Irish Cancer Society: Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator

Title: Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator

Reports to: Policy and Public Affairs Manager
Contract type: Permanent contract
Hours: Full-time (35 hours per week). Some evening and weekend work required.
Location: Based in Dublin, with opportunities for part-time remote working
Salary: Available on request

* Note: in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, this role will be full-time home-based while public health restrictions remain in place

Overall Responsibility:

The Irish Cancer Society is the country’s leading cancer advocacy organisation. We work at all levels of Government and with a wide range of stakeholders to support evidence-based policy and legislation that improves the lives of people living with or at risk of cancer.

Cancer services in Ireland have the potential to be world class. If this potential were to become a reality, it would mean better survival rates, positive experiences and comprehensive support for the 40,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year and the 200,000 cancer survivors living in Ireland. The Irish Cancer Society’s Advocacy department is driven by this belief that better is possible and we are focused on delivering legislation, policy and regulation, which truly puts cancer patients at its heart.

The role of the Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator is to mobilise and listen to local advocates and develop campaigns that encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top priority.

The Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator fosters and cultivates relationships with cancer patients and their families, Irish Cancer Society supporters, cancer support centres, health care professionals, fundraisers, Hospital Groups, elected representatives, community-based organisations and the general public, with the aim of driving coordinated action on issues of shared importance.

Specifically, this position will work to grow the grassroots advocacy community for the Irish Cancer Society and mobilise our network of advocacy supporters and volunteers so that the experiences of cancer patients are heard at local and national level and are the driving force behind better cancer services for all.

Main duties and responsibilities:

Volunteer management:

  • Grow and manage a grassroots advocacy network that will inform and influence local and national policy decisions
  • Execute a comprehensive grassroots advocacy programme, based on current best practices. Use Direct Action Organising best practices
  • Oversee continued expansion of structured network of grassroots volunteers, based on international models, e.g. ACS CAN
  • Identify and develop volunteers with personal stories related to advocacy campaigns
  • Recruit, train, and develop advocacy volunteers. Maintain relationships with grassroots volunteers and grasstops advocates
  • Clearly communicate Irish Cancer Society positions on policy and legislation and empower volunteers to communicate legislative and policy priorities


  • Plan and implement year-round advocacy activities for grassroots volunteers and utilise fundraising initiatives such as Relay for Life, Daffodil Day and Cups Against Cancer
  • Track and evaluate grassroots related projects to ensure successful completion and growth, including development of e-advocacy campaign narratives and message testing
  • Leading the campaign elements of all election-centred campaign strategy to include future General and European elections, and collaborate with team on advance planning of election messaging, based on engagement with volunteers and local politicians
  • Plan and manage local advocacy events and hustings
  • Develop a tracking and reporting mechanism to understand political engagement with ICS positions, through engagement

Networking and stakeholder engagement:

  • Plan and manage regional grassroots lobbying activities, including maintaining relationships with local TDs, Senators and their staff
  • Develop new relationships with healthcare workers at hospitals providing cancer care, to better inform Society of hospital-level issues
  • Explore new partnership opportunities to support advocacy network and advocacy team
  • Accurately and effectively represent the Irish Cancer Society and its mission
  • Establish and maintain collaborations and partnerships as appropriate

Communication skills:

  • Utilise social media to build support for issues and optimise reach of advocacy campaigns
  • Initiate and manage online advocacy network, in support of bespoke campaigns, and continue to identify new methods for its growth
  • Coordinate action alerts, and provide relevant updates through mass emails, Twitter and Facebook
  • Develop reporting mechanisms and deliver frequent progress updates to both volunteers and Irish Cancer Society staff to measure and communicate local and regional advocacy impact and achievements


  • Follow ICS policies and guidelines
  • Comply with all relevant lobbying regulations
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Regularly report to the central Advocacy team on issues facing patients at local and regional levels
  • Explore opportunities to expand practical advocacy supports for patients, particularly in online space
  • The Society operates a no-smoking policy and the post holder must not smoke in the office or when on Society business outside the office
  • All employees are required to be aware of their responsibilities towards health and safety and to adhere to fire regulations
  • This job description is not exhaustive. It merely acts as a guide and may be amended to meet the changing requirements of the Society at any time after discussion with the post holder


  • Third level degree or higher in politics/law/communications (desirable)
  • Minimum 3-4 years in an advocacy/political/organising role. Campaigning experience desirable
  • Must have a good understanding of the grassroots structure of political parties

Person specification:

  • Passion and initiative are required
  • Ability to work independently with minimum direction as well as work as a member of a team
  • Demonstrated experience of motivating others to support a cause or cause-based organisation
  • Demonstrated ability to work on fast-paced, time-sensitive matters with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with diverse individuals and communities
  • Ability to complete work in a timely and efficient manner and ensure work is accurate
  • Ability to utilise available technology to perform position responsibilities
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people with sensitivity and tact
  • Ability to excel at details, multi-tasking and working under pressure
  • Solid independent judgement and willingness to learn
  • Strong written, oral, interpersonal and computer skills required
  • Flexibility required as some travel is necessary, including overnights


If you are interested in applying for this position, please send curriculum vitae and cover letter including salary expectation to: Nicola Cosgrove, HR Department Administrator, Irish Cancer Society, 43/45 Northumberland Rd., Dublin 4. Email:

The closing date for applications is 8th August, 2021.

The Irish Cancer Society is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to building an inclusive environment for all employees. We know that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.


General Info

Date Entered/Updated
22nd Jul, 2021
Remotely / Dublin
Expiry Date
8th Aug, 2021