Director of Partnerships, Democracy Fund


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.

Democracy Fund was created by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar out of a deep respect for the U.S. Constitution and our nation’s core democratic values.

Learn more about Democracy Fund and our sister 501(c)(4) organization Democracy Fund Voice by visiting


Democracy Fund is experiencing a swell of interest in opportunities to create a trustworthy, resilient, and equitable democracy. As such, Democracy Fund is seeking its first Director of Partnerships to expand its influence by cultivating and activating a powerful network of philanthropic, political, and civic leaders.

The Director will serve as a member of the organization’s senior staff and will lead implementation of its emerging Philanthropic Partnerships strategy to bring new resources and leadership to the field. Using Democracy Fund’s expertise, rigor, and systems approach, the Philanthropic Partnerships team will help donors strategically invest in innovative and successful nonprofits working to strengthen our democracy.

The Director will report to the Managing Director of Communications and Network and will work closely with the organization’s President. He or she will also chair the senior team that supports the Democracy Fund’s National Advisory Committee, which helps the organization think big and expand its networks. The Director will provide leadership to a growing Communications and Network team and manage 1-2 full-time staff as well as outside consultants.

The successful applicant will have demonstrated achievements in managing donor activation, stewardship, and relationship-building activities for a multi-issue organization. They will have expertise in developing tailored proposals, coaching staff on fundraising best practices, and designing multi-channel cultivation approaches that include digital and personal outreach, events, and more. They will be excited about building a high-impact team, designing a professional infrastructure that supports leaders across Democracy Fund, and experimenting with different giving vehicles, including pooled funds and collaborative grantmaking. The Director will be an exceptional collaborator, communicator, and project director.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Drive the implementation and refinement of the organization’s Philanthropic Partnerships strategy and goals, through which Democracy Fund seeks to activate significant new investments to improve our democracy by 2021.
  • Develop a robust, professional cultivation and stewardship strategy that seamlessly engages donors through events, networks, newsletters, collateral, reports, and other communications.
  • Work with leadership to support pooled funds and collaborative funding vehicles where Democracy Fund and peer funders can work together to connect donors with tailored giving opportunities. Includes development and implementation of governance structures and other strategies to keep donors engaged in the work of the funds.
  • Coach, train, and partner with frontline staff across the organization on best practices, material creation and review, and relationship management
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with philanthropy-serving organizations and other intermediaries that support donors in developing their giving programs.
  • Build infrastructure for the Partnerships program; includes overseeing the adoption of Salesforce for donor tracking, regularly reporting on donor engagement progress and metrics, and creating processes to seamlessly engage program, legal, and grants teams.
  • Thoroughly understand Democracy Fund and how it operates; develop a comprehensive knowledge of its history, culture, and programs to create compelling prospect and partner messages and micro-strategies.
  • Identify and manage opportunities and events for the President and other senior staff to connect with new donors and donor advisor networks; lead speaker recruitment and events team management to ensure seamless and highly professional engagements.
  • Produce and attend high-level, polished events with senior staff and build relationships directly with donors and their advisors as needed.


  • Work closely with the Managing Director and Communications Director on the refinement and expansion of Democracy Fund’s brand across partner interactions.
  • With team support, produce a major convening of new funders as part of our National Advisory Committee (NAC) programming in addition to creating online educational opportunities and a newsletter for our co-funder community.
  • Develop strategies to creatively incorporate the National Advisory Committee (NAC) in building and leveraging philanthropic partnerships.


  • Promote a team culture of positivity, high performance, and continuous improvement that values learning and quality.
  • Actively develop and manage 1-2 staff members, using a supportive, coaching-based approach, including but not limited to establishing and monitoring staff performance and professional development goals.
  • Actively work to support the success of the entire Democracy Fund team by developing shared goals and setting priorities.
  • Manage the department work plan and develop annual priorities and budget.


  • Deep passion for strengthening American democracy and for working across differences.
  • At least 10 years of experience working in philanthropic advising, grantmaking, or fundraising, including a successful track record in managing donor activation, stewardship, and relationship activities.
  • Proven savvy working directly with ultra- or high-net-worth donors or other VIPs.
  • Strong national networks within the ultra- and high-net worth donor and wealth advisor communities a plus.
  • Familiarity with pooled funds, fiscal sponsorships, and other collaborative grantmaking vehicles a plus.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills required.
  • Proven collaborator, learner, and mentor with a positive approach and high emotional intelligence.
  • Confidence and capability to adapt and lead in a changing external environment while also navigating the ambiguity and change inherent in a young organization.
  • Experience overseeing the development, implementation, and refinement of operational infrastructure to support donor engagement; experience with Salesforce a plus.
  • Willingness to travel at least monthly, perform occasional evening and weekend work, and staff events as needed.
  • Bachelor’s degree required (or equivalent experience).
  • Position is based in Washington, DC.

Chaloner has partnered with Democracy Fund on their search for a Director of Partnerships. Interested candidates should apply by using the application form. Chaloner will review all applicants and, upon qualification, contact you to determine next steps.


Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.