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OrganizationSouthern Environmental Law Center (SELC)
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineApril 15, 2019
College Degree Required?Yes
Salary Rangecommensurate with experience
Phone(434) 977-4090


Development and Marketing Writer

The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking to add a skilled professional writer to our development and marketing team. This position is located in SELC’s headquarters on the downtown mall in Charlottesville and is supervised by our Senior Writer.

Proposals and Reports: Most of your time will be spent producing strategically customized proposals and reports for the major foundations, families, and individuals whose grants and gifts fund SELC’s environmental advocacy work. This includes participating in concept meetings with attorneys and fundraisers, spending time at your keyboard writing, trading drafts, incorporating edits from one or more reviewers, and delivering final documents on deadline and to each funder’s specifications. Each week’s workflow could include polishing and submitting one or more final documents, beginning first drafts due in a couple of weeks, and scheduling attorney interviews to get next month’s priorities in motion. Collaborating with SELC’s executive director, 80 accomplished attorneys, successful senior development officers, and foundations manager, you’ll be dealing daily with intellectually stimulating and constantly evolving content, translating complex legal issues into compelling, reader-friendly prose.

Marketing Materials: SELC has built a solid, authentic brand over 33 years. If you have heard our ads on NPR, caught an SELC attorney interview on 60 Minutes, or read about our work in the New York Times or Washington Post, you already know that we are playing a pivotal role in the biggest, most important environmental issues of our time. Through printed newsletters and mailed updates, digital communications, special events, and in-person visits, SELC engages, educates, and inspires current and prospective donors. With 25% of their time, the new writer will generate tight, crisp stories and blurbs for our array of marketing materials. This process also involves concept meetings and review and editing by attorneys and marketing colleagues, as well as coordination with our creative on-staff design team.

Why It Matters     

Since 1986, SELC has used the power of the law to protect the South’s environment and all the people who depend on it for their wellbeing. Today, our nation’s fundamental environmental laws are threatened by the Trump administration, and this organization’s work on behalf of the people and places of our six states—and the values we stand for—are needed more than ever. Current institutional priorities include defending the federal Clean Water Act, blocking construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, preventing the opening of the South Atlantic to offshore drilling, and promoting solar power and energy efficiency to reduce our region’s outsized carbon footprint. Working at SELC offers an opportunity to be a part of something powerful.

Who We are Looking For

The successful candidate will have significant experience conducting interviews, excellent writing abilities, and sharp research and editing skills. You must be able to grasp complicated information and multi-chapter stories quickly and accurately, attend to essential housekeeping details such as word counts and guidelines, follow best practices to keep projects on time, and demonstrate technological savvy. Becoming a successful writer at SELC involves a steep learning curve, including mastering the essentials of environmental policy, administrative process, litigation, and the legislative lifecycle. It’s challenging and fascinating work: we are looking for someone who can absorb all of this with curiosity and drive, and who wants to use their skills to communicate the significance of SELC’s complex environmental protection work to carefully targeted audiences.

We are also looking for a strong collaborator who can work closely with SELC’s senior leadership, attorneys, development officers, and designers, translating their ideas and smoothly incorporating feedback. Efficient success in this work requires frequent, persistent phone calls and in-person interviews with supportive attorneys who have a lot on their plates: direct conversation with our attorneys is necessary to hit messaging targets on deadline every time. The rewards of this work include an opportunity to participate in some of the biggest environmental protection victories in the Southeast and the nation; the chance to work as a productive contributor to a committed, professional fund-raising team; the pleasure of learning from a group of smart, passionate attorneys who are among the nation’s foremost environmental law experts—and a competitive compensation package.

Candidates must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree (preferably in a related discipline like English, communications, marketing, or public relations) and at least three years of relevant professional experience;
  • Proven research, writing, editing, and proofreading skills;
  • Excellent organization and time management skills, and ability to juggle multiple projects, keep track of short- and long-term priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Strong people skills and a willingness to pursue direct answers in person or by phone to get the job done efficiently;
  • A collaborative attitude and ease with back-and-forth interaction and feedback to produce top-quality products.

SELC is committed to broadening the diversity of its staff in order to strengthen our organization and its effectiveness in responding to the many environmental challenges affecting the South and its people. The Southern Environmental Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we encourage applications from persons of all backgrounds.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples to