Career Development

What Does a Community Organizer Do?

Find out what a community organizer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a community organizer.

Community organizers are responsible for building and sustaining communities. They work with individuals, groups, and organizations to create positive change in their communities by addressing issues such as poverty, unemployment, crime, and other social problems.

Community organizers may focus on a specific issue or area of interest, but they all share the same goal: to improve the quality of life for everyone in their community.

Community Organizer Job Duties

Community organizers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Communicating with community members to understand their needs and concerns
  • Creating outreach plans to help spread awareness of community issues or initiatives
  • Coordinating volunteers and other members of the community to participate in events or projects that support the organization’s goals
  • Building relationships with businesses, community leaders, and other groups that can be helpful in achieving the organization’s goals
  • Conducting research on issues and possible solutions, such as environmental concerns or community safety issues
  • Working with government agencies to improve public policy and create change through legislation or other means
  • Implementing programs designed to empower members of the community to take action on local issues such as crime prevention or education
  • Planning community events such as festivals or block parties to engage residents in activities that promote social interaction with others in the community
  • Identifying community needs and developing plans to address those needs through cooperation with other organizations

Community Organizer Salary & Outlook

Community organizers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of organization they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $44,500 ($21.39/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of community organizers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Organizers will be needed to help communities address issues such as income inequality, environmental concerns, and access to healthcare. In addition, population growth in cities and towns across the country will require organizers to work with new groups of people, such as immigrants and young adults.

Related: Community Organizer Interview Questions and Answers

Community Organizer Job Requirements

A community organizer typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Community organizers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common majors for community organizers are social work, community development, public administration and urban studies. Community organizers can also earn a master’s degree in community development or public administration to increase their earning potential and qualify for more senior-level positions.

Training & Experience: Community organizers often receive on-the-job training in the form of a period of shadowing a current community organizer. This training period allows the new community organizer to learn the organization’s specific goals, methods and strategies.

Certifications & Licenses: While community organizers do not have any mandatory certifications, many seek additional credentials to improve their job prospects or increase their skills.

Community Organizer Skills

Community organizers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Community organizers often use verbal and written communication to convey messages to their team and the public. They also use communication to gather information from their team and the public. For example, a community organizer might send an email to their team requesting information about a certain topic. They might also use communication to inform the public about upcoming events or changes to an event.

Networking: Community organizers often have strong networking skills, as they often work with a variety of individuals and organizations to achieve their goals. This can include networking with other community organizers, politicians, businesses and other groups. Strong networking skills can help you form partnerships, secure funding and find volunteers for your projects.

Public speaking: Public speaking is the act of communicating with a large group of people. Community organizers often speak to large groups of people to inform them about an issue or to encourage them to take action. Community organizers also often speak to the media about their cause. Public speaking is an important skill for community organizers to have.

Persuasion: Persuasion is the ability to convince others to agree with your ideas. Community organizers often need to persuade others to support their campaigns. This can include convincing volunteers to donate their time to the cause or convincing local businesses to offer discounts to campaign participants.

Relationship building: Community organizers often work with a variety of people, including volunteers, staff members and other organizers. It’s important for them to have strong relationship-building skills so they can work with others effectively. Community organizers often have to build relationships with people they don’t know, so they can convince them to join their cause.

Community Organizer Work Environment

Community organizers typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They also travel frequently, often to other communities to learn from their organizing efforts. The work can be stressful and demanding, as organizers must be able to deal with people from all walks of life, including those who may be hostile or resistant to change. However, organizers find the work to be rewarding and feel that they are making a difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Community Organizer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how community organizers work. Community organizers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Community Organizers Need to Be More Technical

Community organizers are increasingly needing to be more technical in order to be successful. This is because community organizing has become a more digital-focused profession, and community organizers need to be able to use technology to reach and engage with their communities.

As community organizers become more tech-savvy, they will need to learn how to use social media platforms, create online campaigns, and use other tools to connect with people online. This will allow them to reach a wider audience and make a bigger impact on the communities they serve.

More Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

The trend of focusing on diversity and inclusion in the workplace is continuing to grow as businesses realize the importance of having a workforce that reflects the communities they serve.

Community organizers can capitalize on this trend by developing skills that help them work with diverse groups of people. This includes understanding different cultures and being able to communicate effectively with people from all backgrounds. Additionally, community organizers can focus on creating programs and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion within their communities.

Greater Emphasis on Data-Driven Decision Making

The trend of data-driven decision making is becoming increasingly popular among businesses, as it allows them to make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions.

This trend is especially important for community organizers, who are responsible for collecting and analyzing data about their communities. By understanding how to collect and analyze data, community organizers can better understand the needs of their communities and provide services that meet those needs.

How to Become a Community Organizer

A community organizer career can be a great way to make a difference in your community. As a community organizer, you’ll work with residents and local organizations to develop solutions to problems facing the community. This could include working on issues related to housing, education, transportation, or crime.

To become a community organizer, you’ll need to have strong communication skills and be able to build relationships with people from all walks of life. You should also be willing to take on difficult challenges and be prepared to work long hours.

Advancement Prospects

Community organizers typically start out working for a larger organization, such as a nonprofit group, a labor union, or a grassroots political campaign. They may also work for a government agency at the local, state, or federal level. As they gain experience, community organizers may move into positions of greater responsibility, such as team leader or campaign manager. Some community organizers eventually start their own consulting firms or become involved in training other community organizers.

Community Organizer Job Description Example

Are you passionate about social justice and interested in working for a grassroots organization? [CompanyX] is looking for a community organizer to join our team. As a community organizer, you will be responsible for developing relationships with individuals in the community and mobilizing them to take action on issues that they care about. You will also be responsible for developing and implementing campaigns, organizing events, and conducting outreach. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, be highly organized, and have a demonstrated commitment to social justice.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Work with individuals, groups, and communities to identify issues of concern and develop strategies for addressing them
  • Develop relationships and build trust with members of the community
  • Educate and empower individuals and groups to take action on issues that affect them
  • Advocate for policies and programs that benefit the community
  • Serve as a liaison between the community and government officials, businesses, and other organizations
  • Plan and coordinate events and activities designed to engage the community and promote participation
  • Recruit and train volunteers to work on behalf of the community
  • Write grants and fundraising materials to support the work of the organization
  • Maintain records and documentation related to the work of the organization
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field of community organizing and share information with colleagues
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of programs and activities and make recommendations for improvement
  • Perform administrative tasks such as preparing reports and maintaining budgets

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work, sociology, psychology, or related field
  • 2+ years experience working with diverse populations
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Flexibility and adaptability

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in social work, sociology, psychology, or related field
  • 4+ years experience working with diverse populations
  • Bilingual ability
  • Experience with community organizing
  • Experience with grant writing


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