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.
Job Title: Office Manager and Internship Coordinator
The Office Manager and Internship Coordinator position is a dual role that is responsible both for overseeing the Vote Smart Internship Program and the office environment for all interns, volunteers and staff. This is a key role because the Iowa Research Headquarters and its interns are at the heart of Vote Smart’s educational mission!
Vote Smart's internship program is a vital to our research, and it is the Internship Coordinator's responsibility to oversee the success of the program. Some of the job functions include:
Recruit potential interns every semester, both locally and nationally (especially during summer). This includes doing outreach events, traditional postings, career fair presentations and other forms of recruitment.
Work closely with University Liaisons/Career Center staff from neighboring universities (especially our host partners at Drake University) on recruitment initiatives.
Create/advise on internship materials, as required.
Collect application materials and organize accordingly.
Interview and screen potential internship candidates.
Create work schedules for interns based on availability of time and resources of both intern and office.
Track work hours for interns in compliance with Vote Smart and University requirements.
Assist with any intern specific problems such as disciplinary action and coordinate evaluations.
Create and Organize intern files and spreadsheets.
Provide recommendation letters or references for current or past interns.
You will work in conjunction with Directors and staff at Vote Smart on Internship Coordination. It is an organization-wide project.
In addition to Internship related duties, you are expected to perform Office Management duties to foster a healthy, productive, and positive office environment for interns and staff. These duties range from:
Distributing some incoming communications by email, phone, and mail.
Assisting the National Director with administrative duties.
Accounting for and paying office bills.
Creating a bi-weekly payroll report.
Filing important documents.
Communicating externally with other area groups, including volunteers, professors, chambers of commerce, etc.
You will work in conjunction with the National Director and our accountants on Office Management related tasks.
The ideal candidate for this position will be very organized as the majority of the work function requires extensive documentation and scheduling. Those that are highly motivated, personable and comfortable with public speaking and outreach is a plus. A strong work ethic and the ability to multitask is essential, as well as a high attention to detail and deadlines.
This is a great opportunity to improve your organizational skills in a role with a lot of responsibility and independence. Those interested in working collaboratively with universities and college-level students would benefit from this position. Opportunities to travel and attend events including college job fairs, student groups and college level classes are frequent. This job will prepare you to work in other communications, outreach, and human resource fields and will give you experience in hiring and managing a team of interns. For those interested in the administrative side of a national nonprofit or politics, this position is a great fit for you!
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to email@example.com
Job Title: 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
This job is located in Des Moines, IA, or Tucson, AZ.
Daily data entry of incoming donations, assisting with depositing incoming money
Daily, frequent correspondence with Vote Smart members & ambassadors over phone & email
Assisting with thank you mailings and fulfilling materials requests
Maintaining media contact database, monitoring press clips, making pitch calls to the media
Helping write and edit external communications to members & public
Maintaining press clips and making pitch calls to media
Helping create content for social media & email marketing; assisting with photography, graphic design as needed
Researching and assisting with new outreach campaigns
Writing/editing blog posts on current political/legislative news
Speaking with local and national media and partner organizations
Assisting the Development & Communications Director as needed
Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to externally communicate courteously, effectively & articulately
Attention to detail and accuracy, especially when handling incoming money & data entry
Effective time management skills; ability to keep oneself organized without supervision
Strong writing and editing skills; an ability to set politics aside & write in a nonpartisan manner
An understanding of structure of media; comfort in making cold-calls to members of the media when necessary
A basic understanding of design for creating social media and email marketing graphics
An interest and understanding of politics and current political issues; a commitment to nonpartisanship
Photography, graphic design, and videography experience is a bonus
Please submit a resume, cover letter and three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Job Title: Research Associate
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.