Grants and Learning Programme Manager

The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust is recruiting a Grants and Learning Programme Manager to be responsible for building an effective grants portfolio for the UK Democracy Fund in the run up to the General Election, to support of the Fund’s ambitious voter participation goals. They will support developing the Fund’s approach to learning about “what works”, and will disseminate learning, and campaigning and policy insights from JRRT’s grants and projects.

This is a role that requires significant experience, likely to have been acquired in campaigning, policy influencing, grant making, or research roles. A clear communicator, with highly developed analytical ability and curiosity is essential. Candidates will need to show a good understanding of UK democracy and the political landscape, and to have or acquire quickly detailed knowledge of the electoral system, voter participation initiatives and JRRT’s reform agenda.



Grant making

Work with the Head of UK Democracy Fund to build a grants portfolio for the UK Democracy Fund that contributes effectively to the Fund’s objectives with responsibility for:

  • active outreach to identify prospective applicants.
  • support to applicants as they develop their applications.
  • support for grant-making decisions by the JRRT Board, providing assessments of applications based on the Fund’s learning and understanding of charity and electoral law.


Work with the Head of UK Democracy Fund and JRRT Programme Manager to develop approaches to learning.

  • develop an appropriate approach to learning – from light touch convening and peer learning, to commissioning an external evaluator – with particular emphasis on campaigning, mobilising and influencing activity.
  • identify learning and dissemination priorities, working with grantees to support learning.
  • support assessment of core funded organisations.
  • help to build relationships between campaigners, academics and practitioners and to build support for the UKDF evidence agenda.

Resources and capacity building

Work with the Head of UK Democracy Fund and JRRT Programme Manager to spot patterns in grantee reporting and from surveys and meetings to:

  • identify priorities for resources, peer learning, training or other support
  • support applicants on how to evaluate their work.
  • develop and update the UKDF Funding Framework and convene sessions to engage prospective applicants.
  • support grantees on how to measure voter registration and turnout.
  • write and update resources for grantees and civil society organisations supporting the Million More campaign.
  • build relations with others working on learning and capacity building across the democracy and funding sectors, including the Democracy Network.

Communications and influencing

Work with the CEO to communicate learning, driving accountability to the Board and funders and building external influence.

  • track and record intended and actual voter registration and turnout numbers by grantees, partners and target institutions.
  • write up case studies and key learning for the website and for external communications from submissions to parliamentary committees to content for funding bids.
  • develop a dissemination strategy for priority learning projects.
  • support convening and events to disseminate learning and create influencing opportunities for funders, grantees, regulators or decision makers, developing the agenda, format, speaker briefs and researching target participants.
  • contribute to production of context summaries or insights reports on key issues.
  • support the Board to reflect on and make use of learning to inform future decisions and support reporting to Funders.


  • Stay abreast of policy and political developments relevant to the work and maintain and improve personal competence through continuous professional development.
  • Work flexibly alongside other members of the team and take on reasonable tasks and provide cover as appropriate over and above those set out above.


The full job description and person specification, alongside more information about JRRT and the UK Democracy Fund, can be found in our downloadable application pack.


The role involves outreach and engagement with politically underrepresented demographic groups. Candidates with lived experience of, or connections to, these groups are encouraged to apply.

Applicants will need permission to live and work in the UK.


Terms and conditions 

  • Initial two-year contract
  • Full time
  • Salary £50,000-56,000 depending on skills and experience
  • Open to discussing options for flexible working arrangements
  • Hybrid working – mainly remote/home-based (unless live near York) with a minimum level of travel to York to work with the team and Board required
  • Leave 25 days plus Bank Holidays (and three days office closure at Christmas)
  • Pension 10% employer contribution, 5% employee contribution, salary sacrifice option and life assurance
  • On-site parking in York
  • Professional subscription fees
  • The job may require some UK travel


Application process

Send the following documents by email to with ‘Grants and Learning Programme Manager application’ in the subject line of your email:

The deadline for applications is midday on Friday 19 August 2022

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early as we may schedule rolling interviews before the final closing date.

First interviews will be held on Thursday 1 September with second interviews on Wednesday 7 September.

Please note that due to the number of applications we receive we will only be able to contact short-listed candidates.


Downloads and links

Grants and Learning Programme Manager application pack

Grants awarded by JRRT and the UK Democracy Fund

Personal details form

Diversity monitoring form