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Associate Director, Grants Management

ABOUT US

Democracy Fund 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, eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar founded Democracy Fund.  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.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Grants Management Team prioritizes the user experience of our grantees, partners, and colleagues in every aspect of their work. From refining our grant application and related processes to developing trainings for our internal colleagues, we bring a strong ethos of “getting to yes” on all that we do.

We are seeking an Associate Director of Grants Management to lead Democracy Fund’s Grants Management team, including overseeing the administration of more than $40M in grants each year, improving all aspects of the grants process, and providing support and trainings to program staff on best practices in philanthropy.

As Democracy Fund continues to grow, we are looking for a passionate grants management expert who will balance the standardization needed for our grantmaking processes to operate efficiently and equitably at scale, with the flexibility to meet the individual needs of our program teams. The Associate Director of Grants Management will also support the grantmaking activities of Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.

The Associate Director will manage two high performing Grants Associates and will report to the Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Grants & Finance. The ideal candidate will have prior management experience, database systems experience (preferably using Fluxx), and will understand the intricacies of funding work in the advocacy and public policy space.

As part of a growing organization that strives to meet the needs of an ever-changing landscape, the successful candidate will thrive leading change management efforts and working collaboratively across teams to ensure that our systems and customer service are in keeping with our designation as a Best Place to Work.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

GRANTMAKING SYSTEMS, PROCESSES, & DATA

  • Oversight and improvement of the entire process by which grants and sponsorships are made; this includes the application process, internal due diligence review, approval, grant agreement generation, payment, grant reporting, and grant closing. There will be growth opportunities to take a leadership role managing the organization’s contracts processes and approach.
  • Ensuring the Grants Management team provides excellent customer service to program staff and grantees as they navigate the process of awarding and receiving grants and sponsorships.
  • Partnering with the Grants Associates and General Counsel to ensure that procedures are followed, with all grants adhering to federal and state legal and tax requirements, as well as organization-defined best practices for proposal development, due diligence, and grantee reporting.
  • Collaborating with the Grants Associates to manage the ongoing use and improvement of our grants management system, Fluxx (also used for sponsorships and contracts).
  • Leading major projects to improve existing grantmaking systems and processes, such as improving knowledge management efforts, updating orientations for new staff, overseeing the launch of new functionalities in Fluxx, and other projects as they arise.
  • Facilitating the organization’s grants approval committee and reviewing all major grant opportunities by giving feedback to program staff.
  • Ongoing awareness of new developments in grant management best practices and technologies and their applicability to the needs of Democracy Fund. Identifying opportunities and developing partnerships both internally and externally to build innovative, sustainable tools and services that benefit Democracy Fund.

GRANTMAKING LEARNING & ANALYSIS

  • Partnering with the Deputy COO, Grants & Finance to create a robust coaching and training program that empowers program staff to be excellent grantmakers, including a curriculum for new program staff. This includes ongoing trainings on different aspects of due diligence and grantee support, and a staffing support model that connects in-house and external nonprofit management expertise with program staff. 
  • Collaborating with the Deputy COO, Grants & Finance and Grants Associates to create and maintain a robust data and analytics program that provides timely and relevant data to stakeholders across the organization to promote learning, improve grant processing time, and systemize internal communications.

TEAM LEADER AND MEMBER

  • Collaborating with Grants Associates to set ambitious, motivating, and realistic priorities for the Grants Management team to continue building systems, processes, and relationships that enable smarter, more thoughtful, and more efficient grantmaking.
  • Empowering two direct reports to do their best work by providing ongoing guidance, coaching, and feedback on their core day-to-day responsibilities, project management goals, and overall professional development.
  • Serving as a leader within the broader Operations team by helping shape the team’s goals and actively working to support the success of other members of the entire team; cultivating an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive, and that drives  impact through continuous improvement and learning.
  • Building strong, trusting relationships with people at all levels of the organization and working collaboratively with leaders, grantees, and funders from across the political spectrum.
  • Representing Democracy Fund in a manner that is consistent with our mission.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS

  • Passion for strengthening American democracy.
  • At least 8 years of grants management experience with a deep understanding of private foundation and 501(c)(4) grantmaking processes and related financial and compliance issues.
  • Experience with the IRS rules applicable to private foundation grantmaking, including familiarity with IRS-defined lobbying and “project grant rule” grants, and making expenditure responsibility grants.
  • Experience overseeing grants management databases, including making fixes and upgrades as a systems administrator; experience using Fluxx strongly desired.
  • Prior direct management experience and proven ability to provide useful feedback, develop, and inspire staff.
  • Proven ability to evaluate, improve, manage, and maintain systems and processes, including grants and/or contracts management software and processes. Passionate about continuous improvement and world class customer service.
  • Success in creating and facilitating trainings and materials, whether internally or in managing outside consultants, as well as coaching program staff on grantmaking best practices.
  • Strategic thinker and innovative problem-solver, including a proven ability to create and manage organizational change.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to synthesize large amounts of information (technical, legal, financial, anecdotal) and clearly communicate key information. Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy in documentation and data integrity.
  • Ability to work 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.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and support multiple grantmaking functions simultaneously while exhibiting excellent time-management skills to meet deadlines.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite in Mac environment preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) required; graduate degree preferred.
  • Position is based in Washington, D.C.

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.

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