We are hiring an Associate Coordinator

The Real Job – by George Seaborough, Lead Coordinator/Executive Director

Thank you for your interest in the Associate Coordinator position at Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy. You are probably thinking, “I wonder what this job is really all about?” Well, I am going to try and answer that now. I hope that you will ask and answer this question very seriously:  Is this something that I can dedicate myself to? That’s the question I hope you will ask yourself very seriously.

This job is one where you will ask a lot of people to make a personal decision about entering into the life of another person. You will be an “asker.” I have been an asker for 7 years. I meet with people over lunch, over coffee, in their living rooms after work, and in their offices at work, and ask them to consider becoming a citizen advocate for a person whose life is being diminished because of our community’s response to people who have developmental disabilities. Many times, I ask five or six or ten people before the right person says YES. That means hearing a lot of people say no in a lot of different ways. 

If you apply for this job, you are applying for a job where you must get appointments with people and invite them to become a voluntary citizen advocate. You are NOT applying for a job where you do referrals or do interagency cooperative gatherings. You will not be referring the person anywhere, counseling them in any way.

You will only have one tool – to invite a local person to step up and into a voluntary citizen advocacy relationship with another person.

You will be spending some time with individual people who have a disability. You will be learning their story, especially the parts where an interested citizen could step forward and make a good difference. You will then be thinking of who would be the right person to share the story with and will go and ask them to consider becoming a citizen advocate for the person. You will be asking a friend of yours, an acquaintance of yours, or someone a board member or other friend of our office has suggested to consider becoming a citizen advocate for the person. You will be building wider and wider networks of people in the community from which to recruit citizens to be voluntary advocates by telling more and more people the story of citizen advocacy in Savannah. 

There is plenty more to the job than this, but this is the job. You will “make citizen advocacy matches” by matching one person with another. Some of the matches will become real relationships between the people involved. Others will not.

The Job Description tells you what the job is; this description tells you what the job really is. This is the part that you must do, otherwise the rest of it is not there to be done. You are being asked to be an asker. If you don’t like asking people to do things, don’t apply for this job. Thank you for allowing me to be so straightforward about this with you.

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To apply: Send cover letter by email to [email protected] that addresses your interest in this position, along with your resume and 3 references by Friday, January 28, 2022.

Position: Associate Coordinator

Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy is a grassroots independent nonprofit organization located in downtown Savannah. The organization initiates and supports one-to-one citizen advocacy matches between people who have developmental disabilities and local citizens.

The Associate Coordinator is primarily responsible for making new citizen advocacy matches and supporting new matches to grow into relationships. The Associate Coordinator will also develop networks of people in our community who will offer support for protégé recruitment and advocate recruitment.

The Associate Coordinator is an “asker” and is responsible for recruiting people with developmental disabilities as protégés, inviting people to consider becoming citizen advocates, making the citizen advocacy match and offering follow along and support to ongoing citizen advocacy relationships. Making citizen advocacy matches is done one person at a time. The job requires a lot of time meeting people, discerning a person’s character and talents, and clearly communicating what Citizen Advocacy is all about.

This is not a desk job or a non-profit management job – this is hands-on work like community or voter organizing for a natural people person who has a strong sense of social justice, not afraid to ask people to do hard things, persuasive and clear in oral and written communications, well-connected in our community, and a curious observer and learner. You will meet potential proteges living in tough situations and you will need to go where they are to get to know them – group homes, institutions, nursing homes, day programs, inside families, and sometimes people who do not have a place to live. You will be networking and meeting potential advocates in coffee shops, over breakfast or lunch in local restaurants, and by asking good people you know to help you meet more good people. This is a good fit for someone “who never meets a stranger” and who is a natural connector of people.

You  will need to learn about citizen advocacy and be willing to apply this philosophical understanding to daily decisions. You must also be able to maintain an optimistic outlook in the face of setbacks, being both realistic and resilient.

Some travel for training and some evening work involved.

Characteristics:                                                                                          

  • A belief in the value of all people,
  • A willingness and ability to invite people to do hard things,
  • Strong listening skills,
  • A willingness to set aside one’s own biases and prejudices,
  • Knowledgeable about Savannah its community,
  • Comfort with a wide variety of people and places,
  • The ability to read people and discern character and talent,
  • Great written and oral communication skills,
  • Well-developed organizational and time management skills, and the ability to plan and strategize to meet goals,
  • The ability to work independently and to collaborate with a small team,
  • To be well-organized, neat, and respectful of other people’s time,
  • The ability to learn from reading books and articles,
  • The ability to take philosophical ideas learned from citizen advocacy and use them in day-to-day practice,
  • To be computer literate
  • To have reliable transportation,
  • To be available and willing to travel for training,
  • To be available and willing to work flexible schedule of day and evening hours as needed to develop citizen advocacy relationships and for ongoing training opportunities. Citizen advocacy matches may be made after traditional work hours when advocates and protégés are available to spend time together.

Salary: Starting at $40,000

Benefits: Health insurance after 1 month, paid holidays (week between Christmas and New Year’s Day and most major holidays off), paid sick leave, paid vacation days, paid travel for training, eligible for 401(k) after 1st year.

Dress: Business casual to business dress depending on daily calendar.

 

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