Program Manager

Washington, D.C. (Flexible)

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understand the scope of the position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, or responsibilities associated with the position.

The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) is seeking a full-time Program Manager that will be an integral part of the growing program team and support the integration and the success of BISC’s three main programmatic areas: Policy and Legal Advocacy, Strategic Partnerships, and Capacity Building. BISC’s programmatic work seeks to accomplish the goals outlined in BISC’s Strategic Framework through convening a broad spectrum of partners in the ballot measure ecosystem; building capacity and skills for the field; shifting the culture of the way we work together and run ballot measure campaigns; and centering and supporting the leadership of Black, Native American, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander people and others from traditionally marginalized communities.

The Program Manager will work in partnership with BISC’s Program Team to support and execute program that deepens partnership and alignment within the ballot measure field and strengthens the skills and capacities of those organizations. The Program Manager will work to ensure a transformational and holistic approach to advising and supporting ballot measure campaigns and partners with a sophisticated racial equity lens and that reinforces an expanded definition of winning and long-term sustainable gains that build durable independent power in states.

Under the direct supervision of the Strategic Partnerships Director, the Program Manager will play a key role in strategic ballot measure campaign analysis and assistance, while supporting and playing critical roles in programmatic imperatives such as BISC’s research program, coalition building and convening of BISC’s 360 Alignment groups. The program manager will also work on BISC’s training program, peer-to-peer and skills building cohorts and interface with and support aspects of BISC’s Policy and Legal Advocacy program. This position is an excellent opportunity for an individual committed to advocating for Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian & Pacific Islander people, queer, low-income, immigrant, and other marginalized communities.

BISC is a mission and values-driven organization that recruits and seeks to retain a staff committed to excellence by fostering a work environment that is flexible, fairly-compensated, respectful, and fun.

Location: BISC HQ is located in Washington, DC, but the location for this position is flexible in the U.S. and with agreement from BISC’s Executive Team and the Program Manager’s direct Supervisor. This position may require some extended travel when it is safe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This position is part of the Program Team at BISC and reports to the Strategic Partnerships Director.

Job responsibilities may include:

  • Support the development and execution of BISC’s program work with a commitment to excellence and appetite to learn new skills;
  • Support BISC’s ballot measure tracking program including monitoring statewide ballot measures and status, opposition tracking, and attacks on the ballot measure process;
  • Support the procurement and regular updating of BISC’s comprehensive electronic clearinghouse of ballot measure campaign materials, documents and planning documents;
  • Help to develop and provide BISC’s leaders and partners with the tools and resources needed to run effective, equitable, and culture changing ballot measure campaigns;
  • Work in partnership with the program team to execute BISC’s training programs to ensure BISC is delivering innovative, equitable, and flexible training strategies that center directly impacted communities;
  • Work with the program team to deepen relationships and respond to the needs of ballot measure practitioners through one-on-one strategic assistance conversations, convenings and meetings, and supporting peer learning cohorts;
  • Work to create transformational system change and continued operationalization of greater alignment amongst and across various ballot measure sectors and issue areas by working with the Strategic Partnerships Director to manage the day-to-day work of BISC’s Victory 2030/Alignment Coalition work;
  • Work with the Program Team to support an impactful and equitable research and data program that centers directly impacted communities and play an active support role in sharing research results with external partners through BISC communications and research briefings;
  • Supports and provides logistics for BISC events such as trainings, briefings, conferences, and other convenings and provides administrative support to members of the program team;
  • Work with BISC’s Policy and Legal Advocacy Director to support BISC’s Policy and Legal Advocacy program and the integration of policy and legal advocacy into BISC’s programmatic work;
  • Provide strategic support to to ballot measure campaigns and coalitions under the supervision of the Strategic Partnerships Director;
  • Other duties as assigned

Additional responsibilities:

  • Aid the program team in implementation of BISC’s 5-year strategic plan focused on changing culture, centering directly impacted communities, capacity building, convening, and internal continuity and growth;
  • Represent BISC by attending meetings and convenings of stakeholders and partners;
  • Work with the executive team and program directors to deepen BISC’s racial equity work, both internally and in the field;
  • Support other BISC and BISC Foundation projects and activities as needed; and
  • Assist with the planning and execution of BISC’s annual conference.

Education, Knowledge and Experience Requirements

Position requires familiarity with advocating for an issues-based agenda with a diverse array of partners and organizations in coalition settings, and three to five years of related professional experience. Top candidates will have leadership experience with at least 2 cycles of state-based ballot measure campaign work in a state with citizen initiative process; familiarity with citizen initiative process.

Experience with interpreting, working with and delivering opinion research results is a plus.  The Manager must be a team player who can work independently and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Strong writing skills with an understanding of writing for an organizational voice is highly preferred. Grassroots advocacy, organizing and experience in working with coalitions is a must.

Ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Strong analytical skills, detail-oriented, and able to adapt quickly with an understanding of and experience with the ballot measure process preferred
  • Experience with and understanding of the various aspects of ballot measure campaigns
  • Experience in grassroots organizing strategies
  • Experience working with progressive policy issues, coalitions, organizations, state tables or issue campaigns
  • Ability to provide hands-on strategic support to ballot measure leaders and campaigns
  • Familiarity with and interest in opinion research
  • Some experience leading and facilitating meetings and trainings/workshops and giving presentations
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with demonstrated ability to produce a variety of types of written communications including memos, briefings, presentations, and reports
  • Superior organizational skills and interest and ability to process and synthesize complicated information
  • Commitment to progressive change and movement building required
  • An understanding of and/or proficiency in racial equity and inclusion work
  • Willingness to travel, sometimes on short notice
  • Good-humored, team player a must

We seek candidates who are:

  • Collaborative: You know that building true partnerships takes time, trust, and transparency. You understand the complexities of coalition work, including the inherent race, power and privilege dynamics often present, and are able to address them. You also are collaborative with your co-workers: willingly sharing information and tasks to get a job done.
  • Results and evaluation driven: You show relentless commitment to meeting a high bar and a history of getting things done even in the face of obstacles. You are receptive to feedback and know that evaluating and re-adjusting is critical to long term learning.
  • Organized and flexible: You have a plan, but you can quickly adapt when needed. And you understand the plan is better when you collaborate with those around you.
  • Effective interpersonal skills: You have a proven ability to communicate effectively with different personalities to move projects forward.
  • Strong time management skills: You can balance many projects at once and prioritize accordingly.
  • Movement focused: You have a demonstrated commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.

Salary & Benefits

  • Salary range $60,000 to $70,000, commensurate with experience
  • 100% Medical insurance for family paid for by employer
  • Dental and vision insurance paid for by employer
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage
  • Generous Vacation leave (office is also closed between Christmas and New Years)
  • Sick leave
  • Generous 401(k) plan with employer matching contribution

To apply:  Submit cover letter, resume, and 3 references through BambooHR.  Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled.

About BISC

BISC’s mission is to strengthen democracy by implementing a national progressive strategy for ballot measures rooted in building state-based power.

The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), a 501(c)(4) organization, is the only progressive organization that works across many policy, organizing, and political organizations, with local, state, and national leaders to analyze and support the ballot measure landscape.

We believe direct democracy can be a tool for liberation. We leverage ballot measures across the United States as part of a larger movement to strengthen democracy, center people of color, queer, low-income, immigrant, indigenous and other marginalized communities, move towards racial equity, build and transform power, and galvanize a new progressive base. In February 2020, we launched our strategic framework to help move towards our vision of building a world where all people are fully liberated, live with dignity and thrive so that equity and justice prevail.

We lead by supporting the use of ballot measures as a tool for transformational impact, not just in a measure’s outcomes, but at every stage of the ballot measure process—from policy development, signature gathering, civic engagement, the campaign itself, implementation and beyond. We believe in movement building and empowerment, bringing communities into the work and leaving lasting infrastructure for continued social change.

We know that success isn’t just defined by getting 50% + 1 of the vote. If we’re serious about building a more equitable world, we also must consider who’s driving the change and whether it will have a transformational impact on the people and communities who have been pushed to the margins for too long.

We achieve impact through training the field and developing leaders, convening state and national leaders and funders in a co-created strategy that results in transformative wins, leading innovative research and providing assistance to support ballot measures as a tool to build long term power.

BISC’s Racial Equity Stance

At the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, we work to transform our country into one that is equitable and just. In our work, we strive to challenge structural racism, and center the people most impacted. BISC works with commitment to racial equity inside our organization in our operations and management processes, and externally through our research, training and organizing work with ballot-measure campaigns, partners and funders.

EEO Policy

BISC follows an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and employs personnel without regard to race, ethnic or religious background, descent or nationality,  sexual  orientation,  gender  (including pregnancy), gender identification, disability, marital status, age, height, weight, or military service. This policy applies to employment, internships, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, relationships with vendors, use of contractors and consultants and in dealing with the general public.