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Director of Advocacy & Leadership Development at Circles NWA

Northwest Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas

Marketing & Communications, People & HR · Full-time
Fayetteville, AR, USA
60,000 – 59,999 USD per year
Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2023

Job Title: Director of Advocacy and Leadership Development (External Title)

Internal Job Title: Big View Program Director

Reports To: Executive Director

Application Deadline: Apply by September 15th, rolling deadline after until position is filled

Application Instructions: To be considered for this opportunity, please submit a resume and cover letter to Your cover letter should outline how your personal background, experience, and work history makes you a strong candidate for the responsibilities of this position. Please include specific examples as applicable. Applications submitted without a cover letter will not be considered.


Circles NWA is seeking a Program Director to lead our Big View Program. The Circles Big View program is dedicated to removing barriers that keep people stuck in poverty and developing leadership among those who have experienced poverty. As Director of Advocacy and Leadership Development, you will work closely with the Executive Director to scale our Big View initiatives, which include community dialogue events, community advocacy, and leadership development. Your primary focus will be nurturing the growth in leadership, storytelling, and advocacy skills of the current and graduated participants of our 18-Month Matched Circles Program. Our unique approach in Circles centers the leadership of our program participants, called “Circle Leaders,” and builds a diverse community of belonging that is committed to seeing poverty ended in Northwest Arkansas.

This is a full-time, director-level position that includes supervising employees and volunteer teams. This position will work closely with the founder and executive director in shaping the future of the Big View Program.


  • Organize and Facilitate Community Dialogue Events: Plan and execute events for both Circles NWA program participants and for the broader Northwest Arkansas community. These events address critical issues such as the Cliff Effect, the Cycle of Fines & Fees and Medicaid in AR. Your role will involve expanding the reach of these events to engage a wider audience.
  • Coach Circle Leaders in Effective Communication and Storytelling. Collaborate closely with Circle Leaders to enhance their confidence and skills in storytelling and communication, providing regular feedback and guidance that empowers them to share their experiences at community dialogue events, local government meetings, and with community systems leaders. This work must be trauma-informed, and additional training will be provided.
  • Identify and Foster Circle Leader Leadership and Advocacy Opportunities: Recognize and promote opportunities for Circle Leaders to take the lead in advocating for issues they care about and step into real positions of leadership and influence throughout Northwest Arkansas.
  • Develop and Manage Relationships with Community Systems Leaders: Cultivate relationships with decision makers and community leaders, building valuable social capital to bolster the advocacy and leadership efforts of Circle Leaders.
  • Stay Informed on Community Barriers and Challenges: Remain up-to-date on current developments related to key issues facing individuals and families in poverty in our community, This includes attending city, county, or community organizations meetings as needed to ensure the voices and perspectives of Circle Leader are consistently acknowledged and integrated into the conversations.


  • Strong Communication Skills: Comfortable speaking in front of diverse audiences, large and small, and strong written communication skills.
  • Administrative and Coordination Skills: Ability to effectively and efficiently manage multiple tasks and details to ensure people show up where they need to be feeling informed and prepared. Experience planning community events or meetings is a plus!
  • Storytelling for Social Change: Familiarity with narrative change and/or storytelling techniques for social impact, coupled with an understanding of trauma-informed coaching.
  • Passion for Leadership Development: A commitment to nurturing leaders, particularly those often overlooked or undervalued in our community.
  • Facilitation Experience: Proficiency in leading group discussions and community dialogues.
  • Resilience and Determination: A drive for advocating for social change even in the face of barriers and challenges.
  • Empathy: The ability to connect with individuals facing daily barriers while maintaining focus on long-term structural change.
  • Commitment to Ending Poverty: A deep desire to end, not just manage, poverty in NWA.
  • Competency in Microsoft Office and Google Drive. And a willingness to learn other technology platforms as needed.
  • Excitement and passion for the Circles model.
  • Ability to ensure confidentiality in all communications–both written and verbal.


  • Advocacy and Storytelling Experience: Experience with community-based advocacy work. Experience and skills in storytelling for social change and narrative change work.
  • Experience working with marginalized populations. This can include personal or lived experience and/or academic training in areas like sociology, public policy, public administration, social work, public health, or experience in nonprofit work.
  • 3-5+ years work experience in nonprofit, grassroots, public policy, or community-based organizations.
  • Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred.

COMPENSATION: This is a full-time position with a salary of $60,000/year.


  • Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, AD&D Insurance
  • Cell Phone Reimbursement Stipend
  • Paid Holidays, Vacation and Sick Leave
  • 12 Weeks Paid Parental Leave

WORK SCHEDULE: The position requires regular evening hours on Wednesdays from 6-8PM during the Circles meeting times in Fayetteville. Childcare is provided during the Circles program time. Fridays are partial days to ensure a healthy work-life balance.


Circles NWA is a community-driven, poverty reduction initiative designed to help low-income individuals and families pursue upward mobility from poverty. Our work centers the leadership of our participants, called Circle Leaders, as we believe it is critical to be led by those who personally know what poverty is like and who have real lived experience of navigating our community’s systems. Circles NWA is an initiative of the local non-profit Innovative Poverty Solutions based in Fayetteville.

We encourage you to explore our website ( social media pages ( to learn more about Circles.

At Circles NWA, we strive to create a community of belonging that embraces equity, diversity, and inclusion, and we support the efforts of others to build such communities. We encourage all qualified and interested persons to apply, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Northwest Arkansas is an equal opportunity employer.