Public Square Program Intern (Fall 2022)

Washington, DC
Full Time
Entry Level


Democracy Fund is a foundation working to defend American democracy and challenge it to be more open and just. Created by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, Democracy Fund has made more than $200 million in grants to support free and fair elections, a vibrant and diverse public square, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. In addition to grantmaking, Democracy Fund advocates for better solutions and works with partners to grow philanthropic support for our democracy. To learn more, visit and


Democracy Fund champions leaders and organizations who defend democracy and challenge our political system to be more open, just, resilient, and trustworthy. We believe that experimentation, learning, and adaptation are key to the health and resilience of any system, whether it is our organization or the American political system. As grantmakers we focus on listening and being of service to our grantees, who are visionaries and our collaborators, and on ways we can more deeply embed diversity, equity, and inclusion as values central to the success of our work and mission. 

We offer a paid internship program in an inclusive environment that gives students and recent graduates the unique opportunity to make important professional contributions to our work.

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to support the Public Square Program, beginning Fall 2022. Preferred minimum commitment of 28 hours per week, with a maximum of 40 hours per week, for approximately nine months, starting September 7, 2022 and running through June 24, 2023. This position may be performed remotely or in person at our D.C. office if the intern prefers. The pay rate is $21 per hour for undergraduate interns and $25 per hour for graduate-level interns.

The Public Square Program focuses on vibrant media and citizen engagement by supporting innovations and institutions that help people better understand and participate in the democratic process. We’re looking for an intern with experience in journalism, communications, and/or civic innovation who is passionate about the future of journalism and making our political system more effective. A successful candidate believes that the media plays a critical role in the public square and that all communities should have access to the news and information they need to participate fully in our democracy.


  • Conduct research on both internal grantmaking trends and external key issues related to the Public Square Program, such as local news ecosystems, media equity, press freedom, digital democracy; and oversee regular documented updates.
  • Actively engage with all staff at Democracy Fund as a capable and collaborative team member. We count on our interns to contribute to discussions and help develop solutions to some of the greatest problems our nation faces today.
  • Assist in evaluating grantmaking opportunities and the preparation of internal materials that are part of the grantmaking process.
  • Contribute to, and assist with, the coordination of the Public Square Team’s external communications, including the Local Fix newsletter and Local News Lab website.
  • Support internal and external knowledge management systems with the potential to help build new ones.
  • Provide logistical support before, during, and after meetings with grantees and partners, including larger virtual events - e.g., coordinating meeting times, notetaking, drafting memoranda, proofreading and copyediting materials, and providing readouts.


  • A deep passion for strengthening American democracy, particularly for communities that have been historically excluded from democratic processes.
  • Willingness to contribute, learn, and respectfully engage with those who have different perspectives.
  • Ability to work at least four days, or 28 hours per week.
  • Enrollment in (or recent completion of) an undergraduate or graduate university program, or equivalent experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong research abilities with an eye towards analysis and presentation.
  • Experience with journalism and/or public communication writing, with a strong attention to detail, precision, and copyediting.
  • Excellent organizational, project, and time management skills.
  • Success in developing and maintaining institutional, political, and personal relationships.
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team. 
  • Eagerness to learn, high self-motivation, and orientation towards details.
  • Ability to work remotely with possibility to transition to our D.C. office in the future.


Interested candidates should submit a resumé and brief statement confirming their availability for the upcoming nine months, including ideal start/end dates and hours per week, on one document. (Please do not submit a cover letter. Instead, applicants who become finalists will receive a short essay question.) Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to follow up with all applicants. 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.




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