Organization Overview

Established in 2011, the vision of Engage San Diego is of a San Diego where the electorate and leadership are reflective of the people who live and work here. Engage San Diego is a regional (San Diego County), non-partisan network whose mission is to increase voter participation in historically and systemically excluded communities of San Diego through voter outreach, civic engagement, experimentation, advocacy, and communications. Engage San Diego aims to expand political opportunity by increasing electoral and civic participation of underrepresented communities in the County of San Diego – with a focus on the New American Majority Electorate of low-income families, youth, women, and LGBTQ, Black, Latino/a/x, AAPI, immigrant, and refugee communities. Funded with both 501(c) 3 and 501(c) 4 sources and including both 501(c) 3 and 501(c) 4 advisory boards, Engage is a collaborative network of social justice-focused nonprofit groups with diverse issues, constituencies and organizing styles, and provides them with the space and leadership for innovative and effective civic collaboration. Engage San Diego is the first regional partner of State Voices, a national network of grassroots organizations working together to plan non-partisan civic engagement work.

Building on its past successes, Engage is committed to creating a lasting local infrastructure for these organizations. Partners are given the opportunity to connect, strategize, share resources and collectively move forward an agenda that focuses on the issues affecting their constituents and members – including civic engagement, health, immigration, environmental justice, land use, transportation equity, and social and economic justice.

The Engage vision is a path to collective power in San Diego County. Achieving the goals of social and economic justice requires integration of voter engagement and community organizing to continuously build a culture of voting, policy education, community leadership development, strategic research and coordinated communications. Through shared learning and individualized training, Engage is committed to building the capacity of the region to create, expand and sustain innovative, effective and strategic non-partisan civic engagement focused on the historically underrepresented and unheard.

Position Overview

The Engage San Diego Director position is responsible for implementing the mission and vision of Engage San Diego. This includes significant fundraising, program development, coalition building and strategic planning for both Engage San Diego and Engage San Diego Action Fund.

A strong candidate for this position should have a combination of knowledge, experience and interpersonal skills to successfully work with non-profit organizations on non-partisan, year-round, civic engagement campaigns and programs. The Director is responsible for cultivating relationships, training and supporting partner organizations that include representatives from civil rights, choice, LGBTQ rights, labor, environmental justice, economic justice, faith, immigrant/refugee, women’s rights organizations, as well as other community organizations. Through effective collaboration with these table partners, the Director is responsible for developing a coordinated program plan, fundraising to support the plan, evaluating best practices, engaging new partners to participate, managing staff and contractors and overseeing the provision of resources and technical assistance for partner organizations.

Primary Functions

Vision and Leadership: Provide overall strategic leadership, vision, and direction for the Engage program through inclusive decision-making and building positive relationships between the advisory board, staff, table partner organizations, elected officials, regional organizations and leaders, and other strategic allies.

Civic Engagement Campaigns: Oversee collaborative civic and voter engagement projects, campaigns and services by working with Engage staff and table partners to prioritize, develop, execute and analyze collaborative civic engagement projects, regional voter data, and regional landscape development.

Leadership and Capacity Development: Ensure identification, design and execution of trainings, skill-sharing, access to technology and resources, and best practices to improve civic engagement and organizing capacity among partner organizations.

Fund Development: Lead fundraising effort to maintain current $800K -$1M budget, and secure new funding to increase the budget over the next three years needed to support program and table operations, from sources to include both local and national foundations. Actively develop and maintain relationships with current and prospective funders.

Organizational Development, Operations, and Management: Oversee and manage the day-to-day operations (including staff and contractors’ supervision and training, as well as communications strategies), develop and manage the annual budget, and make key operational decisions to achieve strategic organizational goals in a timely manner. Help build a culture of organizational excellence that is transparent and respectful, with open lines of communication. Expand table partnerships to increase regional capacity.

Policy Advocacy: Serve as a policy advocate, in partnership with our coalitions, to identify critical issues and develop policy analysis and positions for local, regional, and state policies related to electoral reform, voter suppression and other civic engagement-related issues for the purposes of informing Engage partners and determining Engage involvement. Provide support for key local policy issues, as appropriate, in collaboration with Engage partners.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • A minimum of 5 years of experience building and managing successful civic engagement campaigns that have effectively increased the civic participation of historically underserved and marginalized communities.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience with building, maintaining, and/or growing community coalitions, community organizing, policy advocacy, as well as organizational management and fundraising experience.
  • Knowledge of San Diego not-for-profit and social justice organizations and the San Diego County political landscape preferred.
  • Direct experience developing and collaborating with partners on policy and ballot initiative campaigns preferred.
  • Direct experience managing voter engagement and electoral field campaigns with successful outcomes across at least two election cycles.
  • Experience utilizing voter data and technology tools to improve effectiveness of civic engagement campaigns. Experience with voter files required, PDI preferred.
  • Experience in raising and managing a budget of a minimum of $500,000+ per year, including re-grants and contracts is required; experience with budget of $1 million+ preferred.
  • Experience supervising staff and contractors preferred.
  • Experience successfully managing or working with an advisory board and/or a board of directors preferred.
  • Experience working in coalition with historically excluded communities (i.e., communities of color, LGBTQ communities, or immigrant communities, etc.); demonstrate a commitment to racial and economic justice; fluency in Spanish is a plus.
  • Those with lived experience as a member of a historically excluded community are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply:

  • Submit an electronic cover letter, resume, sample non-partisan GOTV or ballot issue campaign plan, government or foundation grant report, and three professional references in a complete packet that contains all five (5) elements to the attention of Cara Dessert at 
  • Please note: We are unable to accept any phone or walk-in inquiries for this position.

Compensation: The salary range for this position is $85,000 – $100,000 per year, depending upon education and experience.

Terms of Employment: Full Time; Exempt

Reports to: Engage San Diego Advisory Board

Supervisor: Chief Executive Officer

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential

functions of the position.The San Diego LGBT Community Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.