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 $100 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 501(c)(4) organization Democracy Fund Voice by visiting www.democracyfund.org and www.democracyfundvoice.org.
Democracy Fund is seeking an enthusiastic and detail-oriented Grants Associate to support the Fund’s investment processes and online grants management system. This new role is a two-year, term-limited position to coincide with a period of increased grantmaking for Democracy Fund, driven in part by time-limited Special Projects to promote government oversight, transparency, and accountability; foster a just and inclusive society; and support investigative journalism. We believe as grantmakers we must be humble and oriented towards listening and service, recognizing that our grantees are visionaries and collaborators who we want to help succeed in the world. Every grant the Democracy Fund awards will go through one of our two Grants Associates, making this role a central part of helping support the change we want to see in the field.
The ideal candidate will have a background in nonprofit compliance and excel at reviewing due diligence materials, structuring complex grants, and coaching colleagues on best practices in grantmaking and nonprofit fiscal health. The Associate will join an established Operations team, playing a critical role in refining systems and processes that help staff and grantee partners thrive. The Associate will also support the processing of grants for Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, and will report to the Director of Grants Management.
GRANT MAKING SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
- Supporting the Fund’s program teams, internal grant committees, and Strategy Council by monitoring the pipeline of grant opportunities, compiling materials for and monitoring follow up from grant review meetings, and managing the committees’ schedules.
- Reviewing grant application materials – including budgets and financial statements – and coaching program staff on improvements related to grant structure, building grantee capacity, compliance, and risk management.
- Conducting and documenting initial legal due diligence for sponsorships and grants – including expenditure responsibility and “project grant rule” grants – and monitoring legal issues in partnership with the Senior Counsel and Director.
- Preparing grant and sponsorship agreements, as well as grant amendments.
- Developing and refining templates to support our grantmaking process, including grantee budget and expenditure responsibility templates.
- Coordinating with program staff to manage electronic files related to all aspects of the grants cycle, and maintaining hard copy files of key grants-related documents.
- In collaboration with a peer Grants Associate, serving as a point of contact for staff and grantees who need support on using Fluxx, our grants management database; supporting Fluxx fixes and upgrades; and facilitating data reporting from the system.
GRANT MAKING LEARNING AND ANALYSIS
- Compiling and analyzing grant and portfolio data that can be used for internal portfolio reviews, board meetings, and the Fund’s annual tax return and audit.
- Supporting the development of training materials, content, and logistics of workshops on grantmaking and philanthropy topics such as making expenditure responsibility grants, funding advocacy work compliantly, and evaluating and supporting nonprofit financial health.
- Keeping informed of best practices in the grants management field, sharing findings with the broader team, and recommending improvements to the grants management process.
- Actively working to support other members of the Democracy Fund team and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative and supportive.
- Completing other special grantmaking projects and duties, as requested by Director.
- Collaborating internally to advance Democracy Fund strategy and mission.
- Representing the Democracy Fund in a manner that is consistent with our mission.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:
- Passion for strengthening American democracy
- 3-5 years of relevant experience with knowledge of investing or grantmaking from philanthropy or nonprofit foundation relations; knowledge of private foundation and 501(c)(4) legal and compliance issues strongly desired.
- Exceptional customer service, problem-solving, project management, and analytical skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; and a meticulous attention to detail.
- Experience with IRS rules applicable to private foundation grantmaking, including familiarity with IRS-defined lobbying and project grant rule grants, as well as expenditure responsibility grants.
- Experience reviewing nonprofit financial statements and a passion for supporting nonprofit fiscal health and resilience.
- Familiarity and comfort with grants management databases; experience making fixes and upgrades as a systems administrator and/or working in Fluxx not required, but a plus.
- High level of computer proficiency in a Mac environment, especially with Microsoft Excel (e.g., formulas, pivot tables, etc.); quick learner with new software systems.
- Ability to work collaboratively with staff at all levels to execute duties, and proven talent in ensuring positive, proactive, responsive relationships within and across departments for compliance, efficiency, and effectiveness.
- Demonstrated ability to multi-task and support multiple grantmaking functions simultaneously while exhibiting excellent time-management skills; ability to meet deadlines.
- Professional maturity, ability to exercise discretion, and good judgment
- Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team
- Ability to manage ambiguity in a growing organization, while helping the organization build and maintain structures for consistency
- Bachelor's degree required (or equivalent experience)
- Position is based in Washington, DC.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. No calls please.
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. 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.