Summary

The Public Policy Director plays a pivotal role in advocating for the interests of nonprofits across Montana. This position will develop and implement strategic public policy initiatives, foster positive relationships with local, state, and federal government entities, conduct research and analysis on critical sector and fiscal policy issues, and lead MNA’s multi-dimensional efforts to build the capacity of Montana’s nonprofit sector to engage appropriately in advocacy and lobbying.

Description

Position Overview
The Public Policy Director plays a pivotal role in advocating for the interests of nonprofits across Montana. This position will develop and implement strategic public policy initiatives, foster positive relationships with local, state, and federal government entities, conduct research and analysis on critical sector and fiscal policy issues, develop and disseminate information to nonprofit organizations and the public, lead MNA’s multi-dimensional efforts to build the capacity of Montana’s nonprofit sector to engage appropriately in advocacy and lobbying, participate in advocacy through coalitions and alliances, advocate and lobby on issues of importance to the nonprofit sector, mobilize the nonprofit community to advocate for policies that support the sector’s growth and impact, and design and implement strategies to increase civic engagement, including nonpartisan election activity.  The Public Policy Director continually develops and works in partnership with MNA’s Public Policy Advisory Council, which advises the organization on public policy issues and the biennial development of the Public Policy Agenda. The Public Policy Director is a key contributor to MNA's mission to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for Montana's nonprofit organizations.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Policy Development: Research, analyze, and develop policy recommendations and a Policy Agenda that aligns with the interests and needs of Montana's nonprofit sector. Stay abreast of current federal policy developments through relationships with the National Council of Nonprofits policy team, regular communications from the National Council of Nonprofits, and the state nonprofit association network. Monitor state and federal legislative and administrative level activities and trends that align with MNA’s Public Policy agenda.  Provide leadership and support to the Public Policy Advisory Council of the MNA Board, seeking their guidance in agenda setting and advocacy and keeping the Council informed and engaged in partnership with the Council Chair.
     
  2. Advocacy: Build and maintain effective relationships with federal, state, and local government officials and administration, advocating for policies and regulations that enhance the nonprofit sector's capacity to serve Montana communities. Organize and lead MNA’s advocacy efforts, including lobbying, grassroots campaigns, and coalition building.  Attend legislative sessions and hearings and department sessions and hearings, representing the interests of the nonprofit sector as outlined in the MNA Public Policy agenda. Ensure MNA maintains compliance with all state and federal regulations regarding lobbying and files reports in a timely manner.
     
  3. Member Engagement: Engage MNA members in public policy advocacy initiatives, educating them on relevant issues and providing resources that position them to be effective advocates for the causes they represent. Partner with MNA staff to provide briefings and training to nonprofit leaders on policy planning, issue development, advocacy, state and federal level lobbying compliance, message development, and media advocacy. Consult with individual nonprofit organizations on the development of public policy plans and infrastructure.  Provide timely updates to MNA members and various coalitions on legislation that impacts nonprofits, including select subsector legislation that may be of interest to a significant group of members. Organize and manage advocacy events, such as Nonprofit Day at the Capitol and Lobby Day in Washington, DC.
     
  4. Communication: Effectively communicate the value and impact of the nonprofit sector to policymakers, the media, and the public. Craft persuasive messaging and materials to support advocacy efforts and present to key audiences on public policy matters.  Develop content for internal publications such as newsletters, press releases, member emails, videos, annual reports, and economic impact reports to facilitate organizational learning about relevant policy issues, the policy-making process, current events and federal and state election and legislative dynamics affecting MNA members.  Represent MNA’s interests in a scrupulous nonpartisan manner in communications with member organizations, the MNA Board and staff, members of the public, and the various stakeholders with whom MNA interacts and engages.
     
  5. Relationship Building and Coalition Engagement: Collaborate with other nonprofits, associations, and community organizations to be informed, support, build and/or otherwise participate in coalitions and partnerships that amplify the collective voice of the sector as advocates for shared goals with a priority on MNA member groups and the MNA Public Policy agenda. Participate in National Council of Nonprofits public policy meetings and working groups. Develop and maintain relationships with elected officials and members of administration as a component of effective advocacy.
     
  6. Data and Research: Provide strategic and technical analysis of relevant public policies and track MNA policy activities and engagement. Conduct research and analysis on critical sector and fiscal policy issues and assist MNA staff in creating policy-related publications for members and grantors.

Successful Candidates will have:

  • Proven experience in public policy advocacy with some experience in lobbying.
  • An understanding of the state and federal legal compliance requirements for lobbyists.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience building and maintaining effective relationships and partnerships that advance MNA’s public policy initiatives in a nonpartisan manner.
  • A deep understanding of the nonprofit sector and the policy issues that impact the sector along with its role in building communities, enhancing quality of life and partnering with government to serve Montana.
  • Knowledge of Montana’s state and local legislative systems.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with the MNA team and a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Strong research and analytical abilities.
  • A strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to maintain a presence at the Capitol throughout the Montana legislative session and in additional times, as needed.

Compensation Information:

  • The MNA team typically works a 32-hr work week, with Fridays off. There are months in the year, including September, where we move up to a 40-hour week, or more.  This position will likely work beyond 40 hours per week for most, if not all, of the Montana legislative session.
  • Flexible working hours
  • $65,000-$75,000, depending on experience.
  • Benefits include:
    • Employer-paid health insurance
    • Matching retirement contributions
    • Health Savings Account contributions
    • Generous paid, sick, and parental leave

Location: This position is based in Montana, with the ability to work remotely and travel within the state as needed. Regular attendance at the MNA office in Helena, Montana, is required.  Additionally, regular attendance at legislative and department hearings and meetings is required. Most, but not all, of these meetings will take place in Helena, Montana. This includes full-time presence in Helena, Montana, during the entirety of the state legislative session.

Application Process: If you are passionate about policy advocacy, committed to equity and inclusion, and eager to make a positive impact within Montana's nonprofit sector, we invite you to apply. Please submit your resume and a cover letter detailing your relevant experience to mna@mtnonprofit.org. The priority acceptance period for applications closes Friday, February 9 at 5:00pm MST.

Not sure you meet all the job qualifications? Let us decide! Research shows that women and members of other under-represented groups tend not to apply to jobs when they think they may not meet every qualification when, in fact, they often do. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and strongly encourage you to apply.
 

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