Membership and Outreach Assistant

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks an inspired, diligent, and ambitious assistant to facilitate the day-to-day operations of the Membership and national outreach department. The role spans the breadth of activities needed to recruit and retain the membership of writers and readers who form the force behind PEN America’s mission to defend free expression and celebrate the literature and journalism that these liberties make possible. This is a full-time position based in New York.

The Membership and outreach assistant will handle all Membership-related processes as well as supporting the broader initiatives of the Membership and national outreach department. It includes administrative, database, and budget responsibilities; representation of PEN America at public events and online; and direct engagement with writers and other Members of PEN America. The position is appropriate for an early career professional, and offers opportunity for professional growth at a rapidly expanding organization with activities across the country. The assistant will report to the director of Membership.

The successful candidate will work as part of a close-knit, mission-driven staff in a professional environment that treasures ideas, free expression, and the written word. The assistant will enjoy an extraordinary vantage point on the breadth of the literary scene, as well as be part of the active defense of free speech, press freedom, and open discourse in the United States and internationally.


  • Ensure the timely, accurate, and courteous flow of information to PEN America members.
  • Manage the Membership voicemail and email accounts, and respond promptly to Member inquiries in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Develop quarterly renewal campaigns, monthly Membership card mailings, Member e-communications, weekly acknowledgement letters, and weekly Membership reports.
  • Oversee the new Member welcome process, including payment processing, database updates, email communications, and social media engagement.
  • Provide general administrative support to the National Outreach and Membership team with scheduling, managing travel logistics, processing receipts, and tracking department expenses.
  • Work closely with the finance department to ensure the accurate reporting of Membership income and expenses—troubleshooting reporting errors, completing refunds, tracking payments.
  • Assist on-site at Membership events that offer recruitment and outreach opportunities.
  • Assist with the development of departmental communications, including drafting event pages, Membership announcements, Membership pages on, printed marketing materials, and social media promotion.


  • Demonstrated interest in literature and/or human rights, and commitment to the mission of PEN America
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Superb organizational and process management capacity, and attention to detail including proofreading
  • Ability to develop and present new ideas and approaches
  • Success in working creatively and collaboratively on a tight-knit team, as well as functioning independently
  • High energy level and work ethic, with ability to multitask effectively
  • Familiarity with a CRM or membership database, Google Suite, and Microsoft Office Suite

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.  

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to [email protected]. One PDF is preferred. Please use “Membership and Outreach Assistant – YOUR NAME” as the subject of your email. Only complete applications will be considered and only shortlisted candidates contacted.

 PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.