Operations and Contracts Director

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Website Democracy At Work Insititute

Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) seeks an experienced, self-directed and collaborative person to join our dynamic national organization. Our core work is supporting the expansion of democratic employee ownership of business as a strategy for racial, gender and economic equity.

About the Job
The Operations and Contracts Director will work closely with the Executive Director, Managing Director, program staff, operations staff, board members and interns, to ensure that everyone in our mostly-remote organization has the tools and support necessary to do their work well. They will set up, monitor and maintain systems for the Oakland, New York City, and remote offices, ensuring that the Institute’s infrastructure supports effective programs and fundraising and a happy, productive team.

We are seeking someone who really enjoys operations/systems, managing private, state and federal grants and wants to do it for the foreseeable future. If you have a larger picture of how organizations work and what they need, perhaps from working in other nonprofit programs or leadership roles, that’s a plus.

We are a high-functioning, close-knit staff with a healthy respect for the operations work, and we want to work with a skilled and reliable colleague. This position has potential to grow as the organization grows.

DAWI currently manages an annual budget of around $2 million, with revenue from federal and local government grants, private foundation grants, and fee-for-service contracts. The Operations and Contracts Director is responsible for ensuring that these grants and contracts are administered properly, and in this capacity oversees compliance and program planning/reporting for these contracts.

This is a new position in a maturing organization, and is key to our sustainability as we grow. We are a high-functioning, close-knit staff with strong overall engagement in fundraising and contracting, and we want to work with a skilled and reliable colleague. This position has potential to grow as the organization grows.

  • Contracts and Grants Administration (40%)
    • Manage Existing Grants and Contracts. Manage all current grants (8-10 per year) and client contracts (varies, 4-6 per year) for our organizational portfolio of local and national programs.
    • Manage all subcontracts (10-15 per year): ensure subcontractors fulfill reporting and invoicing requirements; track invoicing and payments; support quality control and evaluation.
    • Communicate regularly and coordinate closely with program and operations staff and management to ensure timely and accurate information flow.
    • Maintain tracking systems for grant and contract budgets, and work with accounting staff to ensure timely and accurate reporting on a regular basis.
    • Monitor key performance indicators and metrics. Interface with program staff on timely reporting requirements.
    • Support Grant Reporting
    • Develop and sustain project flows and timelines related to grant reporting, including supporting ED with report writing, gathering deliverables and work products, and evaluating performance using standard metrics.
    • Work with Metrics and Impact Analyst and any subcontractors to maintain current, clean data and deliverables tracking.
    • Manage timely submission of subcontractor narrative reports, deliverables, and work products. Contracts & Grants Systems Development
    • Work with the ED and Finance Manager to assess the organization’s systems needs.
    • Continually synthesize, update and replace fragmented para-systems.
    • Develop and maintain active tracking systems for new funder relationships and funder and client pipelines.
    • Develop and refine grants and contract management systems, document all processes, and maintain updated and accessible documents in electronic/cloud and physical files.
    • Support development and implementation projects to improve organization-wide communication practices related to award administration.
    • Assist with tracking and reviewing compliance documentation as needed.
    • Provide ongoing technical assistance and training, in collaboration with supervisors and colleagues, to DAWI programs in federal contract requirements and strategic administration of government funding.
  • Support for Revenue Development (10%)
    • Work closely with ED to prepare and submit letters of inquiry, concept papers, and grant proposals.
    • Support prospecting for (1) New private funders: maintain a tracking system, monitor opportunities, and work with DAWI staff to advance relationships, (2) Federal grants and contracts, including but not limited to the major agencies with whom we work (USDA, Small Business Administration, USAID): monitor and act on opportunities to submit proposals, and (3) Local grants and contracts in cities and regions where we have a presence.
    • Support business planning for increasing earned revenue via consulting and contracting, especially with a local focus.
  • Operations and Systems Administration (30%)
    • Support the set up, implementation, training of staff and upkeep of a new project management system across the organization.
    • Provide or ensure provision of operations and logistics support for program staff (e.g. access to data and files, event planning, outreach/promotion, recordkeeping, reporting).
    • Supervise operations contractors working on specific tasks, including but not limited to:
      • Respond to email and phone inquiries; route to appropriate staffer for follow-up.
        Maintain organized electronic (Box, Google docs) and physical files
      • Maintain staff travel calendar. Ensure that standard preparation, debrief and reporting happen for all staff travel and events.
      • Support the administrative and logistical needs of the Board of Directors, meeting scheduling and preparation; some onboarding and offboarding tasks.
        Support IT hardware and software across the organization. Support troubleshooting and accessing outside support.Support technology upgrades and/or purchases.
  • Human Resources Administration (10%)
    • Collaborate with the Senior Managing Director and DAWI Member Personnel Committee to implement policies and practices for our 13-person staff which may grow slightly in coming years.
    • Coordinate hiring and off-boarding processes, maintain documentation of these processes.
    • Support and document regular compensation changes.
    • Maintain employee evaluation calendar and records, manage and support evaluation processes, forms and paperwork.
    • Bottom line all HR records/file management, including all contractor and employee files and personnel manual.
  • Participate in staff and organizational development (10%)
    • Work with the ED to assess the organization’s systems needs. Continually synthesize fragmented para-systems. Research, propose and lead new systems implementation.
    • Participate in staff meetings and professional development activities. As desired, participate as a member in membership-level management and governance of the organization.

Skills and Qualities We Seek
We are seeking an organized person with strong writing skills, excellent proactive communication habits, closing loops, organizing information and experience developing and supporting systems with real people in mind.


  • Basic operations experience: at least 4 years of experience in an admin or operations role.
  • Minimum 3 years work-related experience in grants administration and/or development support.
  • Grant writing and reporting experience.
  • Advanced skills with basic office tools: Microsoft Office Suite, GSuite, online project management systems, remote file systems, online/remote meeting tools, and online research required.
  • Facility with spreadsheets is required.
  • Facility with new technology: you can learn and teach programs to take the organization to the next level of cyber security and functionality, and you are willing to approach tech troubleshooting without fear or frustration.
  • Strong organizational skills, task-tracking and 100% follow-through on deadlines: you are able to set priorities, manage time well, establish realistic deadlines and meet them consistently.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills across all mediums.
  • A good decision-maker, with proven success at making timely decisions that keep the organization moving forward.
  • Unflinching attention to detail.
  • Initiative and ability to anticipate organizational needs: you can identify gaps, improve systems, and implement effective operations models.
  • Remote work: you like to work independently and can prioritize and execute day to day tasks,with self-management systems in place.


  • Basic budgeting and bookkeeping skills; familiarity with Quickbooks.
  • Project management: working with various software systems and overseeing projects.
  • HR and benefits administration experience.
  • Knowledge of government fund management and regulations and/or previous experience sub-granting to community organizations and consultants is strongly preferred.
  • Some knowledge of nonprofit accounting is preferred.
  • Database, data entry and data management experience (CiviCRM is a plus but we can teach you if you know databases generally).
  • Passion for social justice, racial equity, small business, and/or labor organizing; willingness to build familiarity with employee ownership and worker cooperatives. Experience working remotely is preferred.
  • Action-oriented and eager to embrace new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.

About DAWI
The Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit movement-based think-and-do tank that expands the promise of cooperative business ownership to communities most directly affected by economic, social, and racial inequality. We do research and advocacy; we develop tools and new models; we train worker-owners and developers; and we build cooperative development capacity to ensure that further growth in the worker cooperative movement reaches low-income people, people of color and recent immigrants. In all our work, as well as internal operations, we strive to embody our organizational values of Excellence, Equity, Entrepreneurialism, Collaboration, and Human-Centeredness. We are affiliated with the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the national grassroots membership organization. All programs integrate USFWC member input and foreground the experience of worker cooperatives.
Started in 2013, DAWI is a relatively young organization, and all staffers are expected to help build organizational capacity, including organizational processes and documents. We love our work, and we work hard, but we also strive for work-life balance. We are a small team with extremely low staff turnover.
Full-time staff are eligible for membership in the organization after 6 months of employment. Members are eligible to serve on the board of directors, elect two directors, and participate in the strategic guidance of the organization.
We are a remote organization with offices in Oakland and New York. This allows us to have staff all over the country, and to create flexible working hours and locations. It can also be challenging for developing systems, getting buy-in for their use, and maintaining consistency of practice —a key part of this job. All staff are expected to be able and willing to learn and help improve the technological tools for remote working. A certain amount of travel for all staffers is expected and supported. For this position, we prefer someone who can work out of our Oakland office, but we will consider strong candidates from all locations.

Notice of Nondiscrimination
Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) is committed to a multi-racial and class-diverse staff that reflects the future of worker cooperatives. Women, people of color and others who may be underrepresented at senior levels of the nonprofit workforce are strongly encouraged to apply. DAWI is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law. It is the policy of DAWI to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding equal opportunity. In keeping with that policy, DAWI is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Accordingly, DAWI will not tolerate unlawful discrimination against or harassment of any of our employees or others present at our facilities by anyone, including any supervisor, coworker, vendor, client, or customer of DAWI.
Full-time position (40 hours/week)
Compensation and Benefits
$60,000-$75,000 depending on experience. DAWI offers full health benefits coverage for employees,
including dental and vision; participation in a 401(k) plan; a generous time-off policy; and a professional development budget.

How to Apply
Email a cover letter, resume, and two references to hiring@institute.coop. Cover letters should be
addressed to the Hiring Committee and include a 2-3 paragraph statement of interest describing how your skills and experiences qualify you for the position. Include the subject line “Application for Operations and Contracts Director position.” All materials should be submitted in PDF format.

Deadline to apply:
February 15, 2021

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