Want to use your technical writing skills for good? Empower is hiring a technical writer!

Empower is a nonprofit that works to dramatically increase civic engagement by helping groups organize their communities with friend-to-friend outreach. That's called "relational organizing."

In 2020, we were the largest relational organizing tech and training coalition for progressive organizations and nonprofits, training 77,000 people from over 1,000 organizations (especially organizations that work in youth, Black, and Latino communities), growing to 5 times larger than even the Biden campaign’s relational program.

Since then, we've kept up the momentum by working on vaccine outreach and local elections, and now we're ramping up for the 2022 midterm elections.

If you're a technical writer looking to make a difference, this is an extremely high-leverage opportunity!

How does Empower increase civic engagement and voting?

We train volunteers to reach out to friends and family and share personal stories about the issues that matter most to them.

When people ask their close friends and family to get involved or vote, those friends and family members become much more likely to actually do it. Empower is a product and course of training that helps community groups scale up this kind of direct personal outreach. (For a concrete example, see the FAQ.)

It’s effective. Empower has been studied in nine different independently-run, randomly controlled trials which all found that its usage led to large and statistically significant increases in voter turnout — far more effective than phone-banking or text-banking.

It’s growing fast. The number of conversations Empower facilitated grew by over 10x between the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, and we grew by 10x again in the 2020 election cycle. In order to keep up that pace, we need to grow our team and keep adding features that help our organizations!

What's the organization like?

There are two main teams: product/engineering, and organizing/training. We're spread out all across the country, with some clustering in the Bay Area and in Madison, WI (you could be anywhere). This role will be part of the product team, working closely with our engineering, organizing and training teams to create customer-facing help content about the Empower product. The product/engineering team has one short stand-up each day. You can also read about us on our staff bio page.

Empower is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on age, ancestry, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, gender identity or expression, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, family or medical care leave, religion, genetic information, medical condition, physical or mental disability, or veteran status.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to our organization. Women, BIPOC people, and individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

Tell me more about the role!

We are looking for a technical writer to create support documentation for our customers about the Empower product. You’ll be responsible for creating a knowledge base that explains everything from the basics of how to use the Empower product to the nitty gritty on how to use our most advanced features. With support from the product/engineering and organizing/training teams, you’ll create this content starting from scratch, giving you the opportunity to shape the voice we use in our technical help content.

You’ll also create content that shares best practices on how to use the Empower product to help our customers maximize the impact of their organizing work, drawing from the research and hard-earned expertise from our organizing and training teams. The content you write will have a direct impact on the success of the organizations we work with, making this a high-leverage opportunity for someone who’s excited about our mission!

Your responsibilities would include:

  • Writing: Creating a complete customer-facing product knowledge base from scratch, from product basics to best practices.
  • Simplicity: Making sure our help content can be easily understood by our customers, who are often non-technical and incredibly busy.
  • Inclusion: Working with our diverse team to create content that is inclusive of our diverse customer base.
  • Communication: Working closely with internal teams to understand and meet documentation requirements and goals.
  • Drive for results: Owning the delivery of a completed knowledge base that our customers can use to increase the impact of their organizing work in Empower.
  • Handing off: Handing off the knowledge base at the end of the project so the product team can keep it updated going forward, including documenting anything the product team needs to know about best practices for ongoing maintenance.

Because we are a small organization, there might be times where you are needed to help out with other responsibilities related to your expertise as well, and we hope that you’ll take initiative to proactively step in where you’re most needed!

Who would be a good fit?

This opportunity is perfect for someone who has honed their technical writing skills in other roles and now wants to put them to use to protect democracy.

We're looking for a technical writer who:

  • Cares deeply about the mission
  • Can create great customer-facing technical help content about a software product, including text, product screenshots and any other necessary content
  • Can distill technical product information into something that is easy for our customers to understand
  • Has US work authorization
  • Is productive in a remote environment
  • Communicates well, is open-minded, and is open to improvement and learning
  • Takes ownership over end results: You would be the only subject matter expert in technical writing on the team, so you’ll need to take initiative to get the job done and deliver content that makes an impact!

The following skills would be a bonus, but are not required:

  • Can help us figure out the best hierarchy for the help articles in the knowledge base (we have a rough starting point, but we would love your expertise on how to do this well!)
  • Can write technical content for a diverse audience (e.g. across race, gender, age, disability, people less comfortable with English, people less comfortable with technology, etc.)
  • Can write or edit content in Spanish (we have people who can translate, but they are not experts in technical writing)

All that being said, if your background or experience looks a little different from what we’ve listed here but you think you'd be great in this role, please apply!

What's the compensation like?

This is a project-based role to complete the knowledge base. We are expecting the project to take 2-3 months, paying $5,000 per month.

After this project concludes, we are not expecting to need a full time technical writer, but if you are interested, we will likely be looking for someone who can help us in a tech support role leading up to the midterm elections, which might benefit from your new knowledge after helping us to create our knowledge base.

What's great about working here?

  • Empower combines Bay Area style talent and approach to designing and building products with the prowess of highly experienced organizing trainers. Both sides of the organization are critical and learn a lot from each other.
  • Minimizing red tape means we can iterate quickly
  • People are nice! You might get cheese from Wisconsin as a holiday present.
  • It's very bubble-bursting — you get to interact with a much larger cross-section of society than in most roles in tech
  • You get to have a huge impact on civic engagement and the future of democracy in our country


Concretely, how does Empower increase civic engagement and voting?

Here’s an example. In 2018, a group used Empower to help organize Latino restaurant workers who wanted a minimum wage, rather than $2 + tips, in Michigan. Those workers talked about the issue with their friends and family — who were often low-propensity voters — and just before the election, asked them something like, "I need this minimum wage. Will you vote on my behalf?"

As you might imagine, this kind of direct personal ask is immensely powerful for increasing engagement and getting people to vote — and our positive results are backed up by multiple, independent, large random controlled studies of Empower. Empower has been shown to be much more effective than e.g. a stranger calling or knocking on a door. This project is one of the most cost-effective methods of increasing turnout.

How do I get in touch?

Glad you asked. Just press this nice purple button: