NASCO Seeks Director of Community Engagement (Chicago, IL)

NASCO is accepting applications for the position of Director of Community Engagement. Please forward this posting to your networks and apply by March 10, 2019.

Established in 1968 by members of student housing cooperatives, NASCO is a bi-national membership association of non-profit cooperatives in the US and Canada. We have nearly 50 member cooperatives representing 4,000 cooperators.

NASCO operates using a collective management structure. All staff members actively participate in the management of the organization.

The Director of Community Engagement will cultivate a robust membership base, share and amplify stories from a just cooperative movement, support member involvement in the direction of the organization, and sustain our network by conducting grassroots fundraising campaigns.

Please share this posting widely! Questions may be directed to info@nasco.coop.

In cooperation,


Position Description

The Director of Community Engagement connects people to the cooperative movement. This position will inform, excite, and empower cooperative members and other stakeholders to connect their co-op experiences and ambitions to the larger mission of NASCO. They will connect NASCO and NASCO members to social justice and anti-oppression work both within and outside of the cooperative movement. The Director of Community Engagement will manage public media platforms (website, email, social media, print) to connect with co-op members and movement partners. They will coordinate the Alumni Network of former NASCO co-op members. They will also plan and execute grassroots fundraising campaigns to build and maintain connections with individual supporters. The Director of Community Engagement is also responsible for coordinating member services and communications to NASCO’s members, including visits, elections, dues, and the NASCO Annual General Meeting and Annual Report. Responsibilities for this position include:


  • Coordinate annual elections for the NASCO board

  • Respond to membership inquiries regarding NASCO

  • Plan and coordinate the Annual General Meeting with the NASCO Board

  • Work with the NASCO staff team to support the board in building politicized leadership among historically marginalized people within NASCO and its membership


  • Develop a strategy for NASCO to engage, recruit, and retain member cooperatives

  • Serve as coordinator for annual staff visits to member cooperatives

  • Develop and maintain the NASCO Alumni Network

  • Respond to membership inquiries to ensure any member concerns are promptly, accurately and efficiently addressed

  • Have a working knowledge of all NASCO programs and activities

  • Identify opportunities for collaboration or peer learning between members and serving as a matchmaker/network weaver

  • Ensure that the NASCO board and staff are always learning about NASCO members, attending their events, building relationships with their staff, and working to understand their unique needs

  • Conduct and implement member surveys and other data-gathering and evaluation projects

  • Maintain systems such as CiviCRM for tracking member information and engagement

  • Learning the national landscape of cooperative organizations, attending conferences and other events, and making new connections on behalf of NASCO

  • Manage an ongoing process of mapping membership, analyzing gaps and recruiting new members

  • Hold informational and onboarding conversations with groups that approach NASCO about joining


  • Create and publish general outreach materials about NASCO’s programming and member services

  • Maintain and update NASCO’s website, including site design and content creation

  • Create and send out a monthly newsletter

  • Develop and implement social media strategies to engage members

  • Coordinate the creation and distribution of the NASCO Annual Report

  • Design, procure, and coordinate sales of NASCO merchandise

  • Monitor movement news and media, and keeping staff, board, and membership abreast of the latest developments related to our work

  • Develop marketing plans for NASCO events and campaigns

  • Generate and train staff and board on NASCO talking points

  • Ensure brand and message quality and consistency across all media, programs, and channels of the NASCO Family of Organizations

  • Seek out and nurture strategic relationships with publications, journalists, and other media partners to advance co-op member stories in increasingly mainstream conversations

  • Manage the upkeep of our member communications system, events page, job board, resource page, etc.


  • Recruit and retain Individual Members

  • Coordinate NASCO’s individual donor campaigns

  • Coordinate the fundraising campaign for the Low Income Scholarship Fund for NASCO Institute

  • Engage board members and staff to assist with fundraising campaigns and foster a culture of philanthropy.

  • Support the External Affairs Committee in promoting fundraising efforts

  • Lead training for staff and board on outreach to potential donors

  • Coordinate the solicitation of sponsorships for major conferences and events

  • Lead research and prospecting to identify new potential funders

  • Develop and maintain effective systems for tracking donors, prospects, and other organizational contacts

  • Lead the development of long-term fundraising plans, to be refined in consultation with staff and board

General Duties

  • All NASCO staff are expected to travel on a regular basis, though will not be required to travel more than one weekend per month.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to conduct visits to member cooperatives (currently, each staff member is responsible for visiting 12-15 co-ops per year) and to attend meetings of the family boards on request.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to participate in NASCO’s fundraising efforts.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to participate in preparation for NASCO Institute and attend NASCO Institute (Thursday to Tuesday) each year.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to serve as a liaison to one or more NASCO boards or committees and to attend meetings of those boards/committees. All staff members are also expected to report regularly to the boards and committees for which they serve as liaison.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to maintain up-to-date records in NASCO’s customer relationship management system (CiviCRM)

Management Duties

  • All NASCO staff are expected to play an active role in the management and operations of the staff collective, including attending staff meetings and retreats.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to behave professionally while representing NASCO, in accordance with NASCO’s policies on professional conduct. This includes official representation to affiliated organizations, networking or conference attendance associated with NASCO, and visits or consultations with NASCO current or potential members.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to keep accurate records of the use of their time and to report on this on a monthly basis using the agreed-upon documents and procedures.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to respond in a timely manner to inquiries from directors, members, or stakeholders. Staff members are expected to respond to communications through email, phone, or other channels that NASCO may decide to use for official business.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to participate in annual staff evaluation processes and probationary evaluations of new staff.

  • All NASCO staff are expected to follow all management policies decided by the staff collective and codified in the Staff Handbook, as well as all NASCO policies and decisions set by the board.

Required Experience/skills

  • A clear commitment to the mission of NASCO, including a commitment to anti-oppression

  • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills

  • Proficiency in email communication

  • Willingness to travel in order to attend Board of Director meetings or training for members

  • Commitment to building a sustainable and socially just cooperative movement

  • Experience developing a grassroots fundraising program

  • Experience with graphic design

  • Ability to build strong relationships with movement partners

  • Effective use of social media to support community engagement

  • Effective communication with a broad range of people in a variety of media, especially young people, people of color, working-class people, women, all gender and sexuality identities, people with disabilities, and anyone who faces systemic economic oppression.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Adobe CS, and G Suite

  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail

  • Ability to prioritize tasks and work independently as well as with a team

Preferred Experience/skills

  • Knowledge of flat management structures and/or collectives.

  • Experience working with and reporting to volunteer boards

  • Familiarity with group equity and/or student and/or affordable housing cooperatives

  • Use of database software for web publishing and client/member/donor management (especially Drupal or CiviCRM)

  • Knowledge of non-profit and membership association structures and governance practices

Location, salary, and benefits

The NASCO office is in Chicago, IL, and we have a preference for this position being Chicago-based.

Salary is $42,980 annually, paid on a monthly basis.

This position is not exempt from Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements. Forty hours of work per week are expected, with some nights and weekends. This position involves significant travel, on average once or twice a month, usually overnight and often sleeping in co-op common areas and in your sleeping bag.

Benefits include paid time off (fifteen days of vacation in the first year, ten paid holidays plus the work days between Christmas and New Year’s, and sick time), health and dental insurance, reimbursement for public transit commuting and reimbursement for childcare.

NASCO is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Hiring Process

We anticipate an early-mid May start date for this position.

To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume, portfolio and application by Sunday, March 10th 2019. Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by March 31st, and interviews will be held remotely from April 2nd to 10th.

Questions may be directed to info@nasco.coop


A large piece of the Director of Community Engagement position requires expertise in communications. Please submit a portfolio of your communications work including newsletters, graphics, documents, website content/design, and/or social media artifacts that you have created. These can be forwarded as links, PDF attachments, or screenshots.

Application for Director of Community Engagement

Please respond to the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to work for NASCO?

  2. What is your experience with cooperatives?

  3. Describe your experience working with volunteer boards and your familiarity with non-profit governance.

  4. What experience do you have with email marketing services? What customer relationship management (CRM) systems have you used?

  5. What do you think of our current social media efforts? What could we do better?

  6. Describe your experience in fundraising and tell us about the largest individual ask you have made. Did you get the gift? Why or why not?

  7. In our work for NASCO, each member of our staff is heavily involved in directly providing training, consulting, and technical assistance to co-ops. Which experiences and skills would you leverage to conduct meaningful trainings for NASCO’s members?

  8. Describe your experience managing a long-term project or campaigns from start to finish. How do you ensure timeliness and accountability?

  9. How do you make sure colleagues understand your campaigns/designs and implement them correctly?

  10. What experience do you have with group process and decision-making? Consensus-based decision making?

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