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Position: Digital Systems Specialist
Organization: Salal Foundation
Location: remote, anywhere in Canada

Role Description

Salal Foundation’s mission is to research, test, and scale innovative strategies that nurture transparency, citizen engagement, democracy, and communities living within natural limits. We maximize our effectiveness by supporting organizations and leaders to advance innovative strategic solutions in our priority areas.

A fast growing Salal program is direct services to mostly new / small mission-aligned organizations to design, implement, and support digital engagement systems. Building and effectively wielding people power is a key aspect and these systems provide a wide range of engagement features. Our support extends beyond the digital system, and is customized to each system, with strategy and tactics support, with ongoing prioritized system enhancements to grow with the org.

About the Role

Working closest with the Systems Director, and collaborating with members of the Digital Systems team, you will support upkeep and enhancements to internal digital systems, support upkeep and enhancements to our program to provide hosted engagement systems to select organizations, support implementation and use of data science technologies, and more. On a small, fast-growing team, there is plenty of opportunity to grow and evolve your role to your specific strengths and interests such as system architecture, web design, UI / UX, project planning / management, custom coding, system administration, devops, direct user support.

The ideal candidate is keen to code - great if comfortable with PHP, even better if that experience is in WordPress or Drupal – and also interested in how the pieces fit together, thinking about how users experience what you help build / implement, and help on some systems administration. Even better if you also have Python and / or Javascript skills. Our data science work is mostly in Python and Javascript, and we use Azure and AWS. Our engagement systems work is mostly with WordPress and CiviCRM, with custom PHP and JS work involved, and occasionally Action Network, Salesforce and Nationbuilder. We regularly use other engagement apps, often connecting to WordPress / CiviCRM. It is not required that you have experience with CiviCRM or any specific app.

There will likely be additional activities beyond engagement systems, based on your fit, e.g. wider digital security activities, data management, analytics, technical analysis, etc.

Role Benefits

  • Work from anywhere at just about any time – some availability weekdays Eastern Time is needed for team syncs;
  • Health benefits after 3 months;
  • 4 weeks vacation after 3 months;
  • Support for telecommunications expenses and essential home office hardware.

Key Responsibilities

The exact configuration of the role will depend on your skills and interests, so this list is demonstrative.

  • Manage WordPress-optimized VPS systems, e.g. Litespeed on Azure or AWS;
  • Manage WordPress environments, e.g. errors monitoring / diagnosis, migrations, staging sites, updates, CDN, firewalls;
  • Manage transactional email services, e.g. SendGrid or AWS Simple Email Service;
  • Monitor systems for errors / bugs and when possible proactively address;
  • Identify opportunities for efficiencies / enhancements in systems / team;
  • Support defining and implementing solutions to specific requirements;
  • Build custom reports and dashboards;
  • Setup custom fields and other custom configurations;
  • Support current-state audits and solution evaluations by gathering and documenting the functional requirements;
  • Support current-state audits and solution evaluations by gathering and documenting the functional requirements;
  • Manage app integrations with non-code (and maybe) API / code solutions;
  • Manage email services, e.g. Google or Migadu;
  • Manage domains and DNS records;
  • Monitor and improve digital / operational security of organization and occasionally partners;
  • Maintain workflow diagrams;
  • Recommend improvements to recurring issues;
  • Support data security solutions;
  • Produce and share client-specific training and documentation;
  • Identify and document data and process flows;
  • Co-create your role development plan.

Possible additional tasks

Additional responsibilities could be assigned as part of role responsibilities if mutual agreed based on interest and skill, such as:

  • Data management, analytics, analysis;
  • Web content SEO analysis, strategy, tactics;
  • Web design;
  • Other activities as relevant and based on skills / interests, e.g. PHP code, SEO, website design, etc.


We are seeking candidates with a mix of the following characteristics, so we don’t expect you to meet all of them. There are no formal education requirements, we are interested in your skills and mission alignment, and that you are curious and always learning. As a growing team, there will increasingly be room for specialization as well as growing into new roles. For example, if you are more technical and love coding, you will likely increasingly be working on coding-related projects and advanced system administration (e.g. Ansible and Terraform), or if you excel at direct support, CRM configurations, website implementation you will shift to more partners-focused activities. Let us know where you excel and how you would be excited to work with us and our partners.

Essential qualities

  • A desire to help effect change for our collective future on this planet; Aligned with Salal Foundation’s mission;
  • Able to work collaboratively with a small virtual team and independently with a combo of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration streams e.g. Zoom / Google Meet, phone, messaging, email, project management app;
  • Your own work space, computer, and internet connection;
  • Curious and observant, seek to understand, always learning;
  • Be motivated and able to work independently on a variety of projects;
  • Able to think and act in a strategic manner;
  • Able to work on multiple projects, often with different skills and timelines requirements, and effectively prioritize activities;
  • Comfortable taking risks, working in an innovative environment where trying new things is encouraged;
  • Accuracy, attention to detail, and with an eye to mitigating risk – particularly in releasing new code / features;
  • Excellent problem-solving and organizational skills, and a strong aptitude for flexibility and creativity on-the-fly;
  • Some time availabilities during Eastern Time weekdays, i.e. Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.


  • Computer / technological proficiency, e.g. Google Suite and office software – word processing, spreadsheets, email, shared file management, task management apps (e.g. Asana, ClickUp);
  • Experience applying and maintaining file and folder level security permissions for restricted access to file server / domain server;
  • Provide status updates and/or resolution information; correspondence would involve calling or emailing staff to explain resolution, or prepare a further plan for system fixes;
  • Provide technical support to staff, contractors, and partners via email, text, and phone;
  • Track time on specific projects using an app such as Toggl or Harvest.


  • PHP coding experience, ideally for for WordPress and / or CRM;
  • Prefer python and / or Javascript experience.
  • Able to translate technical information into plain English.


Awesome if you have any experience or even interest in any of these:

  • Work with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and relational databases;
  • Infrastructure deployment and configuration automation with Ansible + Terraform, or similar;
  • Container orchestration and / or other virtualization management;
  • Machine Learning / Natural Language Processing;
  • GIS, creating maps or building web-based interactive maps.

At Salal, we recognize the importance of our staff reflecting the communities our work aims to benefit. We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. We strongly encourage candidates who are Black, Indigenous, people of colour, women, LGBTQ2I, immigrants, people with disabilities, and people from low-income and working class backgrounds and / or with lived experiences of poverty to apply. We recognize that this is neither exhaustive nor representative of the intersectionality present within each individual. Salal believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of those we serve.

To Apply:

Please email your cover letter and resume with the subject line: Application – Digital Systems Specialist to . Questions to .

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Feb 7 2023    ID: 66920