Prairie Rivers Network seeks a Rural Energy Organizer to build a movement in rural Illinois to advance clean energy and climate action.
About Prairie Rivers Network
At Prairie Rivers Network we protect water, heal land, and inspire change. Using the creative power of science, law, and collective action, we protect and restore our rivers, return healthy soils and diverse wildlife to our lands, and transform how we care for the earth and for each other. Our programs confront many of the root causes of environmental degradation in Illinois while addressing the sources and impacts of climate change and advancing just and equitable solutions. Learn more at www.prairierivers.org
We are in the midst of a climate emergency that requires a complete transformation of our energy system to one powered by clean and renewable sources. Thankfully, there are historic clean energy and climate investments, made available through recent state and federal legislation (ex. Direct Pay Tax Credits and the New ERA Program) to help rural communities determine their own energy future. And while the clean energy transition is underway in Illinois, it’s absolutely critical that rural communities are at the table, engaged and leading climate solution efforts reflective of their community’s needs and values. That’s where YOU come in!
The Rural Energy Organizer will educate, engage, and activate community members interested in clean energy and climate action, particularly with those who are owner-members of Rural Electric Cooperatives. This role will primarily build and organize in rural communities in Illinois to advance climate solutions and build rural climate leadership. The Rural Energy Organizer will be joining the team of one of the most-effective and respected environmental advocacy organizations in Illinois with a 55+ year history of successes.
This is a full-time position that will ideally be located in southern or central Illinois. Candidates residing outside the Champaign-Urbana area may have a remote work-from-home schedule with the expectation of monthly trips to the Champaign office.
What You Will Do at PRN
Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Solutions in Rural Communities
- Educate the public, community leaders and decision-makers about what the clean energy transition and climate resiliency means for rural communities and Rural Electric Cooperatives.
- Convene and co-facilitate a regular meeting with partner organizations and leaders on the topic of Rural Electric Cooperatives.
- Engage in other regular regional and national coordination and planning spaces on the topic of Rural Electric Cooperatives.
- Build power for clean energy adoption in rural areas by establishing and engaging a network of stakeholders and leaders in rural Illinois who are supportive and actively calling for advancement of clean energy and climate action.
- Support rural Illinoisans to actively engage with their rural electric cooperatives, including but not limited to advancing civic participation, developing co-op board leadership and issue campaigns.
- Conduct a detailed analysis of Rural Electric Cooperatives, including a look at current governance methods, clean energy goals, election processes, member engagement, and more.
- Plan and host Community Listening Sessions to gain input from rural communities and Rural Electric Cooperative members about the opportunities and barriers related to the energy transition and other environmental concerns facing their communities.
- Engage in other outreach activities, including but not limited to public presentations, tabling opportunities, local events.
- Inform state and federal policy solutions to advance transparency, energy democracy, planning, and climate resiliency of Rural Electric Cooperatives.
Share Successes and Engage Partners, Volunteers/Interns, and the Public
- Support a creative and effective communications strategy to advance program work through storytelling. Leverage Prairie Rivers Network’s website, social media channels, podcasts, press releases, LTEs, newsletter articles, and public speaking engagements to drive the rural clean energy and climate change narrative.
- Represent Prairie Rivers Network at meetings, events, panels, and forums to build support for program goals and Prairie Rivers Network’s mission.
- Work with members, volunteers, interns, and partners to advance program goals and the mission of Prairie Rivers Network.
Fundraising and Organizational Advancement
- In partnership with the Senior Energy Campaign Coordinator and PRN team, assist with grant research, writing, and reporting as needed.
- Together with the Senior Energy Campaign Coordinator and PRN team, assist with member and major donor relations through participation in fundraising and outreach events and communications.
- As needed, work with PRN team members to assist in developing Prairie Rivers Network’s program work and goals to advance our mission.
What You Will Bring to PRN
- Experience building and leading community organizing issue campaigns including building long-lasting relationships with diverse stakeholders and partnerships critical to the success of the campaign.
- Understanding of the energy transition and climate change in rural communities in Illinois.
- A passion and excitement to the mission of creating social change and fighting environmental injustice to improve lives, communities, and landscapes in rural Illinois.
- Strong written and public speaking skills and ability to communicate research and technical issues to lay audiences.
- Understanding and respect of small towns and rural communities, and the challenges facing their long term success;
- Experience in advancing civic participation through direct community engagement, relational organizing, and leadership development;
- Have a genuine interest in and understanding of the goals, priorities, and programs of the organization;
- Experience implementing social media campaigns, and/or knowledge of working with media;
- Experience and/or knowledge of the legislative and administrative policy making process;
- Commitment to equity, inclusion, and collaboration as organizational practice and culture;
- Willingness to travel and work evenings and/or weekends; and
- Ability to work independently and manage time efficiently to set and achieve goals.
What We Offer
The Rural Energy Organizer is a full-time professional position with a starting salary of $40,000 -$60,000.
We believe staff is more effective in a work culture that values a work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere with flexible scheduling. Benefits include:
- 15 vacation days
- 12 general paid time off days
- 11 paid holidays plus winter break from Dec 24 through Jan 1
- 403(b) retirement pan with 5% employer match
- Up to 12 weeks parental leave (4 weeks paid; 8 weeks unpaid)
- 100% employer paid health insurance for the individual employee
- Employee assistance program
A remote telework schedule is expected for candidates outside the Champaign-Urbana area. Candidates in C-U may have a hybrid telework schedule.
We want to get to know you. We value great writers with creativity and inspiration. Tell us why you really want to join our team.
Interested candidates should email their cover letter, resume, and writing sample (grant application, press release, or whatever makes you shine) to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject line of your email should be “Rural Energy Organizer Application” and attach your cover letter, resume, and writing sample with the file name consisting of “Last name, First name Resume/Cover Letter/Sample.”
Please: no phone calls, drop-ins, or paper applications.
Applications will be considered until the position is filled. We will acknowledge, by e-mail, receipt of each application within 5 business days.
Prairie Rivers Network is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice in all aspects of our work and organization. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law.
We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.