Join us in our mission to save democracy.
Vote Smart maintains a modest staff primarily composed of recent college graduates dedicated to our mission of voter education and candidate accountability. All staff commit to work through the next general election, at a minimal salary. The Vote Smart pledge, signed by all staff, commits individuals to absolute impartiality, respect and deference toward all citizens, and professional integrity.
It is essential that all applicants believe in Vote Smart's mission. The contributions you make to your country and the extensive experience you gain will make it worthwhile. Vote Smart provides medical benefits, as well as the most extraordinary experience of your life!
If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please send your cover letter, resume and three references to email@example.com for Research positions or firstname.lastname@example.org for other positions. Please indicate the position for which you are applying.
Unless otherwise noted, all positions are in Des Moines, IA, at our Drake University office. Vote Smart is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please see our Equal Opportunity Policy for more details.
Development & Communications Associate
Help defend democracy by joining our team of dedicated staff working to create a political culture of transparency and facts. In this age of fake news, media bias, and political drama, Vote Smart ensures that citizens have access to the tools that they need to make educated political decisions.
Vote Smart, a nonpartisan/nonprofit political research organization, is seeking a Development and Communications Associate. This position entails primarily communications and data management duties.
Vote Smart, founded by Presidents Carter, Ford, and other national leaders, is a non-profit national research center that collects accurate and factual information on over 40,000 political leaders. Our goal is to empower voters with access to a vast library of reliable, nonpartisan, factual political information. Your job will be to help get this message to millions of Americans. Watch our video to learn more: https://votesmart.org/about#video
Communicating with corporate and other organizational contacts, including some of the countries' top corporations and organizations
Researching and assisting with new outreach campaigns
Helping create content for social media (Facebook, Twitter) and email marketing
Writing/editing blog posts on current political/legislative news
Helping write and edit other external communications to members & public
Assisting the Development & Communications Director as needed
A strong interest in politics; ability to set politics aside and write in a nonpartisan manner
Articulate verbal and good writing skills are essential
Strong editing skills
Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to externally communicate courteously and effectively
Effective time management skills; ability to keep oneself organized without supervision
Comfort in making cold-calls when necessary
Photography, graphic design, and videography experience is a bonus
An outgoing & positive attitude!
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to email@example.com
Research Associates are the backbone of Vote Smart's efforts. Research Associates will be matched to assignments based on their demonstrated abilities and in accordance with the shifting needs of a growing, election-oriented organization. Exceptional applicants may find themselves with opportunities to help manage and develop program areas within months of their start date.
Examples of programs that the researcher may be involved with are:
-Candidates and Officials: The first step to connecting citizens to their government is making it easy for them to find out who their candidates and representatives actually are, what their roles are, and how to contact them. Researchers for this program are responsible for making sure that at any given time, our roster of tens of thousands of officials mirrors those currently in office. Other tasks may include inputting biographical information, contact information, committee assignments, and leadership positions.
-Political Courage Test: Vote Smart challenges candidates to tell voters where they stand on the issues, but when candidates don't have the courage, we answer the questions for them. Researchers may be involved with: administering Political Courage Tests to candidates through mailings, email, and phone contacts; inputting candidate responses in our database; and collecting evidence for and determining candidates' issue positions.
-Legislative Research: Vote Smart makes it easy to see how representatives act in office, summarizing in plain language the key votes made in all 50 states and Congress. Researchers for this program may be involved with tracking the progress of legislation in several states, reading and summarizing legislation, and entering in the votes made by representatives.
-Interest Group Ratings: Vote Smart collects performance evaluations of public officials from hundreds of interest groups on the state and national level. Researchers for this program retrieve and normalize these evaluations, as well as collect information about the interest groups to provide context. A Researcher with strong numeracy will get the most out of this program.
-Public Statements: From climate change to how they feel about the business down the street, Vote Smart maintains a warehouse of every public utterance made by key politicians. Researchers are responsible for collecting, classifying, formatting, and inputting these statements.
-Public Engagement: Not everyone will gravitate to and make sense of Vote Smart's vast database on their own, so our researchers are often involved in answering our Voter's Research Hotline, researching special requests made by those who call or write, highlighting data relevant to the events of the day on various platforms, and visualizing our data.
Ideal applicants will have a good understanding of government and politics, a solid knowledge of current events, experience in researching political issues, exceptional web searching skills, good written and oral communication skills, and experience with normalizing data. Those that are highly self-motivated, willing to help out wherever needed, organized, detailed-oriented, committed to self-improvement, and in possession of a strong work ethic do not need to have related experience.
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Vote Smart is seeking an Operations Coordinator, who will work directly with the National Director to maintain the internship program and office operations. This is a key role because our research headquarters and its interns are at the heart of Vote Smart’s work!
This role is responsible for overseeing the success of the internship program, including recruitment, hiring, and managing of 30+ interns each semester. Some of the job functions include:
Recruit potential interns every spring, summer, and fall including doing outreach events, online postings, career fair presentations and other forms of recruitment at local and national levels.
Work closely with university faculty and career center staff from universities locally and nationally on recruitment initiatives.
Create/advise on internship materials, as required.
Collect application materials and organize accordingly to interview and select interns.
Create work schedules for interns based on availability of time and resources of both interns and office, tracking work hours for interns in compliance with Vote Smart and university requirements.
Assist with intern management with research staff, including coordinating evaluations and necessary disciplinary action.
In addition to internship related duties, this role performs office management duties, which foster a healthy, productive, and positive office environment. These duties range from:
Distributing some incoming communications by email, phone, mail, and walk-ins.
Accounting for and paying office bills, including creating a bi-weekly payroll report.
Filing important documents, physically and digitally.
Communicating externally with other area groups, including volunteers, professors, chambers of commerce, etc.
Manage on-boarding process with National Director for new staff including physical space requirements, supplies, and digital access.
Keep staff and interns connected by planning and executing organizational wide events.
Assisting the National Director with administrative duties, as needed.
Working largely independently, this is a great opportunity for anyone looking to further their skills in nonprofit management, human resources, and administration. The ideal candidate will have:
Strong skills in detail orientation, organization (physically and digitally), and communication.
Ability to work and lead collaboratively across the organization.
Time management skills and ability to manage multiple projects at the same time.
Customer service experience, specifically with phone management.
Experience in outreach including event planning and relationship building.
Human resources and nonprofit work experience.
Experience in Google Suite (Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar etc), Handshake, and Dropbox.
Basic understanding of how databases work.
Positive attitude and commitment to mission.
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to email@example.com