclusive of the diversity of voices PEN America seeks to represent and amplify, and development and support of new opportunities for participation in PEN America activities.

The AmeriCorps Member, Membership Engagement will support the full cycle of member participation in PEN America, identifying opportunities to improve current approaches and implementing specific interventions. The AmeriCorps Member, Membership Engagement will collect and assess demographic information and other data related to our membership and apply findings to initiatives to grow membership and ensure its diversity; systemize existing member volunteer opportunities and develop new ones; work closely with with member-led committees and other PEN America projects and programs to support engagement of increasing numbers of member volunteers.

A member of the Membership and National Engagement department and the AmeriCorps Member, Membership Engagement will also collaborate with other PEN America departments and functions, including Communications, Free Expression Programs, and Literary Programs. The AmeriCorps Member, Membership Engagement will employ digital outreach tools and develop digital content, assist member volunteers in partnering with PEN America staff experts to deliver programming to constituent audiences, and help to bring volunteer skills and participation to public events, and other PEN America activities.

The ideal candidate will have entrepreneurial drive, a creative and tenacious approach to problem-solving, organizational skills, and a collaborative, high-energy spirit. This candidate will have an affinity for work across varied communities. Experience in volunteerism, data management, and/or event planning would be an advantage. Ideally candidates should have a demonstrated interest in literature and/or human rights.


  • Develop and implement strategies for the recruitment, retention, and expanded engagement of members across the organization’s activities
  • Support the full cycle of member volunteer participation in PEN America, identifying opportunities to improve and systematize current approaches and then implementing specific interventions
  • Collect and assess demographic information and other data related to our membership and apply findings to initiatives to grow membership and ensure its diversity
  • Utilize PEN America’s CRM database to track volunteer engagement, actions, and participation
  • Build capacity for member-led committees and other PEN America volunteer projects in their activities and to increase engagement of members as volunteers
  • Work with member volunteers to program events and other activities in response to threats to free expression, literary advocacy, media literacy, and other areas of PEN America advocacy and expertise
  • Identify and implement digital methods for growing a sense of community among member volunteers, given their large number and dispersal throughout New York City
  • Build events and programs involving member volunteers by drafting PEN America social media and digital content and deploying outreach communications to relevant constituencies
  • Advance PEN America’s diversity and inclusion goals with regard to membership through recruitment of BIPOC volunteers
  • Contribute to the general administrative support for the Membership and National Engagement team including through record-keeping, budget tracking, and member reporting

REQUIRED SKILLS FOR AMERICORPS MEMBERS (set for all program members):

  • Strong commitment to national service and the mission of the host site
  • Desire to work in the non-profit sector
  • Desire to serve with diverse communities
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to conduct community outreach and make presentations to community groups • Willingness to take initiative to achieve goals
  • Strong project management/multi-tasking abilities
  • A clear plan for living on the AmeriCorps stipend in New York City
  • Availability to lead and/or attend events during evening and weekend hours (frequency varies by position)
  • Minimum high school diploma or equivalency
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check
  • US Citizen or lawful permanent resident (AmeriCorps regulations)


  • Commitment to diversity and inclusiveness through proactive approaches, including building diverse alliances and promoting dialogue that embraces and responds to varied communities and views
  • Track record as an energetic self-starter with the ability to think creatively and collaboratively, and to work independently and as part of a professional, fast-paced team
  • Interest in learning about media, press freedom, and literary expression issues at both national and local levels

Please note: The duties and responsibilities in this service position description may be subject to change. In the rare event that there are any changes, fellows will be notified prior to beginning the service year and the position description will be amended. All changes will be reviewed and approved in advance by NYC Service.

To Apply:

Please apply directly on the NYC Service webpage.