Washington, DC

Grants Associate, Democracy Fund

The Organization

Democracy Fund is a foundation working to defend American democracy and challenge it to be more open and just. Created by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, Democracy Fund has made more than $200 million in grants to support free and fair elections, a vibrant and diverse public square, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. In addition to grantmaking, Democracy Fund advocates for better solutions and works with partners to grow philanthropic support for our democracy. To learn more, visit www.democracyfund.org or www.democracyfundvoice.org.


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 process to developing trainings for our internal colleagues, we bring a strong ethos of “getting to yes” on all that we do.

Democracy Fund is seeking an organized, collaborative person with an eye for detail to join our team as a Grants Associate. As a key contributor to this four-person team, the Associate plays a critical role in providing a seamless grants management experience to staff and grantees.

The Grants Associate works with all departments to implement and maintain an ambitious grantmaking portfolio, a portfolio that champions the leaders who are helping to build an open and just democracy. The ideal candidate is comfortable conducting compliance and due diligence reviews, helping to structure complex grants, and refining systems and processes to ensure the highest level of customer service. Every grant Democracy Fund awards is shepherded by one of our two Grants Associates, making this role central to achieving the changes we want to see in the field.

As the Grants Team continues to grow, we are especially looking for someone with experience or interest in how grant management systems can support an organization’s learning and decision-making through improved data collection and analysis.

The Associate also supports grant processing for Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, and reports to the Associate Director of Grants Management.


The Grants Associate’s responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following:


  • Review grant application materials — including budgets and financial statements — and coach program staff on improvements related to grant structure, building grantee capacity, compliance, and risk management.
  • Conduct and document initial legal due diligence for sponsorships and grants — including expenditure responsibility and “project grant rule” grants — and monitor legal issues in partnership with the General Counsel and Associate Director.
  • Prepare grant and sponsorship agreements, as well as grant amendments.
  • Collaborate with Grants Team colleagues in an ongoing effort to refine grantmaking systems, processes, and policies to be increasingly transparent, streamlined, and grounded in our organizational values around equity.
  • In collaboration with a peer Grants Associate, serve as a point of contact for staff and grantees who need support on using Fluxx, our grants management database; support Fluxx fixes and upgrades; and facilitate data reporting from the system.


  • Support Democracy Fund’s program teams, internal grant committees, and Management Team by monitoring the pipeline of grant opportunities; provide ongoing support with improving visual presentation of pipeline data.
  • 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.
  • Develop workshops and training materials on grantmaking and philanthropy topics such as making expenditure responsibility grants, maintaining compliance while funding advocacy work, and evaluating nonprofit financial health.
  • Stay informed of best practices in the grants management field, sharing findings with the broader team, and recommending improvements to the grants management process.


  • Take initiative to support other members of the Democracy Fund team and cultivate an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive.
  • Partner with colleagues across the Operations team to develop, support, and refine the team’s knowledge management systems.
  • Contribute to a team culture that values collaboration, positivity, and transparency and that drives towards impact through continuous improvement and learning.
  • Collaborate internally to advance Democracy Fund’s strategy and mission.
  • Represent Democracy Fund in a manner that is consistent with our mission.
  • Complete other special grantmaking projects and duties, as requested by the Associate Director.


  • Passion for strengthening American democracy.
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience with legal and compliance issues related to private foundation or 501(c)(4) grant or contract management.
  • Experience with IRS rules applicable to private foundation grantmaking. Familiarity with IRS-defined lobbying and project grant rule grants, as well as expenditure responsibility grants, is a plus.
  • Exceptional customer service, problem-solving, project management, and analytical skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; and a meticulous attention to detail.
  • Enthusiasm and affinity for working with technology and systems to create transparent, streamlined processes. Demonstrated experience with cloud-based grants management software such as SmartSimple, foundationConnect or other Salesforce CRM products. Experience with Fluxx, our internal system, is a plus.
  • Strong data analysis skills, including a demonstrated ability to distill complex data into easily understood formats and visualizations to inform decision-making; experience working in visualization software (Tableau or similar).
  • Commitment to learn and grow in a workplace that values diversity of multiple dimensions. Demonstrated experience innovating grantmaking practices to drive equity is a plus.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with staff at all levels to execute duties, and 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.
  • Professional maturity, ability to exercise discretion, and good judgment.
  • Ability to manage ambiguity in a growing organization, while helping the organization build and maintain structures for consistency.
  • The position will eventually be based in Washington, D.C., but will begin remotely due to the ongoing pandemic.

How To Apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume here. Applications submitted without a cover letter or lacking the desired number of years of experience will not be considered. Take this as a chance to tell us about yourself and why you’re interested in joining our team. No calls please.

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