Rural Youth Voter Fund Program Manager

Remote | Full-time | Fully remote


Please read: This role opened in November 2022 and we are currently conducting interviews. While you application will be carefully reviewed, at this stage we do not anticipate speaking to more candidates. We will let you know the status of your application by the end of February.

The Heartland Fund, part of the Rural Democracy Initiative, is seeking a Program Manager for the Rural Youth Voter Fund. The position requires a strategic leader who is committed to racial justice and a thriving democracy, and prepared to serve a growing group of rural youth-focused grantees. They will drive the development of the strategy for this new rural-youth focused fund, facilitate grants management and reporting, and coordinate with key funding partners, Movement Voter Project and Clean & Prosperous America.

We are looking for a collaborative team player with a track record of organizing young voters and demonstrated experience advancing racial justice to build powerful civic and political infrastructure that advances transformative solutions in rural communities. Rural people are among the most persuadable and least contacted voters of any demographic group, and their participation in voting and civic action would be decisive in many communities. The Rural Youth Voter Fund supports and expands year round civic engagement and power building in service of a representative, inclusive democracy and shared prosperity.

This is an exciting and dynamic position with opportunities for advancement and leadership. The successful candidate will be service-oriented, an excellent writer able to manage competing priorities and deadlines, and balance many strategic grantmaking considerations.

Please note:  You will receive an automatic application receipt email from Eva McMullen via Trakstar Hire. If you do not receive this email please first check your spam folder. If there is no email, please email Eva directly ( to ensure your application has been received. 

Position Title: Rural Youth Voter Fund Program Manager

Location: Remote within the United States

Reports to: Program Officer, Heartland Fund

Hours per week (average): 40

Overtime Status: Exempt

Posting Date: November 21, 2022

Salary Range: $75,000 - $85,000

About the Organization

The Heartland Fund, part of the Rural Democracy Initiative, is a funding collaborative that connects rural leaders with funders to build powerful, permanent civic infrastructure in small towns, small cities and rural areas. We challenge the stereotype of the conservative white rural voter, and instead center racial justice, while partnering with groups working in rural communities of color and modeling groundbreaking anti-racist organizing in majority-white communities.

Our coalition of rural innovators and aligned funders is working in 20 states across diverse regions, including Alaska and Montana in the Northwest, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio in the Midwest, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the Northeast, Arizona and Texas in the Southwest, and North Carolina and Georgia in the Southeast. We support rural people working to transform rural America – and therefore the entire country – for decades to come.


Small town, small city and rural voters maintain disproportionate power to shape national politics. The progressive movement was built on a strong coalition of rural farmers and urban laborers. But in recent decades, progressive leadership and funding infrastructure has largely withdrawn from non-metro areas. At the same time, regressive interests have invested heavily in rural voters. They’ve built organizing, policy, and communications machines to spread disinformation and ignite fears among rural electorates, promoting their own political agendas to deepen urban-rural divides.

Progressives are winning again in small towns and rural communities. 2018 and 2020 made clear that with focused organizing progressives can win in rural communities. Even though rural areas voted overwhelmingly for Trump, rural Democratic gains in the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election were actually larger than the gains made in urban and in many suburban areas, and were decisive in the battleground states. With small, grassroots investments in strategic rural engagement, a motivated coalition composed largely of rural women, people of color, and younger voters fueled a historic progressive bounce-back in small cities, towns and rural areas.

The Heartland / RDI approach

The Heartland Fund is a 501c3 grantmaking and power building organization that, alongside the 501c4 Rural Victory Fund, comprises the Rural Democracy Initiative. RDI invests in civic infrastructure in small towns and rural areas. Building power in these communities is essential to establishing an enduring progressive, multiracial national majority, and implementing the policies required for rural and small city communities to have vibrant, thriving futures. For example, our Rural Climate Partnership invests in rural-led climate solutions such as clean energy deployment, sustainable rural electric cooperatives, and regenerative agriculture to support a just transition.

Rural Youth Voter Fund

RDI is partnering with the Movement Voter Project and Clean & Prosperous America on a new Rural Youth Voter Fund, focused on rural young people, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). The Rural Youth Voter Fund supports and expands year round civic engagement and power building in service of a representative, inclusive democracy and shared prosperity. The Rural Youth Voter Fund aims to deploy at least $10M over the next 3 years to community-rooted organizing groups focused on engaging young voters (under 35 years old), developing young leaders, and building youth power in small towns and rural areas. Rural young people are among the most persuadable and least contacted voters of any demographic group, and their participation in voting and civic action would be decisive in many communities.

The Position

The Program Manager will drive the grantmaking and capacity building strategy of the Rural Youth Voter Fund. They will be responsible for cultivating trusting relationships and providing flexible resources to make timely investments that result in greater progressive power and meaningful policy change, especially for rural, young BIPOC communities that are still fighting for a voice in decision making.

The Program Manager for the Rural Youth Voter Fund will be supervised by the Program Officer and work alongside the team to manage grantmaking strategy, support the grantee network, communicate learning and success stories, and coordinate with key funding partners. The person holding this position will also work with the team on RDI’s coordinated project, Rural Victory Fund (RVF), to advance 501(c)(4) investments in young voter engagement.

RDI takes pride in building an organizational culture rooted in learning, collaboration, equity, and a deep commitment to our mission. We center racial justice and anti-racism throughout all of our work. All staff are expected to contribute leadership and vision to advance our mission.

Primary responsibilities

Grantmaking Strategy & Program Management: Work closely with the Program Officer and program partners to develop and implement a youth-focused strategy and ensure effective grantmaking and program management.

  • Develop and implement strategy for high-impact youth-focused grantmaking in rural communities, including identifying key geographies of opportunity to engage young BIPOC voters.
  • Lead outreach to prospective and existing grantees and partners, including informal check-ins and occasional site visits.
  • Gather and organize grantee proposals and accompanying Support grant docket preparation.
  • Review grant proposals and reports, prioritize and recommend grant awards, and assess impacts and opportunities in partnership with key funding partners.
  • Communicate with grantees about their grant awards, support their application and navigation of compliance processes, and track grant agreements and payments.

Grantee Capacity Building & Resources: Serve as a resource for the youth grantees in the network, identify non-financial needs of grantees, and work with the Program Officer to provide tailored capacity building and leadership development offerings.

  • Assess capacity building offerings, models, and potential
  • Manage capacity building partners, trainers, and consultants to meet youth-focused grantee needs.
  • Convene grantees in small and large groups to plan together and share what they are
  • Elevate needs, trends, and opportunities identified by grantees to Rural Youth Voter Fund leadership.

Cross-team Coordination & Communications: Manage collaborative processes with internal and external stakeholders.

  • Coordinate process to set grantmaking criteria with RDI and key funding
  • Ensure that rural youth organizations are connected to state coalitions, other infrastructure, and ecosystems for progressive change.
  • Liaise and actively engage with all relevant stakeholders as appropriate - including aligned funders, organizing networks, intermediaries, influencers, etc.
  • Collaborate with RDI fiscal sponsor account teams to facilitate efficient and equitable grantmaking and management processes.
  • Gather impact stories, photos, quotes, and anecdotes from grantees, and work across teams to create compelling written content for our funders and grantees to support fundraising efforts. Collaborate with fundraising and communications teams to write Heartland Fund and Rural Victory Fund grant proposals and reports for our funders and donors.

Other duties: We’re a growing organization and responsibilities will evolve with the role and as opportunities emerge. Examples of growth and development opportunities could include:

  • Continuous learning about current grantmaking, philanthropy, civic engagement, and political best practices.
  • Thought leadership, representing Heartland Fund and Rural Victory Fund in some external settings, including calls, conferences, and convenings of peer funders, youth-focused field leaders, and rural practitioners.
  • Donor stewardship and pitching key components of the Rural Youth Voter


We realize that some great candidates may not have every single thing on this list - that’s OK! If this job posting piques your interest, we encourage you to apply!

Heartland / RDI is seeking a strategic and ambitious team member who is excited to work in an entrepreneurial, fast paced, and creative environment. The person should exhibit a high degree of professionalism, initiative, and independence while also being collaborative and team focused.

Specifically, the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:


  • 5+ years of related professional experience in a nonprofit, campaign and/or foundation setting, working on projects with varied deadlines and deliverables
  • Understanding of social change, civic engagement, or political strategy
  • Demonstrated connection to and passion for our rural mission and advancing the leadership of BIPOC youth
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial justice and fluency with equity and anti-racist practices
  • Passionate attention to detail
  • Familiarity with the youth civic engagement field through direct experience with youth-focused organizations or working on youth-focused campaign strategy
  • Strong writing skills, with an ability to clearly communicate an organization’s mission and impact
  • Excellent relationship management skills with diverse constituencies, and a service orientation in grantee relationships
  • Exceptional planning, time management, and multi-tasking skills while working on a wide variety of complex tasks with numerous deadlines and deliverables


  • Experience in the philanthropic sector and with grantmaking
  • An understanding of rural and small town America derived from either lived, professional, and/or volunteer experience
  • 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofit program management experience
  • Familiarity with a broad range of digital platforms and tools, social media enterprise channels, and email communications platforms

Compensation and Job Design

This is a permanent, full time exempt staff position. The organization is virtual, and the Program Manager will be a remote position. As COVID allows, the position will require travel across the United States. Expected compensation will be based on skills and experience, with a salary range of $75,000 - $85,000 per year. Our comprehensive benefits package includes employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance, up to 6% employer match on 401k contributions, pre-tax transportation benefits, and paid holidays, vacation, sick, and volunteer time off.

Heartland Fund is a project of Windward Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grantmaking programs. Windward is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. Windward’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

To center the safety and well-being of its employees, Windward Fund requires that any employee who is required to conduct in-person activities for their job must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within four weeks of their start date. Accommodations may be sought and approved in accordance with the law by contacting human resources at

The person holding this position will also work part-time for a coordinated project, Rural Victory Fund (RVF), under a resource sharing agreement between the Windward Fund and RVF fiscal sponsor Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4). The responsibilities under that position will be overseen by Sixteen Thirty Fund.

To Apply


Priority deadline December 15, 2022. Applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis with interviews anticipated to start in January 2023. The desired start date is by March 1, 2023.