Coordinator, Membership Engagement

All applications must be submitted through the NYC Civic Corps website and will be reviewed on a rolling basis through July 2, 2021. Please visit the site for complete details on the program.

Host Site Name: PEN America, Membership and National Engagement
Position Title: Membership Engagement Coordinator                                           
Location: 588 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Tentative Schedule: Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm, 1-2 evenings per month
# of member Slots in this Position: 1

Organization Description:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our strength is our membership—a community of nearly 7,500 novelists, journalists, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, screen and teleplay writers, publishers, translators, agents, other writing professionals, devoted readers and supporters. Many from our membership join with PEN America’s staff as volunteers to carry out elements of PEN America’s mission, including as mentors and teachers for emerging writers, advocates supporting campaigns to free imprisoned writers, judges for PEN America’s literary awards, participants in public programs and panels promoting robust discussions on contemporary issues, and as leaders of PEN America chapters and activities around the country. For PEN America’s work to succeed, it is crucial that our member participation is robust, and engagement of volunteers across the organization’s activities.

Project Description:

The NYC Civic Corps 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, commitment to free expression, and social justice activism 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.

Membership Position Summary:

PEN America, a dynamic nonprofit organization of writers and their allies celebrating and defending free expression, seeks a Membership Engagement Coordinator 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.

The Membership Engagement Coordinator will support the full cycle of member participation in PEN America, identifying opportunities to improve current approaches and implementing specific interventions. The Coordinator 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; and work closely with with member-led committees, chapters, and other PEN America projects and programs to support engagement of increasing numbers of member volunteers.

A member of the Membership and National Outreach Department team, the Coordinator also will collaborate with other PEN America departments and functions, including Communications, Free Expression Programs, and Literary Programs. The Coordinator 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 advocacy campaigns, 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 and geographical regions. 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 and a keen awareness of political and social justice issues.

Detailed Tasks:

  • 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.
  • Support member-led committees, chapters, 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, press freedom defense, literary advocacy, media literacy, and other areas of PEN America advocacy and expertise
  • Support creation of new PEN Across America volunteer-led chapters nationwide, including through the identification and development of emerging regional leadership.
  • Identify and implement digital methods for growing a sense of community among member volunteers, given their large number and dispersal throughout New York City and the United States.
  • 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 systematic recruitment of BIPOC writers as members and volunteer participants in PEN America activities
  • Develop strategies with PEN America chapter leaders for engaging Black, Latinx, Asian American, and Native communities in their regions
  • Deliver and deliver membership acquisition and volunteer recruitment training, workshops, and toolkits for PEN Across America chapter leaders and other volunteer leaders
  • Contribute to the general administrative support for the Membership and National Engagement team including through record-keeping, budget tracking, and donor 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)

Preferred Academic or Experience Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • 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.