Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Democracy Fund

About Democracy Fund

Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that the American people come first in our democracy.

Pierre Omidyar created Democracy Fund out of deep respect for the U.S. Constitution and our nation’s core democratic values. While no democracy is perfect, the American system has endured through times of severe stress and dramatic social change. This system has proven its value and continues to hold the promise of effective, representative governance. Today, technologies and innovations offer new opportunities for public engagement in a more vibrant democracy — even as serious challenges including hyper-partisanship, money in politics, and struggling media threaten the health of our political system.

We believe the best days of American democracy lie ahead. Bipartisan solutions can modernize our elections. Digital advances can help people engage in civic life. New incentives can encourage political leaders to find principled compromise and address our country’s greatest challenges.

Democracy Fund is a resource for those who want to strengthen our nation’s democracy. We invest in change makers whose ideas and energy can make a difference. We advocate for solutions that can bring lasting improvement to our political system. We build bridges that help people come together to serve the nation, moving us closer to the ideal of a government of, by, and for the people.

Working on Democracy
We operate with a belief in new possibilities — along with an appreciation for the complexity of the dynamics involved in U.S. democracy, a commitment to learning and rigor in all we do, and a desire to collaborate with people and parties across the political spectrum.
Bridge building is a cornerstone of the Democracy Fund’s work. We believe that creating a vibrant, healthy political system is in the interest of all Americans and that finding achievable solutions to the complex problems facing our democracy will require voices, expertise, and ideas from across the political spectrum. Our board, staff, advisors, and grantees include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. The Democracy Fund is affiliated with Democracy Fund Voice.
The Democracy Fund is part of The Omidyar Group and is funded by Pierre and Pam Omidyar. For more information about the Omidyars’ personal, professional, and philanthropic interests, visit

Investment Criteria and Grantmaking

The Democracy Fund aims to play a catalytic role in improving our political system through grantmaking. We typically make a substantial investment in the success of our grantee organizations. The Democracy Fund DOES NOT accept unsolicited proposals. We proactively seek new grants based on strategic priorities and typically identify new grantee partners from within our network of allies and contacts. We work closely with grantee partners to help them achieve their goals. To have the greatest impact, we invest according to the following criteria:

  • Alignment. We look for organizations aligned with our mission of making democracy work better. We seek nonprofit organizations that use innovative approaches that are in keeping with our three programs and strategic priorities.
  • Impact. We identify organizations that produce significant outcomes by influencing practices among existing institutions, shifting incentives and behavior of political leaders, building effective sectors, and altering public attitudes and behavior.
  • Potential for Scale. We look for organizations with significant growth potential, and the ability to scale operations to influence the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. We prefer to work with nonprofits that are on a path toward operational sustainability where possible.
  • Leadership. We invest in management teams with a proven track record in their field of operation and an ability to articulate a clear vision and strategy, reinforced by a viable business plan. The organization must practice exemplary governance with operational efficiency and controls, transparent practices, and disciplined financial planning.
  • Innovation. We seek organizations that employ creative, entrepreneurial strategies to accomplish their goals. Grantees may disrupt the status quo, establish a new paradigm, or pioneer services for untapped markets.

Please note that Democracy Fund policy allows up to 10 percent of university project expenses to be for indirect costs.

Working on Democracy
Partnering for Results, and Learning
We invest in the success of our grantee partners, collaborating with them to achieve shared goals while learning together. As appropriate to each partnership, the Democracy Fund team can help:
  • Provide knowledge on topics where we have expertise or experience;
  • Support capacity building in key areas, such as strategy, management, operations, human resources, legal matters, and communications;
  • Make introductions to relevant contacts in our network who might offer useful insights, practices, or resources;
  • Connect grantee partners to help them pursue synergies, build relationships, and share ideas.

Through each partnership, we expect to generate deeper understanding of the systems we seek to influence to improve democracy. We therefore value the mutual learning opportunities inherent in each investment we make.

The Democracy Fund Team


Joe Goldman


Aasha M. Abdill

Strategy and Learning Manager, Public Square

Yasmeen Ajdari

Grants Associate

Adam Ambrogi

Program Director, Elections

Maritsa Bailey

Accounting Manager

Meredith Bird

Communications Coordinator

Perry Brown

Director of People

Isaiah Castilla

Senior Counsel

Laura Chambers

Chief Operating Officer

Winny Chen

Strategy and Learning Manager, Governance

Chris Crawford

Program Associate, Governance

Heather Creek

Strategy and Learning Manager, Elections

Lindsay Daniels

Associate Director, Elections

Angelica Das

Senior Program Associate for Engaged Journalism

Maura Elizabeth Drumm

Partnerships Assistant

Alexandra Escobar

Operations & People Team Coordinator

Nick Fabiani

Design Associate

Lise Woods Fink

Senior Advisor for Talent Acquisition

Nadia Firozvi

Associate Director, Just and Inclusive Society

Lara Flint

Director, Governance Program

Tom Glaisyer

Managing Director of Program

Anne Gleich

Program Assistant, Governance

Teresa Gorman

Senior Program Associate for Local News

Robert Griffin

Research Director, Voter Study Group

Lauren Hill

Director of Partnerships

Anna Kegler

Senior Communications Associate

Stephanie Krongos

Staff Accountant

Charlie Lobeck

Partnerships Associate

Laura A. Maristany

Associate Director, Governance Program

Tyneshia McCray

Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer

Jocelyn McDaniel

Diversity Equity Inclusion Fellow

Rudy Mehrbani

Senior Advisor, Governance

Claudia Mejia

Executive Assistant, President and Vice President

Saa Andre Millimono

IT Administrator

Arslan Muradi

Evaluation and Learning Assistant

Chris Nehls

Senior Systems, Research, and Learning Associate, Governance

Trevor Ostbye

Senior Program Associate, Elections

Tammy Patrick

Senior Advisor, Elections

Viviana Pérez

Senior Program Associate, Elections

Alicia Prevost

Director, Voter Study Group

Mayesha Quasem

Research Assistant, Voter Study Group

Sean Raymond

Program Associate, Governance

Kelly Reed

Director of Grants Management

Najma Roberts

Director of Communications

Stephanie Román

Senior Program Associate, Elections

Liz Ruedy

Director of Strategy, Impact, and Learning

Freddie Salas

Program Assistant, Elections

Christine Schmidt

Program Associate, Public Square

Donata Secondo

Senior Associate, Office of the President

Josh Stearns

Program Director, Public Square

Rebecca Stewart

Senior Communications Associate

Lauren Strayer

Managing Director of Communications and Network

Robin Thompson


Lea Trusty

Program Associate, Public Square

Nathaniel J Turner

Program Associate, Governance

Paul Waters

Associate Director, Public Square Program

Margaret Yao

Senior Advisor for Leadership Development

Devon Ysaguirre

Associate Director, Strategy and Learning

Nina Zenni

Grants Associate

The Democracy Fund Board

Pierre Omidyar

Founder and Chairman

Pat Christen

Board Member

Sarah Steven

Board Member

The National Advisory Committee

Lanhee Chen

Francis Fukuyama

Cherie Harder

Lisa Leingang

Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito

Kierna Mayo

Raju Narisetti

Sonal Shah

Chip Sullivan

Charles J. Sykes

Rev. Starsky Wilson

Our Financial Information

Democracy Fund has committed more than $50 million to support a healthy democracy. Established by philanthropist and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar in 2011 and incubated inside Omidyar Network, Democracy Fund launched as an independent foundation in July 2014 and is a member of The Omidyar Group. We also support and make our grantmaking data available to the Foundation Center’s Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy tool.

We take seriously our commitment to transparency and will continue to share additional financial information as it becomes available.

View our most recent audited financial statements and 990-PF below.

How To Contact Us

Democracy Fund
1200 17th Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20036
PH: 202.420.7900

General Inquiries:
Media Inquiries:

The Democracy Fund does not accept unsolicited business plans, proposals, or personal requests. Any materials marked proprietary or confidential will be discarded.

Please visit our Job Opportunities page. No phone calls please.