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Director of Grants Management

ABOUT DEMOCRACY FUND

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 $70 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 

Democracy Fund is seeking a Director of Grants Management to lead the Fund’s grants management team, including overseeing the administration of more than $35M in grants each year, improving all aspects of the grants process, and providing support and trainings to program staff on best practices in philanthropy. As Democracy Fund continues to grow, it is looking for a passionate grants management expert who can transform how grants management is positioned at the Fund from being highly centralized to focused on using data, coaching, and professional development in supporting our program staff to be the best grantmakers they can be.

The Director of Grants Management will also support Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. The Director will manage a Grants Management Associate and report to the Managing Director, Operations. The ideal candidate will be passionate about systems improvement, customer service, analytics and learning, process documentation, thrive with change management efforts and working collaboratively across teams, understand the intricacies of funding work in the advocacy and public policy space, as well as have prior experience with Fluxx.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Oversee and seek to improve the process and workflow by which grants are made, from how grants are sourced, through the application process, to due diligence review, approval, grant agreement generation, payment, grant reporting, and grant closing. Ensure Grants Management team provides excellent customer service to program staff and grantees as they navigate the process.
  • Partner with the Grants Management Associate and Senior Counsel to ensure that policies and procedures are followed and all grants adhere to federal and state legal and tax requirements as well as organization-defined best practices for proposal development, due dilligence, and grantee reporting.
  • Work with the Managing Director to create a robust coaching and training program that empowers program staff to be excellent grantmakers, including a curriculum for new program staff who join the Fund, ongoing trainings on different aspects of due diligence and grantee support, and a staffing support model that connects in-house and external nonprofit management expertise with program staff.  
  • Create and maintain a robust data and analytics program that provides timely and relevant data to stakeholders across the organization to promote learning, improve grant processing time, and systemize internal communications. Be the organization’s expert on data reporting out of Fluxx and coach Grants Management Associate on analytics best practices.
  • Lead major projects to improve existing systems, including overhauling the grant application, creating a policies and procedures guide, creating new grant reporting templates, creating a board portal for grant review, instituting a more formal amendment process, and other projects as identified.
  • Work closely with the Grants Management Associate to manage the ongoing use and improvement of our grants management system, Fluxx. Partner with Operations and Communications staff on how to use Fluxx to manage other processes, such as contracts, invoice processing, and sponsorships.
  • Serve as a member of the organization’s Investment Committee, reviewing all major grant opportunities and giving feedback to program staff. Work with the Grants Management Associate to oversee the management of the Investment Committee.
  • Continually stay abreast of new developments in grant management best practices and technologies and their applicability to the needs of the Fund. Identify opportunities and develop partnerships both internally and externally to build innovative, sustainable tools, and services that benefit the Fund.
  • Serve as a leader of the Operations team, shaping the team’s goals, and actively work to support the success of other members of the entire Democracy Fund team and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS

  • Passion for strengthening American democracy
  • 7-10 years grants management experience with a deep understanding of private foundation grantmaking processes and related financial and compliance issues.
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Graduate degree preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to synthesize large amounts of information (technical, legal, financial, and anecdotal) and communicate clearly the key information. Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy in documentation and data integrity.
  • Prior direct management experience and proven ability to provide feedback and develop staff.
  • Works collaboratively with staff at all levels to execute duties. Proven talent in ensuring  positive, proactive, responsive relationships within and across departments for compliance, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  • Proven ability to evaluate, improve, manage and maintain systems and processes, including grants and/or contracts management software and processes. Passionate about continuous improvement.
  • Success in creating and facilitating trainings and materials, whether internally or in managing outside consultants, as well as coaching program staff on grantmaking best practices.
  • Experience with Fluxx or similar grants management databases preferred.
  • Experience with the IRS rules applicable to private foundation grantmaking, including familiarity with IRS-defined lobbying and “project grant rule” grants and making expenditure responsibility grants.
  • Exceptional customer service, problem-solving, analytical and conceptual skills, including a proven ability to create and manage organizational change.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and support multiple grant making functions simultaneously while exhibiting excellent time-management skills; ability to meet deadlines.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite in Mac environment preferred.
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