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Senior Associate, Digital Democracy Initiative

ABOUT US

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 www.democracyfund.org and www.democracyfundvoice.org.

POSITION SUMMARY

Democracy Fund is seeking a highly motivated and skilled Senior Associate to join the Digital Democracy Initiative (DDI).

The Digital Democracy Initiative supports the work to create an equitable and just democracy for all. We believe that no matter where they live or who they are, Americans should be able to get the news and information they need to engage in civic life and to participate fully in online conversations without facing discrimination, misinformation, or harassment. To that end, we invest in organizations and coalitions who hold digital platforms accountable, combat misinformation, and support the vital news our democracy needs to function effectively.

DDI sits within our broader Public Square program, which supports trustworthy local news and investigative reporting, equitable newsrooms, press freedom, community engagement, and digital spaces that advance democracy. Grantmaking is just one tool we use to support change. 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.

You will be joining an early-stage team, on the fast-track to expansion, that is looking to infuse a stronger understanding and commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) into our internal systems and external community building. The ideal candidate brings a demonstrated experience with policy campaigns involving Congress, the White House, or in a state or federal regulatory agency.

The Senior Associate will report to the Associate Director of Democracy Fund’s Digital Democracy Initiative and will manage a portfolio of grants and consultants who develop and advocate for public policy solutions and new investments in civic information and public interest media. The ideal candidate is a systems-thinker who is passionate about helping others achieve their goals, and about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of internal processes. The Senior Associate will also support the work of Democracy Fund Voice, a separate social welfare organization.

We are looking for candidates who can bring a range of experiences and expertise to bear on the challenges our media, digital public square, and democracy face. Candidates must be comfortable working with a small, highly collaborative team in a fast-paced environment. The Senior Program Associate will work with others on the Public Square team and across Democracy Fund to execute a long-term strategy, develop and manage internal processes and administration across the organization, and support learning and team growth. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

GRANTMAKING, COORDINATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING

  • Collaborate with the DDI Associate Director to support overall efforts, including management of staff, consultants, programming, and grantmaking.
  • Manage a portfolio of grants with other program staff, including identifying, shaping, and preparing grants for consideration by the Associate Director, foundation investment committee, and board of directors.
  • Foster meaningful collaborations with current grantees and support their success. Monitor the field and develop a pipeline of new grantees who can help meet the goals of the strategy as it shifts.
  • Maintain and support communities of practice that foster collaboration and expand impact through events, communications, and network building.

LEARNING, IMPACT, AND PARTNERSHIP

  • Partner with Democracy Fund’s Strategy, Impact, and Learning team to help us experiment, learn, and refine our grantmaking approach.
  • Leverage communications and outreach to advance digital democracy initiative campaign goals and promote accountability within the digital public square.
  • Monitor, engage, and capture learnings from grantees as they execute their grants and help share findings across the field.
  • Facilitate increased dialogue and collaboration in the field by convening grantees, experts, academics, change-makers, and leaders. Build and manage the stakeholder network through convenings and events, as appropriate.
  • Strengthen philanthropic partnerships within DDI by maintaining strong relationships with partner funders, developing new strategies, and advising donors and foundations.
  • Represent Democracy Fund at events and in partnerships in a manner consistent with our mission and values to drive funding aligned with Democracy Fund’s goals and in support of our grantees.

TEAM MEMBER & LEADERSHIP

  • Collaborate with the larger Public Square team on events, intiatives, and processes that support local news ecosystems, defend press freedom, and strengthen equitable journalism.
  • Contribute to team administration and processes that make the Public Square Program effective and help us work together.
  • Serve as a leader within the broader organization through meaningful cross-team collaborations and participating in strategic planning on issues related to digital democracy and misinformation. Serve as a liaison between DDI and other Democracy Fund departments including the Grants and People teams.
  • Actively work to support the success of other members of the Democracy Fund team and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive.
  • Collaborate with the Associate Director and Program Associate to set ambitious, motivating, and realistic priorities for DDI and its impact on the field.
  • Maintain stakeholder networks and oversee consultants and fellows working to develop, manage, and contribute to cross-team, cross-organization program, and philanthropy-wide programmatic efforts and special projects.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS

  • Passion for strengthening American democracy.
  • Nuanced understanding of issues related to racial justice, digital and print media ecosystems, advocacy, and civil rights.
  • BA or equivalent experience required, and at least 5 - 7 years of experience working in roles that engaged questions related to social media platforms, journalism funding, and media diversity.
  • Demonstrated experience with policy campaigns involving Congress, the White House, or in a state or federal regulatory agency.
  • Engaged self-starter with a zeal for systems and curiosity in proactively solving problems.
  • Experience with and energized by evaluating, improving, maintaining and managing workflows across teams and departments.
  • Demonstrated experience in incorporating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within your work and mindset.
  • Previous grantmaking experience is valued but not necessary. Candidate should be able to analyze and assess organizations and their contributions to the fields in which we work.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including the willingness and ability to communicate and collaborate with diverse leaders and stakeholders from across the political spectrum and different walks of life.
  • Experience managing organizational change. Must be comfortable with ambiguity and working in a changing and fast-paced environment.
  • Professional maturity, proven track record of successful project management and working across diverse teams.
  • Excels at working 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.
  • Interest in employing a systems approach to change, bringing an ability to synthesize complex, nuanced information and develop innovative solutions. Collaborative, strategic and empathetic, especially when approaching work and planning.
  • This position will eventually be based in Washington, D.C. but will begin remotely due to the ongoing pandemic.

SALARY

Salary range begins at $98,300 per year.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter. Applications submitted without a cover letter or lacking the desired number of years of experience will not be considered. Take this as a chance to tell us about yourself and why you're interested in joining our team. 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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