Make Democracy Work Program Officer

Hiring Organization: 
The Educational Foundation of Amerca
City and State: 
Garrison, NY

The Make Democracy Work program area has as its primary goal the repair of democracy in the United States. Since 2017, EFA has focused our efforts in Florida and North Carolina and generally support organizations working in those states. While current programming is strategic and vital, the Make Democracy Work Program Officer will be expected to bring new ideas and take a fresh look at the field to hone future direction and strategic initiatives.

Sitting on program committees in each area, the Foundation’s Board members are actively engaged in the grantmaking process and work in close collaboration with the Foundation’s program staff. All program staff, including the Make Democracy Work Program Officer, report to the Executive Director. 

 The Program Officer will convene EFA family who participate in the Make Democracy Work program area monthly by videoconference, and in person at EFA Board Meetings three times per year. This year EFA will make approximately $1 million in democracy grants. The EFA staff travel for site visits as well as conferences and other forums; this position requires approximately 20% travel time. 

Duties of the Make Democracy Work Program Officer fall into three categories: grantmaking, strategy development, and engagement with the field.  


  • In collaboration with the members of the Make Democracy Work Committee, identify and pursue strategic opportunities that demonstrate great potential to catalyze change and have a positive impact;

  • Analyze and research requests for support and conduct due diligence of those requests;

  • Present a thoughtful, clearly-expressed, and well-researched docket to the Committee;

  • Evaluate impact of grants and broader initiatives; 

  • Manage, monitor, and adhere to the Committee budget; 

  • Support the work of the Committee by working with the Committee Chair to develop agendas, monitor the budget, and implement special initiatives – including grantee meetings and projects;

  • Be a true partner to grantees by ensuring open and helpful communication driven by a desire to support grantee success;

  • Conduct and organize meaningful site visits that are equally as helpful to the potential grantee as they are to the Committee; 

  • Maintain clear and timely records in foundation database, shared drives, and paper files; and

  • Respond to inquiries and leads for grant and partnership opportunities.


  • In collaboration with the Committee, staff, and outside experts, develop grant-making strategies, priorities, and guidelines;

  • Develop program initiatives within the Committee’s areas of funding interest as directed by the Committee’s goals; 

  • Consider how to mobilize the EFA endowment to support the goals of the Make Democracy Work portfolio (e.g. shareholder engagement opportunities);

  • Forge opportunities to collaborate with other EFA committees and/or other foundations; and

  • Work with the Executive Director and other EFA staff to enhance the Foundation’s own internal capacity, assessment, and reporting systems.


  • Represent EFA at conferences and meetings; 

  • Keep up-to-date on current thinking and new developments in philanthropy and issues related to democracy, report those to the Committee and Executive Director; 

  • Assist in external foundation communications such as newsletters, public presentations, and articles as appropriate; and

  • Create content for and ensure the timely and up-to-date management of the Make Democracy Work webpages on the EFA website.


  • Engage in other general preparation and administrative work for board meetings and special events, as well as other tasks and projects as needed/requested; and

  • In addition to the core responsibilities there may be opportunities to participate in and/or lead other cross-organizational and cross-program projects. 


  • BA Degree required, advanced degree in political science or related disclipline preferred;

  • Demonstrated commitment to the goals of EFA’s Make Democracy Work program;

  • Exceptional analytical, written, and oral communication skills;

  • Stellar facilitation abilities with a strong commitment to collaboration and consensus building both internally and across the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors; 

  • Ability to create and monitor grantmaking program budget and understand nonprofit financial reporting; 

  • Dexterity with program evaluation and data analysis in order to synthesize information from multiple sources into understandable and actionable concepts;

  • Fluency, expertise, and complete comfort with business related software programs (including: Microsoft Office suite, Squarespace, Dropbox, etc.);

  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to multitask and manage multiple priorities; and

  • Flexible outlook with a sense of perspective and humor.

EFA is located on the historic Garrison’s Landing on the banks of the Hudson River in Garrison, New York. Note that the Foundation’s office is within walking distance of the Garrison Metro-North train station, although telecommuting for this position is also an option. We enjoy a collegial and productive work environment in a natural setting with views of the river from all offices and common areas. EFA provides compensation commensurate with experience and skills, excellent benefits including health, dental, and vision insurance, life insurance, a fitness benefit, and free parking for all employees.

The Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply: 
Send cover letter and resume by email to Melissa Beck, Executive Director, at with the subject line: MDW Program Officer. No phone calls please. 
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