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Program Associate, Modern Elections

ABOUT US

Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation that invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. We work on things that make democracy work better.

At the heart of our vision for the future are three core commitments: fostering more effective governance in the United States, modernizing our election and campaign finance systems, and strengthening our media and the public square to help people understand and participate in the democratic process. To date, we have committed more than $50 million in support of a healthy democracy.

Out of deep respect for the U.S. Constitution and our nation’s core democratic values, Democracy Fund was established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar. Incubated inside Omidyar Network, the Democracy Fund launched as an independent foundation in 2014 and is based in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about Democracy Fund and our sister 501c4 organization Democracy Fund Voice by visiting www.democracyfund.org and www.democracyfundvoice.org.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Democracy Fund is seeking a Program Associate to support our Elections team as we modernize voter registration systems, improve and expand access to voting, and reduce the risk of systematic election failures. The new position involves grant-making and other efforts to support modern registration systems and easier access for the voter in our election system. Such efforts may involve policy work, advocacy, coalition and relationship building, thought leadership, as well as developing innovative approaches to improve how Americans register and vote.  

We are looking for candidates who are passionate about making our democracy work better. Strong candidates will possess a nuanced understanding of how elections work and bring several years of experience working in and around election law, policy or advocacy. The successful candidate will have a track record of working well with others to get things done in a complex, fast-paced environment and will thrive as part of a small, highly collaborative team. As we are a bipartisan organization, the willingness and ability to work well across the aisle is essential.

The Program Associate will report to the incoming Associate Director for Modern Elections.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Policy Advocacy and convening
  • Support efforts to build coalitions to identify and overcome challenges to policy adoption and improve ideas
  • Identify and investigate policy ideas for reform and their likelihood of adoption
  • Monitor trends, research and influential information in the field to inform the work
  • Promote identified policies to improve registration and voting
  • Coordinate campaigns and direct lobbying to support and defend policy goals through our affiliated 501c4, Democracy Fund Voice
  • Develop sustainable advocacy and compliance strategies that will buttress grantmaking and network goals
  • Facilitate increased dialogue and collaboration in the field by working with Democracy Fund staff to convene grantees, reform leaders, election officials, academics, political leaders, and others. Manage relationships and logistics associated with events as appropriate
  • Build relationships with program officers at other foundations, participate in philanthropic conferences, organize regular funder conversations, and otherwise support collaboration with peer funders

GRANT MAKING

  • Identify, develop, and evaluate grant-making opportunities for Modern Elections aligned with our strategy and budget, and support analysis, negotiation, and grant structuring
  • Manage the operational procedures and documentation associated with making grants, including proposal materials, organizational documentation, grant agreements, record keeping, and reporting requirements
  • Provide support to and oversight of grantees to help ensure their success, with a particular focus on relationship-building and trust as essential components to growing our partnerships

LEARNING, RELATIONSHIPS, AND IMPACT

  • Promote policies around registration and voting through grantmaking, advocacy, speaking and writingEngage to support the development of new programs and policies within our initiatives and across the organization through research and study
  • Support the development and evolution of the Election Program strategy
  • Promote effective communications around goals, priorities and grantee efforts
  • Share our learning with the field and establish the Democracy Fund brand through research, writing, and public speaking

TEAM MEMBER

  • Actively work to support the success of other staff members, not only within the Elections Program but of the entire Democracy Fund team, and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive
  • Collaborate with colleagues on supportive and complementary approaches that advance Democracy Fund’s overall mission and goals.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:

  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy
  • BA required. MPP, MBA, JD, or equivalent a plus
  • At least 4-6 years of experience working in elections, political reform, or another area of relevant public administration
  • Strong relationships with organizational leaders and experts in the field
  • Exceptional communication skills (verbal and written), including the willingness and ability to communicate and collaborate with a diversity of leaders and stakeholders from across the political spectrum and different
  • Demonstrated experience managing state and national issue advocacy campaigns
  • Proven ability to work in a bipartisan environment with political stakeholders
  • Exceptional communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Willingness and ability to communicate and collaborate with leaders and stakeholders from across the political spectrum and different walks of life
  • Demonstrated success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and comfort with online tools for project and contact management
  • Professional maturity, demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment
  • Skilled in pro-actively handling multiple assignments simultaneously and prioritizing tasks and deadlines with an attention to detail to deliver high quality results
  • Strong strategic skills and proven ability to translate strategy into action
  • Ability to travel periodically for project work
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Willingness to live in the Washington, D.C. area is required.

The Democracy Fund is committed to a diverse workplace, seeking voices and expertise from people from across the political spectrum. Our board, staff, advisors, and grantees include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. The Democracy Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer, where we encourage candidates of all ages, color, ethnic background, country of origin, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.

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