The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking to add a skilled professional writer to our foundations team. This position is located in SELC’s headquarters on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, VA, and is supervised by our Senior Writer.
Proposals and Reports: Most of your time will be spent producing strategically customized proposals and reports for the major foundations, families, and individuals whose grants and gifts fund SELC’s environmental advocacy work. This includes participating in concept meetings with attorneys and fundraisers, spending time at your keyboard writing, trading drafts, incorporating edits from one or more reviewers, proofreading, and delivering final documents on deadline and to each funder’s specifications. Each week’s workflow could include polishing and submitting one or more final documents, beginning first drafts due in a couple of weeks, and scheduling attorney interviews to get next month’s priorities in motion. Collaborating with SELC’s executive director, 80 accomplished attorneys, successful senior development officers, foundations manager, and foundations director, you’ll be dealing daily with intellectually stimulating and constantly evolving content, translating complex legal issues into compelling, reader-friendly prose.
Donor Materials: SELC has built a solid, authentic brand over 35 years. If you have heard our ads on NPR, caught an SELC attorney interview on 60 Minutes, or read about our work in the New York Times or Washington Post, you already know that we are playing a pivotal role in the biggest, most important environmental issues of our time. Through printed newsletters and mailed updates, digital communications, special events, and in-person visits, SELC engages, educates, and inspires current and prospective donors. With 25 percent of their time, the new writer will generate tight, crisp stories and blurbs for an array of materials for our donor audience. This process also involves concept meetings and review and editing by attorneys and marketing colleagues, as well as coordination with our creative on-staff design team.
Who We are Looking For: The successful candidate will have significant experience conducting interviews, excellent writing abilities, and sharp research and editing skills. You must be able to grasp complicated information and multi-chapter stories quickly and accurately, attend to essential housekeeping details such as word counts and guidelines, follow best practices to keep projects on time, and demonstrate technological savvy. Becoming a successful writer at SELC involves a steep learning curve, including mastering the essentials of environmental policy, administrative process, litigation, and the legislative lifecycle. It’s challenging and fascinating work: we are looking for someone who can absorb all of this with curiosity and drive, and who wants to use their skills to communicate the significance of SELC’s complex environmental protection work to carefully targeted audiences.
We are also looking for a strong collaborator who can work closely with SELC’s senior leadership, attorneys, development officers, and designers, translating their ideas and smoothly incorporating feedback. Efficient success in this work requires frequent, persistent phone calls and in-person interviews with supportive attorneys who have a lot on their plates: direct conversation with our attorneys is necessary to hit messaging targets on deadline every time. The rewards of this work include an opportunity to participate in some of the biggest environmental protection victories in the South and the nation; the chance to work as a productive contributor to a committed, professional fundraising team; the pleasure of learning from a group of smart, passionate attorneys who are among the nation’s foremost environmental law experts—and a competitive compensation package.
Candidates must have:
- A bachelor’s degree (preferably in a related discipline like English, communications, marketing, or public relations) and at least three years of relevant professional experience;
- Proven research, writing, editing, and proofreading skills;
- Excellent organization and time management skills, and ability to juggle multiple projects, keep track of short- and long-term priorities, and meet deadlines;
- Strong people skills and a willingness to pursue direct answers in person or by phone to get the job done efficiently;
- A collaborative attitude and ease with back-and-forth interaction and feedback to produce top-quality products.
- A genuine interest in and commitment to helping SELC foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.
More about SELC
SELC’s mission is to protect the basic right to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate; to preserve our region’s natural treasures and rich biodiversity; and to provide a healthy environment for all. With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the South’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader.
We work in Congress and state legislatures to inform environmental laws; in regulatory agencies to implement environmental laws and policies; and in the courts to enforce the law, stop the worst abuses, and set important precedents. The organization works collaboratively with more than 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve common conservation goals. SELC currently has a staff of 160, with over 80 attorneys, including some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields. Additional information is available www.southernenvironment.org.
SELC believes that a broad range of ideas, life experiences, and backgrounds enriches our workplace, drives innovative thinking, and attracts highly talented people who seek a work environment that values the unique contributions of individual team members. We are eager to welcome new team members who share this belief. We still have much progress to make, but our goal is to create and maintain a staff that, at every level, reflect the rich racial and cultural diversity of the communities where we work and the clients that we serve. SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and persons of all backgrounds—including people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates—are strongly encouraged to apply.
To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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