Founded in 1940, the Industrial Areas Foundation is the nation's largest and longest-standing network of local faith and community-based organizations.
The IAF partners with religious congregations and civic organizations at the local level to build broad-based organizing projects, which create new capacity in a community for leadership development, citizen-led action and relationships across the lines that often divide our communities.
DuPage United and the Illinois Industrial Areas Foundation are affiliates of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). Metro IAF is seeking to recruit, train, and develop a new generation of organizers to work in one of our many organizations across the nation and to assist in new strategies and targeted campaigns. Metro IAF is seeking women and men from colleges, graduate programs, seminaries, business and law schools, the military, political campaigns, and other professions who are interested in exploring careers in organizing.
Qualities of a Successful Organizer:
- NATIVE INTELLIGENCE – not necessarily degrees, but the ability to think, reflect, communicate, challenge the conventional wisdom, make judgments in complicated situations, and show flexibility.
- ANGER AND EDGE – not temper, not ideological fervor, not an abstract commitment to “the people,” but a clear sense of what’s wrong, impatience in the face of that wrong, and a drive to address it.
- A WILLINGNESS TO CROSS RACE AND CULTURE – to be willing to work with people unlike oneself, people of other races, classes, orientations, faiths.
- A TRACK RECORD – some evidence, in high school, college, the local community, the workplace of attempting to relate to people and to respond to situations that seemed to demand responses; and some success in whatever field or career or endeavor has occupied the individual’s time.
NINETY-DAY PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER TRY-OUTS (Year-Round): We offer paid, 90-day try-outs to interested men and women at one of our organizations in the northeast, southeast, and mid-west any time of the year. Organizer candidates are assigned to a sponsoring Metro IAF organization, are given an organizing assignment to test their capacity, and receive extensive training and supervision from a senior Metro IAF organizer. These try-outs are offered after a process that includes:
- An expression of interest by an individual that would include a letter of introduction, a resume, and some references.
- An individual meeting, or series of individual meetings, held with the candidate.
- Often, some contact with the individual in the context of local training/organizing or some mutually agreed-upon voluntary experience that gives the individual a better view and feel for IAF organizing and the local IAF organizer a better sense of the individual.
- Then the 90-day try-out itself.
Successful tryouts lead to full-time professional organizer positions with a Metro IAF organization.
*For Local organizing career opportunities, please 1st contact a DuPage United leader inside your member institution. If you are not from a member institution, contact someone from our organizing staff.