Director of Training for Grassroots Organizing [NPAD-24], Political Action and Advocacy Unit, Washington, DC

National Offices, Washington, DC
District of Columbia
February 12, 2018

Career Opportunity

Director of Training for Grassroots Organizing (NPAD-24)

American Civil Liberties Union

Political Action and Advocacy Unit, Washington, DC

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.



Grassroots organizing, online and offline, is growing and advancing significantly at the ACLU as more and more people join the fight to protect civil liberties. The Director of Training for Grassroots Organizing will be a critical function within the National Political Advocacy department. This position will serve as a new role at the institution, and therefore, the individuals must be entrepreneurial, possess demonstrated experience across a range of fields including grassroots organizing, program planning, coalition engagement, and be able to work independently to identify projects that help drive the political conversation and build long-term capacity for the national and state level organizations. The Organizing Training Director will be responsible for improving the ACLU’s grassroots organizing culture and capacity, developing a grassroots organizing curriculum and training program and resources for both volunteers and state affiliates, and leading a team of trainers and consultants. The ideal candidate will have experience in advocacy, public education and non-partisan get-out-the-vote campaigns, volunteer leadership development and organizing.



Reporting directly to and working in collaboration with the Deputy National Field Director, the Director of Training for Grassroots Organizing will undertake the following:

  • Synthesize the grassroots organizing and engagement needs of the organization, across national campaigns, issues and state affiliates into a national grassroots training curriculum for volunteers and for state affiliate staff.
  • Build and manage a trainer’s cohort by identifying, recruiting, training and supporting national staff, state affiliate staff and top-level volunteer leaders in developing, executing and revising trainings.
  • Plan and execute major in-person and remote trainings for field staff and grassroots volunteer leaders and activists.
  • Adapt standard trainings to meet the unique needs of different campaigns and affiliates while preserving the core tenets and values of ACLU volunteer activism.
  • Create and implement a system to track, evaluate and improve the training curriculum and trainers in order to improve trainees’ success after trainings.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the ACLU’s legal, legislative, affiliate support, advocacy, digital and communications staff, ACLU state affiliates, national coalitions, and other allies as necessary.
  • Apply lessons and evidence-based insights from organizing experiments and research to training curriculum and approaches.
  • The Training Director will work collaboratively with digital organizing colleagues, as well as state affiliate staff, national campaign staff, affiliate support staff and others in the institution to help improve the grassroots organizing capabilities of the ACLU
  • Work across the broad spectrum of issues that concern the ACLU.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, record of arrest or conviction.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.



  • Minimum 7 years of relevant experience, particularly in political, advocacy and/or issue campaigns required, of which at least 5 years must be in grassroots organizing or organizing training.
  • Minimum 2 years of experience training organizers for campaigns, advocacy, policy or membership organizations.
  • Some experience with digital or distributed organizing programs preferred but not required.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • Experience working with multiple stakeholder organizations in order to achieve broad consensus and buy-in across departments and states.
  • Experience developing, executing and evaluating grassroots engagement efforts.
  • Knowledge of relevant education and training theories, approaches and techniques, and ability to translate those into practice and teach others to apply them.
  • Strong communications skills in order to convey complex concepts, research and analysis in a clear and concise manner.
  • Must be self-motivated, entrepreneurial, and possess the ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Excellent presentation, analytical, writing and organizational skills.
  • Track record of working collaboratively to bring projects to successful completion.
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU.



The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.



Please send a cover letter and resume to  Reference [NPAD-24] in the subject line.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The Department of Education has determined that employment in this position at the ACLU does not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”

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