Community Power Network seeks Ohio Program Director

By Ben Delman on November 30, 2015

The Community Power Network (CPN), a national network of local, state, and national organizations working to build, and promote locally based renewable energy projects and policies, will soon expand its state-based solar co-op work to the state of Ohio. It is seeking an Ohio-based Program Director to manage the project.
In the past four years, CPN has helped develop solar co-ops in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. CPN has helped implement fifty solar co-ops where members have installed nearly 900 systems, more than 5 MW of solar, and saved more than $2.5 million dollars.

Interested? Please send a resume and cover letter to (

A full description for the position is below.

Community Power Network (including DC SUNMD SUNWV SUN and VA SUN) is seeking an OH SUN Program Director to launch our Ohio program and develop and deploy solar co-ops in the state. The Director will implement solar co-op programs in Ohio, as well as conduct extensive communications, outreach, press, and trainings around the solar co-op model, with the goal of scaling up their impact and reach. They will also build out the online web infrastructure for the OH SUN website, to in-depth information on solar basics, as well as serve as an invaluable resource and forum for policy discussions and citizen engagement.

The position will begin as a full-time role, with responsibility for establishing and implementing the program, as well as partial responsibility for fundraising activities for the OH SUN program, with the support of Community Power Network. CPN staff will provide strategic oversight and support, including supporting the use of our organization-wide Salesforce contact management database and shared materials. The Director will function as part of the CPN team as they deploy the solar co-ops. While we believe in a distributed model of leadership and hope to train and empower many local leaders in Ohio, the Program Director will become the face of the OH SUN program in the state.

Qualified applicants will have at least five years work experience, a strong understanding of effective organizing techniques, an ability to develop relationships with community members and organizations, and a strong motivation to help grow this program into a full-time position. The Director will be responsible for traveling across the state to host information meetings and meet with co-op members, including some evening meetings.

Job Description and Duties

Launch and grow new solar co-ops (60%)

  1. Identify new co-op opportunities and implement new solar co-ops
    1. Develop or work with community anchor partners to build new co-op groups.
    2. Develop strong constructive working relationship that will last the length of the co-op and evolve toward larger state level efforts.
    3. Develop outreach strategy for each co-op
      1. Identify communication opportunities
      2. Develop modes of dissemination
      3. Establish partnerships
      4. Pursue media opportunities
      5. Plan web, print, online, phone and in person meetings
  2. Recruit, nurture and empower additional volunteers to help implement outreach strategies for co-op
  3. Plan and host meetings and info calls
  4. Develop and refine ongoing marketing plans and engagement strategy to build excitement and keep people involved
  5. Conduct co-op info sessions and hold public meetings
  6. Maintain back office infrastructure and communications with participants
    1. Track sign ups and screen participant roofs
    2. Respond to inquiries, questions, and concerns of participants
    3. Provide weekly updates to participants on status of their group, action items, and answers to frequently asked questions
    4. Identify and respond to issues when program not going well (adaptive management)
    5. Develop and deploy daily online communications strategy on Facebook and Twitter, to keep participants engaged with process
    6. Develop and deploy information sheets for participants based on Ohio-specific solar info, such as SRECs 101, FAQs, About Inverters, etc.
    7. Work with the Communications Manager to implement streamlined communications plan that can be replicated and shared for future groups
    8. Engage installers and track progress for each co-op
      1. Collect installer selection criteria preferences from participants
      2. Maintain RFP notification list
      3. Develop and issue RFPs
      4. Evaluate RFPs, develop cover sheet for selection committee meetings, and provide materials to participants
      5. Chair selection committee meetings and facilitate discussion
      6. Facilitate weekly calls with installers, troubleshoot issues check in on progress, and identify information to communicate to participants in weekly emails.
      7. Evaluate progress and derive metrics and lessons learned for each group
      8. Improve process and design of bulk purchase programs
        1. Continually identify opportunities to improve communications with participants to help them better understand solar technology and the bulk purchase process
        2. Continually improve materials for group, including content and design/look
        3. Continually improve efficiency of group and process, with the goal of increasing close rates and having a greater impact
        4. Build a database of media/blog/listserv contacts that can be used to recruit participants or used for policy outreach
        5. Highlight the successes of solar co-ops through outreach and earned media
          1. Plan and implement celebration parties after events and invite elected officials, disseminate pictures, and promote press coverage to build visibility of CPN and state networks

Build a broad OH SUN base of solar supporters who are ready to take political action on Ohio solar issues (30%)

  1. Grow and moderate OH SUN listserv, social media, and email distribution list, with the goal of doubling the OH SUN email list in one year
    1. Seed discussion on the listserv with interesting political, technological, program, and financial updates that are useful for growing the solar base in Ohio
    2. Provide monthly email update to OH SUN email distribution list
    3. Engage solar citizens in strategic advocacy campaigns to improve solar policy through email blasts, op-eds, phone-a-thons, and any other useful tactics, with the goal of growing the email distribution list
    4. Convert co-op participants into solar activists. Encourage participants to, sign up on listservs, volunteer, respond to e-alerts, host events, like us on Facebook, and tell their friends
    5. Use events, media, direct actions and other creative ideas to engage, educate and mobilize a broad cross section of citizens
    6. Provide monthly email update to funders (short email)
    7. Forge community partnerships with local non-profits, municipalities, community organizations, and homeowner groups, with the goal of having partner organizaitons that will support our outreach and advocacy efforts

Administration and Fundraising (10%)

  1. Support the further growth of the program via fundraising efforts
    1. Develop and maintain content on OH SUN website
    2. Track hours, invoicing, expense accounts, and OH SUN program budget
    3. Help fundraise, write grants, and pro-actively identify new opportunities for funding for the program, and work to expand and diversify the funding
    4. Compile and evaluate monthly metrics on the program goals
    5. Recruit and supervise volunteers and interns