Overview

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 in the 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 Elections Program supports people and organizations who share our belief that the American people deserve modern elections as part of a responsive political system. We support inclusive dialogue and common-sense steps to build a healthy election system. Our aim is to help increase consensus around the solutions that serve the needs of the American people, and boldly advance the will of voters.

We are committed to becoming a best-in-class learning organization that consistently learns from evidence and experience, including failures. To fulfill this goal, the Elections team seeks a partner to help guide the growth and development of our strategies as we pursue long term systems change and respond to immediate threats and challenges to our democracy.

The Strategy and Learning Manager will help develop and assess the progress of program strategies and grantmaking focused on understanding how data-driven policies and new technologies can help reduce barriers to voting, improving integrity and public trust in the electoral system, and reducing the dependency of our leaders on special financial interests.

As part of Democracy Fund’s Election team, the Strategy & Learning Manager will manage a learning cycle that involves: (a) seeking to understand our elections system as a component of a complex social system through research, evaluations, and other systematically gathered evidence, (b) helping to develop strategies for engaging that system, and (c) learning from our activities so that we can engage more effectively over time.

Successful candidates will work within Democracy Fund’s Election team and in close partnership with the Strategy, Impact, and Learning team to manage strategy setting processes, foster a culture of learning, develop models for ongoing reporting, and help manage work with external evaluation consultants.

We’re looking for individuals who are passionate about the future of elections administration, trust in elections, and voting rights. The ideal candidate believes that voter centric elections play a critical role in a healthy election system and is excited by work that seeks to ensure that all communities have access to the information they need to participate fully in our democracy.

This role will report to the Director of Elections with a dotted line reporting relationship to the Associate Director of Strategy and Learning.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

STRATEGY, LEARNING, AND GRANTMAKING

Strategy Development

  • Facilitate the Election team’s strategy development with the Associate Director of Elections with guidance and in collaboration with the Associate Director of Strategy and Learning and the Strategy, Impact and Learning team more broadly.
  • Provide the Elections team with greater insight into the context of their work.
  • Assess emerging trends and ensure key insights and lessons learned are actively integrated into strategy adjustments.

Learning

  • Collaboratively design and implement a comprehensive learning plan for the Elections team with close consultation of the Strategy, Impact, and Learning team, which includes coordinating with external evaluation partners, helping document wins and challenges, and supporting ongoing team reflection and learning.
  • Build capacity for, implement, and manage ongoing processes for learning and adaptation in collaboration with and guidance from the Associate Director of Strategy and Learning, and the Strategy, Impact, and Learning team more broadly.
  • Design and facilitate learning meetings, retreats, and portfolio learning conversations.

Grantee Learning and Grantmaking Support

  • Streamline and implement grantee learning processes.
  • Provide technical and capacity building support as needed to grantees around learning.
  • Support others in the organization on grantmaking tasks as required.

CAPACITY BUILDING

Monitor and Synthesize

  • Identify trends and new publications in the field to inform the Elections strategy and manage specific research projects to support the development of new efforts within the program.
  • Convene practitioners in the field, advocates, leading advocates, thinkers and others to facilitate increased dialogue and collaboration in the field.

Networks and Learning

  • Develop networks and collaborations within Democracy Fund and across the practitioner, philanthropic, evaluation, and organizational development/learning fields and related research in the field.
  • Create and implement a research plan for the Elections team, which supports program activities, strategic thinking, program evaluation and contract oversight.
  • Work with the team, consultants, and grantees to develop capacity building opportunities that will identify and promote different ways to solve problems in the elections and voting field.

Evaluation Support

  • Provide support to the Elections Strategy leads on creating and implementing Results Frameworks and associated monitoring, and evaluation workstreams, such that evaluation data is meaningfully integrated into strategy.

Internal and External Communications

  • Collaborate with the Strategy, Impact, and Learning and Communications teams to ensure consistent and thoughtful communication of learnings externally. Prepare reports and other materials about Democracy Fund’s learning and progress for its board of directors.

TEAM MEMBER

  • Contribute to a collaborative internal team and develop strong networks among peers within Democracy Fund and across the Omidyar Group and the larger field.
  • Collaborate with colleagues on supportive and complementary approaches that advance Democracy Fund’s overall mission and goals.
  • Contemplate new ways to use data-informed research to promote good and healthy election policies.
  • Work innovatively to not only solve problems for your individual projects but also generate ideas to help advance the work of a small, highly collaborative team.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS 

  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy and supporting a voter-centric election system.
  • At least 7-10 years of relevant experience working in the areas of strategy, evaluation and learning. Demonstrated familiarity with systems-thinking/complexity-aware methods.
  • Experience working with organizations or institutions that work on democracy-related issues preferred; ideally with some knowledge of pro-voter reforms, voter centric election administration, trust in elections, and voting rights.
  • A nuanced understanding of conducting elections research, including professional experience using statistical software packages like SPSS, Stata, R/R-Studio, or equivalent.
  • Deep sense of curiosity, and demonstrated interest in learning, distilling lessons and turning them into action.
  • Clear and concise written and verbal communication skills. Strong quantitative and qualitative analytical skills preferred.
  • High tolerance for ambiguity, and ability to respond to changing priorities.
  • Must have excellent problem-solving abilities.
  • Strong, self-directed project management skills with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Experience facilitating participatory and collaborative, learning-oriented events.
  • Must have solid interpersonal skills and be able to operate as a strong and supportive team player, innovator, and organizational change agent.
  • Commitment to learn and grow in a workplace that values diversity of multiple dimensions.
  • Experience with survey administration is preferred but not required.
  • Previous experience with grantmaking is valued but not required.
  • Advanced degree in social sciences preferred.
  • Ability to travel periodically for project work.
  • This role is based in Washington, D.C.

Interested candidates should submit a 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.