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Bread for the World
Director of Organizing and Grassroots Capacity Building

Explore Company PosterBread for the World is seeking an individual to lead, manage and develop its grassroots power as Director of Organizing and Grassroots Capacity Building.


Bread for the World (Bread) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s political leaders to end hunger in our country and around the world. Bread engages Christian churches and individuals in building the political will to end hunger by influencing Congress and the administration. Over its 43-year history, Bread has logged an impressive record of advocacy achievements, improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Bread for the World is now focused on the goal of ending hunger by 2030. Pope Francis, the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the U.S. government have all embraced this goal. It is feasible, because the world as a whole is making unprecedented progress against hunger, poverty, and disease. Although the economic crisis of 2008 was a huge setback, the United States has also reduced hunger and poverty in recent decades. Bread for the World talks about the opportunity to virtually end hunger as an experience of our loving God in history – like the biblical exodus.

In order to achieve its mission, stronger U.S. leadership is necessary for the progress that is possible against hunger. The recent elections have made the political environment more difficult. But Bread for the World is exceptionally well-placed to work with both parties to resist harmful measures and recruit bipartisan support for helpful initiatives. To accomplish its advocacy goals, Bread for the World meets with members of Congress and the administration; activates its grassroots network across the country to lobby their members of Congress; works with and leads coalitions; mobilizes the faith community; and projects its message through the public press and social media. In 2016, Bread invested significant resources in election work, growing its brand awareness and deepening its partnerships with African-American and Latino networks. The elections work included outreach to presidential and congressional candidates, evaluation of candidates’ positions, and voter education. The effort to increase brand awareness resulted in a sharp increase in the size of Bread’s online community – from 300,000 people in 2015 to 16 million in August 2016. Bread’s activist base jumped from 81,000 to 900,000.

Bread for the World is a 501(c)(4) organization that lobbies Congress to end hunger and poverty. It does more outright lobbying on poverty issues than any other organization in the country. Its grassroots network is active in every congressional district and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of thoughtful constituent contacts with Congress each year. Bread plays a significant role in U.S. church life, often leading the engagement of diverse religious bodies on public policy issues that are important to people living in poverty. Bread’s staff includes strong teams for lobbying and policy analysis, grassroots organizing, communication and media, digital mobilization, church relations and the enlistment of other organizations in advocacy, finance and administration, and fundraising. Bread for the World Institute, a 501(c)(3) affiliate, does analysis on hunger and how to solve it. It educates people throughout Bread’s network and beyond on faith, policies, and advocacy methods.

Bread for the World and its affiliates have been growing rapidly in size and impact, and plans are underway for continued growth and organizational innovation. For more information about Bread for the World, please visit their website at www.bread.org

Director of Organizing and Grassroots Capacity Building

Bread for the World is committed to innovation and expansion of its already formidable grassroots power. Over the past several years Bread refined its Organizing and Grassroots Capacity Building model and dramatically increased its legislative effectiveness. The model focuses on winning legislative campaigns by mobilizing our existing base and deepening and expanding Bread’s grassroots. This is accomplished using traditional issues organizing in places that are strategic for legislative and diversity goals. While this targeting has been effective for winning legislative victories, it presents challenges to maintaining the broad nationwide base.

The Director of Organizing will be instrumental in managing effective targeted organizing strategies while continuing to broaden Bread’s nationwide base, with emphasis on building a younger and more diverse grassroots network. The Director will also be key to developing Bread’s response to the changing political environment in ways that are consistent with, and strengthen, Bread’s values. Bread is committed to being effective for hungry people, ecumenical engagement of Christians and outreach to other faith traditions, and upholding values of civility, bipartisanship, dedication to justice and commitment to diversity and servant leadership.

The geographically dispersed team of professional organizers use traditional organizing tactics adapted to Bread’s values. In 2017 they are targeting: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. At the end of 2016, Bread created a power map to record the locations of its 124 Bread teams, 659 highly trained leader activists, and 932,456 virtually trained frequent activists.

The map serves as a valuable tool for tracking the growth and mobilization of our activist network. California, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania each have more than 50 leader activists. Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Virginia each have more than 30 leader activists. Bread also has about 6,000 active churches, and 74,000 members.

The organizers develop annual plans that are aligned with those throughout the organization. Bread has developed a strong social media operation offering additional advocacy tools organizers can use through – the website, Facebook, twitter, and text messaging - to amplify and excite activism and advance campaigns. Bread’s on-the-ground work uses digital communications in ways that make activists more effective in person. During the 2016 elections, for example, Bread’s local activists delivered online petitions that Bread and its Vote to End Hunger Coalition partners collected. During face-to-face meetings with the presidential and congressional campaigns, activists could knowledgeably describe the size and reach of Bread’s base, including the large number of online community members. The activists made “the ask” supported by personal stories that brought to life solid policy research. Local engagement with Congressional candidates strengthened relationships with both incumbent and newly elected members of Congress. Bread’s grassroots organizing has a track record of success delivering on multiple issues identified in Bread’s annual policy change agenda. It also provides a solid foundation for Bread to engage a new generation of activists, with more people under fifty years old and stronger representation from African American and Latino/a communities.

Looking to the future, Bread for the World expects further innovation and better integration of its values with effective organizing. We anticipate significant elections work in 2018, building on our work during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. Bread intends to grow the size, diversity and skills of its leader activists (from 659 now to perhaps 2,000 by 2020). Moreover, Bread envisions growth in Bread’s base of activist leaders in a way that supports targeting in key congressional districts and maintaining a capacity for more visible grassroots influence in every congressional district. The new Director will play a leadership role in this organizational change.

The broad goals and responsibilities of the Director include:

  • Plan and lead the ongoing organizing, mobilizing and development of Bread for the World’s grassroots network for advocacy on Bread’s policy change agenda.

  • Lead innovation to strengthen and support Bread’s grassroots activist leaders, with capacity for some grassroots influence in every congressional district.

  • Oversee and lead the Organizing and Grassroots Capacity Building Department’s internal team and departmental functions, including their work with other Bread departments and with affiliated organizations – Bread for the World Institute, and the Alliance to End Hunger.

  • Support ongoing work to enhance systems of communications with field staff and DC-based departments.

  • Serve on the Strategy Council (management team), the Campaign Steering Group (advocacy strategy team), and other organization-wide leadership groups, bringing the needs and perspectives of Bread’s grassroots network to bear in discussions of policies and strategies.

  • Prepare materials for and represent the department at Board meetings.

  • Chair internal work groups and perform other duties as requested by the Managing Director.

  • Represent Bread for the World’s organizing effort in meetings with coalition partners, funders and other external stakeholders.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Director should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Extensive background in grassroots organizing, including work with diverse people and communities, Christian churches or denominations, and leadership of training programs.

  • Experience with emerging communication technologies in advocacy.

  • Experience managing and coaching a department or team with demonstrated skills in collaborative management.

  • Ability to lead and manage work in a fast-paced environment on a multitude of issues simultaneously.

  • Deep knowledge of the political process and experience in legislative campaigning and advocacy.

  • Ability to communicate, verbally and in writing, highly complex information to external contacts to influence results and achieve strategic goals for multiple units.

  • Understanding of U.S. and international hunger issues and the U.S. legislative process.

  • A minimum of 10 years’ relevant leadership and management experience with at least 5 years’ organizing experience. • Experience supervising geographically-dispersed staff.

Personal Attributes:

  • Ability to articulate Bread’s Christian message in an authentic manner.

  • Personable, trustworthy diplomatic, and perceived as such by colleagues and direct reports.

  • Commitment to the mission and faith basis of Bread for the World and ability to communicate the case for supporting Bread.


Compensation for the Director of Organizing and Grassroots Capacity Building includes a base salary plus a full package of employee and health benefits.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a résumé and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to Bread/DOGRCB in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

Bread for the World is committed to diversity and invites individuals
who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


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