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Voice of Witness (VOW) is an award-winning nonprofit that advances human rights by amplifying the voices of people impacted by—and fighting against—injustice. VOW’s work is driven by the transformative power of the story, and by a strong belief that an understanding of systemic injustice is incomplete without deep listening and learning from people with firsthand experience. Through two key programs—our oral history book series and education program—we amplify these voices, teach ethics-driven storytelling, and partner with advocates to:
- support and build agency within marginalized communities
- raise awareness and foster thoughtful, empathy-based critical inquiry and understanding of injustices
- inform long-term efforts to protect and advance human rights
The VOW Book Series depicts human rights issues through the edited oral histories of people—VOW narrators—who are most deeply impacted and are often at the heart of solutions to address injustice. The series explores issues of race-, gender-, and class-based inequity through the lenses of the criminal justice system, migration, and displacement. The VOW Education Program connects over 20,000 educators, students, and advocates each year with these stories and issues through oral history-based curricula, trainings, and holistic educational support.
Now in our 10th year as a nonprofit, we are meeting this present moment with more commitment than ever to our mission and responsiveness to narrator communities’ evolving priorities. We are currently embarking on year 4 of a 5-year strategic vision plan that honors our achievements while placing deeper emphasis on partnerships, advocacy, and education-based collaboration with narrator communities.
In partnership with the Brigid Alliance, We Testify, and Access Reproductive Care-Southeast (ARC-Southeast), Voice of Witness (VOW) is inviting writers, journalists, and researchers with a proven track record in reproductive justice to submit proposals for the following oral history book fellowship. The deadline has been extended, proposals are now due by Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
We are accepting submissions that offer a unique take on the widely covered issue of abortion access in the United States, with the aim of exposing the stigma and myths surrounding abortion care and of highlighting the effects of restrictive abortion access on our most marginalized, vulnerable communities. We are particularly interested in hearing stories from a diversity of narrators to support a humanized and holistic approach to the subject.
The resulting manuscript will be published as a trade title by Haymarket Books as part of the Voice of Witness book series. The book will also have accompanying curricula (free and downloadable) developed by the VOW education program in partnership with reproductive rights education experts. The VOW education program reaches over 20,000 students and educators each year via site visits, workshops, and curricula.
Despite abortion being technically legal in all 50 states, anti-choice activists and politicians have been working steadily for decades to make access to abortion more difficult, if not nearly impossible. Any person seeking access to an abortion for themselves or a loved one is faced with an intense climate of hostility and fear. Such barriers to abortion do not prevent pregnancy terminations—they simply make these procedures more dangerous, particularly for those who are already from marginalized, under-resourced communities.
We are seeking proposals for an oral history book (containing 12–15 narratives) that will focus on the voices of those who are most directly impacted by restrictive abortion access. Through VOW’s immersive approach to oral history, this project aims to use first-person narratives to illuminate the myriad issues that intersect with and shape access to abortion care. In addition to the main, guiding questions, the Fellow will propose to answer in this project, we hope this oral history collection will also explore the following:
- How do the factors of race, class, gender identity, citizenship status, and sexual orientation affect access to abortion care?
- When local access is severely limited, what hardships do people undertake in order to receive an abortion? (E.g. travel over long distances, high financial costs)
- How does abortion access affect not only the person seeking an abortion, but also their family and larger community?
- What are the experiences of people who are health care and abortion service providers?
This project intends to amplify the stories of a diverse range of people, whose narratives will complement each other in order to reveal the complexity and nuance behind the topic of abortion access. Centering marginalized voices and promoting the agency of narrators (their ability to shape and tell their story in a way that best reflects their truth) is foundational to every Voice of Witness book. The VOW oral history process requires the consent and affirmation of narrators at every stage, from initial interviews to pre-publication. Narrators should be considered collaborators on this project, rather than interview subjects.
As with all titles in the Voice of Witness book series, the project lead will supplement the edited oral histories with an introduction and appendices that provide context for the issues explored in the testimonies.
We are looking to collaborate with a Fellow (or team of 2–3 Fellows) who can lead this project—conducting research, interviews, editing, and fact checking. The Fellow is someone who already has a high degree of understanding of the complexity and intersectionality around abortion access in the US and is rooted in the reproductive justice community. While the Fellow does not necessarily need to have previous experience in oral history and/or interviewing, they should already have connections to potential narrators and the ability to build trusting relationships with new narrators.
The VOW Fellowship provides funding necessary to the Fellow’s project costs, including travel and accommodation, in the range of $25,000–$30,000 ($12,000–$15,000 of which is a stipend for the VOW Fellow), to enable periods of greater dedication to the project. The Fellow is expected to complete the first manuscript of the project (as described in their proposal) within 18 months of the project start date. The first half of this project timeline is designated for interview collection and the second half consists of intensive narrative editing (full-length VOW narratives are typically 4,000–6,000 words each) and follow-up interviews as needed. Longer or shorter project execution timelines may be considered.
The start of the Fellowship period is marked by an incubation phase in the VOW Story Lab, designed to last approximately 3 months. The purpose of this phase is to provide training in VOW oral history methodology and project management, and to develop 3–4 narratives that will serve as the blueprint for the rest of the book. Select narratives developed during this time may be featured on the Voice of Witness website and social media as part of the VOW Story Lab showcase.
HOW TO APPLY:
Please submit the fellowship application and proposal materials (see below) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Please include, “Reproductive Justice Fellowship — [YOUR LAST NAME]” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls or follow up emails; we will contact qualified candidates.
Voice of Witness is seeking a part-time (20-25 hrs/week) individual giving manager to join its 3-person development team (executive director, director of institutional partnerships and strategy, part-time development assistant). This hire will manage a small existing portfolio of individual supporters and new prospects for cultivation, taking ownership of a $150k-200k annual fundraising goal. This is an exciting opportunity for a smart and driven development professional to hit the ground running and make a significant impact on Voice of Witness’s capacity to advance its mission. This position will be managed by the executive director, supported by the development assistant, and will work closely with staff leadership and the board. The individual giving manager will ideally be based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but national candidates will be considered for exceptional applications.
- Secure $150k-$200k in first year through individual gifts (broad base, mid-level, and major donors) and ensure steady annual growth
- Manage a portfolio of up to
- Provide exceptional stewardship of donors through the creation and execution of a multi-tiered donor communications & events calendar
- Plan and lead donor communications that inspire our donor community and align with Voice of Witness’s values of equity, diversity, and inclusion
- Plan and lead online donor engagement and fundraising events
- Devise creative strategies for additional stewardship and cultivation activities
- In partnership with the Executive Director, assess individual donor base and refine and implement annual fundraising plans that include donor engagement, retention, acquisition, and lapsed strategies
- Plan and execute all aspects of bi-annual campaigns (online and direct mail), devising new and creative strategies to reach new donor audiences, including employee giving programs, 24-hour giving days, social media fundraising, and others
- Analyze giving trends and use data to make informed decisions about current and future strategy to continuously strengthen relationships and increase revenue
- Provide accurate and timely activity and pipeline reports, revenue forecasts and individual giving expense budget
- Maintain accurate donor contact notes and correspondence
- Engage in mentoring and professional development opportunities
- Other related duties as assigned
- 3-5 years of direct experience in frontline fundraising with solid track record of successful campaigns, donor communications, and event planning
- Excellent organizational and prioritization skills; able to manage and deliver on multiple assignments under tight deadlines
- Highly organized, ability to multi-task, meet deadlines, and flexibility to adapt to the work environment
- Exemplary project management skills; excellent time-management, detail-orientated, requires minimal direction
- Tech competent: proficiency with Neon CRM software, email marketing software, and social media fundraising tools required
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Discretion handling confidential donor and financial information
- Prior experience working within social justice/human rights, education, and/or literary organizations preferred
- Polite yet persistent, resourceful, and a sense of humor. Comfortable working in a creative, collaborative, and collegial environment, demonstrating personal qualities of empathy, integrity, and curiosity.
We are committed to staff learning, growth, and development and take a holistic approach to investing in our team. This includes:
- Competitive salaries. Salary range for this position is $68,000 – $75,000 pro rated DOE
- Medical insurance (100% employer-covered up to $4,800 per annum pro rated)
- Dental, vision, disability, and acupuncture and chiropractic insurance plan (100% employer covered pro rated)
- 401k plan, life insurance
- Generous paid vacation (16 days first 2 years of FT employment, additional 5 days per annum up to 31 days) + 12 paid public holiday days + 5 sick days pro rated)
- Flexible work environment
- Professional development opportunities
- Sabbatical program
- An organizational culture that promotes staff well-being and holistic self-care/community care
HOW TO APPLY:
Qualified applicants may apply by emailing the following to email@example.com as one PDF:
- a one-page cover letter
- a brief resume that 1) reflects a successful track record of designing and implementing fundraising campaigns, online donor events, and individual giving strategies and 2) lists 2-3 references
- 2-3 work samples that reflect applicant’s experience in key roles as outlined in job description
Please write “Individual Giving Manager – (YOUR LAST NAME)” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls or follow up emails. Only candidates whose qualifications best meet the needs of the job will be contacted.