Democracy Fund is an independent 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 system, 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.
Democracy Fund is seeking a highly motivated and skilled Project Associate to support the work of the Just and Inclusive Society (JIS) project for a period of one year, and expand its overall capacity.
The hypothesis that lies behind the JIS project is that with diverse organizations and communities working together for a common good, we can create safe and secure communities, decrease polarization, develop a shared sense of national identity, and make space to defend constitutional norms under attack.
This new position, which reports to the Associate Director, involves grant-making and project management, and provides a unique opportunity for a detailed and creative thinker committed to improving our democracy to support a growing organization. As an organization that works with people, grantees and institutions that span the entire political spectrum, the willingness and ability to work well across the aisle is essential.
The ideal candidate will have an interest in civil and human rights, legal issues, community empowerment, and cross sector and partisan engagement. We are looking for an organized, entrepreneurial, and goal-oriented individual who brings astute analysis, creative problem solving, and great communication skills. You’re a great fit if you love to get into the details, possess an openness for learning and collaboration, and can take a step back and connect those details across our larger vision. The Project Associate also will support the work of Democracy Fund Voice, a separate social welfare organization.
Our work environment is collaborative and fast-paced. Our people are passionate about what they do. On an average day, you would:
- Support the JIS project by reviewing grant application materials and conducting and documenting initial legal due diligence for sponsorships and grants – and monitor legal issues in partnership with the Senior Counsel and Associate Director.
- Prepare grant and sponsorship agreements, as well as grant amendments.
- Compile and analyze grant and portfolio data that can be used for internal portfolio reviews, board meetings, and Democracy Fund’s annual tax return and audit.
- Serve as a point of contact for grantees who need support using our grants management database.
- Engage with grantees via site visits and other evaluation efforts.
- Brainstorm on effective methods of building political power, resiliency, mobilization, and protection for communities facing threats, particularly immigrant/refugee communities, communities of color, and Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities.
- Monitor grantee developments and keep informed of best practices in the civil rights and community empowerment fields.
- Complete other administrative grantmaking projects and duties, as requested by the Associate Director.
GRANT MAKING, COORDINATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING
- Team player with the ability to build strong relationships and work collaboratively.
- Contribute to a team culture that values collaboration, positivity, and transparency.
- Ability to work effectively cross-functionally and creatively solve problems.
- Actively work to support the success of the entire Democracy Fund team through the development of shared goals and priorities.
- Promote a team culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and quality.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS
- Deep passion for strengthening American democracy.
- Bachelor’s Degree strongly preferred, with at least 4 - 6 years of related work or equivalent experience. Legal or similar studies and experience is a plus.
- Interest in advocacy, with focus on protecting and advancing civil rights and civil liberties.
- Proven analytical 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.
- 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 difference.
- Operationally focused with strong organizational and execution skills.
- Ability to adapt quickly and work calmly and maintain good judgment in a fast-paced environment and not stymied by ambiguity.
- Confident, diplomatic, oral communicator with exceptional writing and editing skills.
- 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.
- A sense of humor.
- High proficiency in Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and comfort with online tools for project and contact management.
- One year term position, 40 hours/week.
- Based in Washington, D.C.
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.