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Associate Director, Grants Management, Democracy Fund

Washington, D.C.
Democracy Fund
Associate Director, Grants Management
Washington, D.C.

ABOUT DEMOCRACY FUND:

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 $150 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:
Democracy Fund is seeking an Associate Director of Grants Management to lead our 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 is a strategic leader with prior management experience and database systems experience, and brings an expertise of 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 bring experience improving grantmaking systems and processes to meet future growth and will thrive leading change management efforts. Further, they will bring a record of working collaboratively across teams to ensure that Democracy Fund continues to prioritize the user experience of our grantees, partners, and colleagues and maintain the team’s ethos of “getting to yes” in all that we do.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Grantmaking Systems, Processes, and Data
  • Provide strategic 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 on a leadership role in managing the organization’s contracts processes and approach.
  • Ensure excellent customer service to program staff and grantees as they navigate the process of awarding and receiving grants and sponsorships.
  • Partner 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.
  • Collaborate with the Grants Associates to manage the ongoing use and improvement of our grants management system, Fluxx (also used for sponsorships and contracts).
  • Lead major initiatives to improve existing grantmaking systems and processes, such as further integrating Democracy Fund’s DEI priorities into new and existing processes, improving knowledge management efforts, overseeing the launch of new functionalities in Fluxx, and other projects as they arise.
  • Identify opportunities and develop partnerships, both internally and externally, to build innovative, sustainable tools and services that benefit Democracy Fund, including ongoing awareness of new developments in grant management best practices and technologies and their applicability to the needs of Democracy Fund.
  • Facilitate the organization’s grants approval committee and review all major grant opportunities by giving feedback to program staff.
Grantmaking Learning and Analysis
  • Partner with the Deputy COO, Grants & Finance to create a robust coaching and training curriculum that empowers new and existing program staff to be excellent grantmakers. This includes ongoing trainings on different aspects of due diligence, grantee support, and a staffing support model that connects in-house and external nonprofit management expertise with program staff. 
  • Collaborate 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
  • Serve 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.
  • Set ambitious, motivating, and realistic priorities for the Grants Management team, in collaboration with Grant Associates, to continue building systems, processes, and relationships that enable smarter, more thoughtful, and more efficient grantmaking.
  • Empower 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.
  • Build strong, trusting relationships with people at all levels of the organization and work collaboratively with leaders, grantees, and funders from across the political spectrum, representing Democracy Fund in a manner consistent with our mission.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:
  • Passion for strengthening American democracy.
  • 8+ years of strategic grants management experience with a deep understanding of private foundation and 501(c)(4) grantmaking processes and related financial and compliance issues.
  • 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.
  • 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 team leadership experience and proven ability to provide useful feedback, develop, and inspire staff.
  • 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 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.
  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) required; graduate degree preferred.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite in Mac environment preferred.
  • Position is based in Washington, D.C.
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