Convergence Names David Eisner New President & CEO

Our friends at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution recently announced the appointment of their new President & CEO. Please join us in congratulating Convergence and David Eisner on the new position! The full announcement is below and also accessible at this link.

Convergence Center for Policy Resolution is excited to share that we have a new President & CEO, David Eisner! Convergence is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to convene people and groups with divergent views to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on critical issues. David is a national leader in public, private, and nonprofit sectors and will team with Convergence Founder Rob Fersh to expand Convergence’s scale and impact.

“Bridging divides of ideology, identity and partisanship to address America’s core challenges has never been more urgent,” says Eisner.

The following statement was released by Jean Molino, Chair of the Board, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution:

First, let me express to all in the Convergence community our heartfelt hopes that you are well and taking good care in this challenging time. We are eager to stay in touch with you and want to hear from you as we continue to do our work, now more important than ever, to create community and collaboration to deal effectively with issues of great concern to us all.

To further that end, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce that David Eisner will become Convergence’s new President and CEO, effective April 1, 2020. David is a national leader who brings broad experience as a senior executive across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. His demonstrated excellence at scaling organizational impact and results through effective programming, partnership, fundraising, and staff development, combined with his longstanding passion for coalition-building and cross-partisan problem-solving make David the right leader for Convergence at the right time.

Highlights of David’s career include his appointment by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve as the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he grew AmeriCorps from 50,000 to 75,000 members, built bi-partisan support and oversaw the iconic AmeriCorps response to Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, David served as CEO of the National Constitution Center, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, where he facilitated leading scholars and influentials in dialogue across deep differences over pressing Constitutional issues. David chaired the nonprofit All for Good, which built the system supporting President Obama’s signature service initiative,, and most recently served for six years as CEO of Repair the World, the nonprofit Jewish service organization. David has also held senior leadership roles at America Online (& AOL Time Warner) and Fleishman-Hillard, and has served on many national nonprofit boards, including Independent Sector, Public Allies, National 4-H Council, Network for Good and Points of Light.

We are also especially pleased that David and Rob Fersh, Convergence’s founder and current CEO, have agreed to build an active partnership as Rob segues to the role of Founder/Senior Advisor, maintaining deep involvement in Convergence’s planning, programming and fundraising. Convergence just celebrated its first decade, during which Rob developed Convergence’s unique methodology – our “secret sauce” –which has proven remarkably effective at bringing people together across differences to address some of society’s most intractable problems. We look forward to David building on that solid legacy, bringing innovation, scale and expanded impact to Convergence’s work in its second decade.

As Chair of Convergence’s CEO Search Committee, I can share that identifying the person to lead Convergence in the large footprints of our exceptional founder was both challenging and invigorating. We were delighted to engage with a great many exceptional and influential leaders of nonprofits and policy, which underscored the strong reputation of Convergence as well as the importance of the work.

Rob noted: “I am truly delighted to welcome David as the new CEO of Convergence. He brings a wealth of talent and experience along with great passion for our mission. I look forward to working closely with him to further the success of his leadership and Convergence. I am grateful to our terrific Board of Directors for concluding this search with such a great result.”

David shared his excitement about taking on this new challenge: “I am thrilled to be joining the Convergence team at a time when bridging divides of ideology, identity and partisanship to address America’s core challenges has never been more urgent. Convergence meets this need in a way that is uniquely powerful. I am particularly delighted that Rob will continue to bring his leadership and experience so that the uniqueness and power of our work remains true even as we scale our reach and impact.”

David looks forward to connecting with the Convergence network, and we will create opportunities in the coming months for our colleagues to get to know him. While we are currently living and working in highly unusual circumstances, these will not prevent David from coming fully and wholly on board. We look forward to his leadership for many years to come.

Jean Molino, Chair
Convergence Board of Directors

NCDD Donations Matched Tomorrow on Giving Tuesday!

This week is Giving Tuesday, a day of giving back to the organizations that give to our communities year-round. We at the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) ask you to consider supporting our coalition’s work to bring more valuable conversations to communities across the country and the world. We work to increase access to resources for dialogue, deliberation, participatory democracy, and more. Our purpose is to foster connections between individuals and organizations passionate about having more informed and productive conversations; strengthening relationships in order to reduce information and skills from being siloed.

NCDD envisions a future in which all people–regardless of income, position, background or education–are able to engage regularly in lively, thoughtful, and challenging discussions about what really matters to them, in ways that have a positive impact on their lives and their world. We envision a society in which systems and structures support and advance inclusive, constructive, dialogue and deliberation. 

NCDD is a small outfit, with just three part-time staff, and we rely on the support of our network and friends to help us continue to educate people on dialogue and deliberation, and to build this national coalition. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500.

On Giving Tuesday (tomorrow, December 3rd), Facebook will match a total of $7 million in donations. Starting at 8am Eastern/5am Pacific, donations made through our Facebook page, will be matched – so please give what you can and help NCDD continue to support this network of innovators!  Important to note: Facebook will be covering processing fees, so 100% of your donation will go towards NCDD (!!). If you don’t use Facebook, you can always make a donation of any amount on our donation page.

For seventeen years, NCDD has worked hard to gather visionaries and practitioners dedicated to raising the quality of discourse across many key issues and questions. Many of you have been a part of that – and we’re immensely grateful for you!

As you reflect back on your years of association, we’re curious: how much has this network meant to you? Has it made a difference for good in some way? In what ways can we continue to drive NCDD together to support each other doing this work?

Please consider a #GivingTuesday donation to help us continue this work into the new year. More than ever before, we could use the help and support – and would be so grateful for your assistance!

We recognize there are a lot of fantastic organizations out there to donate to on Giving Tuesday, but we hope you consider donating to NCDD, which plays such a critical role in building capacity for improved democracy, conversation, and connection (which, we argue, is actually the most important issue we face right now as a country). It is really tough for organizations like NCDD to fundraise and be sustainable because it is a network of organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. Most of the members understandably have to focus on their own organizations and efforts. But networks like NCDD are critical to build a community of practice and grow the field. 

If you don’t know very much about us, we encourage you to check out some of the great benefits of NCDD and become a member. If you are already connected, please consider donating, even just a little bit, especially since it can be matched this morning.

Thank you for your support this Giving Tuesday and every day!

MANY New Job & Internship Opportunities in the D&D Field

There are LOTS of new jobs and internships related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, and public engagement work! Including two special opportunities to work with NCDD Co-Founder Sandy Heierbacher who is now working with Everyday Democracy, and they looking for a Director of Communications and Community Organizer – check it out!

We work to stay up on the most recent opportunities and send them out via the NCDD Making-A-Living listserv. While the Making-A-Living listserv is a benefit of being an NCDD member, we have been finding such a robust line-up of jobs and internships that we wanted to lift these up here on the blog. If you’d like to receive these regular updates and are an NCDD member, sign up for the Making-A-Living listserv here. If you are not a member of NCDD, then we strongly encourage you to join so you can receive the most up-to-date positions we find! Learn more about the additional benefits of being an NCDD member by clicking here.

Remember if your org is hiring, let us know by sending the postings to keiva[at]ncdd[dot]orgGood luck to all applicants!

New Job & Internship Opportunities in D&D Field – November 11, 2019

Everyday Democracy is hiring for two positions in their Hartford, CT. Read more:

  • Director of Communications
  • Community Organizer

The Conflict Transformation Fund is hiring a full-time Initiative Director. Read more:

Duke University is hiring for an Executive Director of the North Carolina Leadership Forum. Read more:

Living Room Conversations is seeking volunteers for several positions. Read more:

  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Social Media Moderator
  • Lead and Local Organizers
  • Communications
  • Research

[POSITION NOW FILLED] Civic Dinners is looking for a Social Media Manager for their Atlanta office. Read more:

Citizen University is hiring for a Communications Intern. Read more:

Convergence Center for Policy Resolution is seeking a President & CEO. Read more:

Generation Citizen is hiring for several positions – read more:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Communications Manager
  • Senior Director of Program & Impact
  • Executive Director (California)

Center for Tech and Civic Life is hiring for an Executive Assistant in their Chicago office. Read more:

MOVE Texas is hiring for two positions. Read more:

  • Regional Organizing Manager
  • San Antonio Field Organizer

Cities of Service is currently seeking AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve in cities across the US. Read more:

  • Experience Matters Program  – St. Paul, MN and Tulsa, OK
  • Guiding Opportunities Program – Oakland, CA and St. Louis, MO
  • Love Your Block Program – Hartford, CT and South Bend, IN

Democracy Fund is hiring for several positions below (in DC) – read more:

  • Accounting Manager
  • IT Administrator
  • Just and Inclusive Society Fellow
  • Partnerships Associate
  • Program Associate, Public Square Program
  • Senior Advisor Government Accountability
  • Senior Associate, Strategy and Learning
  • Communications and Network Internship (Spring 2019)
  • Elections Program Internship (Spring 2019)
  • Governance Program Internship (Spring 2019)
  • Public Square Program Internship (Spring 2019)

Democracy Works has several positions and internships available (various locations). Read more:

  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Government Affairs Director
  • Voting Information Project Data Fellow

RepresentUS is hiring for several positions – read more:

  • Campaign Director (remote)
  • Senior Campaign Director (remote)
  • Digital Campaign Associate (Northampton, MA or San Francisco, CA)
  • Social Media Campaign Strategist (East Coast)
  • Digital Director (multiple locations)
  • Marketing Analyst (multiple locations)
  • National Media Strategist (multiple locations)
  • Social Media Strategist (multiple locations)
  • Regional Director of Development – West Coast
  • Communications Intern (Spring 2020)
  • Organizing Intern (Spring 2020)
  • Political Intern (Spring 2020)

IssueOne is looking for several positions. Read more:

  • Development Associate
  • Policy & Programs Intern (Spring 2020)
  • Development Intern (Spring 2020)

Young Invincibles has several positions open. Read more:

  • Development Coordinator
  • Content Strategy Manager
  • Digital Communications Coordinator

Knight Foundation looking to hire for several positions. Read more:

  • Junior Data Analyst – Miami

Fairvote is hiring for several positions. Read more:

  • Director of Communications
  • Director of Advocacy
  • Digital Organizer
  • Software Developer
  • Voter Education Specialist
  • Regional Field Organizer
  • Data Analyst

EnviroIssues is hiring for multiple positions. Read more:

  • Multi-Media Designer – Portland
  • Facilitation/Outreach Project Manager – Portland
  • Construction Outreach Associate – Seattle

Community Water Center hiring for two positions. Read more:

  • Communications Manager – Sacramento office
  • Community Organizer – Visalia office

Net Impact runs a jobs-internship board at

Democracy Fund’s electiononline has LOTS of positions in various cities across the country. Read more:

Careers in Government has several engagement & communication-related opportunities. Use the keyword search at

2019 Engaged Cities Awards Finalists Announced!

The 2019 Engaged Cities Awards winners and finalists have been selected! The award celebrates those cities from the Americas and Europe who most successfully engaged their communities to create and implement solutions to address local challenges. From the Cities of Service site, “Their incredible work demonstrates what cities can accomplish when they are open to the ideas and talents of citizens. Over the summer, Cities of Service will visit all 10 finalist cities to learn more about their solutions and share what we find so other cities can learn from and replicate the solutions in their own cities.” Read more in the post below and learn more about each of the finalists on the Cities of Services site here.

2019 Winner and Finalists

Cities of Service received more than one hundred applications for the 2019 Engaged Cities Award from cities across the Americas and Europe. With help from an esteemed group of experts, Cities of Service chose 10 finalists, whose solutions achieved impact by engaging citizens in a variety of ways, including: impact volunteering, participatory design, crowdsourcing, and citizen-sourced data. Finalists tackled challenges related to the environment and sustainability, health and safety, neighborhood revitalization, and more.

We visited each finalist city to learn more about their collaborations with communities.

All ten finalists combined bold mayoral leadership and the reach of city hall with the on-the-ground knowledge of citizens to address serious problems. Their incredible work demonstrates what cities can accomplish when they are open to the ideas and talents of citizens.

Over the summer, Cities of Service will visit all 10 finalist cities to learn more about their solutions and share what we find so other cities can learn from and replicate the solutions in their own cities.

Learn more about the 10 finalist solutions here.

About the Award

Each year, the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award elevates city-led strategies that most successfully engage citizens to help create and implement solutions to pressing local problems.

Cities of Service knows that many cities are involving citizens in creative and effective ways, including civic tech, data analysis, impact volunteering, and more. These cities are combining the reach of City Hall with the on-the-ground knowledge of citizens to solve public problems.

The Engaged Cities Award is open to cities with populations of 30,000+ in the Americas and Europe. Cities of Service, along with an esteemed group of experts, will choose three winning cities. Each winner will receive a minimum of $50,000 and be announced as part of the Engaged Cities Award Summit in fall 2019.

Last year, Cities of Service selected winners of the inaugural Engaged Cities Award and officially announced them at a dinner hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg. We celebrated the work of the finalists at the first ever Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award Summit.

To stay informed about the Engaged Cities Award, including finalists, winners, and future opportunities to apply, please sign up for our mailing list.

You can read the above announcement on the Engaged Cities site at

EvDem Announces New Leadership in Democracy Awardee

In case you missed it, our friends at Everyday Democracy, an NCDD member organization recently announced the winner of the third annual Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award! Please join us in congratulating Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson of the Lower Ninth Ward Center for the Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) in New Orleans, who for almost a decade has been “combining citizen engagement with environmental science to create equitable development and policy on climate resilience”. The Aicher Award Committee recognized the following finalists: Catalyst Miami, BRIDGE, Lisa Jo Epstein, and Ximena Zúñiga; and honorable mentions to Brandyn Keating, The Phoenix Association, Blontas (Winkie) Mitchell, and Roanoke Valley Points of Diversity. We encourage you to read the announcement below or on Everyday Democracy’s blog here.

3rd Annual Paul J. Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award Announced

For more than 25 years, Everyday Democracy has worked with communities across the country to foster a healthy and vibrant democracy – characterized by strong relationships across divides, leadership development, including the voices of all people, and understanding and addressing structural racism. The Aicher Award seeks to elevate community leaders who embody these values.

After considering more than 60 nominations from around the country, Everyday Democracy has announced the winner:

Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson of New Orleans, LA

Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson of New Orleans, La., were selected as the winners of the 2019 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award. This team’s winning nomination was selected from 64 nominations in this third annual national contest. Everyday Democracy will present the two men (who work together but are not related) with a $10,000 award at a ceremony on December 5th in Hartford, CT.

Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson have been working at the Lower Ninth Ward Center for the Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) in New Orleans for almost a decade, combining citizen engagement with environmental science to create equitable development and policy on climate resilience. According to Martha McCoy, Executive Director of Everyday Democracy, “there are many others across our country and globe who are facing the inequitable effects of climate change and want to tackle it through democratic ways of working. Arthur Johnson and Happy Johnson provide inspirational models of the kind of leadership we need, so that we can address critical climate issues in inclusive, sustainable ways.”

The Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) has been on the front lines of restoring the fragile ecosystem of the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans while strengthening the Ninth Ward’s civic fabric. CSED is committed to equity and social justice in an already underserved community that was completely devastated after Hurricane Katrina. Arthur Johnson and Happy Johnson have been leading the effort every step of the way.

The Lower Ninth Ward is still reeling from the effect of Hurricane Katrina. With a population that is 93% African-American, the neighborhood has been marked by an uneven recovery effort compared to other neighborhoods in New Orleans. Thirteen years after the storm there were still no supermarkets in the Lower Ninth, and residents had to fight the city to ensure that at least one school of the five that were closed after the storm would be rebuilt. A couple of months ago, one small grocery store was opened.

Arthur Johnson and Happy Johnson are leaders in and advocates for the neighborhood at the heart of CSED. They are an incredible example of steadfast and consistent leadership. They are homegrown and grassroots. In an environment where resources are drying up, they implement programs that have strengthened and restored both the ecological and civic infrastructure of their community.

Their work has elevated the voices of African American, Vietnamese, and Latino residents in conversations with state-level agencies, demonstrating that bridge building, equity, inclusion, and transparency make equitable, community-driven change possible and sustainable. Their commitment to racial and intergenerational equity is evident across all of their work. Arthur and Happy were nominated by Nicole Cabral of Public Agenda, and received several letters of support including one from the National Wildlife Federation that noted: “CSED’s sought-after expertise transcends politics and is regularly tapped for non-profit, mayoral and community appointments, panel discussions, presentations and public policy recommendations.”

“Community engagement is who we are.” – Arthur Johnson

Happy Johnson served as one of the youngest African Americans to drive an Emergency Response Vehicle in New Orleans post-Katrina and has dedicated his life to building cultural and environmental resilience. Additionally, his series of children’s picture books about wetlands restoration and disaster preparedness have been taught to thousands of students throughout the American South. Arthur Johnson noted, “We are thrilled to be recognized, because it will help us move the mission of equity and democracy in the Lower Ninth Ward in the face of many challenges.” He went on to say that “Having two black men being recognized for something like this is unusual and also a powerful symbol…. The kind of recognition your foundation gives doesn’t happen a lot in our country.”

Happy added that “the work is difficult, and recognition doesn’t happen often. This award is a great boost to our morale.” Happy Johnson was excited that he and Arthur were being recognized together, noting that this is the first time this has happened. Arthur reflected that people don’t work together across generations often enough, and that seasoned leaders and younger people should work together all the time. This thought aligns directly with the intergenerational equity work Everyday Democracy is focusing on, to complement its focus on racial equity through community dialogue to change.

This year, the Acher Award Committee also recognized these strong finalists for the award:

Catalyst Miami, FL; BRIDGE, Lee, MA; Lisa Jo Epstein, Philadelphia, PA; and, Ximena Zúñiga, Amherst, MA

There were also four honorable mentions:

Brandyn Keating, West Bridgewater, MA; Blontas (Winkie) Mitchell, Springfield, OH; The Phoenix Association, CT; and Roanoke Valley Points of Diversity, Roanoke, VA.

Paul J. Aicher and his wife Joyce were known for their generosity and creative genius. A discussion course at Penn State helped Paul find his own voice in civic life early on, and sparked his lifelong interest in helping others find theirs.

Paul founded the Topsfield Foundation and the Study Circles Resource Center, now called Everyday Democracy, in 1989. The organization has now worked with more than 600 communities throughout the country, helping bring together diverse people to understand and make progress on difficult issues, incorporating lessons learned into discussion guides and other resources, and offering training and resources to help develop the field and practice of deliberative democracy.

Learn more about Paul’s journey and the origins of Everyday Democracy.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award honors work that creates opportunities for meaningful civic participation for all people, addresses racial inequities through dialogue and collective action, and shows the power of bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how a community works.

The award winner will be celebrated in Hartford, CT on December 5th. More information to follow.

You can read the original version of this announcement on Everyday Democracy’s blog at

Microgrant Opportunity Available for Forum Moderators

NCDD member organization, the National Issue Forums Institute recently announced a new microgrant opportunity from Net Impact to host a a forum around the NIFI issue guides, “A House Divided” or “A Nation in Debt”.  The $150 microgrant is available for forum moderators from accredited US-based higher education institutes until May 1, 2020. We encourage you to read the announcement below, find the original version on the NIFI blog here, and apply for the funding today!

Announcing the Net Impact Microgrant Program

Net Impact is excited to offer a micro grant of $150 to moderators* who host a forum using the “A House Divided” or “A Nation in Debt” issue guides.

To receive the funding, apply by May 1, 2020 and host a forum using either the A House Divided or the A Nation in Debt issue guides before June 30, 2020. Applicants will receive more detailed information about the micro grant program from Net Impact.

Apply Now

*Moderators must be affiliated with an accredited US-based college or university to be considered eligible for the micro grant.

The National Issues Forums partner, Net Impact is excited to offer this micro grant. Net Impact is a nonprofit that inspires and equips emerging leaders to build a more just and sustainable world. Net Impact’s programs help new leaders broaden their thinking, build their networks, and scale their impact beyond just individual actions. One stand-out Net Impact program, Up to Us, is a rapidly growing, nonpartisan movement of young people who recognize that when it comes to securing their future opportunities, they have no better advocates than themselves. Up to Us is the only nationwide, campus-based campaign focused on building a sustainable economic and fiscal future for America’s next generation.

Up to Us, an initiative of Net Impact and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, is a rapidly growing, nonpartisan movement of young people who recognize that when it comes to securing their economic and fiscal future, they have no better advocates than themselves.

You can read the original version of this announcement on the National Issue Forums Institute blog at

Community Voices for Health Offers $660K Grant Opportunity

In case you haven’t heard, the Community Voices for Health initiative is offering a large grant opportunity to strengthen engagement infrastructure. The initiative is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), with technical assistance from NCDD member organization Public Agenda and Altarum. From the Community Voices for Health site…

“The goal of Community Voices for Health is to build stronger engagement infrastructure that involves a broader range of people, especially marginalized and underserved communities – so their voices are heard in healthcare policymaking decisions, their efforts to solved problems are supported, and their community networks are strengthened. Community-based organizations or networks are invited to apply for up to $660,000 to support projects spanning 30 months. A total of six grants will be awarded. ”

The application deadline is Monday, October 7th. You can learn more about the grant opportunity below and on the RWJF site here, and we encourage you to check out the Community Voices for Health site here.

Community Voices for Health 2019 Call for Proposals


The overarching goal of this new initiative, Community Voices for Health, is to support ongoing ways for people to engage—to help their voices be a part of decisions around health care, social service, and public health systems; to support their efforts to solve problems; and to strengthen their community networks. We will award up to six grants, one per state, to lead organizations in 20 eligible states (see “Eligibility Criteria” below). Lead organizations should be public charities that are nonprofit community-based organizations or statewide networks of community-based organizations. Although the grant is awarded to one lead organization, each grantee will be expected to work with a range of partners and other stakeholders—such as public agencies; health care systems; public health departments and leaders; researchers; university-based centers; membership associations; and social service providers.

The initiative seeks to learn from a range of approaches developed by community partners, and acknowledges there are many approaches to meeting the goal. This call for proposals therefore allows for some flexibility in key areas, such as the geographic or issue focus. Specifically, while the project might start by focusing on a single issue such as housing or mental health, it should be designed to produce an infrastructure that can take on other issues affecting people’s health. Proposals can be statewide in scope or focus on a community or metro region, as long as they connect residents with state-level decisions and/or establish infrastructure that could be adopted in many other locations across a state.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

All states face challenges with respect to increasing and sustaining engagement, but the nature of those challenges varies from state to state. To maximize learnings from this project, we took into consideration a number of factors designed to capture this diversity including, but not limited to, geography, demographics, and policy climate. Community Voices for Health grants are open to organizations based in and working in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.While each collaborating organization should be described in detail in the proposal, only one organization may represent the collaboration and be the lead contact in the application process. The applicant/lead organization must be recognized as a public charity under Sections 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

In addition, the applicant/lead organization should have a demonstrated history of managing funds to support non-lobbying advocacy efforts or, a mix of lobbying and nonlobbying efforts. Applicants should also indicate whether they have an existing relationship with legal counsel with expertise in the lobbying and political activity restrictions that apply to public charities and private foundations.  A small portion of grant funds may be used to retain legal counsel with relevant expertise, if an applicant does not yet have counsel in place.

You can read this on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at

We encourage you to check out the Community Voices for Health site at

Apply by Oct. 9th to Host A Nevins Fellow *for Free*!

NCDD Member Organization the McCourtney Institute for Democracy is again offering the incredible opportunity for D&D organizations to take advantage of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program. The 2019-20 application is open now through Wednesday, October 9th, for organizations who want to host a bright, motivated, D&D-trained student at no-cost!

The Nevins Democracy Leaders Program was founded in 2014 after a gift from David Nevins, President and Co-Director of the Bridge Alliance, an NCDD Member Org. The program provides Penn State students with education and ­training in transpartisan leadership skills by exposing them to a variety of viewpoints and philosophies, as well as teaching critical thinking along with the tools of dialogue and deliberation.

But the flagship work of fostering the next generation of democracy leaders centers on the yearly initiative to place Nevins Program students in unique fellowship position with organizations focused on D&D, transpartisan dialogue, and civic renewal – that means organizations like yours! Stipends and living expenses are provided to the students through the program so that organizations can bring these bright, motivated students into their work for a summer at no cost. The McCourtney Institute provides $5,000 toward the cost of hosting a Nevins Fellow for a summer internship. Students come to their internship sites well prepared and ready to get to work.

Fellows have interned at the following organizations, just to name a few:

  • Everyday Democracy
  • Participatory Budgeting
  • National Institute for Civil Discourse

Much like students apply for the fellowship, organizations apply to host a fellow. Nonprofits, government organizations, or other groups committed to building and sustaining democracy that would like to host a fellow can apply here!

NCDD hosted a Confab Call last September with Chris Beem from the McCourtney Institute, who covered lots of the important details about the program. You can listen to the recording of that call by clicking here. You can also check out this blog post from a 2017 Nevins Fellow about their summer fellowship with the Jefferson Center, to get a better sense of the student’s experience. We also encourage you to watch this video from 2019 Nevins Fellow John Villella, who did constituent engagement work for the Baltimore City Council.

It’s an amazing opportunity for everyone involved!

We can’t speak highly enough about the Nevins program’s students or about the value of this program’s contributions to the D&D field. We know that these young people will be great additions to organizations in our field.  We encourage you to apply today!

Submit Application for NCL’s 2020 All-American City Awards

In case you missed it, applications are now being accepted for the 2020 All-American City Awards! Hosted by the National Civic League, an NCDD partner, this year’s award theme is focused on “Enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement”. We encourage you to watch the video from the 2018 awardees with tips on how to apply and how the award has benefited their communities. We also recorded our co-hosted NCDD-NCL Confab call earlier this spring which can provide some great context and background information on the award – watch it here (please note the award theme this year is slightly different, though still in the same vein of health equity in communities). The deadline is Wednesday, February 19, 2020. You can read the announcement below and find the original version on NCL’s site here.

National Civic League’s 2020 All-America City Awards: Enhancing Health and Well-Being Through Civic Engagement

The National Civic League is now accepting applications for the 2020 All-America City Award, focused on enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement. With the National Civic League’s Co-Title Sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and Well Being Trust, the 2020 Awards reflect the concept that good health for the entire community requires a focus on mental, physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being.

We are looking for applicants with community-driven projects that reflect the concept that good health for the entire community requires a focus on mental, physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being.

Projects focusing on this theme might include:

  • healthy & safe environments
  • opportunities for lifelong learning
  • meaningful and well-paying jobs
  • affordable and humane housing
  • reliable transportation and accessibility
  • environmental health and safety
  • a sense of belonging and inclusion
  • access to mental health care
  • substance-abuse recovery and prevention
  • healthy eating and exercising
  • affordable, accessible health care

Begin your community’s application today to become a 2020 All-America City!

Important Dates

  • July 2019 – May 2020
    All-America City Promising Practices Webinar Series
  • November 1, 2019
    Submit Letter of Intent to Apply (not required to apply)
  • February 19, 2020
    Applications Due
  • March 2020
    Finalists Announced
  • March-June 2020
    Competition Preparation
  • June 5-7, 2020
    All-America City Awards Competition and Event in Denver, CO

You can find the original version of this announcement on the National Civic League’s site at

Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellowship Announced

Last week we shared this great paid fellowship opportunity on our Making-A-Living listserv and we wanted to also lift it up here to tap the larger civic engagement network! The 12-month fellowship will seek to “catalyze widespread engagement with science and its societal implication” and “lead the development of a shared vision and strategy for future collaborative work among funders in the civic science space”. Location of the fellowship has the potential to be flexible and applications are due Thursday, August 15th. Learn more in the post below and find the original on the Rita Allen Foundation site here.

Position Announcement: Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellow

To catalyze widespread engagement with science and its societal implications, funders invite applicants for a Civic Science Fellowship.


A collaboration of funders with a shared interest in the relationship between science and society invite applicants for a Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellow. The Fellow will work for 12 months to advance emerging collaborative work among relevant programs at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, The Kavli Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation. The Fellow will be part of the inaugural class of Civic Science Fellows, which aims to build the capacity of emerging leaders, networks, and institutions working to meaningfully connect science and society in a time of rapid change.

Vision, Opportunity, and Background

The need for a more robust, mutual, and equitable relationship between science and society has never been more urgent. Individuals, communities, and our global population face accelerating and increasingly complicated challenges. Rapidly evolving, highly complex science contributes to these challenges and holds the promise of shaping solutions—gene editing, artificial intelligence, and ocean conservation are just a few examples of acutely relevant, socially charged, and potentially transformative areas of research. The research community must understand and respond to the societal context in which it exists if it is to remain a relevant and robust element of society. Charting the course for this science in democratic societies requires not only technical scientific answers, but also deep engagement with issues including ethics, community values and needs, economics, and public health.

The funders in the collaborative are brought together by a shared vision, one that we bring in our efforts to serve science communication, public engagement, science, and the public broadly. We believe science is one of our most important tools for developing knowledge about ourselves and understanding the world around us; however, it has become increasingly viewed as separate from society. Many science engagement efforts seek to focus on specific effects of this disconnect (e.g., threats to federal funding for basic science). We, with our partners in the field, have begun to explore what might be the primary causes of the problem, and the opportunities they present: to form new connections and collaborations that can fuel more meaningful, inclusive integration of science in society.

This shared understanding of the opportunity space has served as a catalyst for an emerging funder collaborative. We are in the position to build bridges and leverage different expertise and resources across sectors, from our organizations and others, in order to more effectively serve the scientific ecosystem as well as diverse communities affected by scientific discovery and application. A process of shared learning and exploration can accelerate our common understanding of approaches and techniques to effectively address the roots of the disconnect between science and society, as well as help us identify areas of shared collaboration or coordination for greater impact in supporting those leading, innovating, and working at this interface.

The initial cohort of Science in Society Collaborative members are philanthropies, each with individual missions and focus, but with substantial overlap in how we approach science engagement. We all support efforts that promote science as a way of knowing. We all believe that a lack of adequate knowledge about science within communities is not sufficient to explain the growing communication gap between scientists and society. We all recognize the need to diversify who is engaged in the scientific conversation. We all recognize that the field would benefit from evidence-based approaches and methodically developed best practices. And critically, we all agree that effective work in this field requires listening to and understanding specific communities and audiences in order to effectively engage with them.

The Position

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, The Kavli Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation seek a Civic Science fellow who, through a 12-month fellowship, will help explore a common vision and identify paths forward for collaborative action and impact. We see an opportunity to coordinate our efforts; learn from each other; learn from grantees, partners, and diverse communities; and break down silos or jargon that may separate us. The Fellow will join a group who shares a commitment to increasing diversity in our own work and field, integrating justice and equity into the work we do, and ensuring an inclusive culture.

The Civic Science Fellow will initially work with the six foundations listed above to advance a shared vision, help each foundation learn about our peers’ specific goals and objectives related to this shared vision, and develop a strategy for moving forward on collaborations to reach our shared goals, serve diverse audiences, and catalyze more effective engagement with science. The Fellow will:

  • Lead the development of a shared vision and strategy for future collaborative work among funders in the civic science space. This may take the shape, for example, of a shared blueprint—a strategic document outlining shared objectives and goals, a common theory of change, and an articulation of what success will look like, across multiple communities and objectives.
    • Embed, or meaningfully connect with, each partner foundation to develop a more nuanced understanding of goals, trends, and theories of change.
    • Connect with the field, communities of public engagement research and practice, and communities underserved by existing science communication efforts to allow their goals, objectives, and efforts to inform the blueprint.
    • Facilitate and incorporate ongoing feedback from foundation partners. Share progress and insights on the blueprint development.
    • Apply learnings from embedded experience and other resources to inform potential collective structures and approaches that foundation partners could use to advance field.
    • Develop and present a set of recommendations (including, but not limited to, scope, sequencing, resourcing, and risks) detailing how the collaborative can work together to develop joint programming, co-invest, and share learnings, drawing on a growing body of related social scientific research, crossing disciplinary boundaries when helpful, and maintaining focus on benefiting and including diverse communities.
    • Identify areas of prospective collaboration with other foundations active in work related to civic science, or interested in contributing to and applying best practices.
  • Incorporate an approach for assessing the feasibility of ways forward described in the blueprint, as well as methods for ensuring ongoing shared learning from our collective efforts.
  • Recommend necessary inputs and key milestones/timing to meet blueprint goals.

We believe the opportunity to experience each Foundation’s culture and processes will be an asset in the Fellow’s success to coordinate and support the collaborative. The Kavli Foundation, based in Los Angeles, CA, and/or the Rita Allen Foundation in Princeton, NJ, will provide the primary post for the Fellow. We expect the Fellow will spend meaningful time embedded with each foundation partner. We are willing to discuss potential variations of this location and approach with the Fellow, as long as it prioritizes meaningful time with each foundation.

The Civic Science Fellow will be part of the inaugural class of Civic Science Fellows—individuals housed at various institutions to advance a myriad of ways people and science connect. These fellows will attend one annual convening and participate in regular monthly meetings to share learnings from their different embedded perspectives.

The Fellow will report to, and be guided by, an advisory group composed of representatives from foundation partners.

Skills and Attributes

  • 5+ years experience in science communication, public engagement with science, informal science education, learning, collective action, or related fields.
  • Experience in crafting strategic, forward-looking plans and reports.
  • Experience in program or project management.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Shares our commitment to increasing racial diversity in the science communication landscape, integrating justice and equity into the work we do, and ensuring an inclusive organizational culture.
  • Familiarity with philanthropy.
  • Ability and flexibility to travel, primarily in the United States.
  • Have initiative, be entrepreneurial, and think strategically and long-term.

To Apply

Send a cover letter describing your interest in this position, a resume or CV, and a work or writing sample reflecting analysis of themes and opportunities, to Applications received by August 15, 2019, will be given priority.

The salary for this full-time, 12-month position is $80K plus benefits.

We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds. The Rita Allen Foundation is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation or expression, gender, marital status, age, physical or mental disability, military status, genetic information or any other protected characteristic as established under law. All individuals are welcomed and encouraged to apply.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Rita Allen Foundation site at