Program Associate, Governance
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.
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.
The Governance Program seeks to achieve representative and accountable governing institutions that are responsive to the public, especially people who have faced significant structural barriers to representation. Our governing systems do not currently provide adequate voice and power to those who need it most. The Governance Program is exploring ways to remedy this inequity while protecting the rule of law and bolstering accountability mechanisms to protect against abuse and tyranny.
The Program Associate in Governance will be involved in grantmaking and project management. This position provides a unique opportunity for a detailed, creative thinker committed to improving our democracy to support a growing and evolving strategy. As an organization that works with people, grantees, and institutions across the political spectrum to address the most significant threats to democracy, the willingness and ability to work well across lines of difference is essential.
The Program Associate will provide high-level support for a portfolio of grants to organizations working to hold government accountable for abuses of power, protect the rule of law, and advance racial justice. This work may include broadening the pool of accountability actors by building partnerships at the state or local levels. The successful candidate will regularly coordinate and engage with grantees and external partners and collaborate across programs within Democracy Fund. This position reports to the Manager, Governance Program and will work closely with other Governance team members.
The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated interest and background in our democratic institutions, the rule of law, government accountability, or related areas, and will be collaborative, have excellent writing and communication skills, and be able to balance multiple priorities.
This position also supports the work of Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.
GRANTMAKING, COORDINATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING
- Review grant application materials. Conduct and document legal due diligence for grants, sponsorships, and amendments. Monitor legal issues in partnership with the Legal Team and Manager, Governance Program.
- Prepare grant, sponsorship, and amendment agreements using the online grants management system and tools.
- Compile and analyze grant and portfolio data for internal portfolio reviews, board meetings, and audits.
- Serve as a point of contact for grantees throughout the grant process and troubleshoot issues with grantees as needed.
- Engage with grantees regularly to identify needs, challenges, and new funding opportunities. Monitor grantee developments and track impact metrics.
- Attend events on issues relevant to the portfolio and keep abreast of developments in the field to inform grantmaking strategies.
- Complete other administrative grantmaking projects and duties, as requested by the Manager, Governance Program.
TEAM MEMBER AND LEADER
- Be a team player with the ability to build strong relationships and work collaboratively.
- Contribute to team administration and processes that make the Governance Program effective.
- Work effectively cross-functionally and creatively solve problems.
- Promote a team culture of high performance, collaboration, positivity, transparency, and continuous improvement that values learning and quality.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS
- Deep passion for strengthening American democracy.
- Deep commitment to racial equity and justice.
- Three to five years of related work or equivalent experience, preferably in roles that relate to democratic institutions, the rule of law, government accountability, congressional oversight, judicial reform, or advocacy.
- Proven writing, analytical, communication, and research skills.
- An outstanding work ethic; self-starter, dependable, responsible, with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset.
- Previous grantmaking experience is valued but not necessary. Candidate should be able to analyze and assess organizations and their contributions to the field.
- Previous experience contributing to or building movements, or organizing at the state or local levels around issues or people is valued but not necessary.
- Willingness to work with leaders, advocates, and media from across the political spectrum.
- A learning mindset, self- and other awareness, and success in developing and sustaining interpersonal relationships across differences.
- Operationally focused with strong organizational and executive skills.
- Ability to adapt quickly, work calmly, and maintain good judgment in a fast-paced environment; must be comfortable working through ambiguity.
- Skilled in proactively handling multiple assignments simultaneously with a sense of urgency, prioritizing tasks, and meeting deadlines to deliver high-quality results.
- Works well both independently and as part of a team.
- High proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and comfortable using online tools for project and contact management.
Democracy Fund follows a hybrid remote and in-the-office model, which enables flexibility and meets collaboration needs. New staff are expected to reside in the DMV area, though exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Personnel Committee. All employees, regardless of location, will be expected in the office several days a month.
Salary range begins at $76,486.50 per year.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume through our Jobs page. Applications submitted without a cover letter or lacking the desired years of experience will not be considered. Take this opportunity 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.