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Opening: Senior Manager of Public Policy

Publication date: 
June, 2019

Position: Senior Manager of Public Policy 
Organization: United Philanthropy Forum
Location: Washington, DC

Do you have a passion for using public policy and advocacy to advance a nonprofit’s vision and mission? Do you want to play an important national leadership role in helping organizations build their individual and collective capacity for public policy engagement in philanthropy? Then join the United Philanthropy Forum team!

Position Summary

Reporting to the Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, the Senior Manager of Public Policy is responsible for ensuring that the Forum works as effectively as possible to advance the work of our members to engage in government relations, advocacy and public policy work at the state, regional and national level. The Senior Manager of Public Policy will plan and execute strategies to lead, inform and support regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations in their efforts to advance effective policy that will strengthen philanthropy and move the needle on issues that their members support; strengthen relationships and partnerships between philanthropy and government; and provide a collective voice for the Forum network. The Senior Manager of Public Policy will work closely with the Forum team and our members and in collaboration with key national partner organizations.

The position requires a person who can work effectively across a wide range of activities, from highly strategic to highly tactical, and across a wide spectrum of policy issues. The position also requires a person with excellent oral and written communications skills, strong relationship-building skills, an ability to work in both leadership and service capacities, and a keen understanding of the power of policy and advocacy to advance issues of interest to philanthropy and the broader nonprofit sector.

This is a full-time, exempt position based in the Forum’s Washington, DC office. Salary starting in the low 90s, commensurate with experience, with a competitive benefits package including 100% employer paid health coverage and a retirement plan.

As the largest and most diverse network in American philanthropy, United Philanthropy Forum holds a unique position in the social sector to help increase philanthropy’s impact in communities across the country. We are a membership organization of nearly 80 philanthropy associations and networks, representing 7,000 foundations and other funders, who work to make philanthropy better. The Forum envisions a courageous philanthropic sector that catalyzes a just and equitable society where all can participate and prosper.

To Apply

Submit a cover letter and resume to careers@unitedphilforum.org; please use the following subject line: “Senior Manager of Public Policy: Last Name, First Name.”

The Forum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse team and encourage applications from candidates of diverse backgrounds.

No telephone inquiries please.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

Building Members’ Policy Capacity

  • Develop, organize, execute and evaluate the Forum’s programs and services to strengthen the capacity of Forum members to engage in public policy and government relations work, including the annual policy institute.
  • Develop tools and resources to help Forum members engage in public policy and government relations work.
  • Manage the Forum’s Public Policy Peer Community, which provides opportunities for members with public policy and government relations responsibilities to connect, learn and share with their colleagues through a listserv, regular calls and an annual in-person convening at the Forum’s annual conference.
  • Write the Forum’s biweekly public policy update for members and contribute to policy updates for the Forum’s general member newsletter.
  • Plan, organize and execute periodic policy-focused calls, webinars and conference sessions for members to help advance, inform and support their policy and government relations work.
  • Provide ongoing technical assistance on policy, advocacy and government relations to Forum members through periodic check-in calls, responses to inquiries, etc.
  • Manage annual survey of Forum members’ policy capacity and activities, working with evaluation consultant.
  • Update and curate the public policy and advocacy resources and information on the Forum’s website.

Supporting Forum Members’ Public Policy Engagement

  • Plan, organize, execute and evaluate the Forum’s annual Foundations on the Hill event.
  • Plan, organize, execute and evaluate a yearlong program to help Forum members engage with their legislators, which includes the writing and production of an August recess guide.
  • Write periodic policy alerts and calls to action for members.
  • Track members’ public policy engagement and activity and share with the network as appropriate.
  • Regularly monitor and stay abreast of all policy issues affecting philanthropy and the broader nonprofit sector and provide targeted updates to members interested in specific issues.
  • Respond to members’ inquires and requests related to public policy, advocacy, and government relations.

Leading the Forum’s Public Policy Engagement

  • Provide primary staff support for Forum’s Public Policy Committee, which guides and supports for the Forum’s public policy and government relations strategies.
  • Manage the Forum’s processes and procedures for taking policy positions.
  • Work with the CEO and Senior Vice President to prepare Forum’s positions and viewpoints on policy issues through official statements, blog posts, op-eds, etc.
  • Work with the CEO and Senior Vice President to use the Forum’s voice to influence policy issues, such as drafting public comments on proposed regulations, statements for the record for congressional hearings, sign-on letters to policymakers, amicus curiae briefs, and other similar activities. 
  • Work with the CEO, Senior Vice President, other identified staff, and volunteer members to support strategic alliances and collaborative activities in order to build a national presence for philanthropy with policymakers.
  • Identify prospective relationships, strengthen existing relationships, and facilitate the exchange of information between the Forum and federal agencies, as appropriate.
  • Work collaboratively with Forum members and key national partner organizations to ensure coordinated public policy and advocacy efforts.
  • Represent the Forum at national policy tables with our partners and colleagues.
  • Represent the Forum and the Forum’s policy positions in meetings with members of Congress and their staff.
  • Attend and represent the Forum at events such as congressional hearings, conferences, and panels that address the Forum’s policy issues. 

Special Projects & Other Duties

  • Manage Forum’s special policy-focused initiatives, such as the current Census 2020 initiative.
  • Work with the CEO and Senior Vice President to garner additional grants and sponsorships to support Forum’s policy work.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Selection Criteria to Qualify for This Position

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Six or more years of experience in policy/advocacy in philanthropy or nonprofit field and/or experience working in government; strong, existing relationships and experience with public officials at national level a plus.
  • Enthusiasm for the use of public policy engagement in the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to manage key public policy relationships with integrity and consistency, including a keen ability to work effectively and respectfully with politically, ideologically, culturally and geographically diverse people and communities.
  • Strong analytical and technical skills and ability to translate complex subjects into approachable concepts.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and adjust to changing priorities.
  • Effective project management and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a high-performance, collaborative, constructive peer group.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility and a commitment to and passion for the Forum’s mission.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as a part of a team.
  • Knowledge of philanthropy/nonprofit sector preferred.
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