The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking a talented, versatile writer with professional experience and proven project management skills to generate proposals, reports, and an array of marketing materials that help to inspire, engage, and solicit support from a growing group of donors. This position works in close collaboration with SELC’s institutional leadership, 80-some attorneys, designers and other writers, and our seasoned, accomplished fundraising team.
About the Southern Environmental Law Center
SELC has a unique, focused mission: we use the power of the law to protect the environment of the Southeast and all the people who depend on it for their health and wellbeing. With nine offices across six states (Charlottesville and Richmond, VA; Chapel Hill and Asheville, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; and Nashville, TN), the Southern Environmental Law Center is recognized as the foremost environmental advocate and leader in our region—and respected as one of the most effective non-profits in the United States. Although regional in focus, much of our program work has broader national and global impact—particularly in leading the South away from its overdependence on coal and toward a clean energy future.
About the Position
This is an opportunity to dedicate your talents to a mission you care about at one of the most pivotal times in our nation’s history. “SELC is the EPA now,” a longtime SELC friend said recently. With long-standing bedrock environmental protections suffering unprecedented attack from the Trump Administration, it is the Southern Environmental Law Center that is providing the strategic vision and legal expertise needed to keep industrial pollution out of our rivers, promote the growth of solar power, oppose unnecessary and destructive pipelines, preserve our precious national forestlands, prevent drilling off our coast, and much more.
The ideal candidate is energized by learning about complicated legal and policy projects; considering how best to position SELC’s work for each particular project; and writing clear, compelling copy for a targeted audience of current and prospective supporters.
SELC’s development and marketing team is dedicated and successful. All of our writing, research, event planning, graphic design and production, and digital communications happen in-house. This allows us to achieve consistent branding across all channels while preserving the flexibility to address breaking developments strategically as they unfold.
The fundamental responsibility of the position is to join our current writer in producing polished, compelling proposal and report packages that articulate SELC’s law and policy goals, action plans, and benchmarks for our major funders. But the successful candidate will also be able to repurpose this content into powerful, punchy marketing copy for outreach and engagement tools including a quarterly newsletter, e-newsletters and news feed posts, SELC’s website, radio and print advertisements, update and solicitation mailings, and handouts and presentations for use in donor calls and special events.
Duties of the position require frequent interaction with most members of the program and development staff, from SELC’s founder and executive director, to managing attorneys and program leads, to front-line fundraisers and SELC’s director of development and marketing.
The Kind of Writer We are Looking For
The successful candidate will be comfortable approaching a complex subject area with curiosity and possess an ability to translate technical detail into persuasive prose with serious attention to accuracy. Our reports and proposals require extensive interviews with project attorneys as well as strategic conversations with development officers to produce narratives that both get the details right and speak strategically to our funders’ priorities. The broad variety of topics included in a typical proposal or report requires excellent scheduling and project management abilities, along with strong people skills. Managing the range of writing assignments also requires careful time-management to maintain long- and short-term projects simultaneously. We are looking for a writer who takes ownership and satisfaction in the writing, but who is also comfortable receiving feedback and editing in order to create a final, collaborative product.
Because SELC is not a membership organization, every one of our donors matters—and this is reflected in the care and attention we put into our education, engagement, and solicitation activities. The development and marketing writer is fundamental to the current and future success of SELC.
Duties of this position include:
For each assignment, reviewing files and online information to gain a firm grounding in SELC’s relationship history and in the target funder’s interests and requirements;
Participating in concept meetings and scheduling calls with individual SELC attorneys or with attorney teams;
Reading, researching, and contacting others by phone or email to gather necessary information;
Drafting copy for review and editing by SELC attorneys and development officers (multiple drafts are sometimes required);
Coordinating as needed with other colleagues (finance, graphics, GIS, IT);
Collaborating with SELC’s foundations manager to complete proposal and report packages, always on or before the deadline, via online submission or mail;
Brainstorming creative concepts and messaging with SELC’s marketing and communications team to produce clear, compelling copy for print, mail, and digital marketing documents.
Qualified candidates will have:
A bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related discipline like English, communications, marketing, or public relations;
At least three years of relevant professional experience;
Proven research, writing, editing, and proofreading skills;
Excellent organization and time management skills, with the ability to juggle multiple projects, keep track of short- and long-term priorities, and meet deadlines reliably;
A collaborative, team-oriented approach;
Strong interest in environmental issues.
What to Expect from SELC
The Southern Environmental Law Center enjoys a reputation for professionalism, impact, and accountability, as evidenced by our 100% rating from Charity Navigator.
SELC offers its employees a competitive benefits package and an enjoyable work environment.
We expect hard work, strategic thinking, peak performance, and teamwork from ourselves and each other, but we value the climate of mutual respect, collaboration, and collegiality that we have established among our staff, board members, and supporters.
We seek to bring these same values to our partnerships with other organizations, communities, and people of all backgrounds who share our mission. The South has a rich natural diversity and an equally rich cultural diversity. SELC is committed to broadening the diversity of its staff in order to strengthen our organization and its effectiveness in responding to the many environmental challenges affecting the South and its people. The Southern Environmental Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we encourage applications from persons of all backgrounds.
If you are interested and qualified, send a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s take the time to talk, review your portfolio, and explore the possibilities together.
About Southern Environmental Law Center
SELC has a unique mission: Use the power of the law to protect the environment and health of the Southeast. Working in all three branches of government, this non-profit organization shapes, implements, and enforces the laws and policies that determine the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the landscapes and communities around us.