Committees, Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
You’ve found the right partners, together you’ve rallied around an issue area, and you’re ready to launch The Facing Project in your community. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Well, the one thing we’ve learned from organizing writers, subjects, and partners is that it takes a few dedicated volunteers to manage each aspect of The Facing Project. One individual cannot do these tasks alone; it should be a team effort.
We’ve found that there are four key volunteer positions to make The Facing Project work, though you may find you need fewer or more depending on the scope of the project in your community. The main four would include:
- Project Manager – the main lead on the project; the person overseeing all day-to-day activities and other volunteer positions.
- Business/Marketing/Design Manager – the person to lead sponsorship development, marketing efforts, and overall design.
- Recruiter/s – are responsible for recruiting local subjects whose stories should be told, writers and actors, and keeping writers on task with the project timeline.
- Editor – oversees all edits on the final book, including which stories to include and the order of the stories.
The following is sample position descriptions for each of these positions, including checklists for each role and things they should consider to help them during the process.
The Project Manager for The Facing Project would manage all necessary day-to-day activities including: oversee other volunteer positions such as the editors, recruiters, and business/marketing within The Facing Project; develop key partnerships with nonprofits, businesses, educational institutions, and funders; and be responsible for the overall success of the project.
Ideally, the Project Manager would be familiar with the local community, have a proven record of success for uniting key stakeholders, and the power to bring individuals together around a common theme. This individual could be a nonprofit leader, a member of the Mayor’s staff, a staff/faculty member from a local college/university, or a concerned citizen volunteer.
Project Manager Checklist:
_________ I’ve thought through who would be the appropriate people for my community’s team.
_________ I’ve had conversations with individuals to fill the volunteer roles for The Facing Project team.
_________ I’ve set regular meetings with the team for continued holistic discussion.
_________ I’ve scheduled regular one-on-one meetings with my team to ensure progress.
_________ I’ve strategically brainstormed who else in the community I should discuss The Facing Project with such as other partners and/or sponsors.
What else should I consider for the project to be successful?
The Business/Marketing/Design Manager for The Facing Project would work with the Project Manager on sponsorship development, marketing of The Facing Project within the local community through various outlets (website/media/social media/flyers/etc.), and work in tandem with the Editor to design the overall book for The Facing Project.
Ideally, the Business/Marketing/Design Manager would have experience with sponsorship/fundraising development, have a background in effective marketing, and know how to create products in a platform such as Adobe Indesign, etc. This individual could be a nonprofit leader, a member of the Mayor’s staff, a staff/faculty member from a local college/university, a college/university marketing/design student, or a concerned citizen volunteer.
Business/Marketing/Design Manager Checklist:
_________ I’ve created a marketing plan and timeline for The Facing Project.
_________ I’ve created a press release announcing The Facing Project in my community.
_________ I’ve created a press release showcasing events around The Facing Project in my community.
_________ I’ve had conversations with local news outlets about The Facing Project, such as:
________ Local newspaper;
________ Campus newspaper/s (if applicable);
________ Independent newspapers;
________ Local TV station/s;
________ Local NPR affiliate.
_________ I’ve developed print materials to help advertise events around The Facing Project.
_________ I’ve encouraged partners to put the link to our community’s Facing Project website on their websites.
_________ I’ve put together Facebook and Twitter posts about The Facing Project and shared them with our partners and asked them to post on their social media outlets.
_________ I’ve designed a theme for the book based off of team conversations and guidelines for The Facing Project branding.
_________ I’ve devised a strategy to get the book into the hands of lawmakers and prominent citizens.
What else should I consider to ensure our full community is aware of, and engaged in, our Facing Project?
The recruiter/s for The Facing Project would recruit local subjects whose stories need to be told, writers and actors, and the recruiter/s would be responsible for managing the overall aspects of keeping writers on task. The recruiter/s would work in tandem with local nonprofits to obtain names, contact information, and permissions of subjects interested in sharing their stories with local writers. The recruiter/s would work in tandem with local colleges/universities, writing circles/groups, and other outlets to recruit writers for the project. In addition, the recruiter/s would pair writers/subjects and keep track of their relationship/progress. The recruiter/s also would work with community theatre to enlist actors to be a part of The Facing Project.
Ideally, the recruiter/s would have experience with managing varied projects and a proven success of working with individuals from diverse backgrounds. This individual could be a local writer/editor, a nonprofit leader, a member of the Mayor’s staff, a staff/faculty member from a local college/university, a college/university student, or a concerned citizen volunteer.
_________ I’ve had conversations with local nonprofit partners to identify individuals who want to share their stories.
_________ I’ve gotten signed consent from those who want to share their stories that they are willing to participate in The Facing Project.
_________ I’ve contacted partners about the recruitment of interested writers, such as:
________ Local college/university Writing/English departments;
________ Local library;
________ Local coffee houses that may have connections to writing circles.
_________ I’ve paired my recruited writers with citizens who have agreed to share their stories.
_________ I’m staying in communication with my writers, keeping track of their progress.
_________ I’ve contacted partners about the recruitment of interested actors or monologue readers, such as:
________ Local college/university Theatre department;
________ Local theatre;
________ Local art groups.
_________ I’m successfully managing writers and actors.
_________ I have ensured the writers have shared their pieces with the storytellers and have gotten the storytellers’ final approvals on the stories.
What else could I do to ensure writers/citizens/actors have all come together?
The Editor/s for The Facing Project would oversee all edits on final book, including which stories to include and the order of those stories. The Editor would work in tandem with the Business/Marketing/Design Intern to develop a book that best showcases the faces of the community through layout and design.
Ideally, the Editor/s would have experience with editing print materials. This individual could be a local writer/editor, a nonprofit leader, a member of the Mayor’s staff, a staff/faculty member from a local college/university, a college/university student, or a concerned citizen volunteer.
_________ I’ve collected all of the stories from the Recruiter at least four weeks prior to the book going to print to ensure ample time for editing of stories and/or revisions.
_________ I’ve double-checked with the Recruiters to ensure stories have been approved by the storytellers.
_________ I’ve looked at all of the stories and decided which stories are of quality to include, which need to be edited, and the order of the stories in the book.
_________ I’ve made sure the format flows for the book.
What else should I consider for the editing process?
These sample position descriptions are to help you think about who might be the right folks on your team. Depending on your community and the scope of your project, you may need more positions or fewer. You may find that a couple of the positions could be handled by one person, while other positions could be personed by more than one individual. Or you may decide that it makes the most sense to have each of these positions as sub-committees comprised of several individuals with the leads being members of a main Facing committee for your community.
Take the time to reflect on what would be best for your community and your project, and write out your project ideas below.
Once you have the right people in the right roles, the real task begins – overall management of the project, writers, subjects, and continuing to work with and update partners.