Frequently Asked Questions
Impact is part of The Public Interest Network — a group of organizations that share a vision of a better country, a set of core values, and a coordinated strategic approach to getting things done. Click here for things you should know about our network when you apply.
About the application and interview process
Q. If I apply now, what’s the application process like?
A. Once you submit your application, you’ll receive an email and/or a phone call from one of our staff if we are interested in scheduling an interview with you. After completing the first interview, the top candidates will be invited to a second round group interview.
The daylong second round group interview is a ton of fun and offers you an opportunity to learn more about our organization, campaigns, strategies and philosophy. You will complete at least two one-on-one interviews and have the chance to meet some of the Impact leadership, as well as senior staff from our partner organizations like Environment America and the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs).
You will also hear from a panel of current campaign organizers and practice some of the activities you would perform as a campaign organizer, like petitioning, public speaking and planning a press conference. The second round group interviews also provide the Impact leadership team with the opportunity to learn more about you and whether you’d be a good fit for the program.
For folks flying in, the interview locations are all accessible by public transportation. We can also connect candidates coming from the same area to arrange carpools.
Q. Can I get reimbursed for transportation or lodging for a 2nd round group interview?
A. No, sorry. We’re organizers. We strive to make every dollar go to social change. And we’re happy to help you carpool or find a couch. We can connect candidates from the same area to coordinate carpools, and we will ask other candidates and friends of Impact if they have a couch if you need a place to crash. That being said, we can’t guarantee we’ll have enough spots for everyone, so please do your best to arrange your own lodging through your extended network of family and friends.
Q. What should I wear to the 2nd round group interview?
A. It is business casual dress, but please wear comfortable shoes for petitioning.
Q. Do I need to bring anything to the group interview?
A. Please either bring your own lunch or bring money to purchase lunch (~$10).
Q. How many applications do you get a year?/How competitive is this?
A. The program is competitive. We typically receive between 2,000-3,000 applications per year and we’re hiring 15-20 new organizers. If you’re not offered a job with us, we encourage you to stay involved, and to continue working to make an impact. We’ll be referring appropriate candidates to other positions within our network, including positions with Fund for the Public Interest as canvass directors and positions with PIRG Campus Action as campus organizers. These are great opportunities that we only offer to top candidates. If you are referred to another organization, we encourage you to pursue the opportunity!
About the job
Q. When would I start?
A. Most campaign organizer positions begin in August, though a limited number are available on a rolling basis throughout the year. For August starts, we may offer opportunities to start earlier in the summer, organizing on some of our top priority summer campaigns.
Q. What are the pay and benefits?
A. The target annual compensation for this position is $26,500 in the first year. Each of the groups that partner with Impact offers a competitive benefits package. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement.
Q. How does student loan assistance work?
A. You can apply for our loan assistance program after your third month on staff. Once enrolled, you pay the first $50 of your monthly payments. The Public Interest Network pays up to an additional $200 monthly — up to $1,800 your first year and $2,400 each year after. We were actually among the first organizations in the country to offer a program to help offset the cost of college loans. The plan is designed to help make non-profit and public interest jobs viable for everyone, even those with hefty loan burdens.
Q. Where does Impact have offices?
A. Impact currently runs offices in: Portland, Maine; Concord, N.H.; Boston; Hartford, Conn.; New York; New Brunswick, N.J.; Baltimore; Richmond, Va.; Atlanta; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; Madison, Wis.; Minneapolis; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis; Austin, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Phoenix; Denver; Missoula, Mont; Las Vegas; Seattle; Los Angeles; and Sacramento, Calif. We take into consideration where you’d prefer to be placed for your Impact year, but we also need to make sure we have organizers on the ground in the places we know we can win.
Q. What’s a typical day in the life of a campaign organizer?
A. There really is no typical day. You’re planning and running grassroots campaigns, organizing town hall meetings, building powerful coalitions of groups, setting up and speaking at news conferences, lobbying lawmakers and much more. The cool part about organizing is that you’re working with regular people and thus there’s never a dull moment. During the week you might be attending an evening coalition meeting. Over the weekend you might be organizing a community meeting or driving to attend a regional training with your colleagues.
Q. How does your training program work?
A. You’ll work alongside a staff person with five to 20 years of experience year-round and participate in classroom trainings a few times a year to complement what you learn in the field. These trainings will feature briefings by experienced campaigners, group discussions and practice sessions. But you’ll learn the most by doing.
Q. How much canvassing will I do?
A. The last campaign you’ll work on in the year is running a fundraising summer canvass office for one of our partner groups. As a canvass director, you’re out in the field yourself three to four days a week — knocking on doors or stopping people on busy street corners, and then recruiting, training, and managing a staff of 10-60 people to canvass alongside you to hit your campaign goals. Canvassing, along with donor fundraising, grant fundraising and staff recruitment, represent the kind of institution-building you’ll learn as a campaign organizer — the institution-building that allows us to sustain long-term battles. These are the kinds of skills our partner groups will look for when hiring new advocates and campaign directors after your Impact year.
Q. What do campaign organizers do after they finish Impact?
A. After your Impact year, you’ll have learned the ropes, gained invaluable hands-on experience and you’ll have made a real difference. Best of all, you’ll be on a track to become a state director, program director, or digital organizer with Environment America or PIRG. Your staff director will work with you to find the best position for you coming out of the program.
Q. Do you work on elections?
A. Depending on which organization you work for, you may take part in an election campaign. For example, Environment America staff organized support for pro-environment candidates and mobilized voters in key districts in critical states last year. In addition, many of our staff take leaves of absence to do personal political work that they care deeply about.