Friends of Casco Bay is looking for an experienced writer to join our team. The Staff Writer works closely with our Executive Director and Communications and Development Director to design and implement our communications plan. The Staff Writer generates stories about our work and translates our scientific data and policy positions into news our community can use. We expect the successful candidate to become a cherished member of our team, working closely with staff, board, volunteers, and community members. Our Staff Writer enhances Friends of Casco Bay’s visibility, value, and standing in our community by helping us tell our stories using various media, while maintaining high standards of credibility and presentation. The Staff Writer reports to the Communications and Development Director and the Executive Director. This is a full time job and involves working weekends and nights at times.
Friends of Casco Bay is a science-based, community-oriented, environmental nonprofit organization that has worked for 30 years to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. We meet our mission through monitoring the health of the water quality in the Bay, engaging our community in what we are seeing, and advocating for changes that will benefit the health of the Bay. Our work is guided by science, the regulatory environment, common decency, and passion for protecting our coastal waters. We are home to the Casco Baykeeper, our lead advocate who acts as the eyes, ears, and voice of Casco Bay. We are a founding member of Waterkeeper® Alliance, a network of more than 300 independent organizations working to protect waters around the world.
Scientific data collected by our professional staff, along with observations collected by a network of volunteers inform our work. Thanks to our efforts, industrial pollution has decreased, municipalities are working to reduce sewage and stormwater pollution, and the Bay has been designated a No Discharge Area making it one of the most protected water bodies in the country.
A board of 15 directors oversees the work of Friends of Casco Bay. More than 2,400 households and donors support our organization. More than 500 volunteers assist us in our efforts. We are known as an exceptional place to work, and staff turnover is notably low. We currently have seven full-time employees and one seasonal staff member. We balance our ability to leverage collaborative efforts, funds, and volunteers, with the capacity and capabilities of staff — a talented team, each passionate about our mission.
While Friends of Casco Bay is a leader in applied regional environmental advocacy, we have a commitment to the ongoing learning of the organization and of each staff member. Just as the organization supports each employee, we expect each member of the staff to actively contribute to the collaborative planning and execution of our work.
The Staff Writer’s core communications work is to:
- Work with the Executive Director and Communications and Development Director to design and implement our communications plans to promote the visibility and credibility of our organization.
- Develop stories and content about Friends of Casco Bay’s work. These products will be written in our organizational voice and shared via our website, email, social media, publications, traditional media, and other communications.
- Create and maintain the content calendar for our communications efforts. Help develop timely, engaging, and newsworthy content for our publications, website, email, and social media networks, as well as for other media organizations.
- Execute the Staff Writer’s role in our communications plan, including but not limited to the following: generate content, build and maintain relationships with media, pitch news releases, advisories, and earned media content, maintain database of media contacts, fulfill requests by journalists, reporters, and other organizations for interviews and information, and maintain lists of community members and organizations for media members to contact on specific issues.
- Help maintain an active social media presence on behalf of the organization.
- Collaborate with other staff to ensure content relating to their individual areas is current while maintaining consistent branding. Edit work generated by other staff, including fact checking and editing for tone, which is critical to maintaining our credibility. Help ensure the continued development and use of our manual of style and branding documents. Work closely with Executive Director and Communications and Development Director to polish final drafts.
- Work closely with program staff, in the field (especially with our Staff Scientist and Casco Baykeeper), at public meetings, and via one-on-one meetings, to write stories about our work, staff, volunteers, and community. Generate ideas and follow up on opportunities for community engagement. Explore new avenues for communications via social media, website, email, and earned media.
- Help write and develop short video stories about our work.
- Support planning, logistics, and staffing of our community events, including online and in-person events.
- Work with all staff on outreach, fundraising efforts, and community engagement materials and projects. Write, review, and help edit Friends of Casco Bay publications and printed material, including our Casco Bay Bulletin (newsletter), member updates, and our Annual Report to the Community. Work with Communications and Development Director and Data, Development, and Design Associate to organize and update materials and displays as needed.
The Staff Writer will support organizational work as they:
- Help research key issues Friends of Casco Bay is working on and help develop policy position papers, memos, and talking points, in consultation with Executive Director, Casco Baykeeper, Staff Scientist, and communications staff.
- Help coordinate content and design of our WordPress website by helping to keep content, graphics, and announcements updated on a regular basis.
- Keep our communications metrics up-to-date. Archive and track our media coverage, images, video, and printed materials.
- Work with development team and Executive Director to develop language for fundraising and communications in concert with annual operating plans. Support the development team by reviewing drafts of proposals, invitations, and reports from Executive Director and Communications and Development Director, as requested.
- Collaborate on developing concepts/ideas for programs, events, and proposals.
- Communicate regularly with Executive Director and Communications and Development Director about program topics, organizational directions, and issues.
- Participate in staff meetings, communication/development meetings, and other internal meetings as needed.
- Work on educational and outreach projects as needed.
- Participate in other organizations’ community events after assessment of relevance and value to our mission.
- Attend monthly Board meetings, Community Engagement Committee meetings, and other meetings as appropriate. Prepare and edit minutes and assist Executive Director with additional materials for the Board.
Skills and Experience
The ideal candidate is experienced in writing about science and advocacy for different audiences and telling stories via the written word, social media, video, and other online platforms. The ideal candidate has been a journalist, a science writer, or a nonfiction writer and has significant experience in the nonprofit or environmental sector. Experience taking high quality photos and videos is desirable though not required. The candidate must demonstrate collaborative work experience. The successful candidate will likely have additional skills that will be put to use in our mission to protect the Bay.
Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential. The candidate has a demonstrated ability to translate science and policy into stories for our diverse audiences.
Competence in the use of Windows computers, including PC word processing and spreadsheet software, is essential. Proficiency with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube is highly desirable.
Friends of Casco Bay uses Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel, as well Google Workplace (née G Suite) apps including Google Docs, Meet, Sheets, and Slides. In addition, we use Asana, Slack, Zoom, Water Reporter, Photoshop, InDesign, Raiser’s Edge NXT, Blackbaud’s Online Express, and WordPress. It is not expected that the ideal candidate be fluent in all of these programs and apps but must be willing to learn.
Salary and benefits:
Starting salary is $50k per year with an excellent benefits package, including health and dental insurance (75%), life insurance, and retirement plan.
Screenings and interviews will be conducted initially by phone and online; finalists will be interviewed in person (socially distanced).
Prepare the following to submit as one complete pdf, via one email:
Cover letter, resume, three references, writing sample of your choice, and writing sample in response to one of the following prompts, not to exceed 500 words (writing sample is for use in the application process only):
- In the face of climate change, share your perspective and where you find optimism.
- On our website, we present data from our Continuous Monitoring Station. Please select an aspect of those data and write a story about that.
Email to searchcommittee [at] cascobay [dot] org by close of business (5 p.m. EST) Monday, November 23.