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 $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.
Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program believes that a healthy democracy demands access to trustworthy news and information that reflects the diversity of the public and enables all people to participate fully. We support people and organizations working to strengthen local news, expand engaged journalism, defend press freedom, and combat misinformation and the impact of social media platforms on our society. Grant making 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.
We are seeking a Senior Program Associate to guide our trusted and engaged journalism strategy, investing in projects that rebuild the social contract between newsrooms and communities, and foster diversity, equity and inclusion in media.
The Senior Progam Associate, who will report to the Program Director in the Democracy Fund’s Public Square team, will manage a portfolio of grants and activities designed to encourage audience-driven journalism, inclusion, trust and transparency across the American media landscape. Beyond grantmaking, they will help develop programs and convene with the field in creative community building efforts designed to support the needs of practicioners and leaders across the public square. This position supports a growing network of ambitious partners working to inspire, refine and evolve systems in need of urgent change. Our grantees include the Maynard Institute, Solutions Journalism Network, City Bureau, Coral Project, Ida B. Well Society, Listening Post, National Association of Black Journalists, the Community Listening and Engagement Fund and others. We are looking for a leader who brings astute analysis, creative problem soliving, great communication skills and a love of building inclusive relationships and networks.
Democracy Fund is committed to working on systems level changes to address complex problems facing our democracy. We are looking for candidates who can bring a range of experiences and expertise to bear on the challenges our media and democracy face. Candidates must be comfortable working in a small, highly collaborative team within a fast-paced environment. The Senior Program Associate will work with others on the Public Square team to execute a long-term strategy, develop and manage internal processes and administration across the organization, and support learning and team growth.
LEADERSHIP, FIELD SUPPORT, AND GRANT MAKING
Work with the field to respond to changes and trends facing journalism in America today as they relate to community engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion, and newsroom transparency
Identify, shape, and prepare for consideration potential grants related to: audience driven journalism, media diversity, and newsroom transparency
Build meaningful relatinships with grantees, and support existing and new grantees to help them to be as effective as possible
Maintain and support communities of practice that foster collaboration and expand impact through events, communications and network building.
Develop partnerships with organizations and foundations that can bring new support into the field
Support the Engaged Journalism Lab publication as a resource to promote our grantees work and share what we are learning
STRATEGY, EXPERIMENTATION, AND LEARNING
Partner with the Democracy Fund’s Strategy, Impact, and Learning team to facilitate a sound approach to help us iterate, experiment, learn, and refine our approach
Monitor, engage, and capture learnings from grantees as they execute their grants, help share those learnings across the field
Facilitate increased dialogue and collaboration in the field by convening grantees, experts, academics, change-makers, and leaders. Manage relationships and develop convenings and events as appropriate
Monitor trends, research, and new publications to inform our strategy
TEAM LEADER AND MEMBER
Supervise staff, and support the professional development of direct reports
Maintain relaitonships with and oversee consultants and fellows working in support of the Trusted and Engaged Journalism strategy
Collaborate with the larger Public Square team to support activities aimed at combatting misinformation, defending press freedom, and strengthening local journalism (contribute to team wide events, initiatives, and processes)
Contribute to team administration and processes that made the Public Square Program effective and help us work together
Serve as a liason between the Public Square Program and other Democracy Fund departments on targeted areas of work
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
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS
Passion for strengthening American democracy and supporting journalism that serves communities and enables long term systems change
BA required, and at least 5 - 7 years of experience working in roles that engaged questions related to community engagement, journalism, media diversity
Nuanced understanding of issues related to trust between newsrooms and communities, media diversity, and the landscape of audience driven storytelling
Previous grant making experience is valued but not necessary. Candidate should be able to analyze and assess organizations and their contributions to the fields we work in
Exceptional communication skills (verbal and written), including the willingness and ability to communicate and collaborate with diverse leaders and stakeholders from across the journalism spectrum and different walks of life
Flexibility and initiative to work both independently and as part of a team. Ability to work in a bipartisan environment and with stakeholders from across the political spectrum
Professional maturity, demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment and proven track record managing complex projects
Must be comfortable with ambiguity and working in a changing and fast paced environment
Collaborative, strategic and empathetic especially when approaching work and planning
Position is based in the Washington, D.C. area
Interested candidates should submit cover letter and resume here. 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.