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Senior Democracy Fellow

Senior Democracy Fellow
Application Deadline: 
Thursday, January 5, 2023
Job Description: 

Position: Time-limited, 36 months 

Starting Salary: $99,000 - $105,000 per year 

Reports to: Director, Public Policy  

Location: California-based, remote 

About NCG: 

Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) brings people in the field of philanthropy together to shift resources and power to the hands of people who are making positive change in our communities.  

Additional information on NCG can be found at  

Position Overview: 

Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) seeks an enthusiastic full-time Senior Democracy Fellow to accelerate the organization’s equitable policy strategic priorities within its 48-county service area, as well as statewide efforts to strengthen California’s democracy.  

The Fellow will be housed in the Public Affairs department and is an integral part of a cross-functional partnership spanning across the state of California.  This position reports to the Public Policy Director and is supervised for the duration of the fellowship. Currently all NCG staff are working remotely, but it is anticipated that the NCG office will resume limited in-person activities in 2023.  

Central to our policy efforts is our pursuit of social justice and racial equity. Recognizing those institutional systems and policies – past and present – disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, People of Color and low-income individuals, the Fellow will be working at a critical juncture to mobilize the power of philanthropy to create equitable solutions that address the root issues threatening our democracy.  

Fellowships @ NCG: 

NCG believes fellowships serve as a critical platform for professional development, career advancement, as well as an opportunity to leverage the knowledge, skills, and talent of our sector. Our organization recognizes that fellows bring new ideas, expansive knowledge, passion for the work we do, and an opportunity to conduct deep, intensive, and relational work that advances the sector. 

NCG established a new level of Fellows last year which focused on early career professionals; our Senior Fellowships continue to focus on more experienced, midcareer or executive leaders who bring substantial expertise in an arena of work. This opportunity is the first fulltime Senior Fellow due the deep knowledge, expertise, and time commitment required for this body of work.  

Essential Job Functions: 

Policy and advocacy  

  • Identify, research, analyze, and track key public policy and legislation at the federal, state, and local levels; 

  • Draft policy committee write-ups and develop other materials as necessary; 

  • Draft comments, responses, and position statements; 

  • Help with preparations for meetings with local officials, legislators, congressional delegates; and, other policymakers in support of regional and statewide policy priorities. 

Democracy funders coordination and partnerships development  

  • Support planning and delivery of educational programs for funders, including identifying topics, securing speakers, and preparing program logistics; 

  • Organize briefings designed to leverage investment for movement-building organizations. 

  • Support existing funder collaborations on democracy-related capacity building and grantmaking, including connecting members to technical assistance, programs, and research; 

  • Outreach to nonprofit, government, business, philanthropic, and university partners for learning and partnership opportunities;  

  • Connect funders to democracy and civic engagement efforts, pooled funding opportunities, and other aligned efforts that advance public policy, legislation, and movement building; and, 

  • Support Public Policy Director with NCG’s Public Policy Committee engagement. 


Under the guidance of our communications teams, the Senior Fellow will: 

  • Create visual presentations for external speaking engagements;  

  • Write values-based and action-oriented articles and blogs that mobilize philanthropy; and, 

  • Co-create other communications' collateral including video, audio, and copy for narrative strategy efforts. 


  • Strategic. Ability to collect, review, synthesize, and present information and findings and influence project trajectory. 

  • Effective. Experience leading signature strategic initiatives and developing/executing successful plans to achieve strategic goals.  

  • Values-based. Commitment to systemic change and social justice. Demonstrated knowledge of racial equity, as well as the Northern CA region's salient economic, social, or environmental justice issues. 

  • Relational. Ability to cultivate and maintain complex relationships with colleagues and members. Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to work with diverse people and in diverse groups. 

  • Adaptable. Ability to change course and support the successful completion of projects. 

  • Joyful, Enthusiastic, and Optimistic. Has an overall positive outlook on life; brings joy, humor, possibility, and positivity in the face of challenges. 

  • Attention to Detail. Ability to prioritize amid competing demands, respond effectively to time-sensitive, emergent opportunities, self-initiate, and multi-task to ensure high quality of delivery on projects. 

  • Results-oriented. The ability to organize, prioritize, and manage complex, multidimensional projects and the commitment and ability to meet work goals on time. 

  • Emotionally intelligent. Is self-aware and reflective, and able to read and respond appropriately to the energy in a room. 

  • Resourceful. Finds alternative solutions to overcome problems or limitations. 

  • Self-directed: Have a natural curiosity to find solutions amidst uncertainty and use evidence-based data in all decisions. 

Relevant Experiences Required: 

NCG seeks a candidate who has the potential to be a leader in the field. The following requirements serve as a guide, and NCG encourages applicants to submit their applications even if they do not meet all of the requirements stated below.  

  • Minimum a Master’s degree or equivalent life experience in public policy, public affairs, public health, or related fields. 

  • At least 5 years of experience working in intersectional issues such as public health, workforce development, public policy, and/or economic inclusion. 

  • Advanced knowledge of public policy as a lever for change and/or the desire and ability to contribute to strategy around local and statewide policy initiatives.  

  • Strong project management with the ability to organize, prioritize, and manage complex, multidimensional projects to successful completion within desired timeframes and to define goals, meet urgent deadlines, organize, and prioritize projects.  

  • Working knowledge of state and federal legislative processes. 

  • Experience in meeting facilitation, public speaking, and relationship management.  

  • Proven skill in creating opportunities for people to work collaboratively on complex policy initiatives.   

  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and racial equity. 

  • Technical acumen, including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. Ability to learn and adapt quickly to virtual communications and collaborative applications.  

  • Must be located in California or have the ability to travel to the NCG office in San Francisco as necessary. Preference for candidates working in Pacific Time Zone.  

  • Have access to a major airport; ability to travel to California counties and to Washington, D.C.  


  • Health, Dental and Vision Insurance 

  • Flexible Spending Account 

  • Vacation, Sick and Holiday pay 

  • 403b Voluntary Plan 

  • Short and Long-Term Disability 

  • Life Insurance 

  • Employee Assistance Program 

How to apply: 

To apply, please email your resume (not to exceed two pages) and cover letter (not to exceed two pages) to Put the title “Sr. Democracy Fellow” and your last name in the subject line. We invite you to consider your cover letter as an opportunity to tell a story that illuminates your interest in NCG's work around racial equity, social justice, and public policy. 

In lieu of a cover letter, please write a brief response to each of the questions below: 

Share your insights: 

  • How do you see strengthening our democracy moving from the headlines to philanthropic practices? 

Bonus: What is Northern California Grantmakers’ role in making that happen? 

  • What advice would you give to philanthropic institutions and philanthropists in addressing the root causes of inequities in civic engagement processes (e.g. census, redistricting, voting)? 

Health and Safety: 

Northern California Grantmakers requires all employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. If you receive an offer and are unable to get vaccinated for religious or medical reasons, you may request a reasonable accommodation.