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Media and Design Associate (Washington, DC)

The Democracy Collaborative, a national research institute focusing on transformative solutions to inequality that democratize wealth and restore community control over the economy, is looking for a talented designer and media maker to join our team in Washington, DC.  The ideal applicant will be passionate about social, economic, and racial justice, and able to use their skills to translate these ideas into compelling print and digital projects that communicate and amplify our institution’s research and analysis.  Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Media and Design Associate will work across all projects at The Democracy Collaborative, from our on-the-ground work with community-based organizations on building alternative economic institutions and our work with city governments to establish new policy frameworks for community wealth building, to our work with The Next System Project to identify and advocate for systemic solutions to systemic crisis.  Candidates must be able to work quickly, creatively, and effectively on multiple tasks simultaneously, meeting deadlines with an eye for detail.

The responsibilities of the Media and Design Associate will include:

Illustration/graphic design:

The associate will create high-impact infographics and other design assets that package complex ideas in engaging and accessible form. Beyond just providing graphic assets for existing projects and campaigns, the associate will work with program staff across the organization to identify opportunities to incorporate new design products into our work.

Print design:

The associate will be responsible for transforming our research into compelling print publications.  For publications in existing series, this will entail using and refining existing templates, but for new projects and series, including books, this will require the ability to design professional and engaging print publications from the ground up.  In both cases, the associate will work as the primary coordinator of production, managing the flow of content and design assets, and coordinating with printing vendors.

Digital design:

The associate will be responsible for managing the creation of attractive web content across the organization—this will include both supporting program staff adding material to our content management system, as well as taking primary responsibility for design and upload of longer-form web-native content.  

Social media and email:

Working with the Director of Communications, the associate will be responsible for maintaining a flow of effective and engaging social media content across the organization’s various profiles, and for helping design and format our email list communications, such as newsletters and email blasts

Other projects:

Depending on the associate’s skillset and interests, other projects may include audio, video, animation, special digital projects, or social design.  The associate will also generally help support the work of the communications department.

Necessary qualifications:

  • Fluency with Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator

  • Portfolio of prior design projects demonstrating ability to produce professional results in an effective and efficient manner

  • Knowledge of HTML and familiarity with best practices for web publishing, and ideally  experience with Wordpress, Drupal, and/or other web publishing platforms

  • Social media fluency, with the ability to use analytics to produce and refine high-performing posts that engage our core audiences

  • Ability to perform well under pressure with multiple deadlines, and to accept (and ask for!) feedback generously and graciously

  • Capacity to design in different styles for different audiences, and to know which styles and idioms will work when and for whom

  • Creativity and ingenuity in developing graphic solutions to pedagogical and promotional problems, and the communication and interpersonal skills necessary to build and refine these in collaboration with our program staff

  • Ability to act autonomously, bringing structure and organization to work in ways that are responsive to larger organization-wide imperatives while thriving on trust and responsibility

  • Excellent problem solving and time management skills

  • Strong writing skills, with a knack for summarizing complex content into persuasive social media posts and blurbs for communication blasts

  • Desire and excitement to use design skills to help fight inequality and democratize the economy

Additional welcome qualifications:

  • Experience with photography and videography

  • Experience with video and audio editing

  • Experience with social design practice

  • Experience with editing and proofreading

  • Programming experience/interactive design

  • Professional experience with social media promotion

  • Relevant experience with community economic development or advocacy and activism for systemic change

Our workplace:

The Democracy Collaborative is a mission-driven team with ambitious goals and an agile approach to problem solving.  Our DC office is centrally located between Farragut North and Dupont Circle, and frequently hosts lunchtime talks and other gatherings for our staff to learn more about transformative innovations in community economic development and thinking about systemic alternatives.  We encourage all staff to take advantage of these opportunities, and are committed to providing additional tailored support for professional development.  And we appreciate the value of the right tools, and will make sure you have the hardware and software you need to excel in your work.

We especially value team players who can consistently achieve a standard of excellence in their projects, performing with passion, enthusiasm, and creativity,  but who also bring a strong work ethic, sense of professional humility, and willingness to pitch in on whatever work is needed for the whole team to succeed.

Application deadline:

Position open until filled.


Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C.

Length of position:

Two-year commitment (contingent on satisfactory 90-day and annual review) required. Position can extend beyond two years by mutual agreement.

To Apply:

Send résumé/CV with references, a detailed cover letter regarding your interest in and desire to make a contribution to the kind of work being done by The Democracy Collaborative, a link to a portfolio of relevant design work, and a relevant short writing sample to including “Media and Design Associate” in the subject line.  Please note that due to the volume of applications we receive, we cannot respond to every applicant. No phone calls please. We will contact all candidates who qualify for first-round interviews.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. Job includes a generous benefits package including health care, three weeks of paid vacation per year, and an employer contribution to a 403(b) retirement plan.

The Democracy Collaborative is an Equal Opportunity Employer—people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.

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